Frequently asked questions for incoming students
If you are coming to study with us for one semester then you will be able to enter the UK on a Visitor visa which you are allocated at the UK border unless you are a visa national, in which case you would have to apply in advance of travel.
If you are studying with us for a year or doing an internship then you will require a Student visa which you must apply for in advance.
Please read our visa requirements information for further details.
Your biometric passport (password with an embedded microchip) will show the dates of your entry to the UK on the immigration system and as long as it's still within the six month maximum for visitor entry then there should not be a problem. However, you should carry a recent proof of enrolment letter, which confirms that you still have the remaining duration of your course to complete in the UK.
If you have a Student visa or Visitor visa vignette in your passport then that will state the dates within which you are allowed to be in the UK.
Average weekly expenses:
- accommodation – £250 to £350
- food – £40 to £80 – you can eat relatively cheaply as long as you don't always eat out or get takeaways
- travel – bus or tube pass is around £8 to £20
- personal – (telephone, sport, entertainment, laundry) usually around £75 to £100. Again, it depends on your social activites as this will probably vary
Students say that they spend around £3,500 to £4,500 pounds (including accommodation) in a semester, but it varies a lot from person to person. London can be really cheap – there is a lot to see and do that is absolutely free, see Time Out London and VisitLondon for ideas. The costs start adding up when you want to travel a lot in the UK or Europe, or go to lots of special events – the opportunities for fun are endless so it is really up to you to work out your budget in advance – and stick to it!
The UKCISA website has some tips for saving money and there is a link to a student budget calculator to help you plan.
We do not recommend travelling with a lot of cash. There are lots of cash machines (ATMs) that usually accept overseas credit and debit cards. Just make sure you check with your bank that your card will work overseas and be aware that you may be charged for using your card abroad. Be wary of taking cash out on credit cards as you may incur expensive charges. You'll need to know your PIN (Personal Identification Number) in order to use cash machines or pay in a shop. We recommend having one card for everyday use and one for emergencies.
Traveller’s cheques are also a good back-up and can be exchanged at banks, post offices and bureaux de change. Alternatively, you can get a pre-payment card where you load money onto the card and this can then be periodically topped up. Keep your back-up seperate from you usual source of currency so that both are not lost/stolen.
You'll only be able to open a bank account if you are studying for a full year, so you will not be able to open an account if you are staying for one semester. If you want to open an account you should visit a variety of banks and see what they require and what they can offer you. You'll normally only need a basic bank account, which allows you to withdraw money with a cash card but does not offer overdraft facilities or a cheque book. A bank letter, which shows your address in London and that you are a student can be obtained from your Student Office.
London is a safe place to visit. By international standards, Britain as a whole has low rates of street crime and violence, but in any big city it is worth taking a few simple safety precautions:
- plan your journey in advance when using public transport, particularly night buses – Transport for London (TfL)'s website is a useful resource for planning your journeys around London
- if you are planning to stay out late, try to travel home with a friend, keep a taxi number and your fare handy
- avoid walking alone at night and keep to well-lit main roads
- only use black cabs or licensed mini cabs from a cab office, see TfL's information on hiring cabs
- consider how much alcohol you have consumed – it can affect your judgement of people and situations and change your perspective
- do not accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended
- keep your personal belongings close to you and keep expensive items out of sight, particularly in bars and restaurants, and try not to carry too many valuables
- do not walk around displaying your mobile phone
- look out for your friends – make sure you know where they are and keep in touch to make sure everyone gets home safely
We strongly recommend that you take out both medical (see below) and personal belongings insurance for the duration of your study abroad period (one travel insurance policy should cover both). This will ensure you get any medical treatment you require and will also protect you should your luggage go missing, your laptop get lost or your wallet get stolen. Make sure you keep the documents safe and know how to claim.
You should also make a photocopy of your passport and keep it seperately from your passport in case you lose it when travelling. You will need some form of identification when cheking into hotels or hostels.
