Moving to London: A Checklist for International Students

Moving to London as an international student is an exciting adventure, but it can also be overwhelming. To help you navigate this transition smoothly, we've put together a comprehensive checklist that covers everything you need to know and do before and after you arrive in London. From preparing your documents to settling into your new home, this guide has got you covered.

Before the departure 

1.    Apply for a student visa

Ensure you have a valid student visa. Visit the UK government website for the latest information on visa requirements and the application process. If you are applying from outside the UK, you can apply for a visa up to 6 months before the start of your course. Most student visas get a decision within 3 weeks. 

2.    Book a student accommodation

Finding an accommodation abroad can be daunting. Therefore, GoBritanya provides a range of student accommodations across different locations in Central London, with all bills and facilities included. Many of the accommodations are located minutes away from the closest underground or train station and are within walking distance or a short commute to the London universities. Our excellent customer service team is dedicated to helping you find the perfect room, offering personalised support, comprehensive information, and continuous assistance throughout your stay. Click here for more information. 

3.    Travel plans

Purchase your flight tickets well in advance to get the best deals. GoBritanya offers an airport transfer service to ensure a smooth arrival to London. If you wish to take public transport, you can take the Heathrow Express, Elizabeth Line, or the Piccadilly Line to get to Central London. 

4.    Packing Essentials

Make sure to pack for the British weather, including warm clothing and waterproof jackets. For electronics, remember to bring a UK adapter. Extra tip: pack any personal items that will help you feel at home. 



1.    Settling into the place

Complete the check-in process at the accommodation and settle in your new room. Check out the common room and other facilities and meet your new neighbours. With Freshers Week around the corner, you can visit the Freshers’ Fair to meet new people and discover different clubs and societies that you can join. 

2.    Get a UK SIM card and bank account 

Choose a mobile plan that suits your needs. Providers like Giffgaff, Vodafone, and VOXI offer some affordable data plans for students. Currency exchange rates can fluctuate, banks like Monzo, Wise, and Revolut offer some of the lowest rates and are very easy to use, including a function to help you budget your expenses. 

3.    Get an Oyster Card

You can apply for an 18+ student oyster card which you can get discounted travel. You can also get a 16-25 Railcard to get discounted travel for National Rail Services if you want to travel outside of London. Important tip: you can link your 16-26 railcard to your student oyster card to save 34% on pay-as-you-go off-peak fares and daily caps to travel on the London Underground.

Moving to London as an international student is a significant step, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can be a smooth and enjoyable transition. Follow this checklist to ensure you have everything covered, and soon you'll be ready to start your exciting new journey in one of the world's most vibrant cities.