Students who wish to study at a private college of further education may decide to enroll at an independent institution in Central London. The choice of pursuing GCSE or A-level studies at an independent college in the heart of town is a rewarding one from many points of view: not only in terms of educational resources, but also considering the range of extra activities and amenities available to students. The opportunities that London offers allow students to make the most of their experience at the college, both academically and in their leisure time.
London is home to many museums and exhibitions that GCSE and sixth-form students at private colleges of further education can visit. Independent colleges often organize educational trips for their pupils, but students are also encouraged to visit museums and exhibitions that are relevant to their course of studies during their spare time.
London museums that are free for students to visit include the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern. Additionally, students at private colleges in the Kensington area have easy access to the three museums in South Kensington: the National History Museum, the Victoria and Albert and the Science Museum. So, the choice of museums in London reflects the interests of GCSE and A-level students both in the scientific and the humanistic sphere.
There is a very large choice of libraries and bookshops for students who attend a private college of further education in Central London. As well as local libraries, all major High Streets host a choice of chain and independent bookshops. In particular, the popular Charing Cross Road is where the highest concentration of bookshops can be found: chains like Waterstones and Borders, as well as independents like Foyles. There are also many second hand bookshops, where GCSE and sixth-form students may find bargains.
One of the major concerns of independent colleges of further education is to ensure their students’ well being, so a choice of sports is routinely offered to both GCSE and A-level pupils. Independent colleges in London often have agreements with local facilities for students’ use, e.g. to play football or table tennis. Private colleges actively encourage students to practice sports in their leisure time too, e.g. attending local gyms. As well as using local sports facilities, college students can also enjoy walks in London’s many parks, which include Hyde Park, Regents’ Park, St James’s Park and Holland Park.
Students attending private colleges usually stay with host families or at hostels. Colleges do their best to ensure that student accommodation is located at a convenient distance from the institution; however, in a town as big as London students often need to use public transport to get to the independent college from their accommodation.
London’s transport network ensures good and quick connections and it is easy for students who are not familiar with London to quickly orient themselves. Private colleges of further education usually offer exhaustive information on their websites regarding transport available to reach the college: by tube, bus or train. Advice on overseas travel is also available to students at independent colleges and thanks to London’s well connected airports, it is easy for families of overseas students to visit during term-time.
Students at independent colleges in London are also drawn to London’s many music venues. One of these is the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington, which schedules a variety of both classical and pop/jazz artists, whereas the South Bank Centre hosts exhibitions as well as regular concerts.