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Life In London

What is living in London REALLY like?

By bzgeorge 31 Jul 2022

Moving to a new city is exciting, overwhelming and terrifying all at the same time...

You don't know what to expect, what to watch out for and if you haven't been to that city (or country) before it can be pretty terrifying.

London is one of the most famous cities in the world. It is home to historic landmarks, the Queen and millions of people from all over the world. But what is it actually like living in London? Many of us have ventured to the capital for a mini-break to see the sights or read about it online but actually living in the big city is different and there are some things you should prepare for...

Most things are more expensive

This is just a given. There isn't much you can do to change it either. Groceries, toiletries, travel and pretty much everything else is that little bit more expensive in London. However, that's the price you pay to live next to the UK's national treasures. 

It is VERY busy

You need to prepare yourself for just how busy London is. If you are commuting to campus on the tubes at 9am and 5pm, you will hit rush hour. All the working people cram onto the tubes so it can get a bit claustrophobic. However, the morning commute is a large part of London life and something you will grow used to in a matter of days. As the UK's capital, London is always going to be a bit manic but you will learn to love the buzz of the city over time. 

You need to know where you are going, how to pay and, most importantly, when to get off the tube. Use the TFL app to plan your journey in advance to prevent any confusion.

The city is made up of many towns

The best way to understand and navigate London is to consider it as multiple towns. For example, Camden, Peckham, Notting Hill and Shoreditch are all individual towns within the city. You can use different tube lines to visit each town. Eventually, you will learn where each line goes and the city will begin to make much more sense as a whole.

It can be lonely, and that's okay!

If you haven't lived in a big city before, then you may not expect this one. Surely living in one of the busiest cities in the world would be anything but lonely, right? Wrong. During the morning rush, everyone will have their headphones in and the tubes will be almost silent - even though they are packed to the brim. You could easily walk around London all day without saying two words to anyone.

To get around this, get involved in what's happening on campus and with your course, join societies, explore London with your coursemates and just stay social!

There are LOTS of cultures surrounding you

After a week in London, you will begin to notice that there are just as many, if not more, international people. You will constantly be hearing different languages as well as going to carnivals and events celebrating different nationalities. University gives you the perfect chance to make international friends and learn about their culture whether they're British, Chinese, French, American or from anywhere else in the world. London is a hugely multicultural city and you should make the most of it!

So many different people

London is diverse in many ways - but the range of people living here is the biggest diversity. As a student, you are going to be predominantly spending time with other students. Although, when you are walking through the city, make sure to notice just how many different types of people there are around you. It is rare to have so many cultures, ages and socio-economic backgrounds within one space. 

Try to make the most of the city while you're here. You may not get to experience something (and somewhere) like London again.