Welcome to LSBU FoundationCampus
Student life in London
London is home to more international students than any other city in the world. Every year, 90,000 people come from over 200 countries to study and experience the culture, the history and the spirit of one of the world’s greatest cities.
Just a short bus or tube journey from the very centre of London, LSBU students benefit from being close to city without the high costs. Located in the Borough of Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames, there is a wealth of museums, galleries, parks, libraries, restaurants, bars and clubs right on the university’s doorstep.
London Culture: The South Bank
The South Bank area is the capital’s artistic hub. Many of London’s most important cultural institutions are packed into this small area, making it an essential visit for anyone with an interest in the theatre and the arts.
Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern is Britain’s national museum of international modern art. Each year, more than 5 million visitors visit the vast gallery to view some of the most famous (and bizarre) artworks in the world.
The South Bank Centre is a vast complex of artistic buildings, situated opposite the Houses of Parliament. Containing three separate arts venues (the Royal Festival Hall, The Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery) over a 21 acre campus, the South Bank is Europe’s largest centre for the arts and holds over 1200 events a year, 300 of which are free of charge.
Just next to the South Bank is the Royal National Theatre, a controversial building designed by Sir Denys Lasdun containing three large theatres. The ‘National’ holds a vast selection of different plays and performances throughout the year, including open air productions during the summer months.
London Culture: Other Areas of London
London is home to over 200 museums, twice as many as New York. Many of these are located amongst the squares and gardens of South Kensington, but many more are distributed throughout Central London and the surrounding areas.
Many of the best London museums and galleries are free to visit; here are some of the best:
- The British Museum – one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in the world, with collections numbering 7 million objects, “illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present.” The British Museum is so vast that it is impossible to tour in its entirety in just one day.
- The National Gallery – is Britain’s main national gallery, containing 2300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900 with an encyclopaedic scope – covering all major artistic movements “from Giotto to Cézanne.” Similarly the National Portrait Gallery contains 10,000 portraits of important British citizens.
- The British Library – One of the largest libraries in the world, containing one copy of every book published in the United Kingdom, totally over 150 million items, including examples dating back to 300BC. Each year the library installs. It is an essential port of call for any student in London.
- The Victoria and Albert Museum – is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a vast collection of 4.5 million objects in 12.5 acres of gallery space, within an elegant and sprawling building whose architecture is as varied and interesting as its contents.
- The Science Museum – formed by a member of the Royal Society of Arts in 1857, the museum now contains over 300,000 items covering the history of science in Britain, including Stephenson’s Rocket, the first jet engine and an IMAX 3D cinema.
- The Natural History Museum – contains over 70 million items within five collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology, including original specimens collected by Darwin.
Being such as cosmopolitan city, almost every type of cuisine from any country is represented in London.
There is a huge choice of restaurants throughout the city catering for every diet, taste and budget, from fast food chains, pubs, buffet restaurants and some of the most exclusive restaurants in the world.
International students looking for more familiar food are usually able to find a taste of home in London. Foods from different nationalities tend to be found in clusters along with their ex-pat communities. For example:
- Chinatown in Soho for Chinese food
- Brick Lane in the East and Tooting in the south for Indian and Bangladeshi food
- Edgeware Road in Marylebone for Middle Eastern food.
For more information and reviews, visit: http://www.london-eating.co.uk/
London Nightlife: Clubbing and Bars
London nightlife is legendary. There are literally thousands of pubs, clubs and bars to choose from.
Generally, Central London venues are more pricey (especially those in the West End), but an increasing number of establishments are orientated towards students and a lower price bracket, especially the Wetherspoons and Scream chains.
Similarly, clubbing in London can be expensive for those unfamiliar with the best places to go. Many clubs will drop their prices during the week and clubs further away from the city centre and West End will be much cheaper.
Some of London’s biggest and most popular clubs include:
- Fabric – On Charterhouse Street, one of the UK’s biggest clubs, and arguably the world’s best dance music clubs.
- Ministry of Sound – next to the LSBU main campus. The UK’s first club dedicated to house music, hosting some of the most famous DJs in the world.
- Chinawhite – On Piccadilly Circus, a regular haunt of celebrities and football players, with a notoriously strict door policy.
- Pacha - Originating from Ibiza, Spain, this club brings some of the World's top DJ talent to London.
London Nightlife: Live Music
London is famed for its live music scene, with everyone from up-and-coming, unsigned bands and world famous musicians playing every night of the week.
The O2 Arena near the docklands is London’s largest music venue. Housed in the former Millennium Dome, along with restaurants, bars, cinema complex, museum and nightclub, the O2 plays host to some of the best known performers in the world, with recent star including Coldplay, Britney Spears, Madonna and Kanye West and is easily accessible by bus, car, tube, train or boat.
Those seeking a more sedate location for a night out are similarly spoiled for choice. London is home to some fantastic orchestras and ballet and opera companies.
Popular venues include the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in the Southbank Centre, The Royal Opera House, The Barbican Centre and the Royal Albert Hall, where the proms take place each summer.
An unusual alternative is a visit to the Globe Theatre on the South Bank. This authentic recreation of Shakespeare’s original theatre allows visitors to experience one of his plays in an open air setting.
Visit www.timeout.com/london for up-to-date entertainment listings in London.
From £60,000 jewel-encrusted shoes in Harrods to second hand books and furniture at Portobello Road market, London is a shopaholic’s dream.
The centre of the city’s retail industry is located around Oxford Street, with the highest concentration of shops in Europe. Visit New Bond Street for luxury brands and high fashion, Regents Street for more individual stores and Tottenham Court Road for electrical and high-tech items.
The new Westfield Shopping Centre (within easy reach of LSBU by bus or tube) is London’s newest shopping area and Europe’s largest in-city shopping centre. The centre, between Kensington and Shepherd’s Bush, contains 265 stores, a 16-screen multiplex cinema, gym and library.
Closer to LSBU itself, the Elephant and Castle shopping centre is a controversial building, but home to a great range of cheap and cheerful shops and restaurants, perfect for budget-conscious students. The centre also contains and bowling centre and outdoor market.
Being the UK’s main transport hub, London is extremely well-served by all forms of transport.
Thousands of buses, trains and ‘tubes’ (underground trains) run day and night, 364 days of the year. Students in London are well advised to get an oyster card (a discounted pre-pay system for London buses, tubes and most local over-ground services,) especially as students receive an additional 30% discount on fares.
The closest tube station to LSBU is ‘Elephant and Castle’ and the area is well covered by several day and night buses.
Travelling further afield is just as easy. All UK mainline railways begin or terminate in London and the city is served by hundreds of other regional services.
The five London airports connect the city to the rest of the world, including Heathrow to the west which is the World’s busiest airport by international passenger numbers, with 170 destinations from 90 airlines.
Stansted, Luton and Gatwick airports mainly cater to the low-frills airlines, providing cheap flights to destinations all over Europe and Northern Africa.