Your career as an entertainer takes you to London. You were selected to be part of the casts for one of the major shows on West End. You could not be more excited. This is indeed a significant boost for your career.
The road to being cast was long and hard. The auditions were particularly intimidating with all the big shot producers and other executives coming to town and thoroughly researching what the local theater scene has to offer.
It’s going to be a significant change for you. Fortunately, you have friends and relatives in Putney, which is just some six miles, south-west of the Theatreland. They’ve already inquired about real estate agents who might be able to help you with housing. But you’re still nervous about the move and don’t have any idea about what to expect.
Here’s what you need to know:
London’s Migration Profile
In 2014-15, the recorded number of migrations, to and from London was just over 283,000. This figure accounts for the number of people that have relocated to London, minus the number that has moved out of the city. It also includes both international and domestic movements. In the same period, more than 221,100 international immigrations were recorded.
You will find yourself in a melting pot and with people from various parts of the world, including those from your own country.
Settling Down in London
Your visa and work permit are all settled with your employer. Your contract is already set. You’ve done some online research, and friends gave you useful advice. Here are more things that you should consider when you settle in your new city:
- Transition phase. It’s challenging to make a decision, say, about a flat, when you are not physically present. Find a transitory option as you try to investigate where you want to live. If you have friends or family that can host you for a couple of weeks, do that first. Just do not over welcome your stay. Your goal is to find your place eventually. What kind of heating facility should your flat have? How far from a commute is it from your place of work? You need to have a firsthand experience of what your housing prospects are all about.
- Work out your budget. London is in the top ten most expensive cities in Europe, if not in the top five, for expatriates. Work out a budget immediately by finding out the costs of day-to-day living, like transportation, grocery items, and clothes. If your generous host refuses to accept payment for accommodating you, save the money, and allocate it for future expenses.
- Register with the NHS. Once you find your permanent place to live, register with the National Health Service through a general practitioner in your area. Note, however, that as an expatriate, you need to comply with specific requirements.
- Getting around. You’ve probably heard about the famous London tube. That will get you to and from many points in the city. Get the Oyster Card and know how it is used. That will be your passport to the tube, bus, and tram systems in the city.
When you have these basics all pinned down, start living your life in the new city. Start shopping for the basic things you need at home. Get to know your neighborhood and make new friends. Soon, you will be a Londoner!