Student Life in the UK

Kingston University students in a library

Living in the UK as a student

The UK is a welcoming place to live – making it a great choice for international students. The country has a long and fascinating history but also embraces the modern, and Kingston upon Thames is no exception.

Close to central London by train for when you want to experience the big city, but also nestled away in its own small town. In Kingston, you will find beautiful parks, traditional red phone boxes and the famous River Thames.

A multicultural place to live

The UK is a popular choice for students from all over the world. International students in the UK can find influences from their own countries, including international food, while exploring the rich history and culture of the UK's four countries. Kingston upon Thames is a popular choice thanks to its close transport links to London. Currently over 20% of the student population at Kingston University are international. As well as experiencing British culture and developing your English language abilities, by studying here you will also be able to meet people from other cultures - making you a true global citizen.

Links to industry

London is known as a global hub in business, with many graduates heading there to climb the corporate ladder. A large amount of worldwide businesses have offices in London, making it an exciting and diverse place to work. 

Living close to London means you can explore the city to get an insider knowledge. With a degree from Kingston, not only will you be close to the city, but you will benefit from studying at a University known for its career preparation. Alongside your pathway programme, you can also benefit from the University's careers service to prepare you for success after graduation.


If you're interested in history, you will find plenty to explore in the UK. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have different histories, and there are hundreds of castles and museums to visit across the UK. From the Royal Palaces to the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square, London has many of the world's most famous landmarks. Kingston itself has thousands of years of history, and is home to Hampton Court Palace, which was built by King Henry VIII in the 1500s.


The UK is known for its beautiful green countryside, but it also has a number of stunning mountain ranges and beaches. From Kingston, you could take a trip to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for a walk, or visit the Kent or Sussex coasts.


The weather in the UK varies according to the four seasons. In spring and summer, it is generally mild, with average temperatures of 10-20°C, but can be warmer. In autumn and winter, it is often wet and cold, with some snow. Average temperatures range from 1-10°C.

A chance to travel

Travel in the UK is made accessible because of its effective transportation system. Thanks to its close proximity to London, you can easily explore a range of other popular UK destinations from nearby coastal towns to further afield cities like Manchester and Edinburgh. The UK is also perfectly situated for easy travel to the rest of Europe, with the University having a variety of nearby airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

By rail

You can use the UK’s nationwide rail network to explore the rest of the country. Most towns have a train station connecting them to nearby destinations. Being close to London means you have access to the many large stations in the city, allowing you to travel almost anywhere in the UK. Manchester and Cardiff are both just two hours from London by train. Edinburgh in Scotland is only four hours away by train. As a student, you will also be able to benefit from student discount.

By bus

Buses are generally used to travel short distances, especially around the town you are living in. Kingston upon Thames is home to the iconic red buses you may have seen on television. As a student of Kingston University, you can also benefit from a free bus which travels all around the town. You can also use buses to travel further around the UK, which is often cheaper than taking the train. Though the vehicles for these longer journeys, which can also travel to Europe, are referred to as coaches.

By tube

The easiest way to travel around London is by tube. The tube is a series of connected underground train systems, also referred to as the London Underground. Many tube lines now run 24 hours on the weekend, ensuring you are always able to travel around the capital.

Travelling around on the tube and London’s network of overground trains is simple. You can use tickets known as travel cards, a pre-paid Oyster Card, or even use contactless payments from UK bank cards. Kingston Train Station is included within fare zone 6 of the Transport for London network, making travel to and around the capital even easier.

By air

The UK is home to many budget airlines, making travel to Europe cheap and easy. Living in Kingston, you are close to a variety of airports, including: 

  • Heathrow Airport: 40 minutes by car or bus
  • Gatwick Airport: 50 minutes by car or an hour by train
  • London Stansted Airport: 2 hours by car or train