Today has been my practical day, more or less. I started off the morning with a jaunt down to my local HSBC bank branch. Fortunately, HSBCs are scattered about London so they’re easy to find — this one was about five minutes walking from my flat. I was able to open a passport account in about fifteen minutes!
What to take into the branch with you:
- Passport or National ID Card
- Non-UK address Verification (Drivers License, Overseas Bank Statement, etc.)
I filled out the application form online through HSBC’s website and only had to provide those two items. If you haven’t applied online, you’d probably be better equipped by bringing in an LSE acceptance letter or verification of student status. My bank card will be arriving within 8 or so days, but I have been provided with all of the necessary account information to sign up for direct debits!
After hitting up HSBC, I decided to check out the Sainsbury’s down the way to load up on some groceries. After perusing the aisles (and finding that I was pretty satisfied with their selection of vegetarian and healthy foods), I left with a pack of Activia, a large container of soup, a bag of apples, a bag of carrots, a huge container of off-brand Splenda and a container of chickpea salad. All in all (after purchasing store brand versus name brand), I left just £8 lighter.
Post-groceries, I decided that the time came to check out Oasis Sports Centre, a gym that sits thirty seconds away from my flat (on the corner of Endell and High Holborn). After sitting down with a sales associate, I snagged a student membership for £22.50 a month with no contract required. The monthly cost includes unlimited access to cardio and weight equipment, access to the group exercise classes and unlimited pool time. For an additional fee, I can also use the sauna or the squash courts! I was able to pay for October (and the rest of September) in cash and set up a direct debit with my newly minted HSBC account.
What you need to sign up at Oasis:
- Bank account information (Sort Number and Account Number)
- Student ID card or Acceptance Letter
- Payment for first month (cash or card)
It took me roughly thirty minutes to set up the account, take a tour of the gym and schedule an induction (tomorrow at 7AM!) The gym isn’t huge but it definitely has a sufficient amount of equipment to satisfy my workout needs. If you sign up, you’ll be given an access card immediately; an induction has to be done first before you can actually use the facilities!
It’s not even 3P here and I feel fairly accomplished. I think I’m going to take a jaunt down to the LSE area again to check out the campus and visit the Royal Courts of Justice. I’ll be headed out with some fellow early arrivers tonight at the Great Queen’s Street pub for some bonding time!
Lots of love,