By Daniel Newby
London is for everyone. Studying abroad can be an intimidating experience for anyone, the fear of getting lost in another culture is ever-present and back-seat whispers always make you wonder ‘what if I don’t fit in’ and ‘what if I can’t find people to get along with’.
With London, all those fears can be removed; London is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, and it, along with its people, will not shame or ostracise you. In London, you will be celebrated, because whatever makes you unique contributes to the distinct tapestry of the city, and wherever you look you will find a wealth of people who share your interests and outlook. The UK is often regarded as a country of great inclusivity, and nowhere in the country embodies that ideal better than London itself; nearly half the UK’s migrants live in London, and a third of London’s residents were born abroad.
London is a cosmopolitan experience, one of the most visited cities in the world, a place which attracts the best and brightest from across the globe and where over three-hundred different languages are spoken. An organised city in harmony with both its inhabitants and environment, London is home to an array of cultures and sights, divided amongst art, history, academia and more, with a host of popular attractions to view. Popular historical landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Tower Bridge punctuate the architectural landscape whilst modern amenities pervade the city’s structure throughout, separated by relaxing green parks such as the sprawling and majestic Hyde Park.
Amongst other world reputations, London’s theatre scene is internationally renowned. The west end is an obvious choice for performance and drama, and it is widely regarded as a cultural hub for cuisine, fashion and music. It is a thriving scene for nightlife and concert plus a strong independent musical scene, often offering student concessions, perfectly complements the wide array of free academic talks, galleries and museums.
A significant advantage London has over other destinations for students within the UK, is its unparalleled travel network. Oyster cards provide cheap and quick travel about the city, whilst large airports and 24-hour buses provide incredible travel opportunities on both the international and local levels. In part because London is so accessible, a wealth of job opportunities for part-time work and graduate advancement exist, propped up by the countless industry experts and business giants that choose to make the city their home. Important world institutions such as the BBC and many other media, or technological, financial, and legal, organisations are centrally located and provide potential employment for graduates.
Playing host to a number of universities, such as the world regarded Imperial College London and University College London, the cutting edge and distinguished centrally-located London Met, and universities outside the central city such as Royal Holloway and Brunel, and more than thirty other universities beside, London is an international bastion of education. London is a city of far-reaching and strong academic roots; whatever you choose to study you will be able to find a university strong in your chosen subject, and the strong industry provides a wealth of relevant guest speakers and knowledge sharing. Support for international students is wide and readily available, from the universities themselves and outside bodies such as the council for international student affairs. London is an exceptionally student friendly city, as demonstrated by the range of student events, activities and discounts.
Everything happens in London, and the one thing that London can promise you is that you will be able to find or create your own home within its streets. It is a fascinating city steeped in history and opportunity. London offers an energetic lifestyle unlike any other, full of broad and amplified experiences.
London is as international as it is British; London is a city that belongs to the world.
For more information on studying in the UK, click here.