A memorable experience as an International Student in the UK

I was privileged to have the opportunity to study as an International Student in the UK at the University of Lincoln, in the early 2000s.  Back then the University was known as the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside.  I have an MBA (Business Finance) from the University.

As per the latest news stories published by the University of Lincoln on 7th June 2019, 12:25 pm, The University of Lincoln has risen to 17th in The Guardian University Guide 2020, published (7th June 2019). It is a great leap forward from the time of my student days.

Back then, I was an International Student in the UK at one of the affiliated colleges of the University of Lincoln in London. International students get much more exposure and experience in London while studying and working part-time as allowed during the course period.

London is home to world-famous landmarks

Must-see for an International Student in the UK - London - Big Ben - Victoria Bridge
London, Big Ben, Victoria Bridge, England, UK

Some of the world-famous landmarks in London are Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, London Eye, The British Museum, The Museum of London, Madame Tussauds, The National Gallery, Imperial War Museum and the list goes on.

The Crown Jewels collection in the Tower of London is a definite must-see for visitors as well as students. “This magnificent world-famous collection of 23,578 gemstones boasts items that are still used in royal ceremonies today.”

London is also famous for its shopping and dining experience. One of the best hangouts for tourists as well as international students in London is Trafalgar Square, a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London.

Must-see for an International Student in the UK - London-Eye - London - UK
London Eye

Travelling within London

Public transport services in London are quite efficient and are easily accessible to tourists as well as international students. London Tube and London Buses are indispensable for travelling in London. One can get one-day unlimited use travel card or a weekly or a monthly pass usable for both the transport services.

Black Cabs in London are famous among tourists and International Students but are quite expensive and is facing competition from the likes of Uber. I remember once paying GBP 50 for a private cab, a Mercedes no less, for a ride to Heathrow Airport from Central London. The Tube fare was GBP 5 at the time. Since I had a couple of luggage, I had no choice.

Transport for an International Student in the UK - London - Tube
The Tube

An important consideration for an International Student in the UK is boarding

While in the UK, international students should consider a Student Hostel, at least for a few months. This option is quite expensive, especially in London, but is hassle-free and students can concentrate on their studies rather than waste time on household chores.

I stayed mostly in a Student Hostel – Friendship House at Tooting Broadway, East – London. The hostel provided breakfast and dinner for the students, primarily, international student residents.

Most student hostels usually have triplet/quad module single rooms with a shared kitchenette and a shared toilet plus bath/shower.

Other amenities include centrally heated rooms with a desk, cupboard and a sink per room. The hostels also have facilities such as a Common- room, TV room, an indoor games room with Table Tennis, Pool table etc.

Other Alternatives

Another option for an International Student in the UK is to rent a house with a couple of friends. It is a much cheaper option in London, for instance, in zones 3 and 4. The rental compared to a Student hostel, for example, could be nearly one-fourth.

I guess this is a big boon for students from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Our currencies are not as strong as those of the western European and North American countries, let alone Great Britain.

Useful Link: How to Find Student Accommodation in London

Graduating as an International Student in the UK - University of  Lincoln - Lincolnshire Town Hall
During the Graduation Ceremony of the University of Lincoln at Lincolnshire Town Hall – A long time back.

London is also quite close to other university towns such as Oxford and Cambridge. I have travelled to both these places while studying in the UK. These cities are a far cry from the fast-paced life of London. Both of these are quite similar to Lincoln, the home city of my university.

To experience a typical University atmosphere as an International Student in the UK, one should consider the student accommodations of the University itself.

For the University of Lincoln, driving distance from London to Lincoln is 231 kilometres (144 miles) to the north. Most student accommodations at the University are either at Brayford Pool Campus or just a short distance away.

The first issue of Minerva, the University of Lincoln alumni magazine.

Author: Anup Narsingh Amatya

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