Living in London
From leading Premier League football teams to nightclubs and from cityscapes to green spaces, London is a city for everyone. City, University of London is located in the heart of the centre and find out how you can to make London your affordable and comfortable home.
Find out more about finding accommodation at City, University of London.
Budget and Living Expenses
Budgeting is an important part of student life, so before you come to the UK, it is important to make sure you know how you will pay for expenses such as:
- Travel to the UK
- Accommodation and daily living expenses including food
- Travel, sight-seeing and social activities
- Health and travel insurance
Living in a large city can be expensive, but regardless of your budget you can enjoy much of what London has to offer. There are lots of free activities and cheap restaurants, cafes and bars, so going out doesn't have to be expensive. A number of well-known high street retailers offer student discounts so you can make your money stretch even further.
You can even supplement your living expenses by working part-time alongside of your studies, with our in house temping agency ready to help.
Money saving tips
- Speak to current students - Current students are a great source of information and can advise on inexpensive places to shop and where to find the items you are looking for.
- Food - Supermarket prices vary across the UK, so you can always find something within your budget. Stores such as Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons offer cheaper brands while others (e.g Waitrose and Marks and Spencers) tend to be more expensive. Small local shops can also be more expensive than supermarket stores.
- Student discounts - The National Union of Students (NUS Extra) card is a great way to obtain discounts on a range of products and services , incluing eating out, travel and tourist attractions and can be used in over 200 UK outlets. NUS also offers the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which provides 42,000 discounts in over 130 countries.
- Clothes shopping - High street shops offer a great range of clothing depending on your budget, some of which also offer student discounts. There are also great bargains to be found in charity shops and local clothes markets in addition to high street stores.
- Travel - If you regularly travel the same route it is generally cheaper to buy a season ticket. Students in London can save 30% on travel with a student discount card or pay-as-you-go with an Oyster Card. The Transport for London website has further details. For long distance journeys yu can travel cheaply by coach services, although journeys will usually take longer. Some companies offer discounts for advanced bookings. Find out more by visiting National Express.
City has been the university for business and the professions for over 100 years. Our outstanding faciliies are one result of that close relationship. From our Clinical Skills centre to our broadcasting studio, subject specific facilities at City help you to prepare for your professional life.
Clubs and Societies
City's Student's Union supports social, academic, political and cultural clubs and societies that reflect the diverse needs of City's student body. It also manages to the representation and social activities of City's sports teams and provides a range of Faith Societies enabling students to practice their faith and socialise alongside study.
Our Student Centre staff are dedicated to supporting your endeavours and ensuring your success at City, University of London. Our team acts as your first point of contact to receive friendly, professional and efficient advice and guidelines.
CitySport is the largest student facility in central London. Fitted with the latest and most sophisticated fitness equipment across 3,000m2 of floor space, CitySport provides cutting edge sport and well-being facilities for students at competitive rates.
City's Chaplaincy and Faith Advisory team provides support and guidance to students regardless of faith or belief. Here you can explore questions of faith, meaning and purpose, learn about world religions and find out about spaces for prayer and reflection. City supports your religious practice.
As an International student the rewards of volunteering can be invaluable. it's a great way to make friends, and develop relevant skills, knowledge and experience to enghance your future career. Volunteering can help connect you to the community and introduce you to a wider network of frineds, peers and professionals.
Clerkenwell is defined as the area between the tube stations of Farringdon, Old Street, Angel and Kings Cross, and City, University of London is nestled equidistant between all four. One of the fastest growing areas of London among young professionals, it is known for its loft living and trendy art spaces. Walking into the financial district or Tech City, cycling to Soho, scooting to the West End – or even hopping on Eurostar to Paris is all achievable from here.
Food and Drink
Clerkenwell offers food for every budget, of every type, at any time – you would be hard pressed to sample every bar, restaurant, pop up café and eating establishment. All corners of the globe are represented from the Caribbean pop-up kitchen at Old Street to the Modern Pantry in St Johns Square.
Anything goes in terms of fashion here, so visit what Vogue refers to as ‘the most exquisite vintage fashion fair’ or ‘a treasure trove of inspiration’ according to Glamour. The Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair was born in 2009 and now puts Clerkenwell on the fashion map with a highly prestigious international reputation, fast becoming the definitive mecca for unique and authentic clothing.
