Today’s post has a slight spin from the usual fashion, beauty, food and events type features I regular post. I decided to leave the product reviews to one side (just for one day mind…) and put together a feature about a topic that will be of interest to a lot of my international readers. It’s also dedicated to my Australian friends who I spent a lot of time with when I was living over there, who I know are avid little travelers!
I was recently catching up with a lovely Sydney born and bred girl who I worked with on the other side of the world, who told me she is off on her European travels again but wants to stay in London for a year and work in our capital. She asked me for some tips and advice on working in the UK and what general lifestyle pointers I can give her a ‘heads up’ about before she arrives, which got me thinking – what a nice travel related blog post idea!
There must be so many people from all countries around the world who wonder how easy/difficult it is to work in the UK, but once they have got a rough work plan figured out, of course people want to know about lifestyle expectations over in the UK. (The below photos are taken from my travelling trip and spending a few days in Singapore…)
I’ve put together this feature which gives some pointers and tips which I hope can be of some help to anyone out there interested in living and working in the UK. I’m no travel expert, but I have visited some pretty cool places and left my life in Manchester for a year in Sydney, Australia, so I feel I can draw upon my experience and offer some personal advice. A more in-depth round-up you could check out is this lovely article about Working in the UK which has been put together to give some informative guidance, do have a little peak here!
1. Passport and Visa Programmes
You will need a passport, from the Working Holiday Visa Programme with the UK, valid for the period you will be on holiday. Currently, the participating countries are below, although it can be subject to change:
- New Zealand
2. Money Money Money
The authorities may ask you to prove you have enough money to support yourself while you’re in the UK without needing public support. When I moved across to Australia, I had to ensure I had more than £3,000 in my bank account to enter the country. It differs when coming to the UK, but even so, you will need significant proof of enough funds to keep you going incase you struggle to secure work. Before you jet off, make sure you save up as much as you possibly can. Not even just to show the authorities, but so you can enjoy travelling the country and sightseeing for as long as you can. Remember that every city is difference; some are built up and have lots of wide-scale opportunities. Other cities are not as affluent and struggle to cater opportunities for everyone’s industry (check out how amazing the city of Singapore looks below! I took this photo from one of the tallest hotels…)
3. Types of Visa’s
One way to stay longer than two years in the UK is via the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). This is created for people with skills deemed valuable to the UK. You don’t need to have an existing job offer to be approved for this visa, and it helps you to set up a longer life aim in the UK. Take a look at seasonal workers and student visas too, incase you wish to be here for a shorter period of time.
4. The Weather
When I was planning my life in Australia, I planned it all around the weather. For the people out there coming to the UK from sunnier climates, be aware that England can be very cold! The further South of the country is obviously the warmest, but no matter where you are, the Winters are continuously cold, and the Summer is always a little bit hit or miss. Plan your fashion around layering up, cosy coats and stylish boots, learn to take an interest in indoor activities, and learn to make friends with a good old trusty umbrella!
Lots of people in the UK regularly work out indoors at the gym, so look into joining health clubs with swimming pools, exercised classes and a fully equipped gym, indulge in cinema evenings and dining out, and take advantage of the luxurious shopping centers that home coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars and salons. And here we go again with me slotting in another travel photo (this one is a personal favourite!) – the below is from the hot and humid Singapore, stood at the top of the Marina Sans Bay Hotel. Although scorching hot and sweaty, the skies remained grey and dull the entire time. You can’t always get the desired weather!
5. The Religion
The UK is a diverse place for religion, so whatever religion you practice, don’t let it worry you about fitting into the culture of the UK. Search online for groups who share the same religion, and there will be opportunities to meet up and gain first hand recommendations for ideal churches, temples or even religious events. When I travelled to Singapore, I was amazed at the beauty of the temples surrounding the city, and often visited them in the morning when the locals were praying. The people of Singapore welcomed me in, although of course I adhered to their dress code and covered up my legs with their decorative scarves.
6. The Lifestyle
This final point is a very broad sum-up of life in England, so for all of you thinking of experiencing our country, familarise yourself with this jumble of keywords which reflect UK life…
Football/ Starbucks/ Rain/ Freindships / Shopping / Gyms / Concerts / Gigs / Large Music Scene / Celebrities / Fashion / Reality TV / Tesco Supermarkets / Hoodies / Scarves / Trench Coats / Ankle Boots / Coffee Dates / Internet Obsessed / Friends Round For Dinner / Nights Out / Cocktail Bars / Indie Bars / Buses / The Tube / Black Cabs / Take-aways / Fast Food / Dominos Pizza Late At Night / Friendly /