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Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad in London
London is CAPA International Education’s most popular student destination. Here are our top 10 reasons why:

1. DIVERSITY. You’ll find yourself surrounded by diversity of all kinds. Diversity in religions, in ethnicity, in sexual orientation, political view, class, nationality. There are over 300 languages spoken in this city and a fantastic 50+ communities (represented by more than 10,000 people each) who come from countries other than the UK residing in London. This is celebrated by all sorts of events you can get involved in and apparent in everyday life as well as in the food, clothing and other real canada goose montebello arctic frost sold in shops around the city.

2. FREE STUFF. Maybe not “stuff” as much as experiences (although you will find people handing out free stuff from time to time as well). Most of London’s best museums and art galleries have free entry (and a lot of these are just a five minute walk from CAPA!). Saatchi Gallery, the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria & Albert, the Halcyon Gallery, Tate Modern, Horniman Museum and Gardens, Brick Lane Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and Tate Britain, to name but a few. Also free: Markets (see below), Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, parks galore (a few to check out: Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park, Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park, Richmond Park) and what could be better than a beautiful walk along the Thames on London’s famous South Bank?
Here’s a list of 20 more ideas from Lonely Planet.

Photo: Tate Modern by Stephanie Sadler

3. CULTURE. With so many countries represented among London’s population of 8 million, there is much to celebrate. Travel to a different borough in the city and you’ll sometimes feel as if you’re in another country. Travel to Southall at the end of October, for instance, and you may find yourself in the middle of a candle-strewn neighborhood where Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities are celebrating the festival of lights, Diwali, with fireworks and street parties. Europe’s biggest street party is the infamous Notting Hill Carnival, celebrating Caribbean culture in West London. In Elephant & Castle, you can eat at some of London’s best Colombian restaurants or swing by Marble Arch for a taste of the Middle East. Leicester square is packed with theaters and comedy clubs (and movie premiers with A-List guests and red carpets). You may find that simply people watching in Camden, the home of London’s punk and goth scene, could occupy hours of your time.
For London events, bookmark Time Out London, now free as a magazine as well. Stop by CAPA if you’re a student and pick up your copy.

Photo:Notting Hill Carnival by Stephanie Sadler

4. CREATIVITY. With a vibrant community engaged in art and design, London will not disappoint those of you looking to be inspired. Stop by The Design Museum for starters. Look up when you walk. The details in the architecture may amaze you. Look down when you walk. You may stumble on one of Ben Wilson’s pieces of chewing gum art. Pop your head into The Make Lounge for fun craft nights or spend the afternoon at Drink, Shop & Do. Grab a camera (perhaps of the film variety from the Lomography shop on Newburgh Street?) and go on a hunt for the best street art in Shoreditch and Hackney. Visit some of London’s vintage shops or street markets and experiment with fashion. It’s the perfect place for taking chances with style. And what better creative writing activity than blogging about your London experience?
Have a blog about London? Share your link in the comments along with your creative London experiences. CAPA loves learning about our global cities like London through other blogs!

Photo:London street art by Colombian artist Stinkfish by Stephanie Sadler.

5. THE MARKETS. There are more than 100 markets to explore in London, each one forming a little pocket where the characters of a neighborhood gather to shop, eat and mingle. They are colorful, lively places, each one a bit different from the next. We recommend a trip east to Petticoat Lane and the covered Old Spitalfields Market, followed by the Sunday UpMarket for a vibrant collection of clothing from young designers. The mingling scents of food from around the world will lure you in if fashion doesn’t interest you. This is your chance to try Tibetan momos, Japanese okonomiyaki or Turkish gözleme. Then on to Columbia Road Flower Market around the corner where vendors with cockney accents shout the prices on their roses and pansies. Don’t miss Portobello Market for fashion and antiques, Camden Market for the other-worldly atmosphere, Borough Market for the smells and tastes fresh and delicious food, Brixton Market for reggae music, Caribbean street food (and a visit to nearby Bob Marley Way for a sign photo if you’re a fan) and Greenwich Market for handmade crafts.

Photo:Camden Market by Stephanie Sadler

6. HIDDEN GEMS. The best places in London are beyond the tourist trail, but you have to know where to look. Where to start? Check blogs (see sidebar and stay tuned to CAPA World), ask locals or if you’re studying with us, come chat with the lovely Ryne and Elizabeth at CAPA’s front desk. We’ll be posting some of our favorites soon, but if you can’t wait, here’s a few to get you started. Love film? Check out Secret Cinema. Walk through Sir John Soane’s museum by candlelight the first Tuesday of every month. Attend an event in the cavernous Old Vic Tunnels. Take a walk through Hampstead Heath and stop to try a delicious crepe at Le Creperie de Hampstead. Crepes not for you? There’s crocodile and kangaroo at Archipelago…
Have a favorite hidden gem in London? Tell us about real canada goose montebello arctic frost in the comments!

Photo:Nathans – popular for traditional pie, mash & jellied eels by Stephanie Sadler

7. MUSIC. From The Beatles and the Rolling Stones to The Clash, Amy Winehouse and Coldplay, there’s no question that London has an influential music scene. If you’re a musician yourself, there are plenty of open mic nights to join, or catch an up-and-coming indie band at one of Camden’s famous venues like The Dublin Castle, Barfly or Proud. If you prefer the big gigs, London has plenty of those as well – the O2 or the immaculate Royal Albert Hall are great choices. Keep your ears open as there’s music to be heard in London all the time, buskers on South Bank and in Covent Garden, buskers on the bridges over the Thames and buskers on the Underground!

Photo: Street pianos by Stephanie Sadler

8. TRAVEL. The UK has an excellent train network to help you explore the country outside of London. Tickets can be cheap if bought in advance. Try Paris is on your doorstep for about £70 on the Eurostar which makes real canada goose montebello arctic frost very easy to travel to the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland as well. Being in London means all of Europe is very accessible and yours to explore. If you’re a CAPA student, check with the front desk for upcoming trips!

Photo:Train pulling in to London near St. Paul’s Cathedral by Stephanie Sadler

9. HISTORY. If it’s history that fascinates you, you’ll be endlessly entertained in London and learn plenty in your courses as well. You’ll find historic houses, palaces and stately homes to visit. The Wallace Collection continually brings in outstanding reviews for the best 17th-18th century art in this city. The Churchill War Rooms at The Imperial War Museum, the good old Tower of London and Westminster Abbey where Will and Kate were married are sure to impress. If you’re a literature buff, catch a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. For a look from above, climb up 528 steps to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral. For the designers, visit The Geffrye Museum, which specializes in the history of English domestic interiors. The Dennis Severs’ House will give you a glimpse into 18th century Georgian-era life in England. The list (as you’ll quickly discover) is endless.

Photo:An old piece of the London Wall that still exists in the city by Stephanie Sadler

10. FOOD. Yes, we know London has never been particularly famous for great food. Of course, there’s traditional fish & chips, spotted dick, and toad in the hole, but did you know that one of the most popular dishes in London is actually chicken tikka masala? There is a lot more to discover in London’s culinary world than one might expect like secret supper clubs, quirky restaurants and street food from around the world. If you’re missing home, there are plenty of places to buy American food. If you’re craving Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Moroccan, Brazillian, Ethiopian… you name it, in London there’s a place to eat it. Watch the blog for CAPA World’s top London food choices!
If you have a favorite place in London to eat, tell us about it in the comments.

Photo:Preparing Japanese okonomiyaki in the market by Stephanie Sadler

Did you study in London already? Are you considering it? For what reasons? Tell us why in the comments!

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