Travel in London

London – (TFL)

Transport for London has useful information about the tube, buses, DLR, railways, taxis, minicabs and river buses in London.

  • Use an ‘Oyster Card’ and ‘swipe’ your card to get around. You can get an oyster card from tube stations.
  • As a full time student on a course for 14 weeks or longer, you can get a “student oyster photo card” with discounts of up to 30% -apply online.
  • There is a penalty payment for travelling without a valid ticket!
  • There are different types of travel cards; one-day, weekend, weekly, monthly.
    Look online for more information.
  • You can download the free CityMapper app on your mobile phone to help you travel around.
Tube (TFL Underground)

The common name for ‘The London Underground’ is ‘The Tube’.

  • There are 11 underground lines with a different name and colours.
  • There are 6 zones with different prices– always check.
  • It is open Monday to Saturday 05:30 – 00:30, Sunday is different.
  • Some lines are open all night on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Always check start and finish times, as each line is different.
  • You can download the free TubeAssistant app to help you use the tube more easily.

Some basic “Tube Rules”

  1. Stand on the right on escalators.
  2. Let passengers off the train first.
  3. Stand clear of the closing doors.
  4. Mind the gap (between train and platform).
  5. Give up your seat to older/ disabled people and pregnant ladies
  6. Stand behind the yellow line on platforms.
Buses (TFL)
  • London’s buses are red & go to nearly all parts of London.
  • They are cheaper than travelling by tube.
  • London has night buses, which run all night– check where they go.
  • Signal if you want to get on or off by pressing the bell.
  • Can’t buy ticket on the bus
  • The Busmapper app will let you see when buses are coming to your bus stop.
River Boat (TFL)

The boat can be a fun way to travel and runs along The River Thames.

Trains often connect to London Underground Stations.

  • You may have to buy a different ticket– always check with station staff or on the website before you travel.
  • These trains often connect Central London to Outer London and other cities in England.

Another way to explore London could be hiring a bicycle.

There are many docking stations in central London area where you can hire a bike for a short ride of 30 minutes or have a longer cycling trip for up to 24 hours. If you are planning to stay in London longer, it may be beneficial for you to opt for membership to save money and time. For more detailsvisit:

London Taxis

Black cabs are a pleasant, but expensive, way of getting around the city.

Look at for more information & prices.

  • These are the safest cabs to use as all the drivers are licensed.
  • You can stop a Black cab anywhere when you see a yellow "For Hire” sign.

Mini-cabs can be booked over the telephone or direct from a local office. Although generally cheaper than black cabs, there are still some illegal operators.

  • DO NOT accept any offers of lifts by unlicensed minicabs driving around London, this can be very dangerous.
Uber App

You can use the Uber app to get a minicab around big cities London. The free download is easy to use, you simply hail a cab by tapping your phone’s touchscreen – in return you’ll be given an estimated arrival time and fare.

Things to do in London

Out and about

London is a lively city with lots of free things to do. Look at or in the free newspapers for more information.

The Academy has a busy social programme including;-

  • Weekly activities
  • Day-trips
  • Nights out at local bars and clubs in London.
  • Weekend trips outside of London (Universal Student Tours)
Clubs and Bars
  • London is famous for its nightlife with over 5,000 pubs and bars. Some of the best-known clubs include the Ministry of Sound, Fabric, Coco, Equinox and several more around the Leicester Square area.
  • Entry into some of London’s clubs can be expensive.
  • Look out for weekly student nights when you can get in for a reduced price with your Students Card (International) or ladies’ nights when entrance is free for females.

Cinema prices are usually cheaper off-peak (Monday-Friday, normally before 5 p.m.). With an ISIC you can usually get a student discount. Some include;-

Prince Charles Cinema

71 Leicester Place (off Leicester Square), WC2H 7BP
Tel: 0207 494 3654

The Prince Charles is an independent cinema and is the cheapest. Check the website for more information.

BFI London IMAX Cinema
1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, SE1 3AA
Tel: 0207 902 1234

At the BFI London IMAX Cinema you can watch 2D and 3D films.


Most of the main West End theatres are around Covent Garden and Leicester Square and can cost from £15-£50. You can buy cheaper tickets from ‘The Half-Price Ticket Theatre Booth’ on the south side of Leicester Square (Mon-Sat, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays 12-3 p.m.)


London is a shopping city. Try;-

  • Oxford Street, famous shops high street shops.
  • Charing Cross Road, London’s travel and book shops.
  • Department stores in the centre of London, Selfridges and Harrods.
  • Stores that offer value for money include Primark, New Look.
  • London’s Markets, Portobello Road, Brick Lane, Camden Lock.
  • There are several well-known supermarket chains, such as Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s – the big supermarkets have a bigger variety of products, some of which are very cheap.
  • Small local grocery shops can be quite expensive but generally stay open until the late evening

Travel outside of London

Exploring England & The United Kingdom

There are many things to do and see in The United Kingdom.

To find out more look at

For travel advice; – This shows you how to get from where you are now to where you want to go by bus, coach or train.

By Bus
  • -Very cheap bus travel and popular with students.
  • -The biggest bus company offering national coach travel travelling to more towns and cities but more expensive.
By Train
By Plane
  • -Offers cheap flights and discounted travel for students.
  • – A low cost airline which has cheap flights to European cities. However, check the airport as they do not always use the main one in that city.
  • -Offers cheap flights to European cities. Not as big nor as cheap as Ryanair but usually useshet major airports for the cities it flies to.
  • – Gives you travel reviews for hotels, attractions and restaurants around the world. Also has a good booking service that links into all the companies offering cheap travel, holidays and accommodation.
By Car

Check to see about driving licences.

