Studying in London is an exciting adventure you should definitely try if you’re looking for a new perspective, a chance to expand your international circle of friends and get your degree from a London university. Although it might seem like an impossible thing to do, with this guide, you should know exactly what to do if you decide to study in London.
How to choose your London university
Choosing your London university depends on a couple things:
- Your qualifications
- Your choice of a degree
1. Your qualifications
If you’re from a non-English speaking country, there’s a good chance you’ll have to present your university with an IELTS exam as well as translate your secondary school grades. With the rise of international students and students from the EEA countries, many universities now show you your country’s equivalent grade that you need to be considered for admission. If you’re not sure what to do, it’s always best to contact their international department - they’ll provide you with all necessary information.
You can book your IELTS exam from several London-based providers, including the British Council. The fee for the IELTS exam is £165 and you’ll have to be physically present in London to take it.
2. Your choice of a degree
What do you want to study? It’s a complicated question that could take years to answer. Do a thorough research of your preferred degree and find an university that suits your needs - where you study doesn’t even matter that much as does the experience you get with your studies.
Websites like WhatUni help you oversee what your chosen degree would look like at a university that offers it. Take some time to do the research and don’t forget to attend an open day to get more information!
Tuition fees vary on the university you choose and where you’re from. While international students tuition fees are completely different from one another, students from the EEA need to pay up to £9,250 each year. But don’t worry - you don’t have to pay these fees in full if you can’t afford it.
How to get a student loan
The process of getting a student loan differs on whether you’re an international student or someone from EEA.
EEA citizens can apply for their UK government-funded student loan online. You’ll need to fill an application pack and send in proof of identity. You can normally apply for a student loan after you’ve been sent an official invitation to attend your chosen university and you’ll receive details of your student loan application within 6 weeks.
International students cannot receive the same type of a government loan. However, providers like Future Finance will be able to advise you how you can get a loan for your chosen UK university degree.
London universities also offer scholarships to their students - these depend on your chosen degree, specific country, and academic abilities. You should also research your country’s options of having a scholarship program as many provide plenty of benefits for those who are looking to study in London as well as UK in general.
Finding accommodation in London can be difficult. You can always use Spotahome’s service, or check out your university’s student housing options.
We highly recommend going into student housing during your first year as it is one of the best ways to meet new people. Each university has its own accommodation page and if they don’t, they are usually able to advise their students on what to do for their accommodation.
Top London Universities
So where should you go? London has over 40 higher education institutions and here are the top 10:
- City, University of London
- Brunel University
- Birkbeck College, University of London
- School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- Queen Mary, University of London
- London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
- King's College London
- University College London (UCL)
- Imperial College London
With that in mind, you should always consider the university based on your interest as well as other extracurricular activities that would benefit your future career as well as hobbies. Each university will have an open day, where you can find out everything you want about your course and have a first taste of the university campus.
London on a Student’s Budget
So studying in London is one thing. But can you actually live in London as a student? The answer to that depends on your personal circumstances and will, of course, require some budgeting.
The good news is that you can get student discount cards for just about anything, making it easier to still live comfortably and studying at the same time.
Many shops also look for part time staff which will allow you to base your working schedule on your university schedule and still maintain a social life outside of it. We highly recommend taking the first step of putting something on your CV during your studies as it will help you secure a better job upon your graduation.
Studying in London is an unforgettable experience that often boosts your career prospects and allows you to expand your circle of friends as well as networking connections. If it’s something you want to do, you should definitely go for it - as long as you study hard, we promise you won’t regret it!