Moving to the UK for a year...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by AppleDApp, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #1
    Hey All

    I will be moving to the UK in about a year and a half. I am in the process of selling most of the things that I don't want to pay to have in storage. Mainly old furniture and appliances.

    I am looking to only get a furnished apartment in the UK and only move with two bags as carry-on luggage.

    Any reccommendations on the best way to proceed in packing? Should I bring all my clothes or buy there. The main concern is the exchange rate.

    I will be moving with this duffel bag 50L and a backpack 40L

    Also do you know if I can get a bank account with a tier 5 mobility visa?
     
  2. superscape, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016

    superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #2
    First thing to consider is where about in the UK you're planning to move to. If you're moving to the highlands of Scotland then you'll need very different clothing than if you're moving to the south of England.

    For example, if you're moving from California to Aviemore then odds are you'll need a lot more clothes than you can carry, and what clothes you own now probably won't be appropriate (unless you're a keen skier or hiker!).

    Think about what clothes you need, see how many you own already. Work out what buying the difference would be in the US and whether its carry-able. Work out what buying the difference in the UK would cost.

    Some places you can buy cheap (new) clothing in the UK are:

    http://www.primark.com/en/homepage
    http://www.matalan.co.uk

    If you don't mind second hand and you don't mind spending time bargain hunting then choose a more affluent area and check out the local charity shops. My wife used to work for Age UK in Beverley, UK (quite a well-off town) and they'd regularly have designer clothes donated, often unworn and sometimes even with the original price tags attached and they'd resell them for £5-10.

    Hope that's of some help, and let me welcome you to the UK in advance.
     
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    Behind the Lens, UK
    #3
    My experience is clothes are cheaper in the US than the UK. Things like electrical devices are much dearer here. Look at the equivalent Apple products in the UK verses the US. We pay 20% Tax on all purchases.
     
  4. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    If you're moving to the south of the UK, the South East or London and don't or won't have anything arranged for you – then rented* accommodation (a flat / apartment) will be the biggest headache.

    If you're trying to arrange something online etc at a distance (from the States) then please be really careful. If it sounds like a really good deal then it probably isn't. Ask on here if in any doubt! We often hear of foreign workers / students getting scammed, particularly on deposits etc - and many of the scammers aren't actually based in the UK so there's often no recourse in terms of getting money back etc.

    * Buying is simple - you'll just need the income of a Chinese or Russian Oligarch...
     
  5. superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

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    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #5
    ...and/or just live as far away from London as possible. ;-)
     
  6. AppleDApp thread starter macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #6
    First and formost Thank you very much for all the comments I wasn't expecting such a response. Forgive my lack of knowledge of the UK I will going to Kent or Canterbury. I currently live in Canada I expect the UK to be warmer and rainy compared.

    Any ideas for the best way to rent a place? Any tips for finding a job? I don't have a degree.
     
  7. superscape, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016

    superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

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    Feb 12, 2008
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    #7
    Well, as Jeremy H rightly pointed out, the south east and in particular London are some of the most expensive places in the UK to live. Demand is high, housing stock is low, prices are often ridiculous. Still, I guess as with anything, if you're prepared to shop around you may be lucky and find a bargain.

    I've always used rightmove (http://www.rightmove.co.uk) when house hunting. You can define an area and a price range and they'll send you updates when places are listed. It might be worth doing that now so over the next few weeks you can get a feel for what's out there. You might want to stick to some of the bigger letting agents e.g. Reeds Rain or Foxton etc (I'm not affiliated with them, honest) who may charge you more, but you're less likely to get scammed.

    Be aware that anything that *does* look like a bargain and *doesn't* look dodgy will be snapped up incredibly quickly, so if you see something you like the look of then be prepared to move fast.

    As far as not having a degree goes, it's not the end of the world. It just depends on what sort of work you want and what skills you *do* have. If you're not too fussy about what you do then check out local employment agencies - you'll usually get something, even if it's short term and low pay. Just make sure you have whatever documentation you need to be legal to work, I'm not sure what (if anything) a Canadian would need.
     
  8. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Kent's a funny place - it goes from being suburban South London'ish in the west to Dover in the east (think ex military and ferry port, I kind of like it but its quite run down and grotty in places) In-between can be picture postcard lovely including Canterbury. I wouldn't imagine a 1 bed flat there would be available for much less than £700+ ish a month but that's a guess. If that's your sort of budget then just take a look at some property websites. (Rightmove / zoopla etc). You'll probably have to sign a 6 month contract and the description 'furnished' take with a pinch of salt! If not, then house sharing can be a good option but might be tricky to arrange without being here. There are jobs here but a lot are on minimum wage these days (£7.20 an hour) unless you have specific skills. If you can cope with that then there are opportunities here!

    (Ah, just seen superscape's reply - all good advice - and I've probably duplicated a bit.)
     
  9. superscape, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016

    superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

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    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #9
    ...and if anyone offers you a "zero hours contract", my advice would be to reply with your choice of obscenity and turn it down. And make yourself aware of your rights and responsibilities under UK law as an employee/worker:

    http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4663
     
  10. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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  11. AppleDApp thread starter macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #11
    Much appreciated I currently work in a call center in Telecom. My main skills are IT related and Office Admin work. I don't mind working minimum wage work as long as it can cover the bulk of my expenses. I am currently saving for all of this. My Limitation is I cant work with food because I have severe allergies other than that I don't mind doing labor work or maybe help with an NGO.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2016 ---
    My SO is wanting to do her masters.
     
