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What’s it like being a student in London do you have to be mega rich?

(79 Posts)
EachandEveryone Thu 13-Aug-20 17:14:05

Can just and ordinary student survive?. I mean there’s no spare money Except the odd £50 on pay day and of course I will do food shopping for her but realistically what is it like for uni? UAL she never thought she would get in but has so now it’s a dilemma. Camberwell.

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JoJoSM2 Thu 13-Aug-20 17:21:33

The friends who studied in London but weren’t from here, tended to get a bit of money from parents but also had part-time jobs. It should be relatively easy to get a job. Things like rents vary greatly so you only need to be ‘mega rich’ for a pad in a prime area.

ComtesseDeSpair Thu 13-Aug-20 17:26:43

I don’t think living in London - apart from accommodation, obviously, I mean food and drink and entertainment and so forth - is any more expensive really than many other affluent and / or university cities. Accommodation can be paid for with loans and a part-time job, same as anywhere. South east London is generally one of the cheaper parts of the city if she was house-sharing.

CraftyGin Thu 13-Aug-20 17:28:47

My DS did not find London expensive. Grocery shopping is the same everywhere. He walked everywhere, so no fares to pay.

Change17 Thu 13-Aug-20 17:34:20

I’m from London but studied up north. I always wondered how students managed it in London considering a g&t is often £10+ and a pint of beer £5+.
Yes it’s true groceries are roughly the same anywhere, but let’s be honest as students there’ll be a lot of going out to pubs, clubs bars restaurants etc and the prices are definitely extortionate compared to elsewhere. Not to mention rent. £600+ for a bedroom in a share house vs £600 for an entire 3 bedroom property in much of the country.

Turnedouttoes Thu 13-Aug-20 17:44:28

I studied in Kingston so not technically London but expensive in comparison to all my friends who were at unis like Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff etc.

My parents gave me no help at all and I’ll be honest I really struggled for money. I very very rarely went out and definitely felt like I missed out on the uni experience. If you’re in sports clubs that’s very expensive as well.

I worked 3 jobs basically full time for the whole time I was there just to pay rent and bills and frankly it’s a miracle I came out with a 2:1

The other negative about London unis is that they tend not to have big campuses and things are much more spread out. Because of how easy it is to commute, most students don’t live on campus or even in the area so halls tend to be mainly international students.

I definitely would think much more carefully about location if I had my time again

aibutohavethisusername Thu 13-Aug-20 17:45:16

My DD got a place at UCL today, I am worried about the financial side of things.

doadeer Thu 13-Aug-20 17:50:25

I studied in London 2008-2011. I lived in South London. I worked 16-20 hours in a shop in Covent garden and earned about £500/600- this was my living money and I used my loan for my rent only. I didn't have family support.

The student culture is different to living there not as a student. The union and local pubs have discount nights, there are big uni nights in Soho where it's £1 a drink. You don't go places it's £10 a gin and tonic. Lots of house parties.

Transport costs are low as you walk everywhere. There's always cheap food options too. Cafés near the uni had all day breakfasts that were huge for £3-4

Plus there are so so many free activities and cheap things - seeing a performance at the globe is £5, loads of the museums have late nights, there's cheap comedy.

I loved it

JoJoSM2 Thu 13-Aug-20 17:51:08


Kingston is a London Borough so definitely counts. Quite expensive too so probably not too different from Camberwell which is very central.

doadeer Thu 13-Aug-20 17:54:27

I should have said I lived in new cross and Brockley which is not too far from Camberwell. Lots of students hang out in Peckham which has cheap food and drinks

SchoolOfKnocks Thu 13-Aug-20 17:56:08

DD in Kingston flatshare pays £450 pcm. Deposit and holding fee plus first months rent up front made it expensive at the beginning though.

AmyFl Thu 13-Aug-20 19:21:02

She will get additional student loan as she's studying in London.

Blobby10 Thu 13-Aug-20 20:08:15

My son studied at kings - halls in first year were 50% more than halls in Gloucester where DC 3 is. Second year he was jn a shared house on old Kent road area so a bit dodgy. Last two years he’s been near borough market- also a bit dodgy. He had a part time job (£10 an hour) but shopped in sainsburys (expensive!) but cooked basics in bulk so made the most of food. Yes London is expensive but didn’t seem to stop son having a good time.

