Guide For Expats Moving To London
Are you an expat moving to London? We're here to give you all the information you need to make the move.
by Callum Winn
Are you an expat moving to London? You've come to the right place.
So you’re thinking of moving to London? You won’t regret it! We have created a guide for the expat community showing all the reasons to make the move, how to find work in the City and advice for your accommodation search.
5 reasons why London is the best place for expats
You'll never be bored. London has everything. There is always something to do.
The food scene is vast with all cuisines under the sun. You could spend all your free time eating delicious food and be constantly discovering new gems across the City. London is home to incredible food markets such as Borough Market, Camden Market, Spitalfields Market and many others; grab a coffee and a bite on your walks around the City. There's no better way to spend a Sunday morning.
Looking for good music? London has over 300 venues putting on a staggering 17,000 performances a year. That's excluding the massive festivals that happen throughout the summer such as Lovebox, Mighty Hoopla, All Points East and British Summer Time. The city has a music scene for everyone.
ART. ART. ART. There is always a new exhibition on. Gravity's favourites for you to visit are of course the Tates, Saatchi Gallery, 180 The Strand and White Cube. The great thing about art galleries is that there is always something on for free, perfect for when you first move and trying to save some cash.
London is Europe's tech hub for the 9th year running, coming 4th in the world in terms of VC investment. The job market is full of opportunities.
This is probably the main reason you want to make the move. Job opportunities are huge across all industries but especially tech. The city is home to leading brands across the world with networking opportunities and events on a daily basis. The possibilities are endless.
The culture is incredible. There is so much history, architecture and multicultural people. There are over 300 languages spoken in the capital.
If you are an expat living abroad, there will always be people to make you feel at home. There are many groups for different nationalities for you to join and find your home community in another city.
For a city, it has a lot of green spaces.
Have you ever taken a walk around Regents Park, Hampstead Heath or Greenwich park? If not, walking around the huge variety of parks will form a big part of your life in the city. If you are used to the country, it can still give you green space, making up 47% of land.
It's the third greenest capital city in the world. You'll always have new green spaces to discover wherever you are. It's no secret that living in the city can be quite full-on with everything the city has to offer, so taking a peaceful walk around the parks will help you to recharge and take care of your wellbeing.
The city is really well connected
Stay connected with the incredible transport system. Get around the city easily and relatively cheaply with London underground and trains. Not only that but escape the city and even the UK via Eurostar or the multiple airports within a short travel from your home. If you are looking to reduce the cost of living, take a bike! There's no better way to explore the city and historic landmarks.
Looking for work in London?
The city has a diverse economy and there are amazing opportunities within different industries such as finance, tech, fintech, creative and media, scientific, management and healthcare. It’s no wonder why London is such a hotspot for the global expat community.
Within the section we will look at different options you have to discover opportunities to help you start working.
Some of the biggest brands are based here.
London is home to some of the biggest brands as well as inspiring tech start-ups scaling internationally. Some of the biggest brands include HSBC, BP, Unilever, US, BBC, GlaxoSmithkline, BT and many more. Interested in joining a tech start-up during a stage of hypergrowth? Try Curve, Rapyd, Monzo, Transferwise, GoCardless or Babylon Health.
Where to find the best jobs for different sectors?
Do you already know the brands you want to work for? Contact them! Even if they don’t have an opportunity advertised, introduce yourself to the relevant team member to express your interest. Even arrange a virtual coffee if possible.
If you are flexible on the brands you want to work with, set alerts on LinkedIn for different job titles and try to apply within the same day they are posted. Even research brands you love and connect with employees within your chosen department.
A great way to identify the companies you want to work for is from awards such as The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2020 or Glassdoor Best Places To work.
If you are looking for jobs at the best tech brands in, Otta is a great platform to get matched to relevant jobs. Most major publications have job sections on their websites including The Telegraph, The Independent, The Times and The Guardian. If you are more interested in joining a start-up, then head over to UK Start Up Jobs.
Although there are a lot of opportunities, there is also a lot of competition. Make sure you go over and beyond to stand out from the others when applying. Just sending your CV will have limited success depending on the industry.
Recruitment agencies are an amazing way to find relevant job opportunities and get supported along the process. Job searching can be time-consuming so having a recruiter actively put you forward for relevant job opportunities along with your own applications will be beneficial. There is a huge amount of recruitment agencies depending on the sector you want to apply for, you can find a list of recruitment agencies here. The best thing to do is to search for your industry specialised agency. If you are a recent graduate try to Give A Grad A Go which always has new opportunities across different sectors.
Looking for somewhere to Live in London?
Relocation has many layers but where you live is a major decision that will impact your happiness in the city. Whether you are looking for corporate housing, serviced apartments or room shares there is a lot to choose from. Gravity has prepared the 5 most important things to consider when choosing where to live.
An ideal commute is 30-45 minutes from the office
If you already have a secured job before your love, try to choose a location that is within a 30-45 minute commute to your workplace. The average commute for Londoners to work is around 45 minutes each way. Take a look at the transport connections to make sure you can get to your favourite places within a decent time frame. If you are having to travel 2 hours each day this will impact your ability to enjoy everything the city has to offer. To check how long your commute is, use CityMapper.
Rent fully furnished with bills included
Moving can be stressful, setting up bills for your new apartment can be timely and often tie you into long-term contracts with utility providers. Rent somewhere ready to move in to save you the life admin. Read our blog on the cost of living including bills for more insight.
Find your tribe asap
Moving and finding people to live with can be difficult. If you are searching for shared accommodation make sure you meet your housemates and try to find people with similar interests - this will help you to get the most out of the city and to settle in. Most traditional renting are 12 months fixed-term contracts, ideally, get flexible contacts to give you the ability to move as you settle into the city.
The renting market moves fast
Most times, to get nice accommodation, you have to move fast. There is a lot of interest and houses can often be advertised for just a couple of days before someone signs the paperwork. If you find a property you love, don’t wait around!
Check out the neighbourhood
Ideally before moving in you will get a chance to take a walk around the neighbourhood to get the vibe. Green spaces are essential and come in very useful for the summer months. Try to make sure you have one of London’s best green spaces within walking distance to recharge. One of our favourite neighbourhoods to live is Camden, which will give you a great experience of London and only a short distance from central london.
Why choose Gravity?
At Gravity Co-Living we provide an exceptional environment for the expat community moving to London, take a look at our co-living properties. We provide flexible, convenient and connected homes for you to live with other like minded professionals. Join members working for leading brands. Our membership base is a mixture of young professionals predominately working across business, tech, finance, medical and creative industries.
If you are moving to London soon and would like to know more about Gravity Co-Living and get advice on your move, you can chat to one of our friendly community managers.