Ah, the North-South divide. We hear a lot in the news about the differences in lifestyle in different parts of the country, but how does this affect students? Are students in London as cash poor as we think and do Northern students splash the cash? Student Life Guide spoke to London students and Northern students to get the lowdown. Here’s what you need to know, but are too socially awkward to ask:
Travel costs more in London
Becca, a student at the University College London said “I buy a monthly travel card which covers all my nightly excursions, about £120 a month.” Despite Mayor of London Sadiq Khan pledging to freeze tube costs for Londoners, students can still expect to fork out a hefty sum for luxury of tube and bus travel round the capital. Compared to student Emily from the University of Derby, who walks everywhere- but has to pay up to £70 to return home to Hertfordshire once a term.
Northern nights out are cheaper (sorry Londoners)
Not surprisingly, according to our students, nights out up North work out pretty cheap. “I’d say I go out twice a week…I rarely spend more than £10 because doubles are £2” Emily says.
London nights out clubbing tend to be more pricey-partially because you have to pay to get into clubs, Imperial student Zak notes, but also because drinks are expensive. “I go out maybe once a week but spend £20 minimum.”
But….there’s more free things to do in London
“You’re never short of a free activity to do in London” LSE student Emma says. “There’s so many free museums and events on all the time, so I guess I save money when it comes to entertainment, because you can have a great day out pretty much for free.”
Although your rent is way more pricey sobs
With London renting prices becoming sky high in recent years, it’s no surprise that student rental costs are the higher in London than the rest of the United Kingdom.
The average student rent in private accommodation in London adds up to £250 per week, and although London students get a (slightly) higher maintenance grant than their Northern counterparts to account for the higher cost of living, some students still find their loan doesn’t cover both their rent and living costs. “Almost 100% of my loan goes on rent,” Zak adds. “Thankfully I’ve got some money from my parents.”
There’s loads of career opportunities in the capital
Many global businesses have their headquarters in London, and “as a student in London, there’s so many different opportunities careers-wise right on my doorstep” Becca says. “Now I’m looking for graduate jobs, I really appreciate not having to travel to other cities for interviews and selection days.” Over a quarter of graduates from UK universities end up moving to London six months after graduation- so being a student there, you’ve already got a head start.
So there you have it. There are pros and cons of each- but all the student we spoke to said they wouldn’t have their student experience any other way.