One of the major differences between America and England is their use of underground and overground rail. Whereas Americans are focused on cars and our country was built around the automobile, England has much less space and has the tube.
The tube was one of my favorite parts of being in London. You could go anywhere and see a bunch of different parts of London by taking the Tube.
My institution provided us with Oyster cards, which basically are prepaid and pay your fare for the tube and buses. Ours let us go out to Zone 3, and provided us with free use of all buses. If your institution doesn’t provide you with an Oyster card, I would look into it. There is a link here for more information about the Oyster card such as cost, zones, buses, etc.
Using the tube also showed me more of British culture. I don’t know how a car that cramped could be silent, but it was. It is expected on the tube not only for you to be quiet, but to also give up your seat to those who are disabled, elderly or pregnant. Some people didn’t do that, but I would suggest it because it’s rude not to do that. The same rules apply to the bus.
Before you go through the terminals to scan in, make sure your card is topped up and good to go. You’ll be rubbing your card on this scanner and the gates will open to let you in.
If you ever get lost, and I did quite a few times, you can get home by remembering what tube line and stop you get off at to get home. For example, when I stayed at my apartment I had the Ravenscourt stop, which is on the District Line. If I find a train that connects to the District Line, then I can get home. Worst comes to worse, ask a tube worker and they’d be happy to help.
All stations should have small maps you can carry with you. I suggest picking one up because they are very useful!
Thank you so much for reading me ramble on! If you have any questions, leave a comment or DM me on instagram, @handbookforthetravelingstudent.
My next blog post will be my thoughts and rating on Oxford!