EachandEveryone Thu 13-Aug-20 20:08:19

It would be a shame if money got in the way of a great opportunity, I did wonder whether there would be other students from other parts of the country kind of a swap with the London ones who go up North for a change.

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JoJoSM2 Thu 13-Aug-20 20:21:50

At least in my days, no one wanted to go to the local uni but get away from parents and go elsewhere.

nancy75 Thu 13-Aug-20 20:27:42

I’m in London, none of the kids I know have gone to London unis. The 2 that got results today are off to Plymouth & Bristol.
Rent will be the main cost in London. If they want to eat out there’s cheap street food everywhere, transport is frequent, easy & cheap compared to outside of London but pub prices are eye watering if you’re not from here!

EachandEveryone Thu 13-Aug-20 20:33:55

She never thought she’d get an offer from UAL it’s really thrown her.

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purpledagger Thu 13-Aug-20 21:35:26

I'm a Londoner and other than accommodation, I don't think London is more expensive than many other places.

I don't think Camberwell is in Zone 1, so travel will be much cheaper if she doesn't need a zone 1 ticket. She can get a bus into Central London which is about £1.50 each way.

Camberwell is diverse and you can buy food cheaply from the world woods supermarkets, plus lots of cheap restaurants in the area. She will also have a choice of supermarkets, so she can shop around, there is a Morrison's and Lidl's in Camberwell and an Asda and Tesco's not too far away.

She should also be able to get a part time job easily if she wants to. There are lots of employers.

There are lots of free or cheap things to do, both in Central London and the surrounding areas.

One she starts living alongside 'average' Londoners, she'll find a way to live comfortably but cheaply.

EachandEveryone Thu 13-Aug-20 21:38:51

Thanks for that. Is safety an issue do you think or is it the same as everywhere?

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Ginfordinner Thu 13-Aug-20 21:46:15

Are part time jobs going to be so easy to find now?

AlltheRs Thu 13-Aug-20 23:19:40

Congratulations to all with places, and please don't let things put you off because yes the situation here is difficult, but there are uni hardship funds and schemes for student retention.

GinforDinner is correct. Many of last years London graduates are fighting tooth and nail for those part time jobs, as they can't get full time ones. Lots of hugely over qualified graduates who where in theater and arts and entertainment and restaurant are now begging for NMW opportunities.

Wimbledon pub advertised for two NMW bar staff and closed ad at day 3 after 500 applications received.

Fitzrovia Belle in central London 400 people on day one. They took on two pilots for basic hotel duties at NMW.

Unless major changes suddenly takes place students would be best of assuming that other than internal SU jobs, there will be very little work available. However, will 20/21 students be inuring travel expenses for at least 1st, 2nd term, or mainly hunkered down in shared rooms studying on line?

EachandEveryone Fri 14-Aug-20 00:17:35

The rooms are £230 per week or £195 if you share a room 😕

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Fri 14-Aug-20 06:44:59

£230 a week is about 1k a month which is enough for a room in ‘prime’ London or a flat in a decent area.

With the part time jobs, things might work out with Brexit. I’m not following politics but I’d imagine they’d be fewer workers from other countries. And I know that when I put adverts out on Gumtree in the past, I’d get hundreds of applications so I’d take that with a pinch of salt.

Re your question about safety, London has its reputation for knife crime etc but it’s not something ‘normal’ people ever experience. As long as your daughter is sensible, eg keeps her wallet and phone safe from pickpockets etc she’ll be fine.

RumAndRaisinIceCream Fri 14-Aug-20 06:51:08

Ds is going to UCL. His accommodation (though we don't know what it is yet but could choose a price bracket) will be marginally more expensive than dd's was at Birmingham in halls but hers was catered.

Once dd left halls it was substantially cheaper though it won't be for ds. A lot of the drinking student places have student nights in London where it is significantly cheaper so on balance, it's only the accommodation which is expensive and you can get an additional allowance on your loan because it's London.

Blobby10 Fri 14-Aug-20 08:55:59

My son walked everywhere when he was at uni - when in halls he was 45 minute walk away from campus and about 35mins walk away in 2nd and 3rd years. Like everywhere, it is possible to make it very expensive but also possible to live more cheaply- it depends on the individual. He didn't feel unsafe but acted sensibly (most of the time - once he got drunk and decided to take his shirt off and go for a walk. In December. For two miles. Fortunately his friends weren't so drunk and followed him to see what he would do before getting him safely home .... the video was funny grin)

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