What it's like studying in central London

london street scene

Going to uni in London is a unique experience

Studying in London is different from studying in any other part of the country, but people often forget that London universities are not interchangeable. Studying at a university on the outskirts of London is completely different to studying at a central London university. Many students love being central - here are just some of the reasons why.

Studying in Zone 1 - the central area of London - makes you highly mobile. You can live practically anywhere in London and expect a maximum one hour commute to your uni. Most students choose to stay in the Zone 2/3 area – often this means that the furthest from campus you will be is a 30 minute journey or, in some cases, a 20 minute walk.

This same freedom also means that, should you want to, you could visit a new place every day and never see the same place twice. London Underground's Night Tube service is now in place, making it easier than ever to explore the city. You’ll be able to go out in the evening and get the tube at least part of the way home. No more relying on the night bus!

Central London also offers a wealth of resources not seen elsewhere: students of a University of London institution are given free access to the Senate House. Opposite Euston station is the Wellcome Trust library which issues reader passes to any member of the public, and up the road is the British Library. There are also dozens of specialist libraries, academic seminars and free lectures to attend - often not more than a short walk from your university, whereever it may be.

Given the proximity of museum and galleries you can expect many trips. We’ve already mentioned the British Library and the Wellcome Trust, both of which also have free exhibition spaces. Nearby is the British Museum and a 15-minute tube from there will take you to South Kensington for the Natural History, Victoria and Albert and Science museums one way and the Tate Modern and Tate Britain in Pimlico the other. Many lecturers choose to take advantage of this and hold some classes in these spaces where appropriate. Even outside of class, given how accessible all of these are, students often pop in at lunch or after classes for a break.

signs in London park

Innovation alongside nature

Central London, and King’s Cross in particular, is also a fast growing innovation district. Home to the Francis Crick Institute and Turing Institute, and soon to be home to Google, the area is buzzing with opportunity. Outside of this, London is also home to some of the country’s top employers in the creative, legal and financial sectors. Whether you are looking for an internship, a part-time job, work experience, a placement year or a graduate job you will be able to find opportunities in London.

But the centre of the city isn’t just business, busy roads and tall buildings - central London is awash with greenery too! The Bloomsbury area has a wealth of small green squares, and Regent’s Park is only a short walk away. Victoria Park, Hyde Park and Holland Park are also easily accessible via tube and each is unique. The areas outside central London, where you will most likely be living, are also dotted with parks, both big and small, and green squares. This is always a plus during those end-of-loan, summery days. Picnics are cheap, and you can host them in any vaguely green space.

The city isn’t for everyone. But if you are considering studying in London, it’s worth taking the time to view both outer and inner London institutions; they are starkly different in atmosphere. For many central London, with its convenience, opportunities and energy is the clear winner.

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