Wherever you will be spending the winter break, we understand that you may need advice and support. This page lists the support available to all students, as well as suggestions about what you can do during the Christmas holidays.
Student wellbeing and mental health support during the winter break
You can access a 24/7 out of hours mental health support line sponsored by the School via Spectrum.Life. All calls are answered by clinically trained counsellors or psychotherapists. You can talk to them about anything, including stress, anxiety, low mood, financial worries, loss and grief, relationship problems, and substance abuse issues.
Contacting Spectrum.Life out of hours support
Please note Spectrum Life will ask for some basic details to ensure you're eligible to use the service. All services provided through Spectrum.Life are done so in total confidence. The identity of individuals and personal details will always be protected.
Getting support - other key services
If you do not have a computer at home or are experiencing unforeseen financial difficulties, you can apply to the LSESU Hardship Fund (means-tested).
LSE's Financial Support Office can also assist students with financial difficulties due to coronavirus.
Accessing medical care
Please check with your General Practitioner (GP) surgery directly for opening hours.
If you need to access medical care, visit the NHS services webpage to find local GP, Urgent Care, Hospital and Dentist provision.
Access to LSE buildings
The School will close on the evening of Tuesday 21 December 2021 and reopens on Tuesday 4 January 2022. There will be no access to LSE buildings on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 December 2021, as well as Saturday 1 January 2022. Find the full campus and building opening hours on the School closure webpage.
Emergencies on and off campus
If you experience an emergency on campus, Security maintain a reduced service throughout the School closure period. They can be contacted by telephone: 020 7955 6555 or internal extension 666.
Contact the UK Emergency Services (Fire / Police / Ambulance / Lifeboats) by dialling 999 from any telephone. Non-emergency medical advice can be sought by dialling 111 and the police non-emergency number is 101.
For information about what to do in a mental health emergency, visit the Student Counselling Service's Emergencies / feeling suicidal webpage.
If you are staying in an LSE-owned hall of residence over the Christmas break, there will be staff from the Warden's team on site throughout. You can contact them in the same way as you do during term time.
Find additional information about LSE and London over the winter break in the sections below.
Whether you're staying in London or travelling home this winter, there are plenty of opportunities to meet others, recharge and explore the city. Check out what's nearby on the London activity map and discover fun ways of meeting other LSE students through the community activities webpage.
You can also find out about any activities happening in your Halls by following them on the Student Hub and Facebook.
For full information about SSC counter opening times, please see the SSC webpage. Please note that counter and live chat will not operate from 13-16 December to facilitate graduations. The counter will be closed throughout the winter break from Wednesday 22 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022. Any queries submitted via the Student Services online enquiry form during the Christmas closure will not be picked up until Tuesday 4 January. There will not be any live chat provision during this period. If you require any urgent documentation, please request it in advance of the winter closure, allowing for at least 3-5 working days.
IT resources and support
Visit the DTS webpage for information about Student Help Desk opening hours and how to access help during the Christmas closure.
Visit the catering outlets webpage to find out when LSE catering outlets will be open during the Christmas closure.
Visit the Library opening hours webpage for information about when the library will be open during the Christmas closure.
Christmas Day is a national holiday in the UK and almost all shops and attractions will be closed. This includes most supermarkets, so you're advised to plan your shopping in advance. Some restaurants will open, although many will require advance booking and will be more expensive than usual with set menus starting at around £65 per person.
Public transport does not operate on Christmas day, although Cycle Hire bikes are available. There will also be a reduced service on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (the days immediately before and after Christmas Day) so check with TfL before you plan to travel.
The streets of London are quiet on Christmas Day, so you could take this opportunity to wrap up warm and hire a bike or take a walk around the city.
Boxing Day is the UK's name for the day after Christmas. It was traditionally a day when employers gave gifts to their employees, but it's now a day when the post-Christmas retail sales begin. Oxford Street and other shopping centres are likely to be filled with bargain-hunters and can get very busy. As Boxing Day falls on a weekend this year, the Bank Holiday will take place on Monday 27 December - shops and services may be shut or operating reduce hours.
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
New Year's Eve is one of the biggest celebrations in London. There are usually firework displays in central London, although these have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
New Year's Day is also a Bank Holiday, meaning shops and services may be shut or operating reduced hours.
Traveling in London over the Christmas period
Check with TfL before you travel for information about changes and reduced services over Christmas and New Year. There is no special overnight or free travel for this New Year.
COVID-related travel restrictions and guidance will vary from country to country, so do check the requirements in advance and plan ahead. Read the UK Government guidance regularly about travelling abroad from England, as this can be subject to change. You may also like to read the information and guidance on our COVID-19 FAQs page, which links to the latest guidance on the entry requirements into the UK.
Visa information for travelling overseas
If you are planning to travel outside the UK, it is a good idea to take photocopies of your passport, visa and a copy of your Certificate of Registration with you when you travel.
International students are also strongly advised to review the ISVAT information on travelling during your studies.
You should always check to see if you need a visa for the country you are travelling to and review visa application instructions carefully. The ISVAT webpage provides guidance on Schengen visas for travel in Europe. You can also find further information on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website. You will need a letter from LSE, so be sure to plan ahead and request it in advance, because the Student Services Centre operates reduced opening hours in December and is closed for the Christmas closure.
Keep your passport and visa safe
If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), this is your visa and you will need to carry it with you while you travel to prove your entitlement to return to the UK. Store it safely and don’t risk travelling without it.
If your passport/visa is lost or stolen whilst travelling, please read the information online and contact the International Student Visa Advice Team for advice if required.
Don’t forget to arrange travel insurance as your NHS cover will not apply outside the UK. You should be careful to choose insurance which is suitable for international students. If it is only suitable for permanent UK residents, you will not be able to make a claim if anything happens.
ISVAT opening hours
For information about ISVAT drop-in sessions and live chat, please see the ISVAT webpage. Please note that ISVAT will be closed from Monday 20 December 2021 and will reopen on Tuesday 4 January 2022. Emails will not be monitored during this time.
In case of emergency while travelling, please contact your Embassy in the country you are travelling in. You can also contact the following organisations:
You can also contact the ISVAT team but please note that emails will not be picked up until Tuesday 4 January 2022.
January assessment dates
January assessments will take place from Monday 10 January - Friday 14 January 2022 inclusive.
Visit the exams timetable webpage for further information.
Visit the assessment FAQs and assessments webpage for everything you need to know about sitting January assessments.
Advice during the holiday
The Student Services Centre is open outside of term time, however it will be closed from Tuesday 22 December 2021 - Monday 3 January 2022 (inclusive) while the School is closed for Christmas.
Most questions will be answered on the following webpages:
Exam Procedures for Candidates
Emails will not be answered while the Student Services Centre is closed. They will be processsed as quickly as possible when service resumes on Tuesday 4 January 2022.