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!
The reason you are coming to the UK might be to study, however, the experience is so much more than just school. It’s a chance to experience a new culture, meet people from around the world, and just have a really great time! Although you will spend a lot of time on your school work (duh, you kinda want to pass!) there will still be plenty of time to get out there and have some fun. Below I highlight the main extracurriculars you must try while across the pond.
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.
There are endless ways to fill your spare time as a student in London. Every week I discover new things and new places that are off the beaten track. I study and live in East London, so I admit that I’m partial to this side of the city – but there are great things to explore all across the tube network.
Making the move to study in England is a big decision, you’re leaving your friends, family, bed, and the comforts of your own home. As exciting and life-changing this experience is, it can also be a big adjustment, one such adjustment is grocery shopping. Coming from Canada we are used to everything being big, maybe not as big compared to our southern neighbors, but for the most part things are quite over-sized. Everything from our coffees, to our highways, and especially our grocery stores. Not only are our grocery stores huge, each offering every possible thing you could imagine, they are also everywhere, located at every possible interval within a city. In England this is just not the case.
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.