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Moving to Britain

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in the UK.

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Moving to Britain

Post Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:21 pm


I am thinking about moving to Britain and I have loads of questions, hopefully somebody here will be able to provide some answers/suggestions.

I currently live in a small Eastern-European country (member of the EU). The reason for moving is need for a change, I'm fed up with my current life and surroundings and I want to see the world (I am quite young, just 18). I would also like to finish high school in Britain and find a job. The main reason for picking Britain is that I can speak the language fairly well (I can understand basically everything but have a slight problem speaking it because my vocabulary isn't very wide) so hopefully it will be easier to adapt to the new life and find a job. I've been to England twice (spent a week on both visits) and although it's not enough to get a clear idea of the county I have really enjoyed my both visits and I like the British people, which is very important for me.

The main problem I'm having is that I can't decide on the area where I would like to move. I would love to live somewhere near the sea but on my visits I have never visited any seaside towns besides Whitby. I wouldn't mind living in a slightly smaller town to be nearer to the sea as long as there is a big city in a short driving distance where I could work and study. Does anybody have any suggestions regarding the place which would be best for a young student who wants to be able to go running on the beach or spend time looking out to sea? I've been thinking about Liverpool myself, how hard is it to find a decent-paying job as a student around there?

The other problem is finding a place to live in. I thought that after I have finally chosen the region I might contact some local real estate agents and ask for their help with finding a flat. Would this work? Where I come from, the real estate agents do absolutely nothing. They just charge money for posting ads in the newspapers. I've seen some British TV-shows that help people relocate and the agents have tried very hard to find the perfect property, but are they the same when the cameras are turned off? Do they even offer services to people who don’t yet live in the area?

Any tips and suggestions greatly appreciated.


Re: Moving to Britain

Post Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:48 pm

I would suggest Portsmouth.It has a very well known uni and is geared up for students.You have the sea and beach as well.
Houseshare would be easy to this would have to be your first point of call for somewhere to live.
As i have said in the UK if you dont have an address you cant get work......if you dont have work you cant rent or buy property.
You need to be employed for at least six months in full time employment (not agency) before you can even consider going to an estate agent to rent property.Their fees are very expensive, on average £100+vat per person.Then you will need 1.5 of the monthly rental as a deposit and a months rent in advance.You have to provide two referees who reside in the UK.Thats why houseshare is the easy option.

Hope this helps you.


Re: Moving to Britain

Post Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:09 pm

Hi, Assuming that you want to spend a year or more in England studying at a high school or college of further education, then I would suggest trying to identify the type of course and school or college first before choosing the exact location. This is because there is a plethora of courses and qualifications after compulsory education ends at 16 and provision is not the same in all areas of England. Generally, courses at level 3 (for example, the IB, A levels or BTEC National Diplomas) last for 2 years rather than 1, whereas purely vocational courses can be for shorter durations and are for students who have a particular occupation in mind or for students who did not get the appropriate grades at 16 to continue to a level 3 course. If you study at a state funded high school, 6th form college or further education college and you are from EU then usually tuition fees are free providing you start the course before you are 19 years of age. Some (but not all) state funded further education colleges offer help with finding accommodation and there is a small number of state funded boarding schools with accommodation in the school grounds. Usually tuition is free but there are fees for boarding. Hockerill school in Bishops Stortford near Stansted airport is an example. In the case of 6th form colleges that are in demand the application dates for September 07 entry may have already passed, but further education colleges would still have places for September, so not to worry if you want to study at a college of further education.

Newcastle has a large college of further education. I don't know the city at all as I am from the London area but I think the city is within reach of the Northumbrian coast which apparantly has nice beaches. Away from the north of England, Devon, Cornwall or Norfolk all have nice beaches, but holiday areas can be expensive for accommodation and not so good for work outside of the holiday season. However, you could perhaps look into Plymouth in Devon or Norwich (the city rather than seaside towns). I don't know for sure but I imagine that Southport or Blackpool would be reasonably close to Liverpool for visits to beaches but too far from Liverpool for work IMO. Last time I was in Blackpool (about a year ago) the town centre looked quite derelict.

Pay for young people between the ages of 18 and 22 isn't a lot. £4.42 an hour is the minimum wage so this is what students tend to get paid for part time work. If you are studying full time you may not have time or be allowed to work for more than 15 hours a week so the chances are that money from part time work (if you can find it) would not cover the cost of living. If taking up an apprenticeship (work based training) then the minimum wage rules don't apply, although there would be a minimum weekly wage or training allowance.

Bear in mind that some vocational courses are not appropriate for entry to university as a lot of courses are at level 2 or below and you would need a level 3 qualification or equivalent for university entrance. If you want to leave your career options open it is far better IMO to obtain a level 3 qualification in which case it could be that you would need to study for 2 years rather than for another 1 year (?) in Estonia. The British Council in Estonia could give you more info about our system, but if you've looked at their website and found the info about further education, they are giving example figures of £35 per week in homestay accommodation for the year 2004/05. I've never heard of accommodation as cheap as this in 2007. I think you would need to budget at least £50 per week + bills for a student share in the north and more in the south of England. Student halls of residence anywhere outside of London can be as much as £90 per week not including food. Most home students attending college rather than university live at home as do young people in their first job. Example pay per annum in London for someone straight from school with AS or A level qualifications - £13,000 gross per year and it isn't that easy to find a permanent job without work experience. Travel expenses can be a lot of money, particularly if having to commute by mainline train or having to run a car. Car insurance for young people in this country can be astronomical.

Good luck - what do you want to study?


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