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There are few global destinations that can offer the grandeur and excitement of London. Perched on the banks of the famed Thames, the city shines with possibility even in the greyest weather and buzzes with an electric energy only rivalled by the likes of New York. Expats moving to London will encounter a multicultural, densely packed melting pot of people working feverishly against an amalgamated backdrop of cutting-edge technology and two millennia of rich history.
London might feel physically removed from Europe but is ideally placed to do some cross-continental sightseeing. London itself 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. Foodies will delight in the fact that the city boasts a wonderful array of restaurants where expats can sample cuisines from across the world.
London is the undisputed powerhouse of the UK's economy, and expats will find all sorts of great work 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.
Although no longer in the world's top 20 most expensive cities, there is no denying that London is pricey 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 discover there are many ways in which one can save money as well. For instance, we recommend new arrivals take advantage of the many free and low-cost events and festivals 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 and relentless drizzles a trial for those hailing from warmer climes. Another common complaint relates to one of London’s greatest accomplishments and frustrations – its public transport system. Rush-hour commuting on the tube or bus can be unpleasant and often malodorous, but expats will be able to get to where they need to go without needing to use a car.
Those relocating to London with families will be pleased to know that there is a wide variety of schooling options available to them, and those who'd prefer their child 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, colourful expat population. There are large, well-established communities of every major nationality, as well as sizeable populations of Asian and Caribbean immigrants. The result is a dynamic, energised environment that never ceases to surprise and always values people’s skills over their origins.
Are you an expat living in London?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to London. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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