London Calling International Students

Posted November 07, 2014 by
Beautiful colors of Big Ben from Westminster Bridge at Sunset - London

Beautiful colors of Big Ben from Westminster Bridge at Sunset – London. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Choosing the right college is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Rather than letting this daunt you, feel the excitement and put your all into research and planning. If you’re looking for a big change, along with challenges, experiencing a new culture and an internationally recognised education, studying abroad should definitely be one of your options.

But where to?

London was ranked second best city to study in (after Paris!) by QS Best Student Cities in 2012 and, according to The Guardian, it attracts one in nine students who are studying abroad. With fine establishments such as the London School of Business and Finance building its educational-scape, it’s easy to understand the attraction.

The Student Life

This is a city that escapes the traditional college campus life and gives you the freedom to live independently. From the cool and quirky British pubs of Camden to the vibrant bustle of high street shopping in Oxford Circus, there’s an area of London to suit every lifestyle.

Colleges- or universities- usually offer a handful of student accommodations but you can also look to rent out apartments. Be aware that Savills’ 12 Cities 2014 report showed London to be the most expensive city in the world to live in. This isn’t to say that you can’t find something for under £400 a month; it just might be a bit cramped.

You will find that a student discount is offered in most clubs, retailers and restaurants if you flash your student card. There is also a Student Oyster Photocard available but, depending on where you stay and study, it’s fairly easy to get around on foot or bike anyway.

Graduates in London

International graduates in London require a visa to work in the UK for longer than four months after college, with a minimum salary of £20,300 a year (higher for select sectors).

Britain is fresh from its 2007-2013 recession and the graduate job market has now reached its pre-recession peak. A High Fliers Report in 2014 shows that there is a 12% rise in the number of jobs for university leavers.

Interestingly, the highest numbers of graduate jobs are in the accounting and professional service sectors and 100 big employers are planning to increase the number of graduates that they take on this year.


Once you have the grades and acceptance letter, it’s time to sort out your student visa to study in the UK. Apply in advance if you will be studying for longer than six months (most courses are three-four years!). Then make sure you have costs covered for accommodation, food and travel.

The good news is that students are exempt from paying council tax, so at least that is one saving. There are five major airports within a 45 minute train journey from the city center, so staying connected with friends and family and home is made simpler.

Studying abroad isn’t a decision to make lightly, so find out as much as you can about the institution, course and area. Most colleges will be more than happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have.

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