Medical services are widely available, but free healthcare under the National Health Service (NHS) is only available for UK residents and those on a PBS (Points Based System) visa. Short-term visitors (under six months) will be charged for all but emergency treatment.
If you are staying with us for the academic year then you will pay a health surcharge of £470 when you apply for your Student visa, to cover medical care.
We strongly advise that you consult your medical insurance provider to see if your policy covers you overseas and if it covers emergency expenses such as evacuation/repatriation. If you do not already have overseas medical insurance coverage, you should purchase this for your period of study in the UK.
If you need a dentist then you will be charged as a private patient but your insurance should cover this if it is for emergency treatment.
If you do plan to use your insurance to pay for medical care then make sure you speak to the insurance/assistance company in advance as they sometimes have preferred practitioners and they will also let you know if they will cover the cost.
Initially it is a good idea to either visit the NHS website or see a pharmacist at a chemist. There is also a NHS helpline where you can speak to a nurse and receive help if necessary. The helpline number is 111.
If you are here for only one semester you'll not be able to register with a doctor. You can find an NHS walk-in clinic as these clinics allow you to turn up and wait to see a doctor or nurse, and then pay on the spot.
The biggest pharmacy chain is Boots, which has branches all over the country. There are also numerous smaller pharmacies such as Superdrug and Lloyds Chemist where you can buy basic medication such as painkillers, and supermarkets also have a medical supplies aisle.
It is also advisable to keep a small first aid kit in your accommodation.
For advice on the Covid pandemic, please see our dedicated page.
It can be very busy – millions of people use the buses and trains everyday and it can be quite overwhelming, especially at rush hour. Until you're used to the underground, try and travel outside of rush hour (7 - 9am and 5 - 7pm). Be aware that is can be quite uncomfortable when it's busy at these times and there can be quite a wait before there is room to get on a train. Try to always stand on the right on escalators (moving staircases) on the underground, so that people can walk up or down on the left.
There's an extensive network of underground and overground trains as well as buses and trams in London. These are all maintained and run by Transport for London and are safe and convenient. We recommend you get a Student Oyster card, which provides the best value for money for getting around town.
During the week, the underground service stops at about midnight but night buses are available across London although on fewer routes than during the day. If you're planning to use night buses, make sure you know the route and schedule in advance. The night tube runs on Fridays and Saturdays on the Victoria, Jubilee, and most of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines. TFL have schedules and routes so you can plan your journey.
When travelling on the tube with an Oyster Card, make sure you tap in and tap out at the turnstiles when entering and exiting the stations. On buses you only need to tap in.
You can apply to Transport for London online for a Student Oyster card once you are fully enrolled as a student of London Met. You will enrol during orientation week so you cannot apply for your Student Oyster card until you get to London. It costs £20 for the card but you get a 30% discount on weekly or monthly travelcards (not single fares). Because it will take a couple of weeks to receive the card once you have applied we recommend that you get a standard adult Oyster card as soon as you arrive in London to allow you to start saving money straight away. Either use pay-as-you-go (cheaper than cash) or buy a seven-day travelcard for your Oyster card. You can pick up a standard Oyster card at any underground station for £5.
You may be able to use your own mobile phone if it has roaming enabled – you can check this with your provider. However, this can be expensive. We recommend getting a UK mobile – you can get a pay-as-you-go phone and a sim card. There are many high street shops such as Carphone Warehouse, EE and Vodafone, and Tesco supermarket has Tesco mobile shops inside their larger stores where you can purchase phones and sim cards.
We also recommend that you use Skype to keep in touch with home. It is cheap and easy!
Alternatively, you can get an international calling card from a newsagent for cheap call rates. Outward international dialling codes from the UK can be found in the British Telecom phonebook. For example, to call the USA from the UK, dial 001. To call the UK from the USA, dial 011 44. To call Germany from the UK dial 0049, to call the UK from Germany, dial 0044. The first 0 of the number should then be dropped (except when calling Italy).
