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Essential Guide for London Students

Shannon Diggory, BA Law and Politics student: 

London may be the biggest city in the UK but it need not be the priciest. Rent and travel are inevitably going to come at a premium but here are some tips and tricks to make the most of studying in East London on a budget.

11 August 2014

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1. Travel

The tube may be your new one true love but it is not a cheap date; for those commuting to university invest in a Student Oyster Card for £10 and save a third on weekly, monthly or annual travel cards. Everyone else, invest in a 16-25 railcard and ask at a ticket office to load up your discount on to your Oyster Card to save a third on all off-peak journeys.

2. Food

For such a big city supermarkets can seem few and far between. Give in to online shopping and make the most of all the offers for first time shoppers, you can get up to £20 off from Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s or Morrisons if you have not shopped online there before. Take advantage of all of them. It may help to do joint shops with a friend. Local shops are also a good place to pick up bargain fruit and vegetables.

3. Nights Out

Take advantage of all the offers Fresher’s Week has to offer, including the famous Wetherspoons’ vouchers. It may not be cheap to go clubbing in London but there are lots of good deals to be had if you go on the right nights. Always try and get on the guest list in advance to save yourself some queuing and of course take the night bus home and see the sights. Or you could save yourself a lot of effort by making friends with a club promoter, coming soon to a hall of residence near you.

4. Cinema

Watching a film in London can cost more than buying the film on DVD so avoid watching films on peak nights such as Friday and Saturday and always ask for student discount. Genesis in Mile End often offers a brilliant and cheap unlimited card for students and tickets are only £3.50 every Wednesday. Hackney Picturehouse offers the E4 Slackers Club, members of which can watch one film a month absolutely free. Last but not least there is EE (Orange) Wednesdays that allow you to buy one ticket and get one free.

5. Sights

London is one of the greatest cities in the world and the benefit of studying here is that you get a chance to experience all of it. Cheaper days out involve green spaces such as Victoria Park, Primrose Hill and Hyde Park, art galleries and the bustling markets of Borough and Broadway respectively. Look on the Time Out and Top Table websites to find great deals for the fancier restaurants. Ride a Boris bike at least once, shop in Oxford Street only to decide there are far too many tourists and marvel at the fact that you are now officially a Londoner.



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