  12. superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

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    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #12
    It might be worth contacting the Uni and see if they can put you in touch with any reputable local landlords. I'm sure they'd help, especially if your S.O. made the call in her capacity as a future student.

    Some
    universities hire out student halls of residence in non-term time pretty cheaply so if you arrive in the UK at the right time, you might be able to stay there for a short while until you get something sorted out. It's worth investigating, at least.
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Behind the Lens, UK
    #13
    Call centre work should be easy enough to come by.
    But on minimum wage the majority of your income will go on rent.
    Yes there will be plenty of rain!
     
  14. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    The Centennial State
    #14
    ^ This.

    What kinda of (immigration) visa are you getting for your stay there? I'm pretty sure you can't just show up as a visitor and get legal employment there.
     
  15. AppleDApp thread starter macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #16
    I will be applying for this visa.

    Any suggestions on finding employment in the UK from Canada?
     
  16. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #17
  17. bigchrisfgb macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Ok I'm going to have to be honest, if your coming here and are prepared to work for minimum wage then living in Kent and the South East is going to be very very difficult unless you have quite a bit of wages. Most people there who are on minimum wage and are the main household income will very likely be receiving benefits such as housing benefits and tax credits to help them afford things, these benefits are also common for those on low incomes outside of the South East as well. You will not be entitled to these benefits, and mark my word it will be impossible for you to live off minimum wage without extra savings, you would pretty much be on the breadline.
    You also have to remember that pound sterling is usually higher than the Canadian dollar, it would pretty much split your Canadian money in half at best.
    Apparently clothes here in the UK are cheaper than in Canada (tourists here are advised to take with them as many clothes to Canada as they can so they don't have to pay out much).
    As your in IT then you should be able to find work in the UK fairly quickly, and it should be more than minimum wage, still though a life in the South East will still be expensive (think of the South East as like Vancouver, very expensive to live there).
    Also note that you possibly won't get a work permit/visa for a minimum wage job and you will have to rely on your skills and experience to get a higher paid skilled job. On the other hand I have seen a Canadian work in my local Apple Store, though he could be a student as well.

    As for accommodation, furnished can mean two things, it can mean anything from 'white goods' (washer, dryer, fridge) to a house that has every single bedside table. To find this out would be a case by case basis.

    A summery of my advice would be, be very open to living outside of the South East as it's far cheaper, and if you want to live there for London then bare in mind day trips and weekend trips are very doable from pretty much anywhere in the UK. Also make sure that you have been allowed to come to the UK for work and that you follow all the rules set out on your visa/work permit.
     
  18. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    Oregon
    #19
    Something you might consider is shipping your luggage by UPS and just take a small carry-on.
     
  19. AppleDApp thread starter macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #20

    You bring up many good points. A few things, I'd rather not work for minimum wage but if I have too I will. As far as living in Kent we will be living wherever my SO gets accepted for school either Kent or King's College. As for cost we have calculated median price of rent, cost of visa, tuition and travel and are saving towards all of that.
     
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #21
    In other words, your SO is hoping to be accepted for a college place, and you are travelling along with them. That explains the marked preference for the region. However, in your OP, you mentioned that you hope to travel in a year and a half, - that is the autumn of 2017? Then, you are planning quite a long way ahead.

    How long would you plan to stay?

    I'll add to what some of the others have already said: The south east of England is expensive - this has been a wealthy region of the country for around thousand years - and the social and economic divisions between the south east and the remainder of the country have widened, not narrowed, inn recent decades.

    Another point I will reiterate that others have already made: make sure you are legally allowed to work and that your visas are all completely in order.

    The sort of income which would allow a relatively comfortable life in parts of the north, and north east, will allow for a barely breadline existence in the south east.

    While I agree with @JamesMike's suggestion of shipping stuff, when travelling somewhere to live, I would always have at least one suitcase of my own accompanying me; stuff can get lost or delayed.

    Prior - well prior - to departure - I'd recommend doing a serious search of the urban centres in the wider region.

    For example, I'd google each of the towns, look up local Chamber of Commerce literature, and local media, to get a sense of the sort of businesses - their names, line of work - that operate in these locations and write to them nicely explaining who you are, what you hope to do, what your qualifications are and experience is - and asking whether they have any openings appropriate for someone with your skills.
     
  21. AppleDApp thread starter macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #22
    Yes we are planning ahead because of the potential cost of all this. We are planning on staying for a year.

    I will be applying for a tier 5 mobility visa. For location as of now she has not applied so its hard to say where we will be living the most affordable we can do this the better.

    Great advice thank you.
     
  22. superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

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    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #23
    I spoke to a friend of mine last night who lives near Tonbridge in Kent and has lived in a few places in the county. I mentioned your relocation project. He echoed mostly what folks here have already said to you. He also added that anywhere 'decent' is going to cost over £1000 per month in rent. So I think you'd really struggle on a minimum wage job - you need to be aiming higher than that, or have a serious sum in savings to make up the difference. He did mention that Sittingbourne might be worth a look. Rochester has good bits and bad bits. He said to avoid Dartford, Chatham, Isle of Sheppey and Maidstone. Bear in mind that's his personal opinion - you, me (and others) may well disagree if we'd visited them!
     
  23. AppleDApp thread starter macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #24
    Thanks for the added information we currently were ballparking rent at about 800-850£ a month.
     
  24. AppleDApp thread starter macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #25
    Does anyone have experience moving far away with very few bags?
     

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