Whichever programme you are studying here in London, we hope you are happy with your choice and that you take full advantage of it. However, being accepted onto your course is only the first step of several that you need to take – namely figuring out how to survive in and enjoy London life.
When we asked a recent student what the best way of settling into London was, they said: "Just get lost, and try to find your way back." This is not something we recommend you take too literally, but it certainly proves one thing: how overwhelming everything can seem at first. It’s not cheap, but it is fun. It’s not simple, but it is worth it.
One of your first priorities will be finding where to live during your studies and opening a bank account. Without a bank account you cannot do many of the vital things in life, so we suggest you get this as soon as you can. Be warned, you will need to find somewhere to live before you do so, as UK banks will only accept you if you have an English address. The only bank account available to you if you set one up online is called a Basic Bank Account. This is not as limited as it sounds as you will get cash machine withdrawals (up to £200 per day), the ability to set up standing orders and direct debits, telephone and internet banking – the kind of things the average student wants and needs. If you want a more sophisticated bank account then you can always upgrade to one once you have moved to London. Either way, remember one thing: this is worth doing as soon as you can.