Research – how to learn about life in your destination
- If you’re not already familiar with your destination, ask people who already live and work there. But remember that expats can be very biased based on their own experience!
- Visit your local embassy website in your destination and see what information they provide for expats. The website of the US embassy in London is at https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/relocation-services-in-the-uk/.
Focus Information Service is an excellent expatriate support resource for all nationalities at https://www.focus-info.org/.
- All UK neighbourhoods have their own local government called “councils” and they provide information on local facilities, state schools and crime rates. Google which council covers your destination then visit the website whose URL ends in .gov.uk such as https://www.camden.gov.uk/ which covers Hampstead in London.
- Go online to a major UK property portal like Rightmove and search for a house with your required number of bedrooms in your destination with no minimum or maximum budget set. You will see the full range of property available- more at the top end indicates a better area and more at the bottom end not quite so good! More houses than flats = more families, more apartments = younger demographic.
- If looking for schools, visit the Independent Schools Council website at https://www.isc.co.uk/ to search for private independent schools in your UK destination.
- Research travel or commuting times by entering possible areas and your place of work at https://www.zoopla.co.uk/travel-time/ . In London use www.tfl.gov.uk
- Visit in advance and try to arrange an orientation tour. If possible, visit areas in weekday rush hour 7-9am and 5-7pm and at a weekend. London postcodes can have a very different vibe at weekends!
- Look at the cost of living in your UK destination. Expats on good salaries are often surprised at how little they can afford in terms of rental properties, particularly in London. Check out prices of common groceries, utilities and accommodation in the UK at https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=United+Kingdom
If you need help with your relocation to the UK, please call us on +44 (0) 1243 790044 or Contact Us now!