Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting adventures that anyone can embark upon. I am moving to London (32 yo female, by myself and only know one person in the city!) Welcome back to Living Abroad, a series that shows you what expat life is like in cities around the world.Our latest interview features Micaela, an elementary school teacher living in London with her British husband.. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. After 15 years, I am still paying back my $12,000 worth of student loans after having defaulted on them twice in my early 20s. I’ve heard it’s difficult to get hired before arriving in the UK, however, so be prepared to come over without securing employment. Here, she shares about moving to London, what living in London as an American is like, and what tips she has for future expats in London. attending university, marriage to a Brit, etc.). There’s even a handy website called uSwitch that lets you compare prices and suppliers for your address. There are an estimated 225,000 Americans living in the UK. Expat life always has its challenges, and moving to London from the US is no exception. I was wondering, since this is all pretty overwhelming, if you had any tips on the best ways to earn money to keep up with the rent of a flat? Hope all is well in Maidenhead. Dryers are also a rarity in UK, especially in London where space is at a premium. Flats/houses without water meters, like ours, are billed annually. Today, I regularly use TransferWise to send money from my UK bank account to my US accounts. Ever since moving here, I have wondered if there were any other Native Americans living in the U.K, or if I was the only one. Aside from marrying a UK citizen, most US citizens moving to the UK come over as students (Tier 4) or sponsored employees (Tier 2). International Living’s report on retiring in England cites the east coast county of Suffolk as an attractive choice. I was able to bring our Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner, because it works at any voltage. Latest Blogs by American Expats Living in England. Dick Van Dyke would’ve been ashamed of it. It’s a great great job move for him and we love Europe, but our 16 year old son is entering his junior year, and I would be giving up my career in marketing and advertising in New York which is lucrative. If you are an American expatriate living in the UK and would like to register for a free subscription to our quarterly magazine click this link . Unfortunately, no place is perfect, and that includes Ireland. Many places come on the market 3-6 weeks before they’re available for move in. But for Americans that haven’t traveled abroad, expect to encounter many different and sometimes confusing terms for familiar things. For more information, click here. You should also confirm if the shipping costs are totally covered by your employer, or if they will be a taxable benefit. Like many others, I think the US has a serious gun problem, which is especially apparent based on how mass shootings are becoming more frequent and deadlier in America. There are exceptions to this of course, because nothing about US taxes is ever simple. I took out the maximum amount of student loans allotted to me, was given the maximum amount of grant money, and I still couldn't afford to finish my degree. I don’t think he really understood how kind that was of him, haha Americanos were not cutting it for my coffee fix! If you want to secure a job ASAP, I suggest networking with folks in your industry prior to your move (just don’t come to the UK looking for a job before your visa entry date!). Good questions, Dania! It wasn’t cheap, but it was the best chance of us finding a great place that was dog-friendly. Hi, thanks for your blog, my family is moving to Stratford Upon Avon and we have found an apartment, my husband’s employer will pay for shipping of the things We want to take with us. Blog about my life as an expat, a Third Culture Kid (TCK), and world traveler. Learn how your comment data is processed. Finally, it’s a bit of a hassle to import your stuff. Fortunately, I don't worry about gun violence nearly as much in the UK, especially since the UK has stricter gun laws than the US. And being on a month-to-month payment plan means I can easily switch carriers if I find there’s a better deal. Hi! I loved college but don't regret dropping out. How to Easily Transfer Money Between US and UK Accounts. If you live here, you’re covered by the National Health Service. For water, you’ll likely be served by Thames Water. The American Hour is a sister product to American in Britain magazine, which has been published by us since 1996. I think we were tracking many of the things you talked about, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of your posts. In her blog, she shares stories and advice about living bravely beyond borders. Here are the 6 things I don't miss about the US. Moving to London can be intimidating, so I like to keep things light and fun where I can . Americans living in London will love all the charming places within day trip distance You’ll spend a lot less on your cell phone plan. Are you a US expat living abroad? It can get very complicated very quickly. Alexandra is a Canadian traveller, writer, and wellness lover living abroad in the UK. Looking for smart ways to get more from life? If you’re fortunate enough to have a choice in providers, the amount you’ll save on your bill rarely offsets