The voltage used in Britain is 240 volts AC at 50HZ. Most power sockets are designed for standard three-pin square plugs.
To use an appliance from home you will need an adaptor. These are available from electrical shops, hardware stores and Boots. It is recommended that you buy a hairdryer in the UK if needed rather than use one from home that is designed for a lower current.
Britain has a temperate climate and London is one of the mildest areas in the UK. However, the weather can be unpredictable; Londoners get used to carrying sunglasses and an umbrella to be prepared for anything! Our top tip? Layers! You will need a warm waterproof coat but expect to be in a t-shirt when you get on the tube or into a sunny park.
It's up to you, but it's simple and cheap to buy these things here. We normally recommend that you save yourself the trouble of carrying them over.
UK supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose often sell cheap bedding, towels and sometimes electricals too. Bedding, towels and electricals can also be bought from clothes, home or department stores, such as John Lewis, Debenhams, Primark and Argos.
Our careers service, located on the first floor of the Tower Building (Holloway Campus), can help with everything from finding a part-time job or volunteering opportunity to brushing up your CV and helping you plan what to do after you graduate. However, you can only work or volunteer if you have a Student visa – you cannot work on a Visitor visa.
The careers service also run workshops throughout the year which will probably be very useful for your future careers.
Your timetable will be available to view once you have enrolled during orientation week. Up to this point we will regularly check module registrations submitted to us and contact you if there are any problems. If we do not contact you, this means we are registering you for your first choice modules. Please ensure that your modules have been accepted for transfer to your home university.
Reading lists for each module can be found in the individual module descriptions in our module catalogue. However, we do not recommend buying any books in advance as most set texts will be held in one of our libraries for you to use. You may have to buy a few important textbooks but, in general, students do not spend much money on books.
Many London museums and art galleries are free – some special exhibitions will be ticketed but students usually qualify for a discount. Here are some of the larger, better known institutions you may like to visit during your time in London:
- British Library
- British Museum
- National Gallery
- Natural History Museum
- Science Museum
- Tate Britain
- Tate Modern
- Victoria and Albert Museum
You can also explore places such as London's South Bank (for famous markets), Hampstead Heath (for woodland walks), the VeloPark (for bike hire) and much more. There is so much to do in London it is impossible to list it all. Although some websites, such as Time Out London, have tried.
Most tourist attractions, clubs, cinemas, theatres and shops will offer a student discount but the proof that they will accept of your student status will differ.
An international student identity card (ISIC) will provide you with discounts at a number of sites and attractions in both the UK and the rest of Europe. These can be purchased online.
You can also purchase a TOTUM card, which is the most widely recognised proof of student status in the UK. You can apply online for these cards and it costs £12 for a year but the discounts often outweigh the cost.
Student ID cards will often give you a discount at most mainstream cinemas but it is also worth seeking out some smaller venues. You can also get last-minute discounts on West End shows by visiting Theatreland's official ticket booth, TKTS, in Leicester Square.
Council Tax is charged on all residences whether privately owned or rented out. However, students are not liable for this tax. Your student hall of residence will still require an exemption certificate from you though. You'll be able to get a council tax exemption certificate from your Student Office. However, if you share a house with anyone who is not a student you'll be liable to pay council tax.
We send out transcripts once grades are released and confirmed by the university. This happens in March (for the autumn semester), late June (for the spring semester) and September (for reassessments). We'll send them directly to you (if you applied independently) or your university. We supply a copy for you and one for your home university. If you require any further copies, they must be requested and paid for through the Epay shop.
Before leaving the UK at the end of your academic stay, you must return all library books (and pay any fines you might have incurred). Transcripts will not be sent if any fines are outstanding.
Please note that all module results must be confirmed (not provisional) before we can send out your transcripts.