The UK capital is a multicultural hub that welcomes a diverse community of English language learners all year round. With a student population from all corners of the globe, you'll find yourself surrounded by numerous opportunities to practise English with people from various backgrounds.
In this blog post, we break down the price differences when learning English at a British Council certified language school in London. We also explore different student accommodation options and examine living costs, including meals, commuting fees, excursions, and leisure activities. Join us as we provide a comprehensive list of expenses that will assist you in making an informed decision about your study abroad trip to London.
London is a popular destination for international students, offering a wide range of language courses at a variety of price points. Our table shows a breakdown of the average cost for a high quality General English language programme in London from a school which is certified by British Council and is a member of industry associations that regulate quality.
Choosing an English language course in London can be an exciting and enriching experience. We suggest you make a comprehensive list of points to crosscheck, as it involves careful consideration of many factors such as:
Once you've decided on the type of English language course that suits your needs, the next step is finding a comfortable place to stay. Most English language schools in the UK provide various accommodation options, including residence living and homestay arrangements.
A homestay is when you live with a local family, and they provide you with accommodation and meals. Homestay packages typically offer half-board (includes breakfast and dinner). Full board catering for all meals is often not available in homestay accommodation, and homestay students might not be able to use the kitchen facilities all the time.
Your homestay family could be of any age and the parents might have other children, too.
When you stay in a homestay, you will:
Vocabulary tip: What is a curfew?
If you are an “under 18 student”, you have a curfew for returning home. A curfew is a rule when you need to return back to your homestay family between particular times, usually in the evenings.
Student residences offer English learners the privacy of their own bedrooms (but often with shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities) while also providing shared spaces for socialising. Some English schools arrange private apartments with shared facilities within walking distance of the school.
SCL International College campuses offer a wide range of benefits including:
If you do decide to stay in a hotel room, be sure to choose one that is located in a safe and convenient neighbourhood with good transport links. You may also want to consider a hotel that offers discounts to students, if you can find one.
Staying in a hotel room can be:
Airbnb is a popular option for travellers because it can be more affordable than hotels and it offers a more unique and authentic experience.
Some points to keep in mind include:
As you can see, London offers alternative housing options, such as booking a hotel or finding an Airbnb, living with a family in a homestay or staying in a student accommodation. We've captured the average costs in the accompanying chart to help you see which option will be the most suitable arrangement for you. Please note that sometimes you will also need to pay an accommodation booking fee, but not with SCL.
With regards to travel costs, if you don't live at an SCL campus, you might have to factor in the daily travel expenses related to commuting to and from your accommodation. For additional details about travel fares, please refer to: www.tfl.gov.uk.
Accommodation tips: When you search for your ideal accommodation, remember to ask questions like:
These questions are extremely important because costs can pile up fast. Here at SCL, we've gone the extra mile to create campuses prioritising students' needs. Our residential schools boast fantastic facilities with classrooms and accommodation under one roof. This means you can save time and avoid additional expenses during your London study abroad trip.
Beyond the room price, your total accommodation costs in London will include several other factors such as food or facilities.
Free facilities such as those offered at SCL (cinema rooms, a gym, social hub, and designated study spaces) are not always possible in homestay accommodation or other shared residences.
At SCL International College, you can enjoy a wide variety of free amenities, such as those shown below.
Figuring out what to eat between classes can be stressful, especially if you're new to London. But don't worry! There are plenty of options available, depending on your budget and personal preferences.
If you want to save money and time, you can add catering to your booking with us. This means that you can enjoy meals on campus, so you don't have to worry about cooking or going out to eat.
Of course, since you live on campus when you study at SCL International College, you can also nip up to your room and grab some food from your kitchenette any time.
If you choose to stay at an Airbnb or hotel, chances are, you will need to bring a packed lunch to school with you every day or eat out, which can add to your budget. Whereas if you stay on site at SCL, you can pop up to your room any time for a quick bite or keep food in your kitchenette so you dont need to worry about preparing something every morning and then carrying it around with you all day.
Plus, you have a lot of flexibility. If you purchase a half board package in a homestay, for example, you will need to return home every night for dinner at a certain time. This means you can't eat out with friends or change your plans whenever you like (otherwise you'd end up paying for dinner twice).
One of the best things about travelling to a new country is trying the local food. Many SCL students who come to London enjoy dining out together. One popular spot for our students is the nearby Camden Market, which has a wide variety of food stalls selling everything from pizza to sushi to Indian food.
Tip: Dining out in London can be a bit expensive, but there are ways to save money. For example, you can eat at less expensive cafes or fast food restaurants.
You can also look for SCL student discounts on meals, such as those offered by our sister company The Stay Club. As an SCL student, you automatically can take advantage of these benefits and get discounts all across London on food, drinks, nights out, salons, gyms, storage space and more! When you stay with us, we take great care of you!
The UK capital is a city full of life and excitement, with something to offer everyone. Whether you're interested in sightseeing, dining out, or exercising, there are endless possibilities.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices, so it's a good idea to make a bucket list of the places you want to visit before you come to the UK.
Tips to help you explore London for free:
If you’re visiting London and studying here for more than a week, you will have time to explore beyond the capital city. SCL International College helps make this easy and affordable by organising day trips to nearby towns like Brighton and Cambridge.
Luckily, there are free green spaces and free royal parks all over the city, so you can always find a place to go for a walk or run (e.g. Regent’s Park or Hyde Park). You can also enjoy a bike ride any time and cruise along the Thames River Path on a city bike that you can pick up and drop off at loads of bike stations dotted across the city.
Fun Fact: London is a city full of parks: 47% of the city is green space.
And if you prefer to exercise indoors, there are many gyms and fitness studios to choose from, however, they can be pricey. Luckily, SCL students can use their student ID card to access our partner perks, but please check the terms, as different T&Cs apply. Or better yet, visit our very own SCL Gym on campus, which is no charge for our students!
Now let's put the entire picture together so you have an idea of the average cost you will spend on your studies, accommodation, and leisure time when coming to London as an international student.
Below is a quick example of what is included in your final costs as an international student enrolling in our English language programme in London.
Plus, you get loads of discounts thanks to your Stay Club membership, and all of the following are free of charge:
You might like to include some additional cost estimates for souvenirs and other shopping, sightseeing or dining out, which vary depending on personal preferences and budget.
We hope you enjoyed our London study trip pricing guide and gained some helpful insights to launch your own journey! If you'd like to connect with our English course programme advisors, feel free to reach out by sending an email to email@example.com or by filling out our inquiry form to request a callback.
And remember to become a part of our thriving online student community on Instagram. Join us today!
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