Moving to London
London might feel physically removed from Europe but is ideally placed to do some cross-continental sightseeing. London is also home to world-class tourist attractions, magnificent architecture, incredible theatre, concerts and art, plus beautiful expansive inner-city parks for restive lunch breaks. The city is also home to a wonderful array of restaurants where expats can sample cuisines from across the world.
London is the powerhouse of the UK's economy and expats will find great job opportunities in the city. Sectors that are particularly well-established in London include finance, business, law, IT, medicine and engineering, as well as more creative industries such as fashion, graphic design and media. Luckily, expats moving to London from an EU-member state will be entitled to work in the UK without applying for a work permit.
There is no denying that London is expensive and expats moving to the city will need to ensure that their salary compensates for the high cost of living. While finding affordable accommodation in London can be difficult, expats will find there are many ways in which one can save money as well. For instance, expats can take advantage of the many free festivals and events that take place in the city each year.
Many expats also struggle to adjust to the less-than-perfect weather patterns, with long English winters a trial for those hailing from warmer climates. Another common expat complaint relates to one of London’s greatest accomplishments, its public transport system. Rush-hour commuting on the Tube or bus system can be unpleasant and almost certainly malodorous, but expats will get to where they need to go without recourse to a car.
Expats moving to London will be pleased to know that there is a wide variety of schooling options available to them. Children with parents who are legally residing in the UK have the right to attend a state-funded school without paying fees. Expats who would prefer their child to continue studying the curriculum followed in their home country are likely to find a good international school that meets their child's needs in London.
London has an enormous expat population. There are large, well-established communities of Asians, South Africans and Australians, as well as sizeable populations of American and Caribbean immigrants. The result is a dynamic, energised environment that never ceases to surprise and always values people’s skills over their origins.