Imagine a pair of twins – so similar in appearance yet so different in character. That’s Australia and the UK in a nutshell for you. We are close to one another by mind and spirit. We laugh at the same jokes and tell the same tales. It almost seems like there are no boundaries between the British and the Aussies.
And yet there are.
Sure they aren’t anything to write home about (hence no one does), but it’s still important for you to know their every nook and cranny before you make the move to London. Not because you may reconsider or you wouldn’t absolutely love it here, but because it would make the assimilation process so much simpler.
Say “No” to culture shock as you arm yourself with the knowledge below before getting on that plane to the UK.
Top 10 this to know before moving to London
Let’s jump on the list of things you should be prepared to see in the UK starting with the boring stuff as it is usually of most importance.
- Immigrating to the UK from Australia shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Our countries have been good friends for countless years and our relationships are mutually beneficial. Yes, you’ll still need a Visa but hey, all of the paperwork can be done online and you have two amazing options: An easily renewable Skilled work Visa for 3 whole years or a Work Holiday Visa for 2. The latter one is only a fir for Australians aged 18 to 30.
- You will need to arrange your situation with taxes upon arrival. The sooner, the better. First of all, you will need to determine whether you’ll remain an Australian resident for tax purposes (this doesn’t include any taxes from sources of income in Australia. You’ll need to pay for those to the Australian government o matter what.)? That being said, if you are employed by a British company then you will be paying a British tax. It’s based on the PAYE model or, in simpler words, your tax is automatically deducted from your earnings.
- Bank accounts in the UK are very secure. You can store your money here without fear. This feta, however, is achieved through a lot of work that includes tons of paperwork and background checks on anything and anyone. In simpler words, opening a bank account in London is an extremely time-consuming activity. It’ll also require additional paperwork like proof of residence. Your rent or bills should do the trick. Yay, the bills are finally useful for something other than making me cry.
- Your Sponsored Work Visa gives you the right to residence. Your right of residence gives your kids the opportunity to attend a state school if you are interested in it. This point isn’t particularly relevant to every Australian moving to London but I have decided to include it anyway.
- As for when the health care is concerned, Australians are entitled to limit free access to the NHS. Po tip: forget about whatever you are entitled to (I know it sounds cool, but just do as I say) and visit a private practitioner in case of an emergency. It’s just… safer this way.
Now that the boring part is over, let’s die deep into the domain of His Royal Majesty, Sir Cultural Shock.
- We love your accent. It’s just so adorable, friendly and appealing. This means that we, the British, can’t really help ourselves. We need the treat of commenting on your accent and we need it badly. Sure this may not sound as shocking at first, but imagine dozens of people talking about how funny that one thing is. Oh, you know, the one that you did since you were a two-year-old and always tough you were doing it right.
- I know that you are used to wildlife in Australia, but have you ever seen a fox in your city? Or a squirrel? You’ll see lots of them in London at night. And you’ll think that they are adorable. Up until the point when… Ugh. Just make sure to keep your rubbish bags sealed.
- You’ll need a decent pair of shoes that will protect you from the moist, windy weather. Not only that, but given the amount of walking around the city you’ll be doing from one Tube station to the other, those shoes better be as convenient as heaven. Ideally, you are looking for a lost child of a military boot and a Nike sneaker.
- The internet is cheap. And it’s good. Very-very good. No, seriously, you’ll be surprised. I know a lot of my Australian friends were.
- Lastly (as if you needed any more reasons to move here), it would be wise to notice that London is the center of the world, baby! You are literally walking – OK, swimming – distance from the entirety of Europe. The US is also but a few hours away. If you feel like traveling a lot during the weekends or holidays, there’s no other place like London to serve as your HQ.