Life as a college student in London

Undoubtedly one of the best cities in the world for many aspects of life, London appeals to a huge variety of people.

As a city where (most of the time) everyone can be themselves, it has a diverse population of almost 9 million people. With some of the best universities in the world located in the city, students from around the globe flock to London annually for a top-quality education. But what is it really like as a student in London?

Size matters

Of course, it will depend on where you are coming to London from, but the city is generally not as big as one might think. For example, you can walk around much of the capital, especially in central London, so you do not need to take as much public transport as you may think.

Many of the biggest universities in London are centrally located, including King’s College London, London School of Economics, University of the Arts, Central St Martins, SOAS and University College London to name a few. The British Library is also super central, with great transport links across the whole city, making for a terrific workspace in London, no matter what you are studying.


This will vary depending on the course you are studying, but generally many students find themselves with a lot of spare time. In London, it is important to resist the temptation of all the interesting bars, cool restaurants, niche cafes and so much more, and focus on what you came to London to do.

London has literally thousands of wonderful places to try and lots of things to do, but if you try to do them all, any budget you might have planned out will quickly evaporate. To remove yourself from any potential distractions, there is a great selection of alternative study spaces in the capital; from serviced offices in London Bridge to creative coworking spaces in Camden, you will be able to find somewhere to get your head down. Remember, the London Eye will still be there after you hand in your dissertation.


London is a famously expensive city. With rents easily into the thousands per month for a studio apartment (and that’s before bills), it is important to take your time to research what you need for your living accommodation.

A great way to save money whilst living in London as a student is to get a room in a shared house, or in what is known as a ‘House of Multiple Occupancy’. These are often 5 or 6 bedroom houses with shared communal areas, a few bathrooms and each bedroom door locks securely. In these properties, rent also often includes many household bills which make them a great option when it comes to budgeting.

Saving money

Luckily in the UK, a ‘student discount’ can help you save a lot of money over the duration of your course. Provided you possess a student card, you will be able to get a percentage off an array of purchases, from railcards and train tickets to cinema trips and shopping on the high street. Make sure you ask about getting one of these handy cards at your university – you won’t regret it.