Prepare to start

Whether you are moving town, moving country, or staying in London, use the time before you arrive to prepare for university life.

Here are some tips on how to take care of some vital things before you start at City, in order to make the most of your time here.

Top tips from our current students

Welcome to City! We are a team of current students who have put together these handy documents to help you settle in at City. We remember how many questions we had at the start of our courses, so we hope this page will help to answer yours.

Arrange your accommodation in London

nullCity's Accommodation Service offers a range of safe, modern and comfortable accommodation which is located close to the City, University of London campus. Study areas and cooking facilities are provided and single-sex accommodation is available if requested early.

If you are coming to City, University of London as a result of gaining a place on a course through Clearing, you will usually need to secure accommodation in the private sector, as City's halls of residence will most likely be fully let by that time.

Open a bank account

Whether you are opening a bank account in the UK for the first time, or you're looking to transfer an existing account to a student account, you should shop around to make sure you get the best deal that suits your needs. When choosing, remember to check:

  • The amount of interest-free overdraft that's available
  • If they offer a credit card and what the charges are for it
  • How much the interest rate is for additional authorised borrowing

For more information, read our guide to student banking.

Access the support for care leavers

There is a range of support available specifically for care leavers at City. This includes additional financial support and bursaries, special accommodation arrangements and guaranteed access to the Buddy Scheme.

Read more about support for care leavers

Get a Student travelcard

nullMost full-time students are eligible for a discounted Oyster Travelcard (TfL's terms and conditions apply*).This is how:

  • You apply online for your Oyster Photocard once you have completed your in-person registration at City. Please note that your application cannot be approved until you have registered in person.
  • You should receive your Oyster Photocard within 7 days of applying online if you have already registered on your course. If you have not received your Oyster Photocard within that time, or you applied for it before you registered on your course, please contact the Student Centre so that we can check the status of your online application.

*To find out if you are eligible for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard and to apply online, please visit Transport for London.

Order an NUS card for student discounts

nullThe NUS Extra card brings a range of benefits for students and, at only £12 per year, it is well worth applying for. Cardholders get access to a range of specially negotiated discounts, offers and competitions. These are with companies like Amazon, Ticketmaster, Spotify, Subway, Topshop, ASOS, Apple and many more.

For an additional small fee, your NUS Extra card can also double as an International Student Identity Card. So you can use it to get special offers and discounts when you're travelling abroad in over 100 countries.

Find out more and apply through the NUS website.

Register with a doctor

It is very important that you are registered with a local GP (family doctor) during your time in London.  If your former GP’s practice is outside London he/she will not be in a position to offer you emergency home visits.

The GP practice with close links to City, University of London is:

The Clerkenwel Medical Practice, Finsbury Health Centre, 17 Pine Street, London EC1R 0LP, Tel: +44 (0)20 7833 5906

If you wish to register with the Clerkenwell Practice, please complete the online registration form.

To find out more download the student health information flyer (PDF).

Find out where to practice your faith

The Chaplaincy Team at City, University of London offers a welcome to every faith, belief and culture.

They provide a range of different services, such as:

  • Faith support
  • Information on local religious communities
  • General pastoral care
  • Interfaith dialogue resources
  • Bereavement advice

The Chaplaincy team includes: The Chaplaincy Coordinator, Imam and five Honorary Assistant Chaplains.

Is the chaplaincy for everyone?

Yes, the service is provided to everyone regardless of their beliefs. The chaplaincy will provide general support for anyone in need and be a "listening ear". The chaplains are available to everyone and you can ask to talk to any of the team.

How does the Institution support my religious practice?

New for the coming academic year is ‘City Faith Centre’, a brand new suite of rooms comprising a Multi-Faith room, a Quiet Reflection Lounge and dedicated Muslim prayer rooms complete with ablution facilities for male and female students. Details of the rooms and opening times are available on our Faith section.

Friday Prayers for Muslim students and staff are led by our University Imam and other members of the University Community in the Great Hall

For further details contact the Chaplaincy Coordinator:

Download the Callmy app to receive Institution information

At City, we take your personal welfare and security very seriously. We are fortunate enough to operate in a very safe environment; however, on occasion we will want to communicate important information with you that may affect your experience at City, such as building closures, transport issues or other emergencies.

City has invested in 'Callmy', an emergency messaging service to achieve this. It is essential that you download and install the Callmy app to ensure that you receive emergency information.

To download the Callmy app:

  1. Visit the iOS, Android or Windows 8 app store
  2. Search 'Callmy' and download the app
  3. Follow 'City, University of London' using the Callmy ID: CUL243.

If you have any issues using the app, please contact the Security team on 020 7040 3170.

Read our Student Charter

City is committed to providing you with an excellent educational experience to enable you to realise your ambitions and fulfil your potential. Staff and students work together to achieve this aim and this defines not only what you can expect from City but also what City expects from you. Read our Student Charter.

