VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 10 POSTED ON: 5/8/2010
Settle in London LONDON Welcome to London! Worrying about your arrival in the Queen’s country? No problem! Absolutely and the BDE have prepared a few tips for you… • Settle in London Finding a house You have no idea where to live and no contact in the city? Don’t panic! We strongly advise you to live within walking distance from the school. Why? Because… London’s transports are so expensive that going on foot to school will spare you many pounds. It will be more convenient to go home for lunch (there is only a cafeteria, but still in the end you will get bored with eating sandwiches... and eating in a restaurant each day can be quite expensive). It will make it easier to come back from the numerous housewarming parties you will go to at the beginning of the year! The neighbourhoods near the school are: West Hampstead, Kilburn, Golders Green and Cricklewood. Another advice : try to have a nightbus line or a 24 hours bus near you. It will save you a lot of time (if you have to come back at night by foot...) or lot of money (if you have to take a cab to come back!) Firstly, go on the ESCP Europe intranet. There are some interesting ads posted by other students or former students living in London, who have already found an accommodation and are looking for flatmates. You can also, and it is really advised, look at these websites: • www.gumtree.co.uk • www.findaproperty.co.uk • www.loot.com • www.vebra.com • www.rightmove.co.uk • www.net-lettings.co.uk You will find many ads for flats to share (this is maybe the best way to improve your English!) and all the property agencies for each neighbourhood in London. If you really can’t find anything, you can try to find something in the estate agencies near the school. Don’t forget! Make sure you’re clear on what is included in the bills and what isn’t. Make sure you view the property before signing anything! We are never too careful! Opening a bank account A bank account is mandatory in London as you will need it to get paid during your internship, to pay your bills, and your rent (most landlords want to have it via bank transfer). And, the final reason: you will absolutely need it to have internet at home! Unfortunately, it is not the easiest thing in the world. It takes 3 to 4 weeks or more if they lose your file, they will ask for plenty of documents to bring etc. To sum up: it’s a complete nightmare! No worries, Absolutely has negotiated for you a great partnership with HSBC which enables you to avoid all these complications: you can now easily open your British HSBC bank account directly from France: Have it ready even before you arrive in London!! Transfers from your HSBC French account to your British one are FREE!! (so for each transfer you make, you save around £6 = 2 pints ;-)). Take cash from your French account at every HSBC cash dispenser without being charged (and in London, there is an HSBC cash dispenser at almost every corner). Have free credit card, free internet banking, and €100, to make sure you have enough money to enjoy life in London! How do you do this?? Very simple: go to HSBC Colonel Fabien in Paris, or call Fabien Chambrellan(+ 33 (0) 1 53 38 41 42) and that’s it! Don’t forget to let them know that you come from Absolutely ESCP Europe to benefit from the offer! In case you are not from Paris, don’t worry, there is a solution. Go to the nearest Abbey branch and you will be able to open your bank account without too many difficulties. Communication (i.e. The ultimate recipe to widen your network) Telephone On your first days in London, one of your main priorities will be to find a way to keep in touch with your friends from all over the world… and with your family (Yes, you must call mummy once a week otherwise… I mean, it depends on your mum!) Cell phone Check beforehand whether you can make your current cell phone compatible with a foreign Sim card! This way you won’t have to buy another one. Sim card The best solution is still to choose for a “Pay as you go” formula. The principle is simple: you buy a SIM card (initial investment: £5 to £10) and then you recharge it whenever you need to (even a 6-year-old could do it… !). Which network? • Virgin: It is particularly interesting if you call or send texts to another Virgin phone (i.e. 15p per minute for phone calls and 3p per text). Hence the advantage of choosing the same provider at the beginning of the year!!! The Sim card costs £10 (including £5 of credit) and is really flexible since you recharge it whenever you want, with any amount and you can use it indefinitely… Isn’t that wonderful? Moreover, you can top it up using your credit card at ATMs. • Talkmobile: It is a little bit less advantageous than Virgin as far as calls to England are concerned but really better for international calls (4p per minute on fixed phone numbers and 15p on mobiles). However, in the end, you will spend more time calling English numbers than foreign ones. So this is not the best deal if you do not have a girl/boyfriend to call on a regular amount... • Orange: it is the most chosen by ESCP Europe students as the prices are quite the same as the Virgin ones and Orange offers you the “Orange Wednesday” which permits you to have 2 cinema entries for the price of one. The Sim card costs £10 (including £5 of credit) and