Top Tips from our students

  • Research banks! This is especially important for international students. See Setting Up a Bank Account in the UK.  And don't underestimate how long it can take to set up a bank account and arrange money transfers at the start of the academic year. Ideally, try and get this sorted out before induction week, when everyone else will be trying to set up appointments with the bank!  And you'll need a bank account in order to set up internet access at home, unless you live in halls of residence.
  • The second hand book selection in Waterstones can be very useful, especially in the first few weeks of Michaelmas Term, when there are quite a lot of books on offer.
  • Go to the alumni-sponsored meet and greets. For American students especially, these events are held all over the country. I could have met some of my friends two months earlier if I had gone to the event held in Washington, DC. It's a huge help to know that you've met people who will be in the area - this knowledge will stem the insecurity and loneliness that can accompany the move to a new country. The pre-departure events in the US were excellent! I made friends at the Denver event and know several people that met at the LA event. Take advantage of those if they are available to you.
  • Shop around for "optional" courses. During the first two weeks of MT (Michelmas Term), sit in as many classes as you can in as many disciplines as you can - just keep in mind that some "options" are not open to Media students, especially in the very popular Government department. Your experience at LSE is what you make of it, so try to sign up for an interesting class that can supplement your study of the media. Many of my friends audited classes in Marketing and Social Psychology, and all reported that the theories and skills learned there benefited their Media coursework.
  • See London. It's very easy to get caught up in the logistics of settling in, so do take a day or two to 'be a tourist,' and visit St. Paul's on a weekday, stop in Borough Market on a Saturday, or take up a play any night at the National Theatre. London is a wonderful place to explore and there's truly something for everyone. It will also help reduce the stress of the first few hectic weeks at LSE.  But note that Borough Market's a semi-nightmare after 11am on Saturday! It's open Thursday and Friday as well.
  • BUDGET! London is an expensive place to live. Be aware that you will spend at least £10 - £15 on food daily. Take advantage of the cheaper food at LSE's Brunch Bowl or the many sandwich shops along Kingsway. Other major costs include: rent, transportation, mobile phone and internet. See the Student Services Centre pages.  
  • Preliminary reading lists are available in the Newsletter for New Students
  • The sooner you apply for your visa the better. You should allow at least a couple of months between when you apply and the start of term. To apply, visit the website of the British Embassy in your home country. Some information about student visas: Visa information for prospective students
  • If you have a good quality calculator, bring it with you for the MI451 statistics classes and exam. A "graphing calculator" is useful, but any calculator that has a square root function will be fine and don't worry too much, you can buy one in London!
  • Since many of the readings and lecture notes are online, you might want to buy a printer when you get to LSE. Four cents a page might not seem like much, but it adds up quickly and you might go through £150 - £200 of printing fees by the time the year is done. A £40 - £50 printer from Argos or Maplins might seem like a big payout upfront, but it will likely pay off.
  • Make sure to find out when the Michaelmas Term essays are due before you book your flight home for the holidays. You might want to come back early in January to work on essays, or stay home longer if your essays are due in December before the break.
  • Unless you're looking to travel or find a flat before school starts, there's no need to arrive in London very early. The induction ceremony is really the first event you need to attend, and "registration" only means that you pick up your ID card.
  • If you are not allocated accommodation through the LSE, the University of London offers a good website for finding private accommodation. The sooner you begin looking the better.  The LSE Accommodation site and the University of London site are good places to start. The University of London Accommodations website is a great place to  look for flatmates. Hundreds of students from all over London advertise on this page.
  • Your will find out who your Academic Adviser is at the start of term.  Your dissertation supervisor will be allocated based on the topic you choose to write. You will submit a proposal in the Lent Term, after which a supervisor will be found.  Don't stress about your dissertation topic until spring, but do consider keeping a notebook so you can write down your thoughts and ideas during Michaelmas Term.
  • You can work up to 20 hours a week as a student. It is not advisable to work too much during term time as your studies should be top priority.
    For more information visit the Student Services Centre pages. The page of Vacancies at LSE is a good place to start. Otherwise, The Guardian newspaper and the LSE Careers Service have good lists of job openings in London.
  • You do not need health insurance in the United Kingdom as the National Health Service provides tax funded health care to everyone. However, the quality of the services provided may not always meet your expectations. Private health insurance can be purchased, which generally ensures quicker service.  For more information visit the Student Services Centre pages.