Moving to London for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, this is generally not advisable since London can be very expensive and eat through your savings quickly.
That said, London’s economy, despite Brexit, continues to perform strongly and there are lots of jobs available.
There are nearly 64,000 Americans living in London as of 2011, which means they make-up around 0.8% of London’s population.
Here are a few tips about moving to London from America:
Healthcare: While you can find private doctors and hospitals in London, the majority of people use the NHS (National Health Service). It’s free at the point of service, which makes things like medical bills a non-issue, although as a foreign citizen, you will have to pay the healthcare surcharge, which currently costs £200 per year for Americans.
Vacation time: Unlike the US, almost all employees in the UK are legally entitled paid holidays. The current requirement is 5.6 weeks per year, which for full-time employees works out to 28 days, although bank (public) holidays are often included in this total.
British Spelling and Vocabulary: Finally, it may take you some time to get used to how the British spell things (e..g replacing Z’s with S’s and adding U’s into words). They also use a slightly different vocabulary to American English, Oxford University Press has a good guide here or you can check out these illustrated examples and Wikiepedia’s List of words having different meanings in American and British English.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to London, you can start by comparing moving quotes.
Moving to London from any country is a huge move. You might have an overseas job posting that requires you to move here, or perhaps you want to attend university. It might be that your partner’s work means you too have to move, or perhaps you’re going to join family who already live here.
London is a sprawling metropolis. And whilst central London and all the main tourist attractions are fairly close to each other, the surrounding areas make for a large and, to those who’re not familiar with the city, somewhat confusing location. After all, would you know whether to search for a house in Kensington or Shadwell Hill? Brixton or Chelsea? Or how about Walthamstow or Leytonstone? Knowing in-depth information about the various different areas is vital before you begin your house hunt.
Luckily, choosing a suitable area in which to live can be done, to a very large extent, before you leave. The first thing to understand about London is how the different areas are described. There are 33 boroughs of London, each with their own infrastructure, local government, council and highly individual feel and identity. The London Town website provides a map of these boroughs, as well as some great descriptions about each individual area.
! Lived in London for four months last year, as a live-in au pair, for my cousin, (which was an extreme privilege, as they have a nice home in Highbury).
Now my best friend and I, both Canadians, are looking to move in semi-permanently come September! I do consider myself quite familiar with lifestyle and costs in London, however I am a bit worrisome about finding work. Any sort of job would be ideal once we get there, however I would like to (sooner or later) ease into something more into my field of interest/expertise. Are you aware of the market for entry level positions? (We’re recent uni graduates) 🙂
This is all so true! I was offered a teaching position in a school just south of London for this coming school year. It was basically my dream come true. However, when I soon realized how expensive it is to move abroad and that the school wouldn’t be offering a sign on bonus (like a lot of American schools do when they are in high need) or moving expenses at all, I decided to put my dream on hold for another year so I can save money. I think it’s a lot easier to move abroad when it’s to be with a citizen of that country. Doing it alone, with no monetary support is beyond expensive. Not to mention the cost of living is close to three times the amount it costs to live where I am in the US. Le sigh.
London has some of the best public transport in the world, so the likelihood is that wherever you decide to live, you’ll have easy access to the underground/over-ground or bus network. London itself is made up of 32 boroughs and neighbourhoods – though you might find some plucky landlords advertising a home in ‘Greater London’ only for you to find it in neighbouring counties like Kent or Essex. Laying our cards on the table, London is expensive. No matter where you live, your home and your commute to work, are going to be your biggest expenses.
I wants have living in london very near future because ined start new life again so i wish live in camden town area very much but thy are very expensive rental too high but i can’t afford to live there so i really loved there very much so i was once lived in north of london so i left there 42 year ago so i r really miss it why my late parents won’t me stay london too risky for me but not really because i’m gay and they hate gay too but thank god they gone for past so i hope might returning to london
Use the londonist website, and explore the neighbourhoods of London, they are interesting and will have better bars and food than in town.
Get ready to see some extreme wealth.
I moved to London (Z2, working in central London) three years ago from another big city. I've come to terms with living here, but I can't say I've ever liked it or wanted to be here long term. The novelty has long since worn off, I'm not getting enough bang for my buck (housing, particularly; I will never afford to buy here) and I'm in the process of trying to get out.
Some of us just objectively don't like living in London.
I lived in London for a year and a half, in Bethnal Green, working just outside the City of London.
If you make, say, £25k, and don't mind sharing a house with strangers, I'm sure London can be great, however, I made £18k.
I did have many good experiences down in London, there is nowhere else in the UK that offers a comparable level of diversity of experiences or people. For many it is the best place to build your career as well.
I got a touch tired of being crushed into a central line train twice a day, sharing flats and houses with people whom I got along with but had very little in common, essentially pushed together like it was student housing. I also got tired of pints being £5 and everyone seemingly believing the hype that London was great because it was London.
I believed that hype as well for a long time, so I can't really complain about that last bit.
I had people dissuade me too, and it turned out they were right. I live in Birmingham now and can afford to rent a flat to myself, I always get a seat on the train or trams even in rush hour, my career has improved as well as I can't be easily replaced by another hungry graduate who is just happy to have "London" as their location on twitter.
Do what you want mate, I honestly wish you the best and hope you enjoy the city for longer than I did, but while you shouldn't take the word of people who never lived here as gospel, you should also apply a healthy dose of salt to people who don't see a downside.