I am 25, a teacher and moving from Australia to England for a year in 2014. I love Australia and will be returning once I have explored Europe but it is important to me to do this. I have been talking to a teaching agency who will set me up with work, however using an agency, they will take a cut of my pay however I have heard it is worth it as it is hard to find jobs at the moment. Ideally, I would love to live and work in London, however I understand it is too expensive which bothers me because I want to have enough money to travel not just "get by".
Where should I live that is exciting, has a good night life, friendly people, and most importantly... affordable rent? I dont know anyone that lives in England so I don't really have a certain place in mind except I would like to be close enough to London that I can spend my spare time there.
There's a slight problem here, in that "close to London" and "affordable rent" do not go hand in hand. Being Australian you'll be familiar with sky-high living costs though!
Have you considered/looked at Oxford? Very accessible from London (buses every 10-20 minutes almost 24 hours a day, 60-90 minutes), one of the UK's most spectacularly beautiful cities (I lived there for 3 years 2008-2011...I'm a teacher too by the way), huge student population, great cultural and restaurant scene, a great covered market. There is plenty of affordable-ish student-type accommodation in the Cowley-Iffley Road area, which is near the centre. Within easy reach if you get a car are the Cotswolds, one of the country's most picturesque areas.
I can't really help you re. agencies I'm afraid. I wasn't aware getting teaching posts was getting particularly bad (not any worse than usual!). Oxford has plenty of excellent independent schools if that's your thing.
As it so happens I'm moving to Tasmania in March (but possibly for good). I'm hoping I'll be able to find some work there too...
The trouble is London overshadows all the places surrounding it so they end up being commuter towns with the life sucked out of them, still at prices close to those in London - it's a trade-off between commute time and cost.
I'd say to hell with it and live in London proper - since you want both the London life and the convenience it gives as a hub for exploring Europe.
The other alternative is to base yourself near one of the airports so you can at least have the convenience of flights from your doorstep whilst doing the other bit about living further out to save money. The problem with that is, Luton's a dump, Stansted's a bit in the middle of rural nowhere. That leaves Gatwick and Heathrow.
Spend some of 2013 making sacrifices living on beans on toast to save up and do your London year to the max.
Hmmm, #3 makes a good point about commuter towns being a bit meh - but you don't have to be in the commuter belt to find somewhere nice. London is full of unbearably crushing bores who think there is nothing worth doing outside the capital; the kind of sad people who step off the train at Waterloo after a day in the "boondocks" and sigh "back to civilisation". And I'm not biased against London: I was born and raised there. I love it.
Going back to Oxford, you're an hour away from Heathrow on the M40/25/4 and about 2 away from Gatwick. It's really close but no commuter town! Accommodation-wise you get more bang for your buck, for sure.
At the end of it all, what matters is where you manage to find work. Remember you will need to apply for QTS in order to be able to teach in any maintained school (state school) in England! Good luck!
Myself and my Partner plan for a England Tour. Maximum 15 days we stay in England. share some ideas where to get stayed ?and what about the accommodation foods and destinations . Kindly tell me briefly
Thanks for all your advice guys. I've since decided that I will live in London and save throughout this year to get the most out of my experience.