The UK is known for its diversified and cosmopolitan life attracting people from all over the world. There are many communities and cultural backgrounds with over 50 nationalities and as many as 300 different languages.
Although London is the main destination for many people, there are other exciting cities in the UK and a lot to see and do outside the metropolis.
Entry to the UK: To be allowed entry or transit through the UK, you must meet certain requirements. You must hold the appropriate visa or entry permit to enter the UK. For information about these requirements please visit the UK Travel and customs web site.
Climate: Temperatures in the UK are quite variable. Summer temperatures may rise up to 29 C, Winter can fall up to -10 C. Averages throughout the year are about 8 to 20 C, fairly mild but wet.
Measurements: Weights and measures are still shown both metric and the old UK imperial formats. 1 mile = 1500 metres, 1Kg = 2.2 lbs, 1Ltr = 1.75 pints
Electricity: 240 volts standard but you will need adaptor to fit UK 3-pin plug socket.
How to Get Help or Legal Advice: If you are experiencing difficulties settling down or having difficulty dealing with administrative issues you can contact your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau who will provides free, confidential and impartial advice. They can help you solve problems including debt, housing, legal matters and employment matters. Check your local telephone directory, or visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Healthcare and Well-Being: The UK Public healthcare is run by the National Health Service (NHS). Residents and their dependents are entitled to free NHS care and support. The NHS provides free or subsidized medical treatment to the following category of migrants:
People with the right of abode and who are currently resident in Britain
Anyone who has been resident in the UK for the previous year
Students (on courses longer than 6 months)
Anyone with a British work permit
If you’re a non resident or temporary visitor you will need to have personal health care insurance.
Emergency: if you have an emergency or need an ambulance please call the emergency help line: 999 .
Cost of living: The UK and Ireland are relatively expensive, with London being one of the most expensive in Europe. Though, earnings in the capital tend to be proportionately better than elsewhere, the cost of living varies in different parts of the UK and depends greatly on the area you live in.
Housing: The average rent for a room in a shared house or flat varies between £70 and £120 per week. A self contained one bedroom flat costs between £150 and £250 per week. Utility bills such as water, electricity and gas may also incur charges from £8 to £15 per week. A deposit is usually paid alongside the initial month’s rent – usually equivalent to one month’s rent, totally or partially refundable at the end of your tenor.
Travelling around London and the UK: The Underground or Tube is the fastest and most economical way to travel around London. Daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly Travel-card, for the Tube and buses are available. Prices vary depending the on zoning system. Night buses are available after midnight when the Underground system closes.
Buses: Buses are a more popular means of transport outside central London and for areas not serviced by the Tube or other rail services. www.tfl.gov.uk. Each region of Great Britainh as its own local bus companies that provide its local service.
Driving in the UK: Holders of a valid international driver’s license are permitted to drive for up to 12 months in the UK. However, Long stay visitors are advised to obtain a UK license. The D100 leaflet application form can be obtained at any Post Office.
Finding a job in the UK is not easy and can be complicated and time taking, especially for foreigner. You will need a work permit to take-up any employment unless you are an EU member or a UK resident or dependent. www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk
There are many job portals and agencies around the country that can provides services to job seekers. One of such agencies is The JobcentrePlus, Government funded, and has one of Britain’s largest databases of job vacancies in the UK. Thousands of new jobs are available every week. Jobcentre Plus also offers a number of services to help jobseekers, unemployed people, those with disabilities and others who may need extra help in finding a job. http://jobseekers.direct.gov.uk
- The Home Office The UK Border Agency’s Visa Services: Home Office
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): The FCO website
- Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC): The HMRC website
- Goods restricted or banned when entering the UK: Restricted or banned goods
- British diplomatic missions overseas: UK embassies and consulates
- The British Council – Providing learning opportunities. offices in over 100 countries around the world. The British Council
- UCAS is the UK central organisation through which applications are processed for entry to undergraduate-level programmes: Universities & Colleges Admissions Service
- Voluntary organisation, network of UK residents who welcome adult international students to their homes for a weekend, or Christmas. HOST UK
- National advisery service helps people resolve their legal problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice,: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- UK’s national healthline, providing health advice & services: NHS Direct
- London’s Train, underground and bus routes Travel check: