GSM London offers high quality English courses for students who want to improve their language skills, take an IELTS test or prepare for studying in English. In this and the coming updates, the Director of Studies – English School, Learning and Skills Department – Joanna – will be giving you a taste of life of living and studying in London so you can see what this city has to offer for the international student, and how GSM London fits in as part of this experience. In this first blog entry I’ll be introducing some essential survival tips for arrival, as well as some useful study tips, some of which you can even start using now.
Arrival in London, especially for the first time, can be a daunting process but don’t worry, the signposting and directions here are generally clear, and there are helpful staff (and locals!) on hand to help out. Heathrow airport is often the main entry point. Plan carefully how you’ll get from the airport to where your accommodation is. My advice would be to get a good travel app – these are invaluable for planning routes through London. One of my favourites is the app “citymapper”, which will give you detailed information on the quickest and simplest ways to get from one point to another with maps and live public transport timetables. From Heathrow, one of the best ways to reach the city centre is to use the world famous underground system or “tube”. Follow signs to the underground and Piccadilly line, which runs right through into central London. It’s a long journey, depending on where you’re staying, so make sure your phone is charged or you’ve got a good book! An alternative would be taxi, though be warned they can be expensive!
The GSM London Greenford campus is located to the west of the city and will be the focal point of your studies. Taking responsibility for your learning is really important here, so it’s important to use your time outside class to build on your skills. Websites such as the BBC Learning Zone and British Council Learn English offer an amazing range of free resources to help your listening and reading skills, and build your vocabulary. Get the most out your studies by joining social events and taking every opportunity to speak in English with people such as current students who have had time to get orientated.
That’s all for the first blog but be sure to look out for Part 2 where I’ll be going through a full review of our study resources so you can see how to get the most out of your studies with GSM London, and I’ll be discussing my own favourite places to experience life in this hugely exciting city for international students.