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Student Experience

Here students can get information about what it will be like to live and study in London. Tips for getting around town, eating, and enjoying the city.

Living in London

London is a great city in which to be a student, because there is lots going on.  It is a very large city with lots of exciting districts, great museums, and fun events.  Students should try activities to immerse themselves in the culture of England.  One aspect of studying abroad is about understanding another country by experiencing it firsthand.  The best way to do that is to be open and to try new things.  

Telephone with Big Ben

London Neighborhoods

London has many districts, here listed are the famous districts or the areas close to the residence hall. 

Covet Garden: This district of town is right over the Waterloo Bridge and is home to many specialty shops and street performers.  Covet Garden has an open air shopping area in a large square.  There is also a outdoor food market on Thursdays. 

Historic Westminster: Westminster is the place of many of the famous landmarks of London.  Westminster Abbey, the House of Parliament, and Big Ben all in close proximity. 

Hyde Park: This large park used to be Royal Hunting grounds.  Now it is open to the public to enjoy.  Hyde Park features a bike trail, rose gardens, a Serpentine Lake, and lots of green space.  Also visit St. James Park and Green Park nearby Buckingham Palace.  

Notting Hill:  This area is home to the famous Portobello Road Market that takes place every Saturday.  The market has antiques as well as food, clothes, and crafts.  It is an upscale area with pretty architecture and gardens.  

Soho: This area is very hip and trendy.  It is a mix of grungy streets with fashionable galleries. This area has many fun restaurants. 

South Bank: Located very close to Conway Hall, South Bank has the London Eye, the Globe Theatre, Tate Modern Art Museum, and many trendy restaurants. The Southbank Center is the largest single-run arts center in the world, and is right along the River Thames.  There is also the Millennium Foot Bridge leading across the river to St. Paul's.   

South Kensington: This neighborhood has many museums including the Science, the Natural History, the Victoria and Albert (V&A). Many of the museums are free, making them a great activity for students.  

Dining

All flats have a full working kitchen which many students cook in regularly.  There are 3 grocery stores close to Conway Hall.  

Students at a Restaurant Marks & Spencer Simply Food 
Opposite Platform 7
Waterloo Station SE1 8SE

Sainsbury's Local

101 Waterloo Rd

London SE1 8UL

United Kingdom

Iceland Grocery 
112-113 Lower Marsh 
Waterloo, London SE1 7AE
United Kingdom Southwark  

Restaurants frequented by the students are listed here: 

Prêt a Manger- Good place for a quick sandwich, salad, or coffee.  There are many locations throughout London, including right next to Fischer Hall.

EAT- A quick place for sandwiches and pastries.  There are many locations, one on the south side of the River Thames.

Fernando's- This small locally owned sandwich shop is close to Fischer Hall that has good prices.

Cafe Nero- This coffee shop has many locations throughout London.

The Wellington- This is the closet pub to Conway Hall, the pub has a fun atmosphere and big sports TVs. 

The Stage Door-  This neighborhood pub is a five minute walk from Conway Hall.  It has good prices and a local atmosphere.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese- This pub located on Fleet Street is one of the oldest in London (it was rebuilt in 1667), and it was frequented by many famous Londoners including Charles Dickens.

Wahaca- This trendy Mexican restaurant has tapas style dishes.  There are many locations including one on Waterloo Road and one on the south side of the River Thames. 

Nando's- This is a Portuguese chicken restaurant with a trendy atmosphere.  There are many locations, one is down Stamford Street.  

Borough Market- This food market is full of international foods and local favorites.  It is an outside market with many food stalls, located by the London Bridge. 

Other Resources

Boots Pharmacy- Waterloo Station.  This is a small store, there are bigger branches on Lower Marsh and the Strand 

Houseware Center- 42 Lower Marsh.  This store has utensils, water filters, and food storage items.  

Post Office- 125-131 Westminster Bridge Road

Local Churches in London: St. Patricks is the closest to Conway Hall on Cornwall Road. Westminster Cathedral is a beautiful Byzantine church on Victoria Street. 

Transportation

There are many ways to get around London; by train, bus, cab, or walking.  For short distances, and to the classroom building, the easiest way is to walk.  The London Underground (train stations) and buses can be riden using an Oyster Card.  This is a plastic card with money preloaded that gets users cheaper fares.  Oyster Cards can be bought at any train station with credit card, and some stations with cash.  Cabs in London can be expensive but are worth it if there are four or five people.  

Weather

The weather in London is sometimes unpredictable but it is usually in the mid 60s with rain.  The temperature could be as low as 50 and as high as 78.  The rain in London is frequent but it usually comes in a mist or drizzle.  Students should pack layers of clothes but also a few warm weather outfits because when it does get warm many buildings do not have air conditioning. Conway Hall is air-conditioned.  The classrooms in Fisher Hall are air-conditioned. 

Fun Things to Do

There are many things to do in London. Here are some things students have done in past years. Students at Buckingham Palace

London Eye 

Westminster Abby 

St. Paul's Cathedral

Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace

Millenium Bridge to St. Paul's

British Museum

Victoria & Albert Museum

Harry Potter Castle National Gallery 

National Portrait Gallery 

Tate Modern 

Churchill War Rooms

Cricket Match 

Football Game

Wimbledon 

West End Live 

Abby Road

Platform 9 3/4 

Ladies at Tea

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Afternoon Tea

Camden Market

Spitalfields Market

Borough Market 

Also check out the TimeOut website or magazine for more happenings in London

London Apps

Currency lets you track the changing exchange rate in Great Britain and other countries

Text+ allows users to use wifi to text free 

Mint.com helps you stay on budget while abroad

TubeMap can give directions on the Underground and approximate times 

Citymapper allows you to enter a start and end location and it will give all options of transportation (train, bus, cab, and walking), show the prices, and times of each 

Rick Steves' Audio Europe gives you short audio guides on different cities in Europe and short guided walking tours.  For London there are travel tips, and walking tours of St. Paul's, Westminster Abby, and more