London is expensive. That is a fact. But what is the true cost of studying in London? No matter how many money saving tips and tricks you learn, it will still cost a lot to study in the capital. Especially compared to many other cities in The UK.
That doesn’t mean that everything in London is expensive, but you need to expect it to be. In fact, considering wages can be just around £10 an hour, London was recently found to be the most cost-effective student city in The UK.
Many different websites put your yearly spend at somewhere between £11,000 and £14,000 pound for the whole year. But that totally depends on you, and your money saving skills.
Here’s Uniplaces guide to the cost of studying in London. Once you’ve read it, it’s best to input your information into the International Student Calculator for a basic idea of what it will cost you.
(£100-200 per week, £4,000-£8,000 a year)
There are plenty of accommodation options around London, unfortunately, most of them will be expensive. Time Out have compiled a map of the London tube system with the average rental price listed around each station. Don’t worry, though, this is just an average.
The best prices online are usually about £150-200 a week, and upwards, depending on location. Searching on Uniplaces you should be able to find a lot of properties, especially in East London, for under £100 pound a week; for a room in a shared apartment. Expect to share. But if you want to be more central, expect to pay up to £600-8000 a month. (By the way, I know this is a Uniplaces blog, but seriously they do have most the best prices).
You may be able to get things cheaper if you’re literally willing to share a room, American-style, with another random human being. But avoid private students halls of residence, as you’ll pay over £200 per week for the perceived convenience.
The United Kingdom Border Agency demand that a student has £1,020 each month to stay and study in London (£820 – rest of The UK), which is a little on the high side as an estimate, but still a requirement. With that sort of money, especially combined with a little part-time work you can actually live fairly reasonably in the capital. If you’re careful.
(£20-40 per week, £1,400-2,000 a year)
The UK is actually blessed with a massive amount of cheap food options. But if you’re from a culture like China or maybe The US, where eating out is very common, then you might want to learn to cook, fast.
London is awash with cheaper supermarkets like Lidl, Aldi, Home Bargains or frozen food store Iceland. The quality of products available in these places has increased significantly in recent years, enough to live off anyway. If you’re smart you can easily spend as little as £20 a week. Many university student unions will offer discounted canteen-style food too, which helps you save on a day-to-day basis.
(£15-£30 per week, £780-£1,560 a year)
If you’re lucky to live close enough to University to walk or cycle there then do nothing but. Likewise, working out the local bus routes can help, as a ticket is just £1.50 with an all-important Oyster Card. A single journey on the tube will cost you between £2.40-£3.10. Apply for a Student Oyster Card as soon as possible, as it will get you a third off weekly or monthly tickets.
Check out this Uniplaces guide to travelling in The UK [hyperlink to my travelling in The UK article] for the best advice on how to get out of the city.
(How much do you want to spend?)
Get hold of an NUS extra card as soon as you can, and that will give you decent student discounts all across London. Nights out, or even a few pints in the pub (£3-5) can be worryingly expensive in London, as can club entry (£5-10). So it might be best to stick to the cheaper student nights or save up for a few months so you can buy one cocktail in Chelsea.
(Again, it’s up to you)
London is blessed with not only plenty of cheap chain clothes stores, like Primark or H&M, but also with an awesome second-hand clothing scene. If you don’t want to be, you shouldn’t be paying much for clothes in the city. Your NUS extra card should get you discount at many chains too. Check out websites like Student Beans for more details on special student offers. Also, here’s a rundown of some of the best second-hand and vintage markets in the capital, link or the city’s best thrift stores.
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And remember: if you need student accommodation in London, or many other places in Europe, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.
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