is really flexible since you recharge it whenever you want, with any amount and you can use it indefinitely… Isn’t that wonderful? Moreover, you can top it up using your credit card at ATMs. Or, it is free if you buy a phone with it You can also take a contract which is a lot cheaper... but most of the time, you will have to take a one year or a 18 month contract.... • Skype: Download it on www.skype.com in 3 secconds in order to have completely FREE phone calls to any country of the world providing that: 1) You have an internet connection + earphones and microphone 2) The people you try to contact possess that as well!!! If you want to phone cell phones or normal phones using Skype, it will also be cheaper than anywhere else. You just have to top up €10 minimum (€11,50 VAT included). Classic phone cards: Of you can buy them basically in every « Food and wine ». For £10 you can have up to 3 cards and 6H of communication. You can also buy really cheap cards at your newspaper shop called « Eurocity » (count around £3 for 300 min of communication) that provides you with a code so that you can call your loved ones from every landline phone! You also have the so-called « Telco Europe card » or the Nomicall. But be careful for the last one is only valid for a month. Internet Considering the fact that the school has a free wireless access for all its students, is it really compulsory to buy internet for ourselves? The answer obviously depends on how much you need and use internet and how far your place is from the school. But as a general rule, you will want to have it at home. First, it will be more convenient to use softwares like msn or skype, to download the latest episodes of DH, Heroes, Gossip Girl or Weeds while relaxing at home. Second, there are not that many computers at school and they are often crowded, especially during the “I really really REALLY need an internship” period. Finally, having internet at home will be useful in a lot of situations. The (never endings) teamwork projects you will have to produce will need short-term research and exchange of information, to prepare interviews (i.e. learning by heart the content of the firm’s website) or to do online applications and so on. It is hard to do it without Internet as you may often have to work until late at night on a group project...The only thing to be cautious about is the time you will have to wait for it: up to one month… Internet provider. Virgin arrives first with its Virgin Broadband formula. Tough a little bit expensive, all the users seem happy about it. As a general rule it costs a little bit less than £30 per month for an cable connection if you take it for 6 or 12 months. For those who intend to live in flat shares the purchase of a wireless devise is highly recommended (free with Virgin). The main competitors of Virgin are BT Broadband, UK Online, O2, and 3. But if you do not choice Virgin, you’ll make you will have to open a fixed line with BT beforehand if it doesn’t already exist (you can apply for it online on the BT website) and than you will have to open a line with your provider, always on the internet. That is why lots of students choose Virgin as opening a phone line with BT can sometimes take a while. Commuting within London The fisrt thing you MUST do when arriving in London is purchase your OysterCard (in any tube station or cornershop)It is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on the Tube, buses, DLR and trams (for example, one bus journey costs £1 with the Oyster, £2 without!). How does it work? You “top up” your card with any amount of your choice (in any tube station or cornershop),and then, you “pay as you go”: your card is going to be debited each time you touch in and touch out in the bus or the Tube. You can make as many journeys as you like in a 24 hour period on the bus, Tube, DLR, tram, and you will always be charged less than the price of an equivalent Day Travel Card or One Day Bus Pass. If you travel a lot, it is better to purchase a weekly or monthly travel pass. We advise you to wait for the school to give you a form to fill in to receive your Student OysterCard which will enable you to benefit from much better deals. It will cost you an identity picture and £5 (to be sent in cheque-do not worry, no need of a cheque book, you can do that from a post office- or via transfer), then, you will be able to purchase weekly or monthly travel pass, for bus (approximately £10 a week, £38 a month), or tube+bus (approximately £19 a week instead of £28, £74 a month instead of £105). Yes, it is still expensive, but much less than without the student OysterCard (the student OysterCard is approximately 30% cheaper than the OysterCard)!! The bus remains the cheapest way to travel, it may take a while to go from A to B. The tube is much quicker (when there are no problems or engineering works...!) but also less nice as you can’t enjoy the sights... It is up to you to make your choice! Anyway, concerning the Tube, the underground map is divided into zones: there are 6 main zones (zone 1 is central London, and zones 2-6 form rings around this, with zone 6 being the furthest from the centre). There are also four metropolitan zones beyond zone 6 (zones A, B, C and D) on the Metropolitan line. The cost of a journey depends on the zone in which you start and finish (you can make as many changes as you need along your route). To help you plan your journey, you should go on www. tfl.gov.uk (NB: the buses stopping in front of the school are the 13, 82, and 113, the closest tube station by walk is West Hampstead station on the Jubilee line but most of the student take the Finchley Road tube station -Jubilee line and Metropolitan line- as you can go there by bus, and the closest National Rail Service station is Finchley Road and Frognal). You can also take the Thameslink at West Hampstead. Walking is the best way to discover some places you would never have found otherwise! Nevertheless, be careful, and: LOOK RIGHT! (or left… it depends…! But it is written down on the road, so, don’t panic!) One should know that in London, cars are not really pedestrian-friendly… Biking:You can find some quite cheap in Portobello road on saturdays for example, or simply in the small ads… NB: The school provides facilities to park your bicycle. And the boat Okay, there is actually a very last option, which is the boat: Making journeys by river within London might be of particular interest to visit London, but you will see that tourists are not the only ones to use the boat, as many commuters do so as well! Good to know: Many operators offer 1/3 off normal advertised fares on production of a valid Travelcard (as well as of a London student photocard) when purchasing a ticket ESCP Europe London Syllabus Now that you are well settled in London, let’s talk about serious business! First Year Students The first year is divided into two semesters and followed by an internship, starting in April (if you are lucky…) and lasting at least 3 months. The year starts really quickly with a seminar that gives you an insight into the Audit/Strategy world: you will have to give a professional presentation, you will have the chance (or not…) to meet the members of your team. The first semester is composed of 4 subjects: • Financial Accounting • Marketing • Psychology and Management • Quantitative Methods The exams of the first semester are planned at the end of December before Christmas holidays (the only ones….). You will have to go to the City University for them, so prepare your Oyster for this week. After Christmas holidays, the second semester starts and it is quite different from the first one. Indeed, the lectures are split into two different groups, and therefore you will not see your friends as often… The second semester is composed of 5 subjects: • European Business Law • Fundamentals of Finance • Economics • Costs and decisions • Social sciences and humanities You will alsocreate a start-up business.This will be the toughest subject ever and you will discover the joy of working in a team, of brainstorming… You will have 3 months and a half to think about an idea of start-up, and to write the business plan for it, discussing about the financials, the marketing plan… After this, you will have to present it in front of investors, backing every single point of it. So, it can be good fun if you like the idea and the members of your team but may also be a nightmare. The exams of the second semester will certainly take place in the school in Finchley Road, so no need for a new Oyster card! You have to expect a tougher second semester because you will need to find an internship during that period which is quite stressful due to the difficulty in finding one. So good luck and check out the internship section. Second Year Students Basically the year is split into 3 parts: 2 terms of lessons, and one winternship (from January to March). The promo is divided into 2 different streams which have no lessons together, so you may discover some new people at the very end of the year!! The main characteristic of the courses in London is TEAMWORK. For each course, you will have either a project or regular presentations or both. So you better like the people of your team or it will be hell (as you have one team assigned for every project during one term). A quick overview of the courses you will enjoy (… or not ;)): • Management Control • Corporate Finance and International Financial Markets • Company Project • Brand Management • Consumer behaviour • Languages • Operations Management • Human Resources Management • Taxation and European Business Law • Organisation & Management • Group Financial Statements The exams:You don’t do them at ESCP Europe but at City University or the Metropolitan University. So immediately it becomes quite an adventure (buying a weekly card – which means open-tube, a luxury in London! - getting lost between the tube and the university, getting lost in the building etc.) The bad news is you don’t have as in Paris one or two weeks to revise them. So don’t be surprised if you have your last lesson on Friday and exam on this very lesson the next Monday. This is all the more problematic as attendance is not really compulsory in London, so beware of skipping too many lessons!! Internship Have you ever dreamt of working in Investment Banking? London is one of the biggest places to do your first steps in the financial sectors. It is not its unique particularity. London is also known for its companies specialised in marketing, consulting or advertising. Yet, finding an internship is not as easy as it looks like. ESCP Europe is not as famous as it could be in France. So, if you have any contact in London or in any