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London has an enormous student population, of 400.000. Just to place this in context, that is slightly less students as Manchester has in total population. Small wonder, with over 50 universities calling London their home, including 9 of the world’s top 400 higher education institutions and 5 of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of universities. You’ll also be in good company as one of the nearly 400,000 students from all over the world living and studying in the capital. Students will find all they need here, though finding a proper place to live off-campus might be tough. Therefore, a bit of imagination and leaving some expectations behind at the door might prove necessary. As student Ben Lifton at the University of Arts in London states in the Guardian: “London is a brilliant city to go to uni in because it is where everyone moves to after studying elsewhere within the UK to get a job. That means we already have a leg up, because we know the best and cheapest places to live and understand the tube map. Moving to London is daunting at first, but it does make you grow up.”
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London has so many great cultural centres because of this there is a lot of dispute between students on the ‘best neighbourhoods’ in London.
Shoreditch/Dalston: The hip ‘East London’ in which the overground strip starting from Shoreditch High Street, Hoxton, Haggerston to Dalston Junction. This trendy strip is London’s hipster scene. With craft breweries, trendy eateries and vintage boutiques.
New Cross/Peckham: The overground also covers New Cross and Peckham area. This up and coming neighbourhood is ‘south of the river’, house prices are lower here. Now gentrification has pushed more artists and students to live here. Daily new cafes and shops are opening, this area is also close to Goldsmiths university.
Hackney/London Fields: This fresh neighbourhood is still home to many local Londoners. This pocket of London is vibrant and still has poorer pockets. In the summer London Fields is very popular with an outdoor lido and barbecuing areas. There is a main railways station and overground station here.
Wembley: In the north west of London, Wembley has a huge student population. There are lot’s of universities and halls based in this district. It is very connectable into central London by the underground. Wembley is a central hub for students and locals. Wembley is self-contained for students with supermarkets and shopping malls in close proximity. Due to it’s position typically housing is cheaper in Wembley.
Kensington: Living in the west is very nice. Kensington is full of beautiful Georgian and Edwardian terraced houses homing London’s elite. In the summer there are beer gardens and bars serving white wine spritzers and fancy beer. Prices are usually; both more expensive and luxurious in Kensington. The tube connections in this area are very good with access to district and circle line with a short walk to central or piccadilly lines.
Mile End/Bow/Bethnal Green: With great proximity to Queen Mary university and other east london universities this area is another hub for students. Since the Olympics much of east London to Stratford has undergone a lot of construction. This neighbourhood is very central and is mostly in Zone 2.
The University of London is a group of the top London Universities. It gives its pupils access to a variety of facilities and services, with campuses located throughout London.
UCL is very central it is close to all the West End attractions. Also, the British Library and the British Museum, are on UCL's doorstep. It has great transport links to major train stations Euston and King's Cross.
King’s College has four riverside campuses in a single square mile in the heart of London. Campuses are in Westminster, the City, and South London. The campuses include Strand Campus, Waterloo Campus, Guy's Campus, and Denmark Hill Campus.
Goldsmiths is located in New Cross, South East, London (Zone 2), only 5 minutes by train from London Bridge. The single-site campus gives students a friendly community experience, whilst still being in the city.
Imperial College London boasts eight campuses throughout London, with the main campus in South Kensington, Central London. It is very accessible from Paddington and Victoria train stations, located nearby.
LSE is located in Westminster, Central London. The percentage of International Students at this university is the highest in the country. The campus is located near Covent Garden and Holborn.
Royal Holloway University of London is based in Surrey which is just 40 minutes by train from Central London. It has also another campus in Bedford Place.
Kingston University is in borough Kingston Upon Thames, which is a 30 minutes transit into Central London. Kingston University enjoys being close to London, whilst having Hampton Court Park and Thames riverside on your doorstep.
London has lot’s of jobs for students. With a booming service industry and world event’s hot spot, there are lot’s of opportunities for bar and restaurant event style work here. Facebook pages such as ‘Disappearing Events’ will daily advertise jobs alongside ‘craigslist’ and other social networking outlets. Also many agencies offer ad’hoc work paid by the hour which students can sign up too. The hourly rate in London will typically range from £6.50-£15 for student style work - the full minimum wage rate begins at 21 years old.
Note: Work for students in London could depend on your Visa or situation. Please look into your working requirements for the U.K before beginning any work if you are moving from abroad.
Student Nights in London: Thursday is the ‘new’ Friday in London. Thursday is now ‘student night’ in London and most commercial night clubs will cater there night towards students. Dance clubs often hold different promotional nights Monday to Sunday.
Student Clubs in London: Websites such as Resident Advisor or Design My Night advertise the diverse clubbing scene in London. London has live jazz, techno, rock and roll, punk, dance, hip hop and grime. Camden has always been notorious for live music music as opposed to Chelsea’s high-class private members clubs or Shoreditch’s beer gardens and hip bars.
Student Bars in London: Most universities in London have an on-site university bars. As a freshman in university this is a great place to first introduce yourself to other newcomers. Lot’s of university societies hold ‘meet-ups’ and ‘themed nights’ in university bars.