I was born and raised in South London, so going to a university in the South East is more than convenient for me but for those who are coming from the outskirts of London, the Midlands and even Europe. The university experience can become daunting. My advice to new students starting at UAL would be visit as many places local to the area as you can. There’s more to life than the Elephant and Castle shopping centre. It is convenient yes, but do not limit yourself to just this vicinity. Local to our university is the Coronet. I would also advise students to attend events in the Coronet, see what’s going on and you’re guaranteed to meet new people. The Coronet holds events that cater to all types of people.
On Walworth road, which is round the corner from UAL. You have the infamous Bagel King, which as a local you would know to go to. The food is delicious and it’s a general chill spot, the staff are friendly and very welcoming. They sell African and Caribbean food. Also on this road there is a local McDonalds, Tesco Express. And, my favourite desert place Kaspas. They sell waffles, ice cream, crepes and the best milkshakes equally as nice as Tinseltown shakes.
If you were a European student getting to know the university or generally someone who doesn’t know South East London, I would advise a visit to the O2 which is about a 40 minute journey from UAL. Located there is a cinema and loads of restaurants to choose from inside and out as well as the Emirates Air Line (cable cars), which connect the South East to East London. Clapham Common is also a good place to visit, as there is many stores and restaurants like the O2 but it is more homey for people who feel homesick.