London, the capital of England, is an academic’s dream, as it is home to scholars from all corners of the world. This beautiful city is located on the Thames River and has been said to be the historic, cultural and business heart of the entirety of Europe. London is home to hundreds of museums and galleries as well as famous and remarkable landmarks (Buckingham Palace and Big Ben to name a few!).

From fun-loving and artistic SoHo to historically dense Westminster to edgy East London, studying abroad in London means finding a home away from home. Whether you’re interested in film, music, art, sports, or business, London will offer an amazing experience unlike any other place in the world!

What makes London a special study abroad destination? For most students, it's that it feels like a home away from home pretty quickly. You might need to adjust to cars driving on the wrong side or learning to use an 's' instead of a 'z' for certain words in your term papers -- but you might also find that yourself enamored with British culture 'across the pond.'

Student Lifestyle in London

Students who travel abroad to London will oftentimes find themselves in a classic British pub. Pubs are the place where Brits gather to drink, eat and enjoy each other’s company. Because pubs do not usually offer table service, expect to order both food and drinks at the bar.

London offers amazing shops including fresh and local grocery stores as well as fancy and fun clothing boutiques. Some great areas to shop are Portabello, Road, Covent Garden and Camden Lock Market.

From Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to the hundreds of free museums and events, London is filled with things to see and do. On top of the sites and attractions, the intellectual and diverse population in London is what makes it truly unique.

Culture Shock & Support

The best part about studying abroad in London is that culture in the U.K. is very similar to that in the U.S. and Canada -- so your chances of having culture shock are somewhat lessened than more 'exotic' or far-flung study abroad destinations.

That said, it's still possible to get frustrated, upset, or even anxious about those British accents, weird spellings, and the lack of peanut butter (or other North American foods). Almost all study abroad programs (whether you're direct-enrolling or going through a third-party provider) have support for students for these feelings, so reach out to your program advisor to get connected with a support system. Also, check your local grocery for the 'American' section -- you may have to pay extra, but sometimes that box of Lucky Charms or bottle of Powerade will be just the treat you need to weather the culture shock storm.

Insider Tips for London

Buckingham Palace, the home of the Queen, is a must see when studying abroad in London. Along with being the Queen's official residence, Buckingham Palace is also known for the Changing of the Guard, where new soldiers in red uniforms and fur skin hats replace the old like clockwork each day. The reverence and diligence of this ceremony is not to be missed.

To get an awesome aerial view of the city, take a ride on the infamous London Eye, the world's largest sightseeing wheel. While riding the London Eye, you may catch a glimpse of Big Ben, the clock tower attached to the House of Parliament. The Tower of London is another sight to see as it is the place that Henry VIII moved his prison site to in 1529. Visitors can take a tour through the Tower of London, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to the many amazing landmarks, London is home to over 300 museums, 200 theaters, and 250 art galleries. London is truly unique in both its quantity and diversity of different attractions that it offers.

There are more study abroad programs in London than almost anywhere else in the world. Once you choose how you're going to study abroad (direct enrollment, direct exchange, or through a third-party provider), London is your oyster! Here are some other logistics to consider.

Housing

A lot of program providers will include housing in their package, but some students will need to find housing on their own -- especially if they've chosen to directly enroll in a program. To find student housing in London, UniPlaces is one good website to look at, as is getting in touch with your advisor in London.

Transportation

Public transportation is the most common and popular way to get around London, so students who travel abroad here will become pros by the end of their stay! The London Underground, or ‘the tube’, is an extremely efficient and inexpensive way to travel. The system may seem overwhelming at first, but it is actually very easy to understand as all the lines are color-coded in accordance with their route/direction. Buses, on the other hand, are a little bit more complicated to navigate than the tube but are also a very convenient way to get around the city.

Once you arrive, get signed up for a student Oyster card. You'll use this to access all public transit at a discount. It's a huge help to staying on a budget in London!

Cost of Living

London is notoriously expensive, so prepare yourself for that now. In the United Kingdom, the primary currency is the Pound Sterling or the Great British Pound (GBP), and it's usually around $1.25 for £1.00. This represents a 25% in your cost of living back home!

