It is very easy to have a fun time in the UK, and it is even easier to do it while spending lots of money. I love living in London and I want to enjoy the experience the best I can, but I’m also managing it on a student budget. Here are my tips for making the most of your time here, while still being kind to your wallet!
One of the biggest most potentially embarrassing differences in Canadian versus British English is the use of the term “pants”. In fact, you may want to start practicing now just to ensure you get the hang of things before you step foot in the UK and inevitably end up telling someone that you like their pants. In the UK, pants refers to underpants and only underpants. Trousers. The word you are looking for when referring to your longer leg coverings is trousers. Just keep practicing and you’ll get the hang of it. Moreover, you also shouldn’t be offended if someone asks you for a rubber. They need an erasure to fix a written mistake, they aren’t propositioning you for something else.
When I first found out I was moving to London I was excited about all the historic sights I was going to see and the potential to travel around Europe so easily. What never occurred to me was the amazing food options this city has. I have learned (and so has my waistline) that the culinary options here go beyond just fish and chips, and that there is a crazy amount of food options that can lead you on a magical food journey throughout the city!
When I first moved to Scotland, I was nervous about my options as a vegetarian. I was accustomed to the meat substitutes and vegetarian-friendly menus that cluttered every grocery store and restaurant in Canada. Toronto has a thriving vegan and vegetarian community, with health foods and meat/dairy alternatives gaining popularity every day. After studying in England for a semester in 2016, I knew my choices would be more limited in the UK. It’s far from impossible to maintain a meat-free diet here, but you won’t find a Whole Foods Market or a vegan café on every corner.
The housing situation in London was one of my main hesitations when I considered moving to the city. It’s intimidating to face as a young student, especially if you’re on a budget (like me). The good news is that tens of thousands of students navigate this process in London every year, and it shouldn’t be a deterrent for living in one of the best cities in the world. To help prepare you, I’ve rounded up some of your options and the most helpful information for conquering the London housing market.
I have always envied the people who can enter new situations and immediately become best friends with someone else. Although I like to think of myself as friendly, it always takes me a bit of time and multiple interactions to form a close and lasting relationship, making travelling across the world, away from my friends and family quite intimidating. Would people like me? Would I make friends? Would I find travel buddies to pop over to Europe with? Would I have people to grab a coffee or pint with on a Friday? If you are also agonizing over these types of questions, let me assure you that the answer to all them is a resounding yes! But if my word is simply not enough, let me highlight a few tips to make the friend-making process a little easier.
Now that you’ve sorted your accommodation and successfully applied for your student visa, the hardest parts of preparing for your studies overseas are behind you, right? Maybe not.
One of the hardest parts of first arriving in the UK is missing family and friends. In today’s world, we can speak to anyone whenever we want! There are so many ways to stay connected with everyone back home. When our ATP Advisors studied abroad, the majority found the easiest communication tool was Facebook, followed by an app called WhatsApp- both will be discussed in more detail below, but before that here is some information on getting your phone set up.