General information about the major London attractions
Visit some great UK destinations in your free time
Useful information for students in London
Find out more information about getting around London
Studying in London
Being a student in London can be a rewarding and stimulating experience. It is important that you are aware of regulations related to your student status, and also the discounts and benefits that may be available to you.
Below you can read some information and you'll find even more in our helpful 'Before you arrive' guide: Before You Arrive (PDF document for download).
Passports & visas
Please make sure that your passport is valid for the full duration of your stay and that you have a visa (if you need one) prior to your travel date. When you arrive in the UK, immigration officers may try to check that you are a serious student and may check your documentation carefully. In particular they will want to check that you have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay and that you do not want to work.
Make sure you have all your documentation with you on arrival, including your Certificate of Enrolment and any accommodation details you have received from Hampstead School.
For more details on visa requirements and to find out if you are a visa national, please visit www.ukvisas.gov.uk.
Money & cost of living
Living in London can be expensive, but there are plenty of things to do that are free or low-cost. Here are some general guidelines for the cost of living in London, although prices can vary widely.
|Food & Drink||Estimated Cost|
|Full meal in a restaurant||£15.00 - £60.00|
|Lunch in a cafe/takeaway||£3.00 - £7.00|
|Cup of tea/coffee||£1.00|
|Pint of beer||£2.70|
|Glass of wine||£3.00|
|Cinema ticket||£7.00 - £12.00|
|Theatre ticket||£25.00 - £45.00|
|Exhibitions/Galleries||£5.00 - £15.00|
|Nightclub||Free - £30.00|
Please see our Social Programme for more details and for assistance booking any events you are interested in.
Banks are open Monday - Friday 09.30 - 16.30 and some branches are also open on Saturday mornings. If you are here for six months or more and would like to open a bank account, please ask anyone in the office for a letter from the school proving evidence that you are studying here. To receive a letter you will be required to provide evidence of your address in London (for example a tenancy agreement or contract) and your home country address.
If you have a credit card or bankcard from your country that has a ‘Cirrus’ or ‘Maestro’ symbol, you will be able to withdraw money from cash points in London from your home account. You should check with your bank or credit card company to find out if you will be charged for this service. Most banks will add a surcharge to your transaction if you use the cash point in a foreign country.
Medical advice & insurance
If you need urgent medical attention you can visit the Accident & Emergency department of any hospital for free treatment. Our nearest hospital is the Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, Hampstead, London NW3 2QG, tel: 0207 794 0500.
If you need less urgent medical treatment you will need to find a local practice close to your accommodation or you may prefer to visit a walk-in centre where you do not need to make an appointment. Visit http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/ or call 0845 4647 for a full list of doctors in your area and for further advice.
We strongly recommend that you take out private medical insurance before you arrive in the UK. Depending on your nationality, you may have to pay for medical treatment and it is advisable to be prepared for this eventuality.
Travel insurance is provided as part of the 2012 ELC Hampstead School of English fees. For full details please discuss with the staff member upon booking prior to booking confirmation or email us at: .
Communication & contacting home
There is one payphone in the school which accepts phone cards only. Phone cards are available from the shop nearby.
All international calls begin with 00, then the country code. To call abroad with reverse charges please dial 155.
It is a good idea to bring a mobile phone with you. You should only need to buy a SIM Card to use your phone in London, or you can buy a 'pay-as-you-go' mobile phone for use in the UK. You can buy these products from any registered dealer such as Vodafone or Carphone Warehouse, which is near the school (529 Finchley Road). You can purchase top-up cards at any local newsagent, phone shop, or at the Post Office.