the hassle of switching. If your place has a water meter, you’ll be billed twice a year. Here are the 5 things I learned from not getting a degree. We only needed to buy a mattress, bed frame, bookshelf, and TV stand. It’s illegal to work in the UK on a tourist visa (including as a digital nomad), or even go job hunting, and getting caught will likely result in both deportation and a permament ban. Now that the UK is revising their immigration policy to a points-based system in 2021, I believe it will be easier to get a work visa. If you pay monthly or quarterly, the amount will be based on the estimated average for the year, divided by the number of payments. You can get it at Starbucks and Pret The nice man at the Starbucks by my work taught me how to order it. I'm American, and two years ago I moved to the United Kingdom to live with my British partner. Also, do you have any experience with moving pets from the US to London? However, I suggest you join the American Expats in the UK Facebook group. And although it didn't make me anxious every single day, the threat of gun violence was something I thought about somewhat regularly while I lived in the US. To move to England, start by finding a job in the UK that will sponsor you, or apply to a university as a student. Now, it's nice to know that if I do fall ill, I can actually afford to seek professional care thanks to The National Health Service in England. I was born and raised in the United States and I had a pretty happy life there for about 30 years before I moved to England. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone and immersing in a new culture can open up a range of new opportunities. No one would describe London as an inexpensive place to live, but it's a bargain compared to New York … Unfortunately, the UK does not have a visa pathway for people living on passive income. I have a 10 year old and a 4 year old and we’re going to be relocating soon due to employement. And now to go read the Flat Hunting Guide… , Happy to help, Emily! Let me know if you have any other questions . The amount you have to pay depends on your visa type and your length of stay. If u could help, What should be my first step? Like many true Anglophiles, my eyes light up at just the thought of making a visit to the U.K. Living in the UK quick stats: Population: 65,648,100 For the uninitiated, an Americano is simply a watered down espresso. Please join the discussions in our friendly expat community. I totally relate to the stress about finding a flat in London. Sure, there are ads for over-the-counter drugs in the UK, but you cannot advertise prescription-only medication on TV here. But as they say, nothing in life is truly free. Unless you want the waiter to laugh at you. From marriage to master’s degrees, Americans moving to London have a few pathways to get here. I’m not sure what gave me this crisis of national identity, but it could be all those American movies and episodes of The OC I watched growing up. Love your blog and this post! However, if you move here with a little advanced research and an open mind, you’ll be ready to tackle these differences. Or, they’ll hear your accent and assume you want an Americano. Population. An image of a chain link. In her blog, she shares stories and advice about living bravely beyond borders. While we can make the $$ work on one salary, I like the breathing room of both salaries. How to prepare them now? This has helped tremendously! Welcome to England, Elena! I’m from Manchester in the UK, but somehow always grew up with a desire to live in the US. Tony on January 25, 2014: You’ll need to look around on the appliance to see what voltage it’s rated for (usually it’s on the bottom or near where the cord goes in). this is an awesome post!! In most US cities, you pay monthly bills for your water, gas, and electricity to the lone providers of those utilities in your area. I’m glad I could help! And now I’m super terrified for tax season ha. I was desperate for a cappuccino and date drip coffee. When I lived in the US, I completed about two years of undergraduate courses before I had to drop out of college and work full-time just to support myself. If you are moving to UK, post a message on our UK expat forum and read articles and reports by expats that describe what it's like to work in London - or anywhere else you have a job in the UK! A comprehensive expat guide to moving to the UK. I can also use my mobile data in a number of European countries at no cost, unlike US carriers that charge daily fees. No one wants to put on wet socks because someone forgot about laundry day. Whether moving to England for a lengthy stay or for a lifetime, planning has to start early to have a smooth transition to your new home. But don’t let our countries’ shared history fool you. If you’re not coming to the UK as a student, you’ll pay £200 for every year of your visa. Thanks, Lynda! International Living’s report on retiring in England cites the east coast county of Suffolk as an attractive choice. To be frank, most companies aren’t hiring outside of the UK right now due to the uncertainly with Brexit. I recommend you start at the UK Goverment’s website on supporting children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). The other reason you’ll likely save on gas and electric is the lack of air conditioning (a.k.a. Is there anything more American than going to a diner and getting unlimited refills of that steamy, watered-down