Once you have handed your property search over to professional London relocation agents, you’ve received your visas and paperwork and your suitcase is slowly filling up with clothes, you can delve into the significant cultural aspects of moving to London.
A successful relocation to London is not the mere task of finding your way around the city, or deciding on a property to rent. Your London relocation services agent will handle a lot of those details for you. What they cannot do is tell you how you’ll fit in and what your London relocation experience will involve. It’s an entirely personal experience for everyone.
What you can do though is learn as much as you can about the basics of British culture and life in London as well as the small differences that you can expect, so you don’t get hit with a ‘culture shock’.
What are England, the UK and Great Britain?
This can be tricky, especially for Americans moving here. It is important that you learn the differences though. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the official name for this land. It is made up of four independent and quite separate countries, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each country has its own parliament, laws, history, traditions and culture. Many people moving to London assume that everyone living in the UK is from England, or even worse, that England is a collective terms for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
While Americans moving are welcomed, this ‘little thing’ is not considered especially charming by the English, or the Scots, or the Welsh. Let’s not even get started on how the residents of Northern Ireland feel about being called English.
Comparing Apples with Oranges…
It’s probably the biggest ‘little thing’ that can hinder your integration into your community, neighborhood or at your new job. Even if you work for a multi-national conglomerate, try to steer clear of comparisons between your country of origin and the UK. Remarking on a difference is quite different from rudely claiming that “the way you do it back home is better than over here.”
If you’re just starting your job after your international relocation or are looking to get involved in your community and make friends, just spend a little time absorbing and listening until you get the hang of things.