Are you thinking about coming to work in the UK? There are many advantages about coming to live and work in Great Britain, as well as some cautionary advice that you should be aware of. Below is a list of different factors that you should take into account if you have plans to work in the UK.
Tips about Working in the UK
A diverse nation, which is accepting of all cultures. In London, for example, there are foreign communities from most parts of the world.
Freedom in Britain
In the UK people are free to express their own opinions and wear what they want. There are specific rules about what to wear for the UK job interview which you should be aware of.
British people have a strong sense of humour, but it can be hard for foreigners to understand when someone is joking.
English is the principal language, and for the vast majority the only language, spoken in Britain. There are more people using English as their first language in the UK than in any other country except the US. British English is easily understood in many parts of the world because it is spoken clearly, without a strong accent. If you have trouble speaking English and are worried this will affect your job application to the UK, read our advice about working abroad, and more specifically how to succeed at a job interview in another language.
Travel in the UK
Getting to the UK from most parts of the world is easy. There are flights to London from most parts of the world with the three main airports of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. You can travel cheaply around the UK by train or bus. The country is small so you only have to be in a train or bus for 4 or 5 hours to go from the bottom to the top. Lastly, the UK is close to the many different countries of continental Europe.
British health system
If you are on a course for more than 6 months, you should be able to obtain free health treatment if you become ill.
Safety in the UK
The UK is a relatively safe country. The police do not usually carry guns, and there are strict controls on the ownership of weapons. There are pickpockets in busy areas, so hold on to your belongings carefully. There is very little risk of natural disasters. As in many other parts of the world, there is some risk of terrorist attack.
Working in the UK
To work in the UK, you must have a visa or a legal right to work there. Read our UK visa information to find out more about the specific documentation and our UK immigration page to read about what migrant tier you fall into. The cost of living in the UK is quite high. Employment opportunities exist and you should take advantage of these. Head to our home page to learn about all the areas necessary to successfully overcome the job application process in any country. Unemployment is relatively low in many parts of the UK, and there are shortages in certain professions such as nurses and teachers. Voluntary work has a long history in the UK and is usually well-organised.
The British education system has a good reputation. Accredited qualifications obtained from British schools and universities are recognised in most parts of the world. There are courses in a wide variety of subjects, including many which are open to international students.
British food does not have a good reputation overseas. However, there is in fact a very wide variety of food available, especially in the bigger cities.
Britain has an interesting history and is good at preserving its traditions and old buildings. There are many museums and art galleries.
The British weather is moderate. The summers are not too hot, and the winters are not too cold. Days are short in the middle of winter and long in the middle of summer. It does rain quite a lot in the UK. There is usually more rain in the west and north of the country, and more sunshine in the south.
Even if you take all of the advice above into account, you are still liable to suffer from culture shock when you move to the UK for work. Read our tips about how to deal with culture shock to settle in easily and comfortably to life in the UK.
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