Just arrived in London to start your UK teaching adventure? Here is what to do in your first week
So you have just arrived in the UK to start your teaching adventure, you are mostly likely feeling excited but also a little nervous! Here is a few tasks you should do during your first week in your new city.
If you are travelling from Australia or New Zealand, you will have spent close to a day on the plane and in airports, so are probably feeling a little fatigued. Although a shorter journey from Canada the plane trip will mostly likely still be tiring. My suggestion would be to have an Airbnb or hotel booked for the first week or two, so you know where you are heading after you leave the airport. Google Maps and City Mapper are two great apps that will help navigate your way to your accommodation. So be sure to have these downloaded on your phone before you depart. Once landed on UK soil there are a couple of things you can do in the airport. Firstly buy a pre-paid sim card, you can then continue to use data to help with directions to your Airbnb. Secondly, purchase an Oyster card and top it up with money. This will be used when traveling on the London underground. You can buy a new card from one of the oyster machine. Now make your way to your accommodation, check out the local area, grab something to eat then chill out and catch some much needed zzz.
Hopefully you are feeling refreshed and ready to attack the day after a good night’s sleep. Day 2 can be your first day of life admin. Today would be a great chance to organise your National Insurance Number. Everyone working in the UK needs a National Insurance number so you will need on too. It can take a few weeks to be sent out so I suggest organising this soon after arriving. You will need to call the application line and book in an appointment. The number and more information can be found here
Another important thing to organise soon after arriving is a UK bank account. You will need an account so you can start earning and spending your hard earned pounds! A major hurdle you will face when opening an account is that most banks require you to have a UK proof of address. You most likely won’t have this fresh off the plane. Monzo and Startling Bank are two fantastic banks that don’t require proof of address. Check out this great article that goes into detail about both and how to open an account. Also If you are wanting to transfer Australian dollars into your new UK Bank account, Transferwise is great and very easy to use
Time to start house hunting. You can’t stay in an Airbnb or hotel forever, so it is time to look for something more long term. I suggest looking in locations close to your school to make it a short commute. Jump on Spareroom and Gumtree, two great website to find accommodation. Once you find a few places you like, set up a time for an inspection. Be sure to also check out the local area and nearby public transport. Use google maps to see what the commute would be like to your school.
Shopping day! Now most rentals in the UK will come furnished, so there will be no need to go out and buy a bed or a couch, but you will need some household items. Things such as pillows and bedspread can be picked up relatively cheap. Primark is my go to, it is super cheap. It also has a huge clothing range so if you are in need of a new winter coat, Primark will have you covered. Other stores to check out are Argos and Wilko
Before you can commence teaching in the UK you will be required to meet with your UK consultant, they will need to sight your compliance documents. It is also a great chance to meet your consultant and others working in the UK office. Your consultant will be in touch to organise a time for you to drop in and meet the team. Be sure to bring along you’re Passport, Visa/BRP, ID Documents, Qualifications and overseas police check
After a week busily getting organised in your new home city it is now a great time to do some sightseeing. London is full of famous landmarks. Some of the must see locations are Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, Big Ben and the London Eye. Many of the locations you can walk between so be sure to have your walking shoes on! At the end of the day why not stop by at one of the many historic London pubs for a pint!