Arriving in the UK
When you’re travelling to another country to study, getting organised can be quite daunting. We’ve come up with this list of useful things to bring with you, travel information while you are in the UK along with additional advice on the costs of living and transport.
Before you come to England
- What you will need before coming to England
When you’re travelling to another country to study, getting organised can be pretty daunting. We’ve come up with this list of useful things to bring with you to make your stay with us the best ever.
- Certificate of acceptance or letter of course confirmation.
- Details of your accommodation/the family where you are staying.
- Credit cards/ travelers cheques
- Mobile phone – and charger!
- Relevant documents if you have arranged your own insurance.
- An adaptor for non-British plugs - we use three-pin plugs and the power is 240 volts in the UK. You can buy such adaptors in London if you have difficulty finding them in your country. We also have them for hire in the school.
- A laptop/tablet computer – especially if your course will cover making presentations, etc. We have wireless networks at both our centres. Of course you are also welcome to use the student computers during school opening hours.
- An internationally recognised student card if you have one.
- Your driving licence in case you wish to hire a car. Please note that you have to be aged over 23, and have held a (clean) licence for a minimum of 2 years. If your own licence is not in a West European language or if an authorized translation into English is not provided, you may need to get an International Driving Licence.
- A good bi-lingual dictionary. Mono-lingual dictionaries can be bought more cheaply at the school or in London if you do not already have one.
- A memory stick to save any work you do in the computer lab.
- Any materials you might wish to use for self-study, (for instance, a technical text or book on a specific subject that interests you) or for a presentation on a business English course, (for instance, statistics, graphs or a map).
- Some passport-sized photographs, for student cards, travel passes etc.
- Cost of living in the UK
Cost of living in the UK depends on your location. We recommend the following external pages for checking up-to-date information on cost of living:
- Transport in London
London is one of the most easily linked places in the world in terms of transport, so wherever you would like to go in London, it is always within easy reach. We recommend the following page for the different ways that you can travel around London. You can find more information on the official Transport for London website, including ticket prices, Oyster Cards (a type of pre-paid pass card you can use to pay for your journeys), and route options.
- Staying safe
The UK is generally a very safe place, but with a population of over 66 million people it is always good to think about your personal safety. The British Council has produced a useful guide to help you understand the laws in the UK and how to keep yourself safe at all times.
Travel options from a London airport:
- Heathrow Airport
By tube (Piccadilly line):
London Underground's Piccadilly line provides you with a quick, cost-effective route to/from the airport. Tickets are available at London Underground stations; from ticket offices or machines and if you purchase a Travelcard then you will be covered for buses, tubes and some trains.
Train times to central London:
Station First train Last train Terminals 2 & 3 05:12 (Sun 05:56) 23:45 (Sun 23:28 Terminal 4 05:02 (Sun 05:46) 23:35 (Sun 23:15*) Terminal 5 05:23 (Sun 06:07) 23:42 (Sun 23:25)
The Heathrow Express is a non-stop train service that offers the fastest travel option between Heathrow Airport and Paddington (Central London). For details of special offers and to pre-book tickets visit the Heathrow Express Website.
Each Heathrow terminal has clearly signposted taxi ranks. Expect a fare of around £30-35 to West London. The journey time is about 30 minutes. Only take a licensed or London (black) cab.
- Gatwick Airport
https://www.gatwickexpress.com The fastest train service into Central London is the Gatwick Express which travels direct to London Victoria station and operates seven days a week. Southern and Thameslink also run a service from Gatwick, with a slightly longer journey time of 35 minutes. There are four/five trains per hour, Monday to Friday, with an hourly service overnight.
By TaxiGatwick is further from London than Heathrow and we do not recommend a taxi since they are very expensive. If you want the convenience of a taxi, you should book an airport pickup.
- London City Airport
Take the Docklands Light Railway to Bank underground station. Here you can change to the Central Line, which goes quickly to West London.
You can take a taxi from London City airport to West London. Only take a licensed or London (black) cab.
- Luton Airport
Thameslink operates a fast, frequent service direct between central London and Luton Airport Parkway train station. Luton Airport Parkway is around 35 minutes away from King's Cross Thameslink station.
Green Line 757 provides an express coach link between London Luton Airport and Central London. For information visit the Arriva Website.
By TaxiLuton is further from London than Heathrow and we do not recommend a taxi since they are very expensive. If you want the convenience of a taxi, you should book an airport pickup.
- Stansted Airport
The Stansted Express is a fast and convenient way to and from Stansted Airport, with trains departing every 15 or 30 minutes, with an average journey time of approximately 45 minutes. They arrive at London Liverpool Street, and from there we suggest that you take the Central Line, which goes quickly to West London.
If your flight is due to arrive late in the day and you are concerned about a possible delay and the impact this would have on your journey into and across London click here to read about our airport transfers.
The coach station is located below between Zone C and D of the Short Stay Car Park. Tickets can be purchased from the coach ticket desk in the arrivals area in the terminal (06:00 - 21:30) or in the coach station (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Tickets may also be purchased on the coach. Services include:
- A6 - London Victoria (Central London)
- A8 - London Liverpool Street and London Victoria (Central London)
- A9 - London Stratford
Stansted is further from London than Heathrow and we do not recommend a taxi since they are very expensive. If you want the convenience of a taxi, you should book an airport pickup.
London is famous for its ideally located tube stations with one every 15 minutes walk, but should you find that your tube station is further away from your destination than you expected then please see Transport for London's helpful tube map for stations with taxi ranks. An alternative option is to call an Uber or a local taxi service when you are at the station. There are always attendants at the station who can help you with your request further.
Why study at The London School of English?
- Rated “Excellent” in over 450 independent client reviews
- Over 100 years’ experience
- Tailored training delivers clear results
- Memorable experiences in London, Canterbury or online