There aren’t many places in the world more suited for studying finance than London. Home to hundreds of the world’s biggest companies, the city is known as the world’s financial capital, trading blows only with New York for the top spot. Within London, you can find the headquarters for financial institutions such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, The Bank of England, Barclays, London Stock Exchange Group, and Legal & General.
Making London so attractive to finance is its light regulations and convenient timezone as well as being the driving force behind the industry’s green transformation.
Being the beating heart of global finance, London, therefore, stands as one of the best places to study it. London gives the opportunity to not only network and make professional contacts while undertaking a course, but also gives students a great advantage in getting hands-on work experience during and after their education.
With a financial legacy spanning hundreds of years, whether it’s your first degree or furthering your existing experience, studying finance in London is the place to be.
Why Study Finance in London
Global financial centre
From its humble beginnings in seventeenth-century coffee houses to the frenetic electronic trading of the Stock Exchange, finance and London go hand in hand. And for those passionate about finance, London offers the chance to experience one of the world’s foremost global financial centres firsthand.
Ideally situated between timezones, London is able to do business with both the East and the West within the same working day. This has meant London is consistently trading blows with New York for the top spot, with access to the world’s major markets within the business day.
Not only that, but London is home to the world’s most international exchange. More than half of the London Stock Exchange equities investors are overseas, making it an especially vibrant and diverse financial centre.
For a student of finance then, London is a fantastic place to meet like-minded people with similar ambitions, soak in the atmosphere of a global financial hub, and reap the benefits of being right in the middle of the action.
Green financial capital
For conscientious students, it’s worth knowing that London is now the world’s greenest finance hub.
Ploughing ahead in terms of sustainability, London has beaten European rivals such as Amsterdam to claim the top spot. This means London’s financial sector has the most well-developed suitability standards anywhere in the world. The capital is now at the forefront of developing financial products that can help tackle climate change.
This is great news for students who believe in supporting efforts in preserving the planet for future generations. By choosing to study in London, you give yourself a better chance to get involved with this side of finance during and after your study.
Giving London this green status is its large-scale renewable energy infrastructure in addition to a booming “green finance” sector. London is leading the charge when it comes to these financial services that have been created to ensure lower carbon emissions and a better environmental outcome.
Friendships and networking
Whether it’s people from your course or during your downtime around the city, you are guaranteed to meet some amazing people during your time in London.
With London being a global financial centre, there’s a good chance you will meet some like-minded people too who share your passion for all things finance. Bonding over vibrant discussions with your peers, you will find yourself forging lifelong friendships during your time studying in the capital.
As many parts of London are designed with human interaction in mind, you will also discover that London is a great place to network. In the bars, cafes, or dedicated meetups, there are endless opportunities in the UK’s capital to speak to people on similar career paths as well as influential individuals already established in the industry. The banking and finance networking events are hosted regularly by companies and financial institutions looking to recruit new talent. These are a great way to break into different aspects of the finance industry post-study.
Improve English fluency
International students will also find studying in London to be a great opportunity to improve their English skills.
If you don’t speak English as your first language, you will find London to be a fantastic place to brush up on your spoken and written word. Fluency in English is not only an extremely useful life skill but will also prove beneficial to your career.
Like most forms of business, modern finance is very much an international affair. Most companies in finance now operate internationally, and fluency in English is a skill a lot of firms will prioritise.
By both living and studying within London, your English skills will improve dramatically thanks to the passive effect of language submersion. Day-to-day life here will provide you with opportunities to practise and learn how to use English to communicate and speak confidently.
With over 250 languages spoken in the capital city, London is also one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world. Everything from Bengali and Panjabi to Polish and Korean is spoken in London, with English being the bridge between all of these. Hearing English spoken in a variety of different accents will also prove useful in an international finance career.
London and the UK in general consistently rank amongst the best in the world for undergraduate satisfaction, especially amongst international students.
Being one of the world’s most important financial capitals, London has some of the best universities for studying banking and finance. The capital is considered an academic hotspot with 18 universities within its borders. This buzz of financial education has led to the city attracting some of the world’s most promising students looking to capitalise on the wealth of knowledge on offer. Being in the middle of the financial action means educators are on the pulse of the industry, bringing in firsthand experience and practical examples.
