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 is some advice 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 these guides will help to answer yours.
- Getting started at City FAQs
- Making the most of your University email
- How to use Zoom guidance
- How to use Microsoft Teams guidance
Travelling to the UK – Quarantine (self-isolation)
Before you travel to the UK, you will need to complete a form online (electronically) with your contact details and journey information. You can find more information and the access the form here. When you arrive in the UK, you will be asked to provide this information.
Students from some countries will be asked to quarantine (self-isolate) when they arrive in the UK for the first 14 days. The full list of exempt countries is on the GOV.UK website. If you need to quarantine please use private car hire (if you can) to go to your destination; if you need to use public transport to transfer your nominated accommodation, please make sure you follow the latest guidance from TfL, including maintaining social distancing and wearing a face covering, unless you are exempt.
Before you arrive in London/ the UK
City'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.
- Please visit our accommodation pages for information about halls of residence.
- Alternatively you might like to find out more about private housing in London.
If you’ve not managed to find accommodation or are joining City through Clearing, we may have some rooms becoming available through early cancellations at our nominated halls. Please visit our hall availability page for more information or check the University of London Housing Services to find flats, houses and student halls.
Email and the internet provide cheap and easy ways to stay in touch. International students can obtain international phone cards to help keep costs low. Apps such as Signal, Telegram and What's App are popular free ways of texting and speaking with loved ones from abroad. For those who prefer letter-writing and sending cards, the postal system in the UK is quite reliable.
Your first term is often busy, and adapting to student life can sometimes mean that communication may not be as frequent as you would like. If your parents or guardians are worried and have not been in touch with you for some time, they can contact the University and we will pass a message on asking you to make contact with them.
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 or divulge any information about your enrollment status or your physical whereabouts. Whilst we appreciate that parents will have concerns about such things, they'll need to speak to you to find out this information. Should parents make these types of inquiries 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.
As you'll likely have heard, the UK's climate is moderate, but the weather is often changeable and difficult to predict, so make sure you bring clothing for all weather. 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 which you can download for free.
Before you start at City
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
The Student Adviser Team in the Student Centre can help you obtain a status letter for opening a bank account. Further information on Student Bank accounts can also be found online.
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 Clerkenwell 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).
City is committed to providing you with an excellent educational experience to help you to achieve your ambitions and fulfill your potential. Students and staff work together to achieve this, and we have set out not only what you can expect from City but also what City expects from you in our Student Charter.
Sign up for support
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.
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.
On campus and the local area
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.
In 2019 ranked as the 14th safest world city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit and it was ranked as the Top City in the World for Students. Still, 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. Make sure you're vigilant with your phones, wallets and other possessions, particularly in busy or crowded or touristy areas. Read the Metropolitan Police's guide on crime prevention.
At City, we have 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.
In terms of safety around Covid-19, the Tube gets disinfected every night and there are rules in place around social distancing and wearing a face covering on transport and in shops (unless you are exempt). At City, we're also putting measures in place to help our community stay safe, which you can read more about in our student statement.
We’re preparing our campus to welcome you back from the start of term to use study spaces and computers, where possible. The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors remains our top priority, and we are putting measures in place to comply with social distancing and hygiene regulations and keep everyone safe. You can find out more about how we're helping you stay safe and what we need you to do in our recent statement regarding student safety and Covid-19.
Your safety is important to us so please familiarise yourself with emergency arrangements at City.
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.
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.)
Bullying and Harassment
City takes all reports of bullying and harassment of students extremely seriously and has lots of support in place to help anyone who feels they have experienced it. You can find out more on the Student Hub.
Make the most of discounts
We all know that one of the perks of being a student is the discounts. Whether this is your first time in higher education or you’re returning for further study, you will definitely appreciate being able to save a few pounds. From travel to our favourite clothes shops, there is lots on offer.
As a student, you’re eligible for a discounted Oyster card. If you are still 18 in August, you can use a 16+ Oyster card for the first year of University. If you are 18 or over and are in full time education in London, you can use the 18+ Oyster. Find out more on the TfL website, or visit the Student Centre for further information. This include mature and postgraduate students, check the website for terms and conditions.
Good news –if you are studying for 15 hours or more per week for at least 20 weeks of the year, you are eligible for a railcard! Head to the National Rail website for more information. If you are over 25, you can now apply for the 26-30 Railcard.
Don’t let the names fool you - you can apply for a railcard, no matter your age, if you are studying full-time at a college or University for 15 hours or more a week for at least 20 weeks a year. Read the full eligibility criteria.
**The Student Centre can provide the University stamp needed to confirm your student status for Oyster cards and Railcards.
Whether you are new to London or a long-time resident, visiting the city’s galleries and exhibitions is great way to spend your time. The Student Art Pass can help get you started. It supports students to see art and culture by providing free or discounted entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses and 50% off major exhibitions. It can be used throughout the UK. Membership costs £5 a year. The discounted membership is available for a limited time only, keep an eye out for the next release in September.
The TOTUM card (formerly NUS extra) is a great scheme that can be can be used to access over 200 discounts. You can buy for the card, download the app or use it online with some retailers and can purchase the TOTUM card for 1, 2 or 3 years.
Unidays is a free student discount website which you can download as an app or use on your desktop.
This app and website is a free discount scheme which allows you access to discounts online and in-store.
Need a soundtrack for your studies? You can get 50% off when you verify your student discount with Spotify Student.
As a student you can get a 6-month free trial and discounted access to Amazon Prime, which allows you to get your Uni supplies delivered next-day or same-day in some areas. Prime Video and Amazon Music is also included in the membership.
Your university ID card can also earn you discounts in stores. Remember, some outlets will only accept some of the student discount cards and apps mentioned previously.
A final tip: if you are unsure whether a retailer offers discounts for students, just ask. If they don’t, the worst they can say is no.
Develop your skills
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.
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.
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.
City 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.