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To Study Abroad or Not to Study Abroad?

NU London Student Blog | March 14, 2023

There are many things to consider when choosing to study abroad like location, programme, etc. I was lucky enough to attend Northeastern University’s London campus for the first year of my degree. However, there are a few things I learned along the way that I wanted to share with any international students who are planning to move to London.

London Specific Tips

Utilise your Student Status

This shocked me, but the power of your student ID in London and other European countries is truly amazing. You can get discounts from restaurants, clothing stores, online stores, museums and big retailers. Most of the time stores you already shop at have a student discount but it isn’t advertised – there’s no harm in asking!  I also recommend signing up for free websites like Student Beans and UNiDAYS and always having a picture of your student ID on your phone.

Take the Tube

At first, I was very intimidated by the tube and all its routes, so I took taxis or Uber’s everywhere. Yet, this added up quickly and sometimes takes longer to reach your destination. Apple Maps became my best friend when it came to the tube! It would tell me the time of arrival, which stops it would make and sometimes which platform to go to. The tube is a huge part of London culture and the convenience and experience are not to be overlooked. It truly is the best way to get around the city.

Go to Markets

London has an abundance of markets to go to. You can find fresh produce, flowers, meals, and so much more. I would recommend finding the closest market to you and going there for some of your essentials. It’s a great way to be exposed to new and unique foods as well as supporting small businesses. Some of my favorites are Borough Market, Spitalfields Market, and Camden Market. There are many more so do your research and explore!

Pack Light, Leave Heavy at Home

When I came to London I had two suitcases full of everything you could imagine (mostly clothes). But in all honesty, London has some of the best shopping in the world and there is no shortage of places to shop. If I could go back, I would only bring one suitcase that had a few trousers, shirts and socks. So only pack things you know London won’t have (pro tip: there is no Crest toothpaste here or Trader Joe’s). 

Explore the Entire City

Yes, places like Buckingham palace and Big Ben are iconic but there is so much more in London to explore and something new popping up everyday. My favourite places to go are Soho, Covent Garden, and Mayfair. I found some of the best restaurants, events and stores through researching on TikTok and Instagram.