Don’t worry - you don’t have to. We’re here to help!
Like many cities London is a big and busy place. At first it may seem overwhelming or even scary trying to find your way around. But, like most things, after you go out there and experience it a few times it will become familiar. And before long you will be taking shortcuts to your favourite cafe, talking about Camden market vs Brick Lane and even giving other people directions. If you are ever in any doubt you can always talk to members of the Student Services. They will be able to help you find a map and can show you how to plan your journey.
Arnav is from India and studies Business, Finance and Management Foundation at Bellerbys London. He talked about he adapted to living in the UK capital city:
“In the start I didn’t know how to get around the city and I really didn’t know how the bus system worked here. The staff were kind enough to give me an Oyster card that everyone is using and show me how to get to places when I asked them. Even though it might be scary at first – because you might be leaving your home and your friends and whoever you have been staying with for so long – it’s a great experience because you get to see a part of the world, a different perspective on life, and a much broader, open-minded view on things that you wouldn’t have been able to see before. At the same time you get to experience the independent lifestyle to prepare you for college later on.”
The best way to get used to your surroundings is to take a short walk and explore the area around your accommodation. See where your nearest shop is, where the closest parks are and how far you are from public transport links such as a bus stop or underground station.
Once you are familiar with your local area you can start exploring more. Take a look at this map and see where Bellerbys is in relation to landmarks like Big Ben or Oxford Street.
It is also worth looking at an underground map and comparing it to a London street map. This way you can see where each station is located, and you can work out which station is best for the landmark you’re travelling to.
This website is a great resource and has a number of articles designed to help you find your way around london;
Visitlondon.com - Traveller Information
Here is a handy map that gives you the time it takes to walk between tube stops;
London tube map - with walking times
And here is a useful blog post that explains how to use the London underground;
How to use the London underground
Before you go out it is a good idea to check out some of these mobile applications. They are very useful and might help you out if you get lost;
London Official City Guide App
The Guardian - Useful apps to get around London
Going out in London with someone who knows the city well can be a useful way to help you settle in. Of course, if you need to be somewhere on time it is a good idea to plan your journey. But the best thing you can do is go out and explore. Embrace the fact that you are in a new city and there is so much to explore.