city of the United Kingdom, seize the opportunity to use them to get your internship. Most of the students get their internship this way. If not, do not worry; the school will help you in your research: completion of your CV, advice on your cover letters and the last but not least, providing dozens of internship offers!!! Usually, UK companies pay quite well their interns in the Banking area. But because of the financial crisis, the number of internships and the salary have dropped. Your salary may depend on the economic situation next year... The period to start looking for an internship depends on you and on your expectations. Three or four months before the beginning of your internship is a good “kick off” for your research. But, no worries, your dear Terence Tse will start each lecture with an internship countdown. The Career Office on the London campus will always welcome you and give you advice in your research for an internship. Do not hesitate to contact them, they are very helpful and open. So, good luck in your research and keep in mind that it is only an internship and your career will not depend exclusively on this experience!!! Student societies Some people might think that there is no student life on the London campus, but students are very motivated and we advise you to take part in it as it is a great opportunity to meet people and have fun. Here they are introducing themselves… Absolutely The society was created in June 2005 and is present on all campuses of ESCP Europe. Its aim is to foster the relations between the students of the different campuses and help develop a strong community spirit. Absolutely London organises events throughout the year on the campus as well as a big event : a European Week-End (EWE) every year, inviting staff and board members of the school as well as corporate, students and alumni. This year the event was in Turin. During 2 days or more students enjoyed a variety of events such as a garden party at the ESCP Europe campus of Turin, a visit of the city, a high standard dinner at the Esperia building followed by a disco night and then a picnic in a Turin Garden. For more information check out our website at: http://www.e-absolutely.com/ Bureau Des Eleves (BDE = student union) The BDE in London is a kind of subsidiary of the Paris BDE. But it does not mean that the BDE will be organising less in London than in Paris. On the contrary: the BDE is well positioned to provide maximum fun to all the ESCP Londoners. From school parties to cultural visits, sports tournaments and guest lists at London's best and most exclusive clubs (Amika, Cafe de Paris, Cuckoo, Club Valmont, Roof Garden and many more). This year the BDE organised a party per week!! EE Consulting It’s the junior Enterprise of ESCP Europe London. It is a consultancy cabinet run by students. They carry out paid projects for companies, institutions and universities across Europe. They offer a wide range of services: Marketing (client’s knowledge, marketing mix analyses, new product launch...); finance (advice in corporate finance and planning...); translations. Their office is located in G01. Along with board members, pollsters are regularly recruited for each mission to help us deliver our results on time. So if you need some extra cash or if you want to be challenged, come and see them when you arrive in London as most of the missions are reserved for board members (all the missions sadly this year...) Art’Maniac, the drama society Created in September 2006, Art’Maniac is the British “sister” of Art’Maniac in Paris and aims at setting up a play in English and performing it in a theatre in June. All this by themselves, without any teacher!!!! Everyone is welcome, whether you’ve never done theatre before, or whether you come from Art’Maniac Scène, Art’Maniac Impro or the Comu! Come and have fun acting! In the past, there were other student societies like Oenocratia. If you are interested in a topic, try to create one ! The BDS (Bureau des Sports, a sport student society) is also being created in order to help the students to exercise. Sport As the school doesn’t have any sports equipment you will have to find a place to exercise and find the motivation to do so by yourself. This year BDS was organizing foot or rugby events on a regular basis for two or three months but then sadly stopped in the internship period. But don’t worry there are plenty of possibilities near the school or your home, and you can always find someone to go with you, and the opening hours are generally wide, so no excuse to stay at home. The main sport centres students go to are: Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre (cheapest and most used) In this very big sport centre where you can practice many sports: all kind of aerobics, musculation,climbing, swimming, badminton, sauna…. Just 100m from Swiss Cottage tube station 5 min from school by the 13 or 82 bus All details at: www.gll.org.uk $Prices: As a student of the area you will have special prices (don’t forget to bring the school’s letter proving you are a student at ESCP when you register). You can: Pay as you go: you pay 2£ for the annual membership and then pay the concessionary price each time you go, depending on the activities (1.4£ the swimming pool, 3£ climbing, 5£ for fitness…). Or subscribe to a monthly membership, with free access to many