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Tips for those moving from Australia to London

Whenever we move to any new city it always comes with its own unique set of challenges. And this is more so when you move to a city like London. Although London is a popular destination for expats from all over the world it can pose a challenge to someone relocating from overseas without prior knowledge about the British capital.

To begin finding suitable accommodation to stay is the primary concern. You could begin by checking out the Special Offers at Shoreditch Hotels, which could help to save considerably on hotel costs.

An affordable option would be the M hotel by Montcalm in Shoreditch London Tech City that would be a good base to begin your stay in the city until you do not find permanent accommodation suited to your budget. Some of the things to need keep in mind when relocating to London are:

Employment: If you do not already have a job in hand in the city, finding employment on arrival may not be that easy. Remember while looking for employment you will have to foot the bills of accommodation, travel and food and do not expect any benefits from the government. You need to have worked earlier in London to be eligible for any allowance from Jobseekers. You need to have finances in reserve to ensure you can make all your payments and that too at London prices! For those who are non-EU citizens and are entering the country on a work-visa it is mandatory to have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer. This is not applicable for students who are enrolled at a University in Britain. You could choose to find employment for up to 20 hours a week suited for students.

Banking: The quicker you deal with your banking issues the better it would be. Opening a bank account in Britain can take long and is a tedious process for those who are new to the city. There is a lot of paperwork involved and you will need scores of documents to authenticate your address and eligibility to open an account. And if you are on a student visa you will find the necessary information in your welcome pack. Some of the top British banks are Barclays, Lloyds, NatWest and HSBC.

Accommodation: Like employment, finding suitable accommodation can either be done on location or remotely. The benefit of doing it on location is you can browse properties, speak with estate agents and check out the place in person. You cannot always depend on adverts as the accommodation may not actually be as attractive as it appears in the advertisement. There is plenty of budget accommodation to be found around the city as long as you know where to browse. While remote flat-hunting is more convenient it is always best to actually see things for yourself before you actually sign on the dotted line. The key to staying in the city is to choose a location that offers convenient access and has ample transport links with your work destination in the city. It would be counter-productive is you find a cheaper place to stay outside London, while you shell out almost the same amount saved on rent, for transport to and from your workplace. And once you have selected a suitable place take it at the earliest as rental homes are in always in demand.

Travel: Once you have found a place to stay you need to consider how you will travel around the city. Opting for a car may not be all that practical considering the road tax, insurance, fuel costs and even emissions costs (in certain areas). Choose only to go in for a car if it is worth it. To travel short distances a better option is a ‘Boris bike’. You can get them easily on hire from a Barclays Cycle Hire, and is one of the most convenient ways of travelling around London. There are several locations in the city where you could pick up or drop them. While in the city get one of those Pay As You Go Oyster Cards which are used on the Tube, buses and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).As cash is no longer accepted on buses in London, you could either opt for a contactless payment card or an Oyster Card. Get yourself well acquainted with the Tube map as you will need to use a fair bit to get around the city.

Healthcare: Once you have settled, you need to register with a local GP surgery. They will decide whether you are to receive treatment as a resident, and will probably ask for residence and employment proof. There are also quite a number of GP surgeries that register a patient irrespective of their residential status. The goes for a dentist to avail of the NHS. There also are affordable dental plans for those not registered with the NHS. For free treatment in a hospital, you have to prove you are studying or working in the country. The only exceptions are psychiatric or emergency treatment. For more information you can check the NHS visitors’ webpage.

Communication: Having a smart-phone will certainly be useful. Of course you will need to obtain a UK SIM card. There are a lot of SIM-only deals on offer through the country’s top mobile networks, which are Vodafone UK, Three, EE etc. They offer a variety of differently priced packages that consist of talk time, texts and data usage to access the Internet. Preferably opt a 4G package as it offers the best speed to use broadband services on the phone.

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