10 tips for moving to London for work or study
You have secured your place in College or the job of your dreams in London or the wider UK but now you need to get organised for the move. But where to start? We have some tips:
Before you move to London
1. Save money
Although three have been improvements in the Euro to Pound Sterling exchange rates the cost of living in the UK can be high, especially if you are moving to London. Expect to pay 6 weeks rent in advance on accommodation with the average rent in London at £629, this works out as quite a significant amount. You also need to factor in the cost of bills, your phone and food for the time before you are paid.
2. National insurance number
Although you can’t apply for a national insurance number (the equivalent of your PPS number) until you arrive in the UK, make sure you have the documentation you need to get one with you:
• passport or identity card
• birth or adoption certificate
• marriage or civil partnership certificate
• driving licence
This will make the process when you arrive much easier.
3. Book the ferry
The earlier you book the ferry to Britain the less expensive it should be, you might even catch a special offer.
What to bring
One of the joys of travelling by ferry is you can bring everything you need without worrying about weight restrictions. This is particularly useful if you are moving to work in the UK , you can bring your favourite stuff from home hassle free. If you are moving for college it may be better not to bring too much. Chances are your halls or rented room will be smaller with less storage than your room at home.
Try to pack a selection of clothes you can dress up or down depending on the situation along with a few cosy favourites for winter. If you are going to start a new job, include a selection of formal wear. If you aren’t sure of the office dress code, it’s better to be over rather than underdressed on a first day.
5. Electrics and toiletries
Bring all the tech you have to stay in touch while you are away including laptop, tablets and head-phones but don’t forget personal electronics like straighteners or a favourite hair dryer.
When it comes to toiletries, you might want to bring an initial supply but you won’t have any trouble topping them up when you get there. Don’t forget to bring any medication and/or prescriptions you will need while you are away.
If possible, bring a duvet for all seasons that separates into two for Spring, Summer and Autumn but can be joined together in winter to keep you warm. Bring favourite duvet
covers and sheets to help your new place feel like home. Oh don’t forget earplugs and an eyeshade, in case your new home is noisier or brighter than you are used to.
7. Reminders of home
It’s the little things that will help you settle into your new place like photos of family and friends, favourite posters or throws to make your new room feel more familiar.
When you get there
8. Open a bank account
Use a comparison site to figure out which bank account is the best value for you. What you need to open an account in the UK varies by bank but usually requires:
Proof of address – your tenancy agreement may be sufficient or a recent electricity or gas bill
Letter from your university
ID: a passport or drivers licence
9. Public transport
Hopefully you have a few days before college or your new job starts to work out the public transport. If you are in the capital, Transport for London should be your first port of call. It has all the information you need to navigate the tube line around central London and the bus and rail services in the outer suburbs.
An Oyster card is likely to make life getting around London a whole lot easier. If you are using public transport every day consider a ‘season ticket’ for a week, month or year. There are also student options available with extra discounts.
10. Making friends
If you are moving to the UK to go to college you may not find this too challenging as there may be a group of likeminded people on your course and social events will be organised to help you meet people. Of course, it isn’t always easy and if you are struggling here are some suggestions:
• Accommodation: if you are living away from home, try to find common ground with those you live with.
• Clubs/Societies: join one for a something you enjoy doing, most universities have a wide range covering everything from unusual sports like trampolining to chess or choir.
• Volunteer: another great way to make friends at college is through voluntary work on or off campus. Can you help in a local animal shelter or youth club or are there things around campus you could volunteer to help?
• Study sessions: see if your course of similar courses organise study sessions you could attend.
Making friends when you move to a new city to work can be more tricky. Be prepared for it to take time. But there are things you can do to make it easier:
• Get involved at work: is there a social committee in your new job? Consider joining it or attending as many of the events they organise as you can. They are a great way to meet people from other areas of the organisation who you become friends with.
• Housemates: if you live with others, arrange a ‘get to know you’ dinner in your new home, the people you live with are a great source of information on ‘how things work’ in a new city.
• Do an evening course: Yoga? Woodturning? DIY? Crafts? Whatever floats your boat outside of work, do a course, it’s a way to meet people you already have something in common with.
• Meetup.com: go to meetups on topics that interest you, there’s a huge variety of groups from those who socialise together, code, hill-walk or learn languages together, trust us, that’s only the tip of a huge iceberg.
Moving to London is a exciting opportunity. Bring everything you need by booking with Stena Line from Dublin to Holyhead. We look forward to welcoming you on board.