activities (not all) for 30£/month Golders Green LA fitness Small but chic fitness centre where you have: fitness, (small) swimming pool, dancing classes, yoga, tai chi… !! Some day times are women or men only Address: 152-154 Golders Green Road / NW11 8HE 6 min walk from Golders Green tube station $$Prices: They will absolutely try to make you subscribe for a year (45£/Month+ 39£ year fee), but apart if you are really motivated, it is better to pay as you go. It will cost you 5£ per entrance but once you are in you can stay as long as you want and do all the activities available. O2 centre : Esporta Near the school, chic but expensive it has: fitness, swimming pool, yoga, martial arts, running groups, football club, spa… Address :Adelaide Road / NW3 3NF $$$Prices: 75£/month with free access to all activities Brent cross leisure centre Same activities and prices than Swiss Cottage but it is near the Tesco and Brent Cross shopping centre. Holmes Place General fitness, spa, swimming pool, yoga, beauty… Address: 108-110 Cricklewood Lane / NW2 2DS $$Prices: 53/month for free access to all activities Living in London Shopping If you believe that you don’t need to do any sports because you always shop till you drop; this section is for you! London has some truly amazing shops – more or less expensive. The less expensive ones: French Connection, TopShop and for shoes Office. They’re great and students get a 10% discount. And if you want to completely loosen the purse strings; have a glance at Ted Baker; so british! Cheaper stores: Next, Primark (if you’re courageous enough to fight other ones, you’ll find very cheap basics). And don’t forget to browse the small streets of Covent Garden, South Kensington. This is how we found the Lotus Leaf on St. Christopher’s Place: amazing items for great prices!!! Another typically British shopping routine is rummaging through clothes in Charity chops such as the British Red Cross in Chelsey. Happy shopping!! Going out London is not only a large, financial city; it is above all an amazing place when it comes to parties and clubbing. As it is one of the most multicultural cities worldwide, you will find every kind of atmosphere. Every single area is different from the others, and after one year in London, the most motivated among us have hardly discovered a tenth of the places of interest. Here is a small list of pubs, bars and clubs we did really enjoy, but you will be in charge of drawing up you own list. Pubs You must go and discover these traditional “Public Houses”, called pubs, where you can comfortably sit in a deep armchair while enjoying a pint of ale, this typically British beer, and discuss with friends. You will definitely not have a struggle to find nice pubs in London, however we strongly recommend : • “the Old Bank of England” on Fleet Street and take the famous Fuller’s London Pride. • The “ain’t nothing but blues” on Carnaby Street, typically British and where artists play every night, for free from Sunday to Thursday, £3 after 9pm the rest of the week. If you arrive after 7, you can wait hours on a week-end night !!! • The “Bar Music Hall” in Old Street is a tipically London place where all kind of people have fun together in a tolerant and very strange atmosphere. • The Lion on West End Lane. It is known for their famous burgers and it is only 5mn from school ! Lots of students hang out there on weeknights. • The “Dublin Castle” in Camden Town has live music and red lights which give a great ambiance. • The O’Neils in Soho. It has a nice terrace on the top which is open during the summer. If you suddenly fancy a pub while you are on the campus, you will find a series of pubs on West End Lane. The Lion in West End Lane is a very comfortable place with a heated terrace. You can also eat traditional meals, such as pies and fish & chips, in most pubs so feel free to try it at least once. The last, but not the least advantage of pubs: beer in London is really not that expensive! But don’t forget, the waiters ring the bell at around ten to midnight, which means you have only ten minutes left to order your last pint, though new laws allow pubs to serve alcohol later on. Bars On the contrary, bars close much later (well, they are not open until the dawn, this is still London…) Generally speaking, you can dance and there is a good choice of drinks. • Near the school, you can go to “The Walkabout”, which lies in the O2 Center on Finchley Road. This is an Australian-style bar you will enjoy if you are not willing to go to Down Town. Try the Thursday night, it is a student night (beer and vodka redbull for only £1.5) But after a few nights there, you might very well get bored. • On. On Brick Lane, we recommend you the “Dragon Bar”, the “93” or the “1001 café” (free before midnight). • In Camden Town, try the “Underworld” on Friday evenings: they play 70s, 80s and 90s music. It’s a lot of fun and it’s £6. • In Soho, go to the “Revolution bar”, the OnAnon or the TigerTiger. There is also a very famour bar in Carnaby Street : “Ain’t nothing but blues”. • In Covent Garden, you must try the “Cross Keys” on Endell Street. • If you are in Aldwych, don’t miss the “Cellar Door”, bar in former public toilets, which is also a jazz club where talented artists play for free every night. And last but not least: a cellar with cheese, hot bread, pickles and wine: the