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// How to get around and stay safe in London

London is one of the most famous cities in the world with a vast history and some of the most recognisable buildings on the planet. It is also a fantastic place to live and study with many Universities like Imperial College London, London School of Economics and King's College London available.

It may be a little daunting at first for a student to come to the UK as they will be many miles from home and in unfamiliar territory. Here are some tips to help keep you safe so you can enjoy your stay and feel more confident and comfortable.

•    One of the first things you should if you are here for a long period is to get a UK bank account. You will be able to get a debit card and pin number which will make transactions easy for you. Please note that you will not be able to have an overdraft on the account until you have built up a credit rating.

•    You should purchase an Oyster card so you can get around the Capital with ease. By doing this you have access to cheaper fares on trains, tubes, the DLR and buses. The buses no longer take cash payments so you will need it to get around. You will be able to buy a card from your local newsagents and also you will be able to top it up online through your debit card.

•    Try to learn the transport system, especially the tube map and bus routes to make things easy for you and also underground stations closing times and last trains.

•    Do not use unlicensed mini cabs, you may be approached late at night after an evening out for a lift home. You can pre-book a taxi at from an established business that that may be recommended by fellow students of staff. Licensed mini cab firms are slightly cheaper than a Black cabs and are safe to use also.

•    If you drive a car you may find parking quite difficult in the capital as there are many restrictions with residential only parking. Is also quite expensive to use parking meters and car parks so sometimes it is a lot easier to use public transport.

•    If you are going out for the evening it would be wise inform roommates or friends to let them know where you are going and also plan your journey home. You should carry enough money or a debit card for a taxi fair home but do not carry large amounts of cash around as this can get misplaced and lost.

•    If you visit a Bar in an evening, do not leave your drinks unattended, just make sure that someone has an eye on them as well as your possessions so they cannot be tampered with. Tipping in restaurants or bars is not compulsory in the UK, but you can do if you wish to.

•    Keep valuable items out of sight when walking around and do not leave items visible in parked vehicles. 

•    If you buy items that are faulty you do have the right to return goods to the shop in question and get a refund. You can get more information by clicking here http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/consumer-rights-refunds-exchange

•    Do not buy food from unlicensed food stalls in the Capital, this is most common in the west end of London. You will be overcharged and the is unlikely to comply with food safety standards

•    Don’t walk alone at night if it can be avoided. Also avoid alleys at night and dark or partially lit areas where you could be vulnerable.

•    Do not buy food from unlicensed food stalls in the Capital, this is most common in the west end of London. You will be overcharged and the food hygiene is unlikely to comply with government food safety standards

•    Pickpockets are quite common in certain parts of London with the more crowded parts affected like the west end where shoppers carry cash and wallets. Keep all belongings well guarded 

London is a very safe place but it is important to be aware of certain things.

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