We can all agree that Imperial has great neighbours. On the same street, you find some of the most stunning museums of London: Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Science Museum, all of which are free to enter.
Natural History Museum
If you love nature, animals and science, you cannot miss the Natural History Museum. You’ll be impressed viewing their dinosaurs or experiencing an earthquake simulation in a Japanese store.
Last Friday after class, I visited the NHM as it was hosting a special evening event about the Blue Planet II TV show. I’m a huge fan of this BBC series that manages to capture the wildlife in the planet’s oceans with the latest technologies and innovative filming methods.
London, known to many as “The Big Smoke” has historically, and still today, been synonymous with air pollution, traffic jams and intense urban hustle and bustle. BUT, there is another side to the city – its “greener” side. London, despite the nicknames and assumptions, actually boasts 8 Royal Parks and countless smaller green spaces. So, if you need an escape from city life – the parks are a perfect saviour!
In my opinion, probably one of the best known parks in London for multiple reasons. Found in the Paddington area, this park is HUGE – 142 hectares to be exact.
It’s holiday season, Christmas lights everywhere, happy wishes in every corner, warmth and love in every single person around and for most students time to go home.
So, since I am just like most students, I partied to celebrate the end of term, and then partied again because it’s Christmas. Which led to a few very productive days of hangover doing absolutely nothing but Netflix – like you should. With all the partying and it’s consequences checked off my to do list, it’s time to catch a flight (right after doing laundry, miracles may happen but that’s just in Easter, right now your cloths won’t wash themselves).
Living in Halls
I present to you- Woodward (WW) a.k.a #DiamondofImperial a.k.a Alaska (because it’s low-key a trek from campus).
In case you aren’t sure how it works, all first year undergrad students are guaranteed a place for accommodation as long as they accept Imperial as their firm. I received an invitation to apply for accommodation in July- you get to choose 5 preferences but these are all ranked equally.
My halls consist of three blocks: B, C, and D (I’m not quite sure what happened to A). Block D is arguably the place to be- where the kitchens have panoramic views.
– 8 things that have gotten me through my first term
After ten weeks of lectures, problem sheets, weekly tests and repeat, with the odd excitement of computing coursework, I am wondering how I made it through this term without getting too exhausted of the cycle! As much as I love the struggle of finding “the largest number of chicken nuggets it is impossible to buy, when they come in boxes of 6,9 and 20” (real question!!), sometimes you do find yourself drowning in work and you need a break, to relax and clear your mind in order to improve your focus for when you do sit down to work again.
I’m sure that your English is fluent enough for you to study in the UK (if you aren’t confident, take a look at my post about studying in English). I’m also sure that you’re able to communicate with international students withouth any problems. But do you understand what locals, i.e. English people really mean? It took me a while (and a few awkward situations), so here are a few surprising things Brits say.
- How are you? You’ll hear this question dozens of times every day. In the beginning I thought: “wow, these Brits are so nice, they really care about me”.
Let’s face it: living in London is expensive. It might sound scary, especially that for some of you the first year of the university will be also the first year when you have to be fully responsible for your finances. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here are my survival tips.
- Find a good accommodation. This is the key, since paying rent will be your biggest expense. Remember that you’ll also need to cover bills – and you might underestimate how high they’ll probably be. Having said that, I must stress: don’t go for the cheapest option. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Did you get accepted to Imperial College? Congratulations! Now it’s time for the real challenge – finding a place to live in London. Something nice, clean, quiet and close to the campus.
Well, unless you’re a millionaire, I don’t think such a place exists. If you’re based at South Kensington campus, you probably won’t be able to afford living close to the college, since its neighbourhood is one of the most expensive parts of London. The only exception: student halls, which are offered only to undergraduates, so not for me L But worry not, you aren’t doomed! Everyone finds a place, sooner or later.
You decided to cycle in London. Good choice! The benefits of commuting to the uni by bike are countless. Let me list just a few.
- You save money. Plenty of money! Assume, optimistically, that you live in zone 1 or 2 (i.e., in the centre or quite close). Then the monthly travelcard will cost you £126.80. For this amount of money you could buy a decent new bike, a second-hand one would be even cheaper. So the bike will pay off in just a month, maximum two, if you decide on a fancy one! Do I still need to persuade you that it’s worth it?