Godrons wine bar, in the street linking Charring Cross station to Embankment (yes, this little street close to the thames and full of bars..) Nightclubs London is famous for its clubs and its amazing nightlife throughout the world. But the local tradition is to go for clubbing very early, even before ten, and to leave quite early as well. Clubs can be very expensive, especially if you get there at what a continental European would call a normal time. Don’t feel shocked if they charge you more than £10, this is more than usual if you try to get out on your own without being on a guestlist. We would advise clubs like the Cafe de Paris, the Punk, Amika or Cuckoo. If you look for something commercial but in a nice atmosphere and quite cheap, get in the “Tiger Tiger” (you can get in for free before 10pm) near Piccadilly Circus or the Walkabout on Shaftesbury Avenue, which lies in an old Church (in the walkabout, you can pay your vodka-red bull only £1.5 with the Boomerang Card. The BDE organises approximately a party each week and it is often really cheaper to go on their parties than to try to discover clubs by yourself. In High Street Kensington, a real nice club is the “Roof Gardens”, which is situated on the sixth floor of the building. You will be really surprised to be surrounded by tropical plants, fountains and olive trees. However the entrance really expensive : you will be charged £15 on a Friday night and £20 on a Saturday night. Lots of clubs are also free for ladies (but in exchange, they often charge guys £20...). The best areas for clubs are often considered Mayfair and Kensington. Restaurants Do not expect to become crazy about British food, but as a multicultural city, London offers a variety of restaurants from all over the world. Most of the restaurants are cheaper in London than in Paris, especially at lunch time. Due to British history, lots of good restaurants are Indian. If you look for good value for money, go to “The Punjab” on Neal Street, a family-run business for three generations, and one of the oldest Indian restaurants in London. You can eat there for £15. You can find a lot of others Indian restaurant in Brick Lane, the Indian neighbourhood: they are so numerous there that they often offer you the drink and a discount on the bill to attract you in their restaurants. If you want to eat good British Food, as said before, go to a pub. For good pies, we recommend you “The Nags Head” in Covent Garden. For Japanese food, we enjoyed the “Japan Center” on Piccadilly or the NambuTei in Soho. If you want to eat japanese food for only £1 the two sushies, try Wasabi (on Oxford Street for example). A quite good Italian restaurant (and really cheap for lunch with their two courses menu for less than £8) is the l’Ulivo. Near the school, the “Lion” serves great burgers for £7 a meal or during lunch time, two meals for £10. The Lion’s is often considered as the school canteen as you will always find there ESCP students taking their lunch, dinner or pints there. In Covent Garden or South Kensington, don’t miss out on delicious “Ben’s cookies”! Leaving London for the week-end You have certainly heard how bad the British railway was…Well, this is not purely a myth: in fact you will often make the best deals by travelling by bus: National Express most of the time, or Green Line. Or if you are in a hurry: Easyjet, Ryanair… Therefore, from the nearest to the furthest, I proposed you to take your rucksack away from London to these exciting destinations: Windsor, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Dublin, and Amsterdam. • You can go to Windsor in less than 1hour for only £3. For this, you have to check the fares on Greenline.com. The departure can be Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, or Hammersmith. There you can visit the wonderful castle of the Queen for about £10. • To do some punting on the rivers through the colleges in Oxford or Cambridge, you need no more than £10 with National Express or Megabus (for a few more pounds, you can be in Cambridge by train in 45 min: www.nationalrail.co.uk). To do once there –besides punting- eat and drink in pubs and visit the numerous free colleges. • And if the weather is not so British this week-end, why not go to Brighton? It takes two hours with the National Express and only costs £7 if you got the cheap price (Fun Fare: limited number). The departure, as for most National Express buses, is from Victoria Coach Station. Brighton is the equivalent of Deauville for French people. You are going to enjoy its shingle beaches, all the casinos and bars on the peer. You’d better go also to the Seven Sister’s Cliff not far and quite amazing. • Then if you have ever dreamed to wear a skirt, but unfortunately you had the disgrace to be a boy (!), you can still leave London for Scotland. You travel there easily for £30 with the National Express bus or Megabus from Victoria Coach Station. It lasts about 9 hours. You can also rent a car, you need to be at least 21 and it is about the same price as the bus if you are five people. You can drive there in seven hours. You can find cheap youth hostels there for around £12 per night. Check on the Internet and call them to book. If you do not mind cold showers and creaking bunk beds, book at the City Centre Guest House (0131 221 1991) very near to the main street Princes Street If you