For culture and enlightenment Clerkenwell is an area full of contrasts. For free (or inexpensive) entertainment and a bit of history, take a walking tour run by Clerkenwell and Islington Guides Association. Tours take in local sights only accessible if you’re with a registered guide.
Nightlife in Clerkenwell reaches a whole new level, with a choice of bars, live music venues, restaurants and sporting occasions to keep you busy every night of the year. And as clubs go, having 25,000 square feet of internationally-renowned electronic music legends showcasing house, techno, disco and dub-techno on your doorstep in the form of Fabric, probably isn’t too bad.
Business in Clerkenwell
The benefits of Clerkenwell extend far beyond its culinary and social potential when it comes to the practicalities of finding employment. City is located North of the financial district and West of Tech City by half a mile respectively, so we are ideally placed whatever your personal career path.
Living and travelling in a big city like London can be a daunting prospect but don’t worry we’re here to help. London is a very safe place but like any big city, it's worth taking sensible precautions. If you're new to London, here are a few tips to enable you to enjoy London safely.
Emergency contact information
- In an emergency, contact the police, ambulance, or fire department on 999 or 112. These numbers are free to call – only use them in a real emergency.
- To report non-urgent crime, contact your local police station by calling 101 from within the UK.
Safe travel in London
- Plan your route before you leave. See the Transport for London website.
- Avoid walking alone at night and where possible keep to well-lit main roads.
- In the UK, cars drive on the left. To ensure you cross roads safely, only use designated crossing.
Staying safe in bars and restaurants
- Make sure you keep your property out of sight and safely under the table.
- Don't accept drinks from strangers
- Keep your belongings safe
- Don't leave your bag unattended anywhere in London – this can lead to a security alert.
- Check up on your friends by phone or text to make sure they got home safely and vice-versa.
- You can download the free CitizenAid app on Android or Apple, which gives advice on immediate actions in case of an incident.
Oyster Card Travel
Oyster Card offers pay as you go travel that can be used for the underground, bus, tram, DLR, London over-ground trains and some National Rail train services. Oyster Cards make travel simple and cost effective by calculating the cheapest price for your journey.
Standard Oyster cards are available from selected high street shops or at most train stations in London. They are free but have a refundable £5 deposit. They can have season tickets placed on them, be pay as you go, or auto top-up. Travel during peak times, will be more expensive.
Student Oyster Cards
A Student Oyster Card allows you to spend less money on travel in and around London when you purchase a Travelcard which is valid for 7 days, one month or longer. With this travel card you can save 30% off the adult fare. Eligible students must apply for a student oyster card online or by post through their university or institution.
A Travelcard is a pre-paid travel ticket valid for a day, 3 days, a week, one month or longer periods of up to a year. This is a good option for people who travel daily on the tube, bus, over-ground trains or DLR. When purchasing a Travelcard, you must specify which zones you will be travelling through; if you will be travelling during peak times and what modes of transportation you will take.
You can purchase a Travelcard valid for transport on the underground, London over-ground trains, DLR, tram, schedules riverboat services and some National Rail services for anytime travel or off-peak travel.
Bus routes and timetable information can be obtained from the Transport for London website. You can also use the Journey Planner to find out which bus you will need to take in order to reach your destination.
In London, you have two cab options: Registered Black Cabs and Mini-Cabs.
Black Cabs are the traditional London Cab service. You can hail one on the street at any time of day or night. There are cab stops located all over central London and some surrounding areas. Black Cabs cannot be booked in advance.
Riding in a Black Cab can be a great experience for an international student. They are also quite knowledgeable about London and if you ask, they will probably tell you what you want to know. All cars run on a meter and you be charged for distance travelled and waiting time. For this reason although convenient they can also be expensive
Mini-cabs charge for the entire journey, regardless of traffic stops. There are also Mini-Cab companies run by women for women. To arrange travel you have to call a Mini-Cab station and they will send you a taxi if you have not pre-booked.
The student experience
Current students; Aurelia, Eve and Jack introduce their life as students in London, studying at City.
Things to see and do
- Galleries - Tate Modern, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery
- Museums - British Museum, History Museum, Science Museum, V&A Museum
- Royal Parks
- Places of interest e.g. London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Tower of London