goodness? In the UK, the vacation policy is much more generous — many businesses offer workers roughly 20 to 30 days of paid leave per year. However, you are not required to pay in a lump sum (though we chose to do so for convenience). Saturday night telly. Start by reading the UK Government’s website on visas and immigration. We ended up working with a relocation agency who found us a knowledgeable estate agent for our area, and also negotiated the contract on our behalf and even set up our utilities. Cost of Living in the U.S. vs. the U.K: An Overview . I have a special needs daughter who is nine and I have very little info on resources for her. We worked with a pet relocation company to ensure everything went smoothly. How tough is it for the spouse to find a job in London or to get a visa to work? Once she did, I couldn't ignore them and these ads began to bother me quite a bit. I’ll definitely check out the links you reference and always appreciate any other advice as well! Today, for my Living Abroad series, I’m chatting with Diane, a New Jersey native who has been living in France as an expat since 2012. I am gathering as much information as possible for a move to UK from the US. Hoping to move there in the spring with our 3 kids from outside Philly. Read More: I loved college but don't regret dropping out. My neighborhood is mainly local coffee shops, where it’s harder to find filter coffee. Good question, Elle. A blog all about Travelling Everywhere, Moving Anywhere and Living a whole-hearted life. Here, she shares about moving to London, what living in London as an American is like, and what tips she has for future expats in London. Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand About Blog Hi, I'm Liz, and I got my first taste for … However, some employers are hesitant if you have a short leave to remain. RELATED: Moving to England From The USA: 10 Tips for Americans. Wish I did 3 months ago :)) we just moved to England for my work (on an annoying ICT visa) a month ago and now based in maidenhead. I am sure it is much different and I have done a bit of research myself however, is there any advice you would be willing to give on this particular subject? If you see “fries” on a menu, they’ll be thin-cut like what you’d get at McDonalds. England is home to some of the highest performing universities in the world, most notably Oxford and Cambridge (collectively known as “Oxbridge” in the UK). I have to admit I am a slightly nervous about it. My husband says of the few things he misses about the US, drip coffee is number one. And even those are far cheaper than what you’d typically pay in the US with an average employer insurance plan. I bet Norway was a beautiful place to live, Rebekah! Today was another glorious late spring day with the temperature in the mid 70s, the sky cloudless and a gentle breeze rolling off the Sussex Downs. There are a few things to consider when you’re deciding what to bring over from the US. Thanks, Rebecca! Luckily, there’s an easy and cheap solution: I first used TransferWise when we needed to pay our London flat deposit, and it was SO much simpler and cost-effective than doing an international wire transfer from my bank. Most people who move to the UK will need to pay the immigration health surcharge when making their visa application. Trousers are pants, but pants are underwear. London is home to more than 3 million foreign-born residents, making it one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Allegedly, it was invented by American G.I.’s during World War II, because they wanted something that tasted closer to the coffee back home. I grew up in Europe on military bases until I was seventeen and now I am married to an American living in England with our family. A studio apartment in central London can cost you £1,200/month, but splitting a 2-3 bedroom flat can bring your rent down to £500-750/month. This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything you should know before moving to London. I’ve wanted to live abroad since I was a kid, and my dream came true in 2018 when my husband and I moved to London. I’ll need to get a cup next time I stop by Pret (I’m addicted to their salmon sandwiches)! Shipping overseas is really expensive, and the UK income tax rates are pretty high compared to the US. In London, there are tons of options for utility providers and payment schedules. Accents I’m not now, but I have been (in Norway in Oct ‘04-Mar ‘06), and I’d like to be again. I believe you could still collect your US disability income while living in the UK, but you’d need to be eligible for another kind of visa that allows for residency (ex. Compared to the nightmare that is the American healthcare system, the UK’s National Health Insurance (NHS) is a dream. Chris Weller. UK Yankee is a resource and community for expatriate Americans living in or planning to move to the UK, established in 1999. You asked about being an expat so I answer. I love how you blend the serious talk and fun facts all together super helpful! The world seems to think that because the UK is more of a tea country that it doesn’t have good coffee. In terms of furnishing our flat, we rented a place that was mostly furnished. I subscribed to your newsletter and look forward to reading your new content! I hope you and your husband are loving London as much as we are We are definitely going to work with a tax accountant to get everything sorted. The Portable Wife. Also do you