You'll feel this impact your study abroad budget from the first day in London, so plan ahead and adjust that budget accordingly. Opt for roommates rather than renting your own flat; shop at groceries for a few meals a week instead of eating at the pub every night; and sign up for any and all student discounts you can.

Visas

Students in London require a Tier 4 student visa; it's an involved process to apply, so make sure you get started ASAP once you confirm you're studying abroad. You'll need to apply and provide biometric data (fingerprints and eye-scans) to get your visa. (These are used each time you cross into the U.K.) You'll also need your visa (in your passport, obviously) every time you want to travel, so be sure to keep tabs on that document whenever you're planning a weekend trip to Europe!

Can You Work While Studying in London?

Under the Tier 4 student visa, you cannot work while studying abroad in London. However, there are some special arrangements that may allow you to volunteer or intern, and sometimes you can even receive a special stipend for your time -- but you won't be able to call it work. If you want to intern in London, be sure to look for study abroad programs that offer support with this.

Scholarships

Along with budgeting, students who worry about the cost of studying abroad in London should look into their scholarship options.

Here are even more study abroad scholarships and grants.

Study Abroad Programs in London

Displaying 31 - 45 of 156 programs
Arcadia Abroad
Arcadia in London
England
4 reviews

You can choose from a wide range of courses taught by Arcadia faculty...

Forum-Nexus Study Abroad
9 Countries: Nursing, Pre-Med, and STEM Traveling Summer Study in Europe
Multiple Countries
3 reviews1 interview

Make your summer unforgettable! Travel throughout Europe with students...

Syracuse University Abroad
Syracuse University London Center
England
2 reviews1 interview

London's cultural, social, and ethnic diversity is unlike anywhere...

The Lex Fellowship
The Lex Fellowship to Study Abroad in Spain
Multiple Countries
8 reviews

If you plan to attend law school, and you want to study abroad, our...

University of the Arts London
Summer Study Abroad at University of the Arts London
England
6 reviews

Our Summer Study Abroad program is ideal for students who are looking...

Arcadia Abroad
Arcadia University- London School of Economics
England
1 review1 interview

The London School of Economics and Political Science attracts students...

Athena Study Abroad
Athena Study Abroad: Roehampton University, London
England
10 reviews

Study with Athena Abroad in the most popular destination in the world...

CIEE
CIEE Summer Comparative Public Health in London & Amsterdam
Multiple Countries
2 reviews

Spend this summer exploring issues of health care from the Dutch and...

FIE: Foundation for International Education
FIE London: Summer Study Abroad
London
1 review

With countless music, literary, and food festivals, parks, and outdoor...

Arcadia Abroad
Arcadia in London Summer
England
3 reviews

Spend your summer studying in London- one of the world's most exciting...

London South Bank University
Spend Your Summer Abroad in London with LSBU
England
2 reviews2 interviews

Spend your summer in central London whilst earning credits to...

Kingston University
Summer School at Kingston University
England
7 reviews

This popular program for university-level study in Kingston-upon...

California State University, Long Beach: Office of Study Abroad
CSULB - London Semester
England
5 reviews

Live and study for your spring semester in one of the most exciting...

UCLA Study Abroad
UCLA: Shakespeare in Stratford and London
England
4 reviews

UCLA's English Department offers a delightful summer in Stratford-upon...

KEI Abroad
KEI Abroad in London, England
England
5 reviews

Study abroad with the Knowledge Exchange Institute at London South...

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What People Are Saying

Student Gurjot Kang smiles in front of the tower bridge and thames river in London.

This program is amazing for students looking for a study away opportunity that emphasizes experiential learning in the diverse, cultural hub of London! My classes at the GEO Centre introduced me to...

Royal Society of Medicine

I am absolutely thrilled that I was chosen to have the opportunity to study abroad in one of my favorite countries. Being overseas allowed me to not only further my education in medicine, but it...

Me on top of Skygarden in downtown London!

My experience in the IES London Theatre Studies program was nothing short of life-changing. As a theatre student, I needed to make sure that wherever I studied abroad was preparing me for my future...

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