Life in the United Kingdom
How toThrive in the UK
Starting a life in the UK
If you have made the choice to come and start a new life in the United Kingdom or you are still at the stage where you are weighing up your options, this section will take you through the issues you need to consider as you make your move.
As you may already know, the United Kingdom is made up of 4 countries-England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and it is officially referred to as the the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The capitals of these four countries are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast respectively.
Although the way of life is similar in all parts of the UK, there are subtle differences which may influence where you may want to settle down and obviously other factors such as the presence of family will also come into play.
Where is the best place to settle?
There is no best place to settle within the UK, but factors such as employment opportunities will come into play especially for people who do not have any family around. It is important to note that the cost of living is generally higher in some parts of the UK compared with others. For example House prices in London and surrounding areas in the south of england are generally higher than in the north. This means your money will tend to go further if you live up north or in Scotland or wales.
Big cities tend to avail you the opportunity to access basic amenities within a short radius but if you are not one who likes to live in a buzzy environment, there are a lot of lovely small towns within the UK that offer similar lifestyle but at a more tempered level.
On coming into the UK, most people start out with renting a suitable accommodation, but it is always useful to consider saving enough for a mortgage deposit so as to get on the property ladder soon enough. This also saves you money that would otherwise be wasted on renting for prolonged periods.
There is usually a range of accommodation options available depending on your need and preferences. However, finding the ideal place for yourself can sometimes be a challenge and the costs could be compounded by various administrative fees charged by estate agents. One way to bypass these agents is to rent directly from a landlord but this as well is not always an option because not many landlords would like to deal directly with prospective tenants so its always a balance between what you want and what you are able to get. Generally, the most popular way of searching for an accommodation is to go onto the Rightmove or Zoopla website. There you can search for accommodation at specific locations. Another option is to check on websites such as gumtree, flatmaterooms or spareroom where you can usually find cheaper shared accommodation with usually no administrative fees. This can usually be useful in the early settling down days.
As you find your feet in the UK, the next step would be to consider buying a property. This we will explore in one of our blog posts.
The UK has got very good road and rail transport systems. You can generally get round towns and cities on the bus, trams or the tube, if you are in london. Travelling long-distance can usually be done via the trains or coaches. However, in the long term, although not environmentally friendly, getting yourself a car can be a more efficient way of transporting yourself as the trains can actually be very expensive. Again as with other decisions your preferred mode of transportation will depend on your own personal circumstances.
Generally the UK has a good cultural mix and it is highly likely that while you are here, you would find other people of similar backgrounds and culture as yours. Nonetheless, it is an invaluable experience to be able to learn from people of different backgrounds and embrace ways of life which we were hitherto unfamiliar with.