London student living guide

London is one of the best cities in the world for students. The culture, the nightlife and the diversity make it a great place to spend your university years. But living in such a big city has its challenges, and things can get overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time living away from home.

To help you navigate through your first few months settling into your new life, we have put together a handy London student living guide covering everything, from student discounts to moving into student accommodation.

Our student living guide


Moving to a new place is always daunting, especially if you’re on your own. But this is also one of the most exciting times in your life, especially if you’re a student. Though everyone is different and there isn’t a playbook as such to be a student in a new city,  there a few simple things you can do to help you get settled in without having to adjust your life too drastically.

Here are a few of the most important things to consider for students in London.

Student accommodation in London

Some of the world’s highest-regarded academic establishments are in London, and your accommodation is a major part of this university experience. Whether you already have your accommodation sorted before getting to London, or you’ll be searching for it while in the city, it’s a good idea to set aside some budget for essentials. As soon as you get access to your accommodation, you should buy linens and homeware. While it’s a good idea to bring a few “comfort” items with you, this is also a great time to explore your taste and truly make the place your own.

As the academic year goes on, you will find that your flat (or room if you’re in a shared accommodation) slowly gets full of new items, some of which you will want to keep once the year is over. This is often cause for concern particularly for international students, as being able to take your belongings back and forth between countries can be difficult. But there is a solution to that problem; we’re talking about student self storage.

Student self storage in London

At Vanguard, we provide student storage in London for undergraduates and postgraduates to store items securely during the Summer break. In fact, if you’re looking for summer storage while home between terms, or need more storage space due to the size of your accommodation, Vanguard has you covered. With six locations across London, our facilities are easily accessible from most of the city’s higher education institutes, just 15 minutes drive from most university campuses. This includes: University of Westminster, London School of Economics, University of Greenwich, Queen Mary University, Ravensbourne University, University of the Arts London, Imperial College, Kings College, the University of Westminster and University of Roehampton.

Flexible student storage will allow you to safely store your belongings until you’re back and our storage facilities are completely secure, with 24-hour CCTV, alarms, multi-layer access and well-lit, staffed facilities.

Our unit sizes for student storage in London include small 10-square foot lockers for suitcases, books and clothes. But we provide larger units up to 150 square feet, so you can keep all your furniture safely stored too.

Transport in London

Unless you live on campus (or in its proximity), you will find yourself spending a lot of your time and money on travel. In fact, travel costs can quickly add up, especially if you want to explore some of the cultural hotspots the city has to offer.

There are, however, a few options for students to get discounted prices on TfL (Transport for London). From 18+ Student Oyster Photocards, to 16-24 Railcard, you can find out more on the Transport for London website.

Discovering the city

From fantastic museum collections – such as the National History Museum – to the gorgeous parks – like Queen Elizabeth’s Olympic Park – London has lots to offer.

The city is full of surprises and there is something for everyone, whether you like the nightlife or would prefer more cultural outings. Though London in general is a very student-friendly place, there are a few areas in particular every student will love. Here are a few of our top picks:

  • Camden Market. Perfect for all the foodies who want to try specialties from around the world. The market is open every day from 10am, you can find out more about it here.
  • Neal’s Yard. This hidden gem is buried in the heart of London, a few steps away from Coven Garden. If you’re looking for an “Instagrammable” place, then grab a coffee from the local coffee shop and head to this colourful courtyard. Find out more here.
  • Tate Modern. Modern art might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’re guaranteed to find at least one piece you will like in Tate Modern. And even if you’re not into the art, the museum is located in one of the most vibrant areas in London, connected to the world-famous St Paul’s Cathedral by the “wobbly bridge” (Millennium Bridge). Entrance to the Tate Modern is free, find out more here.
  • Ministry of Sound launch party. The best way to start your student nightlife journey in London is by signing up to fresher week festival – with over 35 events, there is something for everyone. Ministry of Sound is one of the most popular ones, you can find out more here.

Student discounts

Last but not least, the best part of being a student is snagging some incredible deals and discounts!

The best way to get your hands-on exclusive discounts is by using sites like Unidays and Student Bean. Just make sure to always have your student card with you as you might be denied the discounted prices without this. You will find discounts for pretty much anything – from retail stores, restaurants and bars to tourism attractions and museum exhibitions.

If you need a storage unit – during term-time or for the holidays – visit one of our London self-storage branches with your student ID and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help you. At Vanguard, we service Manchester, Bristol and London, with six locations in the city: West London, East London, Central London, Victoria, Soho and Staples Corner.

London has plenty to offer, especially to students. So, while you’re focusing on your studies, make sure to save some time to explore the city and get lost in it for a few hours every now and then!