find the uncertainty of brexit has affected the rental market? Hi! While every day may bring a new adventure when living in Britain, here’s a list of the most common things Americans fall in love with, almost as soon as we get there: 1. Living here, I’ve realised my country’s roots are greatly intertwined with the UK’s, but our blossoms and thorns couldn’t be any more different. For electric and gas, most providers let you pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. So, your air fryer and Nespresso machine probably won’t work on UK voltage. If you have any tips I would really appreciate it! 2019-09-30T20:18:09Z The letter F. A ghost. Whether moving to England for a lengthy stay or for a lifetime, planning has to start early to have a smooth transition to your new home. Currently, I’m on an O2 pay-as-you-go tariff, which is £15/month for 1000 texts, 500 minutes, and 5GB of data with rollover. Vacuum cleaner? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. But in case you didn’t know: a US citizen cannot live in the UK without a visa. My family and I live in NYC, but my husband has been approached about an internal transfer to London at the beginning of 2020. Then, fill out a visa application, which you can find on the UK government website. ICT visas aren’t the best, but luckily the 2021 immigration rules will allow us to switch to a Skilled Workers visa, which leads to permanent residency after 5 years. Your first step is to read up on the various visas available to you, and decide which one makes the most sense to pursue. I feel incredibly fortunate to now live in a country with a public universal healthcare system, something the US doesn't have. Depending on how your house/flat is set up, you may need to submit a gas and electric meter reading every couple of months. This post contains affiliate links. My name is Jessica and I recently moved back to my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. Some day, I’ll write a detailed post on expat taxes. Two Expats Mexico | A Blog for Retiring in Mexico. In the meantime, start saving for that tax preparation bill. I’d argue it’s one of the best things about living in Enland. In the US, my insurance plan was basically the same as many Americans — just hope you don't get sick or prepare to pay a ton of money for testing and treatments. Everyone knows about “chips”. Archive The amount of money I save on my cell phone bill makes the cost of living increase less of a burden. Moving and affording everything seems virtually impossible without a good paying job and my chosen path doesn’t pay too well. Depending on your financial situation, you may end up paying several thousand dollars (yes, you read that right!) Hey, Am planning my first trip to visit London in December. Travel Move Live. RELATED: The Essential Moving Abroad Packing Checklist. Get yourself a good clothes drying rack and plan your washing accordingly. Because of the intense workaholic culture that's prevalent in the US, I often felt like I was never doing enough when I lived there, even if I hustled for 60 to 70 hours per week. In central london, how much is the average cost for one? Either the person behind the counter will blankly stare at you for a moment before asking “…what kind?”. Thank you so for sharing! I look forward to reading more of your stuff! Nespresso Machine, anything else you can think of? Best of luck in your quest! Hello Nataisha! without worrying about going bankrupt in the process. For my Aussie friends I need to explain how much we Brits love a takeaway and … Plus, in many cases, unpaid student loan debt can be written off after 30 years. Long story short, this is why we ended up selling almost all of our stuff before moving to London! There are plenty of ways that Americans will need to adjust to living in the UK, for better or worse. It's now refreshing to see a different approach to how higher education works, even though I know the UK isn't exactly the cheapest place to pursue a college degree. I adore being abroad; anything is possible. Blog about my life as an expat, a Third Culture Kid (TCK), and world traveler. As for moving pets, we brought our German Shepherd over from Texas to London. You say “cheers” when someone brings you a beer, but not when you’re being served tea at The Aqua Shard. © 2020 The Portable Wife. Spoiler alert: all US citizens are obligated to file a US tax return no matter where they live. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Although it's common in many places, having to pay a steep fee just to conveniently get my own money out of the bank has always bothered me. 10/03/2018. Just waiting on the visa process to be able to get a better sense of date, and hopefully start flat hunting during my next trip there in August! Happy I could help, Lennie! Archive The bad news is that there are additional US tax forms for citizens living abroad, including the FBAR for foreign bank accounts. US expats earning investment income, for example, will owe tax on the profits. If you walk into a cafe and ask for coffee, one of two things will happen. 40 Things Only American Expats In London Will Understand From being met with silence when you sneeze to constantly explaining where you're from — Americans living … I made several trips to Sainsbury’s just so I could stand in the frozen food aisle. Nearly all medical services and treatments are free, with the exception of certain things like prescriptions and dental procedures.