Wow, how that’s for a big question? There are many reasons why one might want to move to London.
Perhaps you want to study in this iconic location, or maybe you’ve been offered that dream job (or perhaps you think finding a job in London might be a good move to get you stepping up the career ladder). What if your spouse is the one who needs to make the move, and you’re wondering if you should go along with him or her?
Whatever the reason, there are a lot of questions you need to honestly ask yourself before you decide whether moving to London would be right for you or not.
The following are some of the first things you should think about when considering a move to the UK capital city:
Why do you want to move?
Actually, this is not so much a question about whether or not you should move to London, but more a question about whether or not you should move at all.
There could be a number of reasons why you’re considering a move.
Moving to London to study
For those who want to study, London is one of the best places in the world to gain a higher education. There are some world beating institutions, such as University College London, Imperial College London, Kings College London, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Most of the London universities have dedicated departments to help overseas students gain the correct visa and begin their study experience in London. And with many of the London Universities ranking high in the global league, it’s no wonder so many people decide that London is the place to study.
Moving to London to work
If you’re thinking of making the move to London in order to work, then you probably fall into one of two categories.
The first will be that you’ve already been offered a job here. Perhaps your company wants to move you to London to fill another position, or you’ve been headhunted by a company for a London-based position.
For those in such a position, you’ll probably be able to take advantage of a generous relocation package, as well as being able to get advice on places to live – or maybe even have accommodation included in the deal.
The other category is to find a job in London yourself. This can be done in one of two ways…
The first is to start looking for a London-based job whilst at home. There are lots of good job hunting websites where you can start searching for employment opportunities. Indeed, Monster and Total Jobs are three good ones.
If you’re lucky enough to already be working for a global company, put out the word that you’d be happy to relocate to London – and keep a close eye on the company’s job website, so you can be the first to apply should a possible position come up.
Of course, there’s always the option of moving to London first, and then starting the job search. This does take a certain type of personality, as it’s rather like putting your luck in the lap of the gods and seeing what happens.
Many people have successfully taken the plunge in the past, and you certainly won’t be the last to do so. But ensure you do your homework if this is the route you plan to take.
London is a very expensive place to live, and virtually impossible if you don’t have an income – so be sure that you do your sums very carefully if you’re considering this path.
Moving to London with your spouse
Many people move to London because their spouse is relocating for work. This can be a difficult decision, especially if you don’t really want to go.
However, take heart from the fact that there are some wonderful expat communities from all over the world in London. A great place to meet like minded people is online, and friendships can begin to be forged even before you leave home.
What do you expect to gain from your move to London?
Perhaps you think moving to London will boost your career (it might, it’s one of the best places in the world for high flying jobs), or maybe you want to experience a culture that’s completely different from your own.
You might want to learn or improve your English – and immersing yourself into another country is absolutely the best way to do this.
Just be sure not to spend too much time talking in your own language to others from your home country once you’re there, as this kind of defeats the object…
Can you afford to move to London?
No one is going to pretend that London is a cheap place to live, because it’s not. Average rents for accommodation range from around £250 per week (for a 1 bedroom place in the cheapest areas, such as Beckenham), to more than £623 per week for a similar sixed property in Central London. Average rental and purchase prices of property can be found (updated daily) on London Property Watch.
Other essentials are also expensive in London, such as monthly public transport costs, petrol, eating out, and socializing. You can compare the price of living in London with any other city in the world on crowdsourcing websites Expatistan and Numebo.
These are updated daily, and represent a good, accurate source of discovering the real differences in day-to-day living.
When it boils down to it, whether or not you should move to London is a personal choice. There are many reasons why you should move (and probably many why you shouldn’t), but when it comes to making the decision, it’s something that only you can do.
However, moving to live and study/work in one of the most vibrant cities in the world is a wonderful opportunity. That’s the whole reason that London has such a diverse community – because so many people have already taken the plunge.
London is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting cities of the world in which to live. If you’re considering making the move, good luck – it’s more than likely going to be one of the best things you ever do…