UK Working Holidaymakers

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1. Posted by kody (Respected Member 234 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

I'll be applying for a 2 years Working Holidaymakers VISA to UK. Will be touching down somewhere April 2005.
The main purpose of doing this is to give my self a chance to hop around other European Countries like France, Italy, Portugal, Netherland, etc.

I've choosen England as my residing area and temporary I'll be staying in Tooting Broadway, South London.
on any other the best place for me to reside in UK and any suggestion on what type of job best suit for backpackers like us. Btw, Is it easy to get a job there? Since I'm ain't a local citizen or europeans. I'm all the way from Malaysia.

Normally where's the best place which the standard of living is not as high as London, and would it be hard to find a job in those outskirts area?
I heard that the rental there in England, is extremely high.
This really worries me. :(

Please advise.
Thank you.


2. Posted by rodrigo_br (Budding Member 2 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!


Officialy I am an UK Working Holidaymaker, but I am not living in London. I can tell you that England is extremelly expensive, and packed with holidaymakers. People say you come here and the day after you are employed, and it may be true, depending on your expectations. As a non eu citzen, you will probably work in unskilled jobs, such as bartender, bathroom cleaning and so on. Gardener is also something, but it is considered more complex, because it is not so simple as it sounds.

Altought it is easy to find this kind of job, it is hard to find a nice one, because everybody comes to England, specially to London, to try to find a holiday job. So there will be lots of people applying with you. What can make you succed is your English. If you have fluency to talk it will easy you a great deal.

I know that there is another problem in London, because to rent a room, most of the time people will ask you a bank account or any other sort of "formal" document. But to open a bank account one must have an address to submit, what creates a situation without begin or end. One thing needs the other and you can find yourself stuck because of it.

I hope this piece of advice was useful!

3. Posted by embrace (Budding Member 4 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Nick,

I'm just across the causeway from you : ) I'll be going up to the UK in Sept as a working holidaymaker too, and though I'm not there yet, here's what info I can offer. The cost of living in London and the larger cities is definitely higher. For a good site on accommodation in london targeted at working holidaymakers, check out

Also, if you're looking to rent a room in a shared house/apartment, you can get a feel of rental costs and even find a place to stay at

As for myself, I will be basing myself in Exeter, which is about 4 hours from London by coach and 2.5hrs by train. The cost of living is lower in smaller cities like Exeter but jobs are not as varied as in London. Also, London is a better base from which to connect to the rest of continental Europe.

As for jobs available to non-EU citizens, I do have an asian friend working in an admin job in Exeter, so I suppose it is possible to get non-menial/min.wage jobs even if you are a non-EU citizen. However, do take note of what rodrigo said in the previous reply. Since he's already in London, I'm sure he's more of an authority on that than moi

Hope you have a great holiday!

Traveller from Singapore

4. Posted by kody (Respected Member 234 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!


Thanks for your info. I'll try my best to fit myself in England then. Really appreciate that. It's always good to get in to an office job. But in another hand I know it's hard to us asian.
Well lets see how my luck goes then.



5. Posted by Pam CAN (Inactive 22 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Kody

Before moving to Toronto I lived for 3 years in london, tooting is not a bad place, and if you are close to the underground station you can be in central london in about 20- 30 minutes. But again don't count that you will be living in the same place for a long as you are there because you end up meeting people and hearing about other places or get someone to find a flat to share with you - there is a ton of accomodation in london it's a case of looking for it, what Rodrigo said is true, for some accomodation you are required to have bank info, so I suggest as soon as you have already found a place to live when you get there open a bank account, you might need some sort od documentation or bills in your name though.

Jobs are not diffilcult to find, but good jobs are ... but don't let yourself down because of that , there are thousands of ex-pats in london, if you persist you will get lucky - and yes, it is the perfect place to be in europe with you want to travel around, cheap flights out of 4 airports.

Unlike canada, there are several free things in london, so you don't have to have money to have fun, the British museum , the permanent collection are all for free, also keep an eye when the london fashion week in held, normally 2 times a year ( february and september) because the entrance to the natural history museum is for free on those days - the fashion week inheld on the museum ground.

Don't forget the fabulous parks and summer events.

For accomodation check the, it is the classifieds newspaper, thgey post flatshares and vacancies - the best day to get the proper pare is on tuesday, but you have to read the ad and call because the good places go soon, on the website there are only the 3 or 3 days old ads, but at least is for free and you can get an idea of what is available.

London is an amazing place, you definatelly will grow there
Enjoy it, alll the best Pam;)

6. Posted by kody (Respected Member 234 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Pam CAN,

Thank you very much and appreciate your advises.
I hope I'll fit in asap, and get used to the environment there
in UK. Btw, roughly how much is expected to spend monthly in London if excludes the entertainment fees, and it's only covered on moderate meals assuming (breakfast, lunch & dinner), rentals, and transportation?

I'm planning to get a studio apartment type which can afford for two ppl. Any idea on how much it'll cost and any suggestion on specific part of London which is best recommended to reside?



7. Posted by JohnnyBoy (Full Member 31 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Nick,

Apa Khabar? I'm Malaysian as well and I'm also on a working holiday visa. I'm already here in UK itself. Been about 3 months already. Feel free to email me at (deleted e-mail) if you need to know anything. I will still be here in April 2005, so if you need any help then, juz email me.


