England

Tips For Traveling To London

June 04, 2018
by Thomas Kelly
Preparing to study abroad is no easy feat: you need to know what and how to pack, exchange rates, cultural differences, and everything in between.  Luckily, we've put together this little handy-dandy travel guide to aide you in your quest across the pond.
 British Library Courtyard

Packing 

Everyone's favorite!  Since lugging several suitcases with you is a drag (and expensive), limit yourself to one checked bag and carry-on.  In the checked bag, pack your necessities: clothes, toiletries, or anything too big for a carry on.  Speaking of which, things like electronics, reading material, and school note books should go in the carry on.  It really comes in handy when you're stuck on a plane for six hours.

Dollars to Pounds

 My ticket for the seemingly inexpensive "School of Rock"

The exchange rate isn't great.  For instance, something that costs £30 will cost you $50.  On top of that, your bank might charge you foreign transaction fees for making purchases or withdrawing cash overseas.  So, be cautious when using your credit card.  If it's possible to get a travel rewards card, by all means do it. Just make sure it's either Visa or American Express as the other cards are rarely accepted.  Another good idea would be to make a cash exchange at your local bank in order to have cash in your wallet when you hop the pond.

It's Okay to Take a Nap

No, really.  After you get settled into your new home, feel free to crash on your bed or something.  Living in a foreign county is a huge change, and if you feel like you need time to decompress, go for it.  Don't feel like you have to explore the whole city in your first few days.

Try Not to Look Too Touristy

 Who could resist?

While this exists in every city, it's worth mentioning.  There is no better target for pick-pockets and con artists than the confused tourist, so try not to stick out too much.  Maybe wear a tweed hat!

Get a Student Oyster Card

 Lancaster Gate Station

Like a lot of cities, London offers student discounts on public transport.  This will come in very handy because as a Westminster/LSBU student, you'll be riding the Underground often.  The card can also be used to get discounts in cinemas, restaurants, and museums.

Do Your Homework

 221b Baker Street

Even though culture shock is unavoidable, it wouldn't hurt to study up on your host's culture.  How do you do this?  Well, you can look up British English to American English articles, learn some British slang, descriptive words, history, and its wonderful sense of humor.  All in all, it will make your transition period easier.

 

Tom K. is the Spring 2018 MOJO blogger in London, England. He is currently a Junior studying Communication concentrating in Journalism and Media Theory & Production at Western New England University.   



Thomas Kelly is the Spring 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in London, England, and is currently studying at Western New England University.
 

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