Imagine your daily walk to lectures as a university student. Do you picture the ice skating rink lit up outside the Natural History Museum, or the smell of fresh bread and coffee from a cute independent coffee shop? No? Well then, you are not imagining life as an Imperial student.
Imperial focuses their expertise on the sciences, engineering, medicine and business so if your passion falls in one these categories, Imperial is the place for you. A place to explore these subjects with like-minded people who share your interests. As a second-year medical student, I have found the Imperial community to be extremely welcoming.
Clubs and societies
Given that the medics are at the university for six years, there are two student unions at Imperial: Imperial College Union (ICU) and Imperial College School of Medicine Student Union (ICSMSU). Each union offers a wide range of clubs and societies ranging from sports to drama to culture to art. Students are welcome to join societies run under either union. The main difference is that ICSMSU societies are based in Hammersmith, whereas ICU societies are based in South Kensington on the main campus.
If the unions do not offer a specific club that you are interested in they will support you in starting your own club; whether that’s a chocolate appreciation society or League of Legends (both of which currently exist at Imperial). All of these clubs and societies host events where you can meet other people who have the same interests. You can perform or organise showcases. For example, Imperial College Punjabi Society organize The Bhangra Showdown which attracts nearly 3000 people every year. Or become involved in organizing and leading the society.
Living in London
As a first year at Imperial, I was lucky enough to live in Beit Hall. This student accommodation is located right next to Royal Albert Hall and a 2-minute walk away from campus. The Natural History Museum, Science Museum, V&A, Hyde Park and Harrods were all a stone’s throw away as well as many restaurants, cafes and shops. If you have a craving for something sweet you are spoilt for choices; ice cream, eclairs, frozen yoghurt and crepes are all within a ten-minute walk from campus. Apart from student accommodation in South Kensington, Imperial also has halls of residence in:
- Notting Hill
- North Acton
- Baron’s Court
- Putney Bridge
So wherever you end up, you are never far away from the multitude of West End shows, restaurants, museums, concerts and events that make central London such an exciting place to live.
Written by Shivali J.