So you’ve just moved to London or, maybe you’ve lived here for a while before deciding to pursue an MA or PhD. Either way, we would like to welcome you to our tight knit postgraduate school of artists and designers.
Be prepared for the best and most intense time of your life in one of the greatest cities in the world.
If you haven't already, download citymapper, it's a great way to find out the fastest and cheapest routes around town. The official transport website for London is TFL.
Cycling in London: it's great exercise; frequently faster than the tubes; inexpensive; and a growing passion among Londoners. Of course, it can be dangerous. Make sure you keep your bike serviced. We have bike pumps at each campus. Dr Bike's can be found across London. Dr Bike will pump up your tires and do any minor adjustments to keep your bike healthy for free. If you're looking to improve your confidence BIKEMINDED offer free training. If you don't have your own bike there are the TFL bikes and a few other companies that hire bikes here. You can borrow one of the Council's electric bikes by emailing email@example.com. If you're buying a bike, make sure it's not stollen, click here for tips. If you have a bike, get it registered & keep it locked up properly. You can also try before you bye from Peddle My Wheels.
Otherwise, one of the greatest perks of being a student is the Student Oystercard, where you can get huge discounts on travel. For example, the Adult Oystercard Zone 1-2 charges around £35 for a weekly unlimited travelcard, the Student Oystercard charges around £25. Sign up for your Oystercard here.
Railcards will save you money on overground trains. If you're travelling off peak you can get 1/3 off if you're 16-25, or 26-30. Click here for all the railcard options available.
Black cabs and Uber cabs are safe in London but remember to never get into an unlicensed cab. The city has been doing a campaign around this recently following the high rate of incidents.
We’ve heard that it can be distracting to work in the studios, that the library is small and doesn’t offer a huge selection, so we recommend:
Any of the many other university libraries that you can access through the SCONUL Access scheme. Goldsmiths library, or King’s College library, for example. You’ll just need to register for SCONUL, then complete a short registration form at the library you want to go to. We can recommend signing up to this. Even if you don’t need it now, you might need it later and it will be nice to have it done in advance.
Imperial College Central Library – A huge, 24 hour spaceship that can keep you studying through the night.
The British Library – The biggest library in the world, it's well worth a visit. Their collection of over 170 million items includes artefacts from every age of written civilisation.
Check out our sports clubs for 2019/2020. It's an easy and sociable way to keep healthy.
Our resident Yoga teacher Adrianna teaches Hatha yoga throughout the term. Email Adrianna.firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
We've already mentioned cycling and it's growing popularity in London. There are also great parks all across London where you'll find loads of people jogging and working out.
London also has lots of gyms and pools, ranging from budget gyms to super expensive. Most will offer a student discount and your local council will also have leisure centres with details of public tennis courts and all sorts.
National Health Service
We have a free health service. Take a moment to register at your local G.P. so if you do get ill you can make an appointment and get yourself sorted more easily. It shouldn't take too long.
You can also go to walk in clinics click here to find one.
You can also register with a NHS dentist - Not all treatment is free, even under the NHS. You may be able to apply for help with health costs, including prescriptions and dental care.
Sexual Health London (SHL) is London’s sexual health e-service that provides free and easy access to sexual health testing via the internet and local venues. It's really easy, you just order a testing kit and it's sent to your door within a few days. Did we mention it's free?
You will also find walk in clinics across the city. Contraception and condoms are free to both men and women from any GP or clinic. Click here to find your local clinic.
Food & Drink
You'll find loads of places to eat out in London - unfortunately it can be expensive... even eating in the RCA's canteen. You're very welcome to eat home prepared food in all college spaces (unless it states not to, like workshops!).
One of the cool things about living in the UK is the reduced deals at supermarkets on items about to expire – a small budget hack. As well as meal deals in supermarkets which will typically include a main, a snack and a drink for around £3.50. In Co-op with a Totum card you get 10% off.
Drinking... it's a well loved pastime here and it's worth carrying ID if you're buying. If you're lucky enough to look under 25 you'll likely be asked for ID... take it as a complement. Whilst you're here it’s worth tasting the many craft beers and ciders native to the UK. The Artbar (which will open again in September) stocks a few and it's cheaper than most bars in London!
If you’re an overseas student, you can work at the SU – or anywhere else, for up to 20 hours a week of your term time. If you’re interested in working for the RCASU then click here to find out more.
To work, you’ll need a National Insurance Number, which you can apply for here.
London Art & Design Events
Here are a few great events to connect with other artists, designers and to bump into RCA friends.
London Design Festival, 14 - 22 September 2019
Frieze Art Fair London, 3 - 6 October 2019
Art Licks Weekend, 17 - 20 October 2019
BFI Film Festival, 2 - 13 October 2019
Clerkenwell Design Week, 19 - 21 May 2020
Photo London, 14 - 17 May 2020
If you're into artists' film and moving image, you might want to subscribe to LUX's newsletter which sends a weekly & monthly email of what's going on.
See Saw is a pretty good app that lists exhibitions. There's also Time Out and What's on to browse through too.