[ Edit: Sorry, no personal contact info in the forums ]

8. Posted by katesg (Budding Member 4 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Kody!

Its a nice surprise to meet someone whom is also going to UK on a working holiday maker visa in April 2005. That's when I would be going too! If possible, it would be a greatly appreciated if you can share some of your research with me.. 8 )

Anyway, my cousin from KL is now in London and she have shared with me a tip on getting a bank account in UK...which i hope would be useful to you..

Anyway, my cousin told me to open an account with HSBC and prior to leaving for UK, go to HSBC to get a reference letter. With the reference letter, you would be able to open a bank account at HSBC UK and or some other banks.

I have done a quick check with HSBC SG and was told that if I am an account holder with HSBC for 6mths, they can help me get a HSBC UK account without having to travel there first... Perhaps you can check with HSBC in Malaysia for more information..

I hope the above information would be useful to you.

Btw, i would be grateful if anyone could help to advise the skills (language, nursing, teaching etc..) in demand in UK which would make finding job in UK easier for an Asian..?

Many thanks in advance for your info!!

Warm Regards,
Kate fm Singapore

9. Posted by kody (Respected Member 234 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi katesg,

I've been doing some homeworks for this UK Working Holidaymaker. Most of the answers you could find it here in TP Forum. You might be new here, but there're loads of link that me myself might have forgotten ;).

I'll make it short frm what I get frm my helpful fella mates and some google through the net. Btw, thanks for the information about opening HSBC acc. in M'sia, Indeed I do have a HSBC account. Just that it's a joint saving account.
Not too sure whether it works or need an own saving acc.
Well I'll see what can I do.

Alright, I'm not too sure where will you be residing in UK.
I've heard that there're few nice spots such as Brighton, Bristol and Birmingham. But pls remind yourself that there's no perfect spot in this world. I'll be temporary residing in South London if I were to be granted the UKWH VISA. Besides, I'm actually hoping to get a transfer direct from my company to UK branches. But I bet the chances are not more than 0.1% but I did write in for some inquiry on vacancies available there direct to their hr email. The problem is you need to have a legal permit first, before they think twice to hire you.

I have a friend, name David. He is actually one of my working colleague, just that he works in the Australia site.
He too, took the Working Holidaymaker VISA for Australia.
He's frm Leicester, UK. He really helps me alot. But he ain't staying in UK since a year back. I did ask him before on why he choosed OZ? Firstly, it's about the gaining more exposure and experience. He mentioned to me that London is a wicked place, and the living cost are very high. But by getting a steady job will actaually free you frm worries.
Another reason is, he mentioned that, UK's weather is unpredictable, normally it's gloomy, greyish, and rains through out the year where OZ is much warmer.
And finally, in OZ he gets to enjoy the cool reef and surfing and sun bath... Hah!

As for me, I do love OZ...what a nice surfing paradise!
However, there're reasons I choose UK. Firstly, I'm really in to backpacking. And UK is the closest access to other European countries. And it's a place where English spoken everywhere.
I can't wait to explore to other regions, scandanavian, sweden, norway, then down to Italy, Portugal, Czech, and to meet a good friend in Swiss. And there're lots of cross countries there in Europe.
Where as, in OZ, the nearest access to other region will be either NZ or Fiji that come across my mind. But no doubt it'll be much closer to M'sia compare to UK. But being a greedy man, no choicebut to choose UK.

Besides, there're thousands of expats that are floating in to UK. Chances to get a job is definitely competitive. As stated by some TP's member saying that "There're jobs everywhere,
just the matter whether it is a good job or not".
I do have fear of sacrifying my career overhere, but I might be better or happier in UK or maybe turned out ugly as I'll be only a looser with guilts and regrets. But that's the risk as a young man like me. Life is 50-50, either you happy or you sad. Either you fail or success. That's the balance of Yin & Yang I guess.

But as a conclusion, I'll say 10 out of 10 advisory that guided and advised me on UK Working Holidaymaker is:

"No matter where you reside in UK, the main thing is to secure a job that can drag you on to survive for another day."
Good Luck mate!

p/s: Perhaps we can hear and get some guidance frm
JohnnyBoy, since he's the best sample of Malaysian
that already made it there in UK. Well lets share some
ideas, or experience John...

Nick ;)

10. Posted by kody (Respected Member 234 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi katesg,

Yesterday I was in the UK High Commission and inquired about the UK Working Holidaymakers.
I found out that the agent wasn't really helpful and gave me very brief answers.
I'll sum it up for you. I was shocked that, one of the condition which isn't tele with the internet site details. It stated that,
Further than that, he mentioned that Interview is not neccessary if things go smoothly else Interview will normally take part in the month of May or June. And he mentioned that, there's no specific amount of money needed, I'm trying to get some hints but failed.

btw, I've also stop by in HSBC M'sia and talked over with an agent. Explained to him as what you explained to me earlier.
He mentioned to me that, there's no such thing of 6 months old account and etc etc. Maybe it might only applies to S'pore, but he mentioned to me that, the best way is to ask your HSBC in your respective country to write you a "recommendation letter" regarding on your purpose of opening a HSBC account in UK.

That's all information I gathered.
For more information pls visit:

The Malaysia, UK Visa Application Centre will be located at:
Suite 19-05
19th Floor
Wisma MCA
163 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (03) 2164 9323
Email: -snip-

Nick ;)

[ Edit: email removed to avoid spambots getting it. ]

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