In my final year of undergraduate studies, I was pleased to find that so many of my peers were planning to live in London after graduation. Of these, two of my close friends from my degree and I had the same criteria for accommodation – a reasonably cheap, safe, and conveniently located house that we could turn into our home for the year. Realising that our budgets were also the same, we decided to share a house together in London!
Last summer, we found that nice little house in Hendon, northwest London, and have been living there since. As the three of us knew one another previously, I found it quite easy to settle in with my new housemates. Over the last few months, we have grown even closer, having weekly home dinners, movie nights, and occasional bake-offs! One of my housemates is also a student at LSE, so I was glad to already know a familiar face before starting my programme. Since then, we have explored the LSE campus together, finding student-friendly study spots such as cafés and parks.
As for the house itself, we have three large bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. The lack of a living room doesn’t deter us from socialising. However, all of our bedrooms are big, and we often invite our other friends for social events! Our landlady is also super sweet and quickly responds to any issues we might have, be it small maintenance fixes or general queries about our neighbourhood. We have quite a few markets nearby, such as Tesco Express or the Co-Op. There is also an Indian supermarket right opposite our house which I find to be very convenient for times when I need ingredients to make some comfort meals based on my mother’s recipes. Our neighbours are also very nice, and make us feel safe and comfortable when we return home after late-night study sessions at the LSE Library.
Hendon overall is a quiet neighbourhood which is very conveniently located on the Northern Line. It takes me about 30 minutes to get into central London. Camden, a bustling and popular tourist area, is also just 10 minutes away on the tube. Our house is located about 15 minutes from the tube station, and there is also a bus stop right outside our house with buses regularly going in and out of central London.
One of my favourite spots to visit is Hampstead Heath, which is just 5 minutes by tube. Hampstead Heath is a massive park and garden, filled with woodlands and meadows. On sunny days, I usually like to work sitting on one of the park benches. Having this park so close to my house gives me a good opportunity to work in green spaces, especially during busy times of the term. During the January exams, I found myself going for runs at the nearby Hendon Park as well, which also boasts an outdoor gym and a tennis court. Therefore, my immediate surroundings give me plenty of options for a change of scenery in case I want to get my mind off work, or simply unwind after a long day.
Reflecting on the past few months of living in private accommodation, I would highly recommend it to students who have previously experienced living independently in the UK. As I have been staying in the country since my undergraduate studies, I am more accustomed to the practicalities of private renting, such as sorting out bills and the council tax. Also, I am quite lucky to have had close friends who were willing to share with me. With the company of such friendly housemates, coupled with a quiet, safe neighbourhood and its proximity to the best London has to offer, I definitely would recommend considering private living options when deciding on where to stay during your time at LSE.