London is among the world’s most famous cities with a history, culture, and lifestyle that are the topics of conversations among many people.
For many students, it’s the dream place to study and get their college or post-graduate degree since London has some of the world’s top universities, such as Imperial College London, University College London, King’s College London, and London School of Economics and Political Science.
Whether you’re a foreign student taking up your college or post-graduate degree or an incoming student from one of the city’s suburbs and you’re planning to stay for a few years in the city while pursuing your degree, you must note certain things. These essential facts and knowledge will ensure that your entire stay will be safe, hassle-free, and truly an eye-opening experience.
Here are five tips for an uneventful and comfortable stay as a student in the nation’s capital:
Get a decent, inexpensive, and secure accommodation
Among the first things you need to secure before packing your bags and heading to London is your accommodation for the entire length of time you’ll be studying in the city. Fortunately, there are a lot of affordable accommodations for students that will fit the bill.
Many apartments and hostels in the city offer value-for-money services to students who need a place to stay as they work to finish their degrees. These accommodations usually have free WiFi, gyms, laundry and catering services, CCTV coverage, and dedicated security personnel, study rooms, and common areas for socialization and relaxation. Some locations likewise have the bills incorporated with the rent, while other offer both catered and self-catered options to suit different budgets
Just make sure to pick an accommodation beforehand and do your research to be sure that you’re staying in a place that is safe, comfortable, and has the right facilities to let you study your lessons after each class.
Don’t let your guard down when having fun
No matter how comfortable you may feel in a certain place such as a bar or restaurant, you should never allow that comfortable feeling to put you in a potentially dangerous situation. Although London is a relatively safe place when compared with other busy cities, it does have its fair share of shady individuals just waiting for the perfect time to victimize unsuspecting people.
As such, always keep your senses on high alert whenever you’re going out. This means always keeping your drinks with you, refraining from offers of drinks from strangers, keeping your valuables close to your person and hiding them when outside, and checking the ATM and your surroundings first when making cash withdrawals.
These simple precautions could spell the difference between an uneventful stay in London and a tragic one. The choice is obvious.
Travel with a group and stick to well-lit and busy areas
If you really must go out to buy something, meet a friend or classmate, or whatever reason you may have, be sure to stay away from back alleys and dark streets. Instead, always take busy routes and well-lit streets when going out at night.
Also, choose to travel with a group or at least with someone you trust if you’re quite unfamiliar still with the places you’re going to. If so, it would also be a great idea if you’ll inform your roommate or accommodation staff where you’re headed and what time you should be back. This will help alert them if your set time arrived and you’re still not back, so they could call the authorities to conduct a search.
Save all relevant emergency numbers
During emergencies, time is critical. The ability to call authorities in as little time as possible can spell the difference between survival and falling victim to crimes or accidents. Whether it’s the local police, fire department, or emergency medical services, dialing 112 or 999 should allow you to contact the right authorities for your specific emergency.
For all other types of situations not categorized as an emergency but still requiring the assistance of local authorities, you may click here to be properly guided on what number to dial depending on your situation.
Get an Oyster card/TravelCard/contactless payment card and load up your digital wallets
If you’ll be taking the Tube, tram, DLR, or London Overground practically every day, you can make your life more convenient by getting an Oyster card, a TravelCard, or a contactless payment card. These handy transportation items will make payments for your fare quick and easy, plus you’ll get some great discounts, spending on the type of card you’ll buy.
Keep in mind that cash these days is great, but not necessarily convenient. This is why most modern transportation facilities have now shifted to pre-paid cards, while some restaurants and other commercial establishments are perfectly okay with digital wallets such as PayPal, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay.
With these five simple reminders and tips, our London stay will surely be as safe and comfortable as it can be.