Higher institutions in the UK are recognised worldwide for their high standards and excellent curriculums. Degrees and qualifications obtained from a university in London are especially prestigious. When applying for jobs, you will find that financial companies and institutions look more favourably on a degree from a financial centre like London.
New universities like UWS London are also modern and designed with wellbeing and learning in mind. Next-generation universities like this hold the health and welfare of students paramount, which ensures a truly exceptional educational experience.
One of the best reasons to study finance in London is the opportunities for work, both during and after your study.
For those who need a part-time job during their study, London is chock full of chances to earn a little extra cash. The city is accommodating for students, and job vacancies pop up regularly in supermarkets, cafés, restaurants, clothes stores, cinemas, bars, pubs, and more. These vacancies typically understand the nature of student life and can be pretty flexible in terms of fitting around your study.
London is also one of the very best places to find yourself situated after you have finished your financial studies. With some of the best salaries in the world, London is a big draw for finance workers.
Currently, more than 170,000 people now work in London’s financial sector, which offers both lucrative positions and diverse job vacancies within the industry. As well as the networking opportunities, being in the capital itself gives you the best chance at getting involved. You will be able to apply to a multitude of jobs and graduate schemes with some of the world’s biggest financial companies right on your doorstep.
Friendly and free
You will find London to be one of the most friendly and tolerant places in the world. Being one of the most diverse cities in the world, the city is vibrant and exciting as a result. It is, again, the best student city in the world according to the QS rankings (https://www.topuniversities.com/city-rankings/2022).
For international students, London is a welcoming place that will make you feel at home. More than a quarter of students here are from overseas and this has translated into a culture where no one is made to feel like an outsider.
Take a walk through the city or sit in one of its beautiful green spaces, and you will hear accents and dialects from all corners of the world. People come to London not only for employment opportunities but because the capital is a place where they are welcome. In London and the rest of the UK, you are free to be yourself and express your opinion and personality as you wish. Political, religious, and other opinions vary here, with people safe and free to express their beliefs without fear of repercussion or censorship.
Choosing to study in London means you will get the chance to meet other students from around the world. Similarly drawn to the UK’s capital, you will get to learn about their lives and how their culture differs from your own.
The UK itself is regularly the most popular overseas study destination, with London being the main draw. Bringing together more than 100,000 international students, London is now home to a host of different cultures, cuisines, and wonderful people.
The most common countries that these students come from is China, the United States, India, Italy, France, Hong Kong, and Germany. You can expect to see people from an even wider range of places, however.
Meeting and making friends with these international students will broaden your horizons and encounter people from different religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, economic classes, and political views. These experiences can be as invaluable as your degree, and, for the finance student, is a great way to improve your global interpersonal skills.
This form of education and self-development is only possible in a multicultural city like London.
Overseas students can look forward to a world-class healthcare system that offers modern, safe treatments.
Those applying to study using a student visa may have to pay a relatively small fee to access the National Health Service (NHS. This offers both peace of mind and does away with the need for health insurance like other countries. This entitles you to visit a doctor freely without worrying about charges and receive medication if necessary. There is also private healthcare options available but this is largely unnecessary due to the high standards of the NHS.
You will also find London universities place a strong emphasis on maintaining good mental health. This means should you feel depressed, stressed, or upset, you will have access to services that can help. Environments such as the UWS London campus are also designed to encourage healthy study and provide student welfare officers who can offer advice and a friendly ear.
London universities also place a focus on security, ensuring their students are kept free from harm. These security measures, while not always visible, mean you are always kept safe during your time studying.
Regularly voted as the cultural capital of the world, London offers students access to a treasure trove of things to see and do when not studying finance.
As one of the world’s oldest cities, London’s rich and interesting history means there is always somewhere new to go visit and learn about its past. These include places such as Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London, Hampton Court Royal Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The city’s music and theatre scene is also buzzing with gigs and shows from the glitzy West End to the smaller venues where you’ll discover new bands. And for those who want to party as hard as they study, London is famous for its wide range of nightclubs, cocktail bars, comedy clubs, bars, and traditional pubs. These are typically open every night of the week, so can fit in with your study schedule!
And if you’re more of a foodie, the city’s multicultural nature means there is an enormous amount of different cuisines here for you to try. Everything from Lebanese, to Ethiopian, to Thai, vegan and Greek, the city caters for all tastes with some of the best eateries in the world.