For a while now, my Fiancé and I have dreamed of spending 6 months to a year in England (we currently live in the midwest in the USA). I worked in London for a summer in college and traveled around the country and fell in love. For whatever reason, while brushing his teeth this morning, my fiancé said he thinks we should go for it. And that jump started me to do some research.
Ideally we would move to a city in England and find jobs (of any kind really, currently we both work as architects, but we'd be open to anything) and just live, work and enjoy!
But we have all kinds of questions...
a) are we nuts to think it will be possible to find a job/get a visa?
b) we adore London, but knowing how expensive it is we've considered that maybe another city would be better. I also think in a smaller city you'll be able to get to know people better, immerse yourself in the community etc.
Any ideas of the best city to be in?
I've heard Brighton mentioned many times - being on the coast sounds fabulous! We're in our late 20s, just looking for somewhere with a great culture!
Any advice? Are we crazy? Thank you!
Hi that sounds great, not at all crazy! if you can you should definately go for it. I live in England and so hopefully can offer some advice!
I'm afraid I don' know much about visas although I worked in a few factories for a while and about 50% were from other countries but were working and living in England, even if only temporarily!
I personally wouldn't advise Brighton, its stag and hen night central and has a 'colourful' reputation. You may like that sort of thing but there are other lively cities. During the day its a lovely place though.
One of the nicest cities is Cambridge. It's not too big but still has a lively city and a river which is very popular for punting and boating.
Another lovely place is Cornwall I know it's popular with alot of people. It's very popular for surfing but in the summer because of this, it is very touristy (personal opinion whether or not this is bad!). One of it's main cities, Newquay, is known for having a very good nightlife. I personally love it with its stone walls and fields of sheep and cows!
I hope this may have been of some help!
Ok, so maybe there was something in your fiancé's toothpaste that made him go a bit mental, but there you go, we are men, best find these things out beforehand ey!
Surely if you spend 6-7 months anywhere, you are going to get a real, "non-touristy" experience of that particular country's culture, the good and the bad bits. I've done it in the Czech Republic and it's truely amazing.
London you know about-who doesn't-but like any capital city, it isn't really the "proper" UK (i.e. please include our dear friends up North in Scotland, and even Wales and Northern Ireland.) Even Brighton is London by the beach, not forgetting that everywhere is near to a beach of sorts here!! Even Nottingham where I live, in the "Midlands" is still only 110 or so miles from the coast!!
I'd personally go to a regional "capital" where there are enough jobs for you to earn your keep. I'd head for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland for at least half of my stay as it's amazing. It constantly gets the number one position for best places to live in the UK, and it's small enough to get to know properly, but large enough to keep you entertained!
If it's "England" you are after, I'd still stick to a regional city like Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle etc. The more north you go, the friendlier the people are, as a general rule of thumb!
As for finding work..best ask the British Embassy. I know they are introducing Australian style points system for "immigrants" for all non EU people, Americans included, but for sure, it will be a lot, lot easier for you to find work than it would be if my would-be fiancé was brushing her teeth, and decided let's go to America for 6 months!!!!!
london is the capital of europe
I agree with Pete - I'm a northerner so am biased, but it is actually true! Besides, northern England is right in the middle of the UK, making weekends in Scotland, Wales etc much easier. And although house prices are high, they're not as high as London - except where I live in the Lake District, so most people rent!
I am an 'immigrant' to Yorkshire from south-west England. I suggest you add Leeds to the places suggested. In fact Leeds and Newcastle are possibly the best.
Many don't seem to bother but you would do well to check on immigration details first. If you can get UK job adverts and apply from there, having a job ready should help with a work visa - but I have no firm knowledge ot that area.
http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/ - official - you can find a number of helpful firms by putting uk immigration into Google
Brighton is 'stag and hen night central' on about one street, on a saturday night. So providing you avoid that you won't be bothered by it. Brighton is a fun, cosmopolitan, relaxed seaside city. In fact, there is more alternative nightlife in Brighton than in almost any other city in Britain, so it's actually easier to escape the lager louts here than elsewhere. There are loads of nice restaurants and bars (providing you stay off the horrible street running from the station to the seafront), loads of independent shops, and the South Downs are just behind if you need to escape to the countryside. There is an alternative culture in Brighton, and you won't like it if you're homophobic, but this all adds to Brighton's character. I lived in Brighton for 7 years and would thoroughly recommend it as a place to live in your 20s - particularly if you adore London, as Brighton manages to retain some of that cosmopolitan feel despite being a small city. A warning though - it also comes closest to London in the cost of living stakes.
As I've mentioned in other threads, I think Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle are also good bets.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 29, 2008, at 12:16 AM by magykal1 ]