Kick-start your career as a future entrepreneur

If you are interested in enterprise and entrepreneurship and want to start the next big thing, or find work experience and internship opportunities with London's most exciting and dynamic start-up companies, then we are here to help.

The CityStarters team support the 'can do' culture of innovation at City by teaching, training and inspiring the next generation of student entrepreneurs.

Visit the CityStarters website to find out more about all the entrepreneurial activities, seminars, competitions and networking events happening at City and sign-up to meet like-minded students and successful entrepreneurs from London's thriving start-up community.

Safety in London

It is natural to be concerned about safety in a capital city and just like any large city, London has a diverse mix of areas, some of which are considered safer than others. Overall, we would recommend that anyone living in a capital city is aware of their own personal safety.

City has a team of security staff on campus and the City halls of residence have staff on-call 24 hours to deal with emergency situations and security matters.

Read the Metropolitan Police's guide on crime prevention.

Health and Safety at City

Your safety is important to us so please familiarise yourself with emergency arrangements at City.

Emergency Number

You can get help in the event of an emergency by calling the following numbers:

  • Internal phone: 3333
  • Mobile: 0207040 3333


If you discover a fire, you must:

  • raise the alarm using the nearest fire alarm call point
  • call the emergency number so they can investigate and alert emergency services
  • evacuate the building using the nearest fire exit and report to the assembly point as directed by the fire wardens

On hearing a continuous alarm you must:

  • Evacuate the building as quickly as possible, using the nearest safe exit.
  • Do not use lifts
  • Ensure that staff/students/visitors who need assistance or are disabled are escorted to a Refuge Area to await arrival of emergency services
  • Report to the Fire Warden at your designated assembly point
  • Do not re-enter the building or leave the assembly point until advised by Security that you can do so

If you are likely to need assistance to evacuate in the event of a fire or other emergency please make this known to your School/Department at the time that you join the Institution. You will be asked to contribute to a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) that will apply in your place of study.

First aid

If you have an accident you can get help from a first aider by calling the emergency number who will call the nearest first aider to you.

In the event of a serious injury or illness call the emergency number and security can call for an ambulance. Be prepared to give the nature of the accident/injury; the condition of the casualty; your exact location (including building name, floor, room number etc.)

See more information about Health and Safety at City University.

Prepare to go Green

nullCity is nationally recognised for its environmental achievements, and was awarded a First Class Award in the People & Planet University League 2015, the UK's only comprehensive and independent green ranking of universities. City ranks 5th in the country and 1st amongst London universities.

If you are interested in making a positive impact on your institution and the local community, then consider joining City's Sustainability Leader programme. This programme gives you the chance to work alongside City’s Sustainability Team to deliver fun and engaging activities and events which raise awareness on sustainability at City and beyond. Training and support is included and you will have an opportunity to network with like-minded people while boosting your employability skills.

Learn more about City's ongoing sustainability projects

Keep in touch with home

nullEmail and the internet provide cheap and easy ways to stay in touch and international students can obtain international phone cards to help keep costs low.

The postal system in UK is reliable, so if you prefer to write letters, this is another option. If parents or guardians are worried and have not been in touch with you for some time, they can contact the Institution and we will pass a message on asking you to make contact with them. It is quite common for new students to be busy with their studies, perhaps working part-time and involved with clubs, sports and socialising in their first term at City. Adapting to student life can sometimes mean that communication may not be as frequent as you would like.

Please be aware that due to the Data Protection Act in the UK University staff are not permitted to discuss with parents and guardians any aspect of your academic progress or attendance at the Institution. Neither can staff divulge any information about your enrolment status or your physical whereabouts. Whilst we appreciate that parents will have concerns about such things, it is only from you that they will be able to obtain this information. Should parents make these types of enquiries with the University, then staff will only be able to pass a message on to you and ask that you get in contact with them.

Familiarise yourself with London weather

The UK's climate is moderate. The weather is however often changeable and difficult to predict. It is advisable for students to have clothing for a variety of conditions. The coldest months tend to be November through to February and warm clothing is needed for these months of the year.

The Met Office is the authority on meteorology in the UK and have a popular weather app downloadable for free.

Get a CityBuddy Mentor

A CityBuddy is a second or third year student on your course who will mentor you during your first term. They will guide you around campus, answer any questions you may have about starting at City and provide a valuable insight into studying on your course.

To find out more and apply for a mentor, please visit the CityBuddy website.

Learn about activities that fit alongside your studies

University is about much more than getting a degree. Here at City, you can get the skills, contacts and experience that will help you succeed when you leave.

Experience City is your gateway to becoming the ‘complete graduate’. From mentoring and paid work to volunteering and networking opportunities, it’s your fast track to valuable and enjoyable activities.

Visit Experience City to see everything you can get involved with.

Learn how to gain the City Employability Award

The City Employability Award has been designed to boost your employability and help you stand out to employers throughout the job application process.

Discover more about the City Employability Award.