We hope you are feeling excited about your upcoming arrival to the UK! We realize there is a lot to think about when preparing for your departure, which is why we've compiled a list of tips that will help you get organised and figure out what is important to prioritize before you go.
Anything you need or might need, can be bought in the UK. This is particularly important to note with regards to bulky items, such as bedding, towels and the like. Allow yourself more room in your suitcase and buy these after you arrive.
Also, remember that voltages are different here so unless you don't mind destroying your hair dryers or straighteners, then leave them at home! We will show you the best places to purchase cheap ones, and you can always split the cost with your roommates.
Pack the essentials in your carry on - a spare outfit, travel-sized toiletries, phone charger, money, and any medication you need. Any personal or expensive items that will fit and are allowed should also go in there. That way, in case your luggage is lost or takes a while to find its way back to you, you’ll have what you need the first couple of days.
Understand your credit card/bank international charges and fees before you depart and tell your bank that you will be abroad so they don't freeze your account. It's always good to have some cash on you when you arrive, but don't exchange all of your money at the airport as they charge higher exchange rates! You can get much better rates by withdrawing cash straight from ATMs.
It's also important to keep in mind that your first few days abroad will be expensive - you will be purchasing toiletries, bedding and stationary as well as eating out more often. Make sure to budget more money for yourself the first two weeks while you're settling in and that way you won't be surprised by your bank balance! You should also check out our budgeting tips that we've put together just for you!
The information we deliver at orientation will be very useful, especially in the early stages when you're trying to find your way around. Plus, we will cover everything you need to know, from academics in the UK to booking the cheapest flight to Paris!
We know you will be jet-lagged but try your best to stay awake, pay attention, and take notes. Trust us, it will be worth it in the long run!
Getting around a new city can be daunting at the best of times. Citymapper is a brilliant app that shows you the best way to get around, on all modes of transport. It even tells you how much each journey costs so you can keep an eye on your budget.
The Facebook Group is the best way to stay connected to other students and what's happening around the London Center. Staff will be posting updates in the group as well, so be sure to keep an eye on your notifications!
Arcadia staff are here to support you with whatever you need. Don't be afraid to ask for advice directly, we are always happy to help!
We look forward to meeting you in a couple weeks. Safe travels to London!