stay long enough, you can take a one-day bus trip to chase Nessie in the North. We advise you to take the Company Scotline Tours you can reach on the following number 0131 557 0162. As a student, you are going to pay £28 (+ £7 for the boat trip on the Loch- marvellous by the way and a unique chance to catch a sight of our green friend). The guide and bus driver usually wears a beautiful green and blue skirt-it is called a kilt apparently, and makes jokes every 2 miles… If you wish to try a pure and fresh Guinness, then fly to Dublin for sometimes less than £40 with Ryanair, or go there with the National Express and ferry for 35€. You do not need to stay there more than a week-end. What you MUST do: the pedestrian street called Grafton Street, visiting Trinity College, the Guinness Museum and the Jameson Museum. For the night, go out in Temple Street which has an amazing collection real irish pubs (quite normal, it is Dublin...)… Out of Dublin, you can go to the small and picturesque fishers’ village Howth and to the Celtic site Glendalough in the South. If you need more ideas to change country for the week-end, just check on the Eurolines-National Express website the destination you can reach for a low price by bus (Brussels, Paris, Bruges, Copenhaagen, Antwerpen, Morocco,…). You can also take a low cost company like Easyjet or Ryanair and visit Europe : England is sometime considered as the kingdom of low costs ! Going back home How to arrive in London, and how to go back home??? Five options in theory, even though in practice you will only use the two first ones: First, mainly for non-Parisians, the plane : the easiest, quickest, and quite often cheapest way to travel to and fom London Indeed, London has 5 airports: Stansted, London City Airport, Gatwick, Heathrow, and Luton Low cost companies such as Easyjet (Stansted, Gatwick, Luton ) and Ryanair (Stansted and Luton mainly) operate in these airports, as well as national companies such as British airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Luxair, etc... The best way to find the cheapest tickets is to reserve in advance (at least 3 weeks if possible), on www.ryanair.com , www.easyjet.com, and you can also compare national companies’ offers on www.shop-vol.com. You can easily fly for £100(often much less!) return. To go the airport, once again, many options: • The tube to go to Heathrow (Picadilly line) and London city airport (DLR), • The bus to Luton, Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow( Green line to Luton (bus 757),running 24/7, single: £10 return: £12 –www.greenline.co.uk; Stansted Express to and from Stansted www.stanstedexpress.com; National Express to and from all the airports, particularly useful to and from Stansted (bus A4 from and to Golders Green)) • The train to Gatwick (First capital connect-the cheapest (£10.90), Gatwick express-the most reliable (£17)...) • The taxi: expensive! Beware! When you arrive, bringing with you half your house, think about the way you are going to carry your luggage... you may need a cab (expensive!!!!), if catching the tube, think about the escalators! (for exemple, at Leicester Square station, when you change from the Piccadilly- line if coming from Heathrow- to the Northern line - if going to Golders Green- : no escalators…!). A way to save some money is to book a minicab which will charge you £12 to make the journey Train station – School (a black cab will cost you more than £20 !!!) Second, the train : the Eurostar leads you directly to St Pancras International station from Lille and Paris (Gare du Nord), To get the best prices, again, reserve in advance, but so you know, there is a huge traffic of Eurostar tickets going on at school and on the intranet! You may thus find quite cheap tickets a few days before your departure, but don’t always rely on it, you may be disappointed! If you book your tickets 3 month before your departure for example, you may be able to pay 60€ (the price in pounds depends of the exchange rate...), return included. If you try to buy a ticket two days before your departure, it may cost you 200€ one way !!! In this case try to look on websites like kelbillet.com or on facebook groups dedicated to the exchange of tickets. Then, from St Pancras International, you can either catch the tube (Metropolitan, Northern, Victoria, Piccadilly, Circle, Hammersmith and City lines) or a bus (you can take the 30 and the 205 to Baker Street and than the 139, 189, 13,113,82 which go near the school) The Bus: quite cheap (you can find one way for around £15), but it takes ages to go from the continent to the isle (8 to 10 hours from London to Paris)...But if you travel by night, why not... The National Express with its Eurolines is a reliable company, which carries passengers all over Europe, to Paris, Lyon, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels, Luxembourg, etc etc...for more information, go on www.nationalexpress.com/eurolines NB: there are departures from Golders Green Station. Then, for the warriors, you can still catch the boat from Calais or Dover. For further information, you can go on www.speedferries.com (departure from Boulogne-France to Dover(Douvres)-UK, 50min) www.seafrance.com www.ferry-to-france.co.uk And for the mega warriors, you still have the option of the car...
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