On a Tour

Working during your studies while in the UK
(EU students only)


When immigration authorities give you permission to be in the UK, they put a sticker or stamp in your passport telling you what conditions apply to your stay. Check these conditions and for up-to-date information look at

National Insurance Number

If you are allowed to work in the UK, you will need a National Insurance Number (NI Number).

  • Your NI number is only for you.
  • This number is given for you to use if you need to contact the Inland Revenue or Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
  • This makes sure that there is correct information for your National Insurance contribution (NICs) or credits to your NI account.
  • It is not an identity card.
  • It looks something like this: AB 123456C.

You will need to make an appointment at your local Job Centre to get your NI number. If you arrange an interview, also ask them what documents they want you to bring with you. Usually you will have to provide:

  • Proof of identity (passport).
  • School letter confirming your enrolment.
  • Letter from your employer.
  • Confirmation of your address (bank statements).

When you get there you will be asked to fill in a form, and the staff will give you a letter to show your employer, confirming that you have applied for a NI Number.

  • If you are approved to receive a NI Number you will be sent a plastic NI car.
  • Take good care of your card. You will only be sent one replacement if you lose it.

Finding a Part-time Job
Looking for a Job

Arriving in London and knowing where to start looking for a job can be complicated and often confusing. Job agencies often specialise in particular industries, such as retail and hospitality, and once you have registered with them they will assist you with your job search and notify you of any vacancies.

You can check for vacancies on the websites of large companies (such as Starbucks, Café Nero and McDonalds and clothing stores like Marks and Spencer and Zara). The UK Government has a legal minimum wage look at for more information.

If you are looking to work in smaller individual bars, restaurants and shops then the best way to do this is

  • Go into the place and ask about vacancies
  • Send your C.V to them or give them a copy when you go there.

We also recommend you to check Adzuna - a search engine for job ads. It provides smarter search options and powerful data about the job market.

Job Centres

Camden Residents:

Holborn Employment Service 289-93 High Holborn
Tel: 020 7853 3000

Hotel and Catering Job Centre

1-3 Denmark Street. W1. Tel: 0207 853 3700

Westminster Residents:

West End Job Centre 195-197 Wardour St.
Tel: 0207 853 3200


Another useful way to use your time and help you develop and practice your English is to get in touch with volunteering in the Community. This can also help you make British friends and find out more about life in the U.K. The following websites give you more information about volunteering as an International Student;

Keeping in Touch

Ways to keep in touch

While you are living in the UK it will be important for you to communicate with your family & friends at home, new friends you will meet, the school, an employer and for applications onto other courses. There are a variety of ways you can do this.


The biggest mobile operators which offer different services in the UK are, Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile, Orange. Phonecards are by far the cheapest way to call abroad and prices depend on where and to which country you are calling. Look around in supermarkets, newsagents and small shops for the best deals.

Mobile phones

If you wish to buy a mobile it is possible to purchase a “Pay as you Go” phone without a contract.

Students wishing to buy a mobile phone on a 1-year contract basis usually need to produce a proof of address, bank statements and they will often be required to pay a deposit.

If you wish to do so, shop around for the best deal. The Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u and The Link all have high street stores that offer competitive deals on most of the major networks.


At the academy we have internet access which is free and available to all our students during office hours. If you are not familiar with the Internet oryou do not have an e-mail address ask at reception and they will assist you.

London accommodation generally has internet access, ALWAYS check before you sign anything as sometimes the connection may be very bad. You can also go into any Internet café-prices start from around £1 per hour.


At the Post Office you can send your mail easily in the UK and overseas.

Sending mail within the UK

  • First Class-arrives next working day (including Saturday) for letters and small items to anywhere in the UK.
  • Second Class– cheaper than first class delivered within 3 working days.
  • Recorded Delivery-if you need to send important but not valuable documents. You will get receipt as proof and the person who you are sending the letter/parcel to will have to sign on delivery.
  • Special Delivery– used to send urgent and valuable items. Delivery is the next working day.
  • Standard Parcels– to send large items. The cost depends on the weight. Delivery is within 3-5 working days.
Sending mail overseas
  • Surface mail– the cheapest way if you have mail to send overseas. Good if you are sending heavier items such as books / magazines. Delivery to Western Europe is likely to be up to 2 weeks, up to 4 weeks for Eastern Europe and up to 8 weeks for the rest of the world.
  • Airmail– you can send a letter weighing up to 20 grams, small packets and printed papers anywhere in the world
  • International Delivery– gives you confidence of having signed for on delivery, by Airmail and Surface, just about anywhere in the world. The price for postage includes up to £30 compensation in case your mail is lost or damaged.

Sizes and Measurements

Clothing Sizes

Measurements are approximate only and you should always try clothes on before you buy them.

Metric Conversions



A good place to start if you’re feeling a little homesick. This website tells you where you can find ethnic or cultural areas in the capital.

  • -Use this site if you want to find your nearest CitizensAdvice Bureau (CAB).
  • -Has lots of useful advice on all the key problems facing young people. You can also -e mail your questions to one of their expert advisors and receive your own answer in complete confidence. Also has a very useful local advice finder if you need to speak to someone about a problem.
  • -British government website which will help you to understand UK immigration control and what your rights and responsibilities are when arriving.
  • -Has lots of useful advice on immigration issues???
  • -British government website which gives you lots of useful links to local council and government department websites.