Thinking of moving abroad? Read this first!
Many of us dream of living abroad, but the thought of everything involved can feel quite daunting. In the wake of a global pandemic, many Australians and New Zealanders have been forced to put their travel plans on hold, or even revaluate them altogether.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re halfway there! Here, we break down the practical considerations to set you up for a successful relocation amidst the “new normal”.
Can I travel to the UK from Australia and New Zealand?
Following a lengthy period of border closure, Australian and New Zealand citizens can live and work abroad. You will need to ensure that you’re up-to-speed with the UK government’s guidelines on Covid testing and vaccinations prior to any travel, however. The situation is ever-evolving and rules can change with as little as 48 hours’ notice.
How to move to the UK from Australia and New Zealand
Before booking that one-way ticket you’ll need to ensure you’ve obtained the appropriate rights to work in the UK. Check out our article Working abroad opportunities: where to start? for all the information on how to do this.
What you need to consider when moving abroad
Moving abroad is a big life change and you need to be sure it’s the best move for you. Do some research around the culture, social conventions in your destination country, but don’t rely solely on the expat community there.
Acknowledge that once you have moved, it’s normal to feel homesick after a couple of weeks of being separated from your friends and family, and daunted at the prospect of building relationships from scratch. If there is a language barrier there may be a period in which you struggle to communicate in the way that you want to in some social situations.
And never underestimate the level of preparedness you might need if you’re moving to a country where the weather’s worse than it is at home!
Scared to move abroad alone?
It’s a big step but moving abroad alone can be an empowering and liberating experience. Take steps to minimise uncertainties well before you leave and this will help alleviate some of your worries. Be ruthless with your finances (you will always need more money than you think you will, especially moving from Australia or New Zealand to the UK where the pound is strong), make an effort to connect with fellow expats through forums and events, and forge relationships with locals and colleagues wherever possible.
The best places to live abroad in your 20s
Your 20s are the perfect time to sample life in another country: you’re relatively new to your career and may be yet to “settle down” in the traditional sense. So the world really is yours to explore. Whether you want to put down roots forever or see it as a stopgap to your next destination, here are some of the best places to live and work abroad during your 20s:
- London: London is home to the European headquarters of 40 percent of the world’s top organisations, providing you with unrivalled opportunities to gain experience from the best. It’s a world-renowned centre for arts and culture. From live music to fashion, art and everything in between, there’s nowhere better than London for being right in the thick of it.
- Berlin: For a city that is actually bigger than New York, Berlin enjoys a surprisingly low cost of living and high quality of life: its unemployment rate is half that of some other European countries. It’s considered an eco-friendly city thanks to its sustainable transport network and boasts some of the world’s best nightlife and creative talent.
- Singapore: Expats in Singapore can benefit from generous financial packages and great career opportunities, especially in business and finance roles. Singapore offers a safe, clean and well-organised society with a large expat community., meaning an extensive support system and a chance to enjoy a high income, low taxes and the delicious cuisine.
- Dubai: Two of the main attractions of moving to Dubai are the tax-free salaries and the great weather. It’s also something of an expat paradise, given that 70 percent of its young, professional population was born overseas – a factor that contributes to its thriving social scene and endless array of leisure activities.
- Lisbon: In 2016, the big annual Web Summit conference moved from Dublin to Lisbon, telling the world that Lisbon was the hottest place for tech startups to be. Today, Lisbon boasts warm weather, cheap living costs, great food and has been dubbed one of the safest, most tolerant cities in the world. 90 percent of its population speaks English too.
Checklist for moving to the UK from Australia or New Zealand
Not sure where to start? Here’s a checklist of the key things to have in place when moving to the UK from Australia or New Zealand.
- Apply for a work permit: Find out what visa you need and apply for it online.
- Choose the right area to live in: Many newcomers to the UK find themselves in London, where there tend to be more opportunities for work. However, rental costs here are the most expensive in the country. Popular spots for Aussies and New Zealanders include Battersea, Clapham, Fulham, Putney and Hackney, however these can be costly so it can pay to look slightly further afield.
- Find accommodation: You may want to begin with a shorter term stay – for example with Airbnb – whilst you look for permanent accommodation somewhere that’s easily commutable from your place of work. Check out the UK government’s guidelines on everything you need to know about renting in the UK.
- Choose an international relocation company: Relocation specialists can help you with every step of your move to the UK, from physically moving your belongings, to helping you through the immigration process.
- Manage your finances: When moving to the UK, it’s essential to have your finances in order to ensure you can support yourself. This relates to bank accounts, pension, tax (Australian tax still needs to be paid if you have savings or assets in Australia) and insurance. To help cover your finances in the short-term, you may also want to transfer money internationally.
- Find a recruiter who can find you a role before you arrive: At Australasian Recruitment Company we’re able to set our candidates up with interviews and job offers before even leaving home, ensuring that once you arrive here you have a job waiting for you and can get stuck into London life!
From capital to capital: Moving to London from Sydney
You can draw many parallels between London and Sydney: both are thriving cosmopolitan cities that attract thousands of newcomers from overseas each year. Indeed, if you’re looking to relocate from Sydney to London you won’t struggle to settle in. It’s worth noting, however, that while both cities are expensive, things like travel, rent and eating out are significantly higher in London so plan your finances accordingly.
If you’re after advice on finding work abroad, speak to us
At Australasian Recruitment Company we have a highly knowledgeable team made up of British nationals as well as Australian and New Zealand expats and we help candidates like you find jobs in the UK every day. We have some great opportunities on our books right now and can support with your relocation to the UK. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.