When I moved to London 3 years ago and decided to leave my Country for the opportunity of a more challenging professional life, I wasn’t FULLY aware of what I would have had to experience… (Nor am I now to be honest – boredom You Old Friend). Although, I am pretty confident that I can still give you some tips in case you ever decide to – or perhaps are already – considering to make the big step of moving abroad.
1) Change the money
The first thing that you have to consider when coming to London for the first time is that you’ll need to bring with you “some” cash. Which probably means that you’ll need to start saving well in advance…
Finding a decent job can take up to few weeks, so I’d recommend to be prepared for that.
Once you are all set and ready to go, change your cash! I personally avoid any sort of current exchange shops for tourists and go directly to either Marks & Spencer or the tourist shops with the 0% commission sign at the front door (Oxford street is the place where you can find both).
2) Find a place to live
You’ll need a place to stay whilst flat-hunting. If you don’t know anyone that can host you, you can book yourself in and choose a place for a temporary accomodation with airbnb for example.
Also, you might have to consider sharing your space as living in London is pretty expensive. The average cost for a room can range from 400 to 900 British Pounds:
Single Room: £500-600 pm
Double Room: £600-900 pm
Student Accommodation: £400-600 pm
Whether you are looking for a short or for a long term accomodation you can have a look at this sites and you’ll most certainly find what you are looking for:
3) Learn the language (A must, I’d say)
Try not to stick around people from your own Country but, instead, do share your accomodation with people from different countries. “Needed- for-Survival” communication is the best way to learn a language. Also, it’d be good to consider undertaking an english course. You can find a few online or you can just enroll in a class.
4) Transport Pass – Oyster
With the tube and the buses you can easily go everywhere in London – anytime. I’d recommend buying the weekly Travel card or the monthly one so you will save up money instead of buying separate tickets for every single journey. The transport of London website has all the info that you need in this instance.
5) Open a bank account & Register for your NIN
Opening a bank account is a must do before looking for a job as well as getting your NIN number sorted (National insurance Number). Fundamental requirements when starting a new job.
6) Time to find a job..
…. Not as easy at it used to be I’m afraid, although easier than in my own Country perhaps.
First, make sure that your CV is well written and with no grammar spells. Recruiters search for candidates by looking for skills and using keywords, so make sure that it is optimised for the job that you are looking for. Try to build your network via Linkedin or Meetup by going to networking events and meeting like-minded people that work in the same field.
Last, but not least: do not sit around waiting for your application to get noticed, always be proactive.
7) And don’t forget to stay sane!
As much as I love London, I still find it pretty stressful at times.Big, challenging and expensive, but yet still amazing. My own tip is: travel often, meet new people and create your own circle of friends. Wheteaver makes you happy! (Yoga and meditation is a must for me).
…And That’s all Folks!
Keep in touch if you have any questions 🙂