Getting started – the first days in London

Congratulations, you are in London! Don’t panic, we know that there are a lot of people and everything is quite overwhelming but if you follow a few easy steps you will find your way around London in no time!

First things first:

  • Install „Citymapper“ on your phone. This app will help you with public transport, directions and finding your way around London. Subscribing to Tfl to get the newest information on tube strikes and closures will prove itself helpful as well.
  • Go to the nearest rail station, get an Oyster card and a 16-25 Railcard, register your Oyster card online and combine them after concluding your first journey at a ticket machine with the help of a TfL staff member. The Railcard will set you back £30 pounds but especially if you’re staying in London for a longer period of time it’s well worth it. You can find more vital information on Transport in London in our next post!
  • If possible get a student card to get discounts.
  • Ask your organisation for a proof of address, take this to the nearest general practitioner(GP) to get an appointment to register with them.
  • Get an appointment at your chosen bank to open a bank account, take to your appointment your passport and the proof of address. If you have difficulties opening an account try a different branch of the same bank, bring a letter to the bank from your employer or try a different bank.
  • To be allowed to work here, you might have to call the National Insurance number application line and get an appointment. You probably have to spell out your name, so it might be helpful to write down all the information needed on a piece of paper beforehand.
    Telephone: 0345 600 0643
    Textphone: 0345 600 0644, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
  • Your organisation will tell you if you need a DBS and will help you with the application. They might need this in order to check your criminal record.
  • You might want to get a giffgaff SIM card for your phone, if you don’t have a credit card you can buy vouchers in any newsagent or corner shop.
  • Explore your neighbourhood and find the nearest tube stations, rail station, bus stops and supermarkets, pharmacy and stores which contain a chemist like Boots or Superdrug and Argos where you can get all sorts of things.

If you came this far and you’re still in London, you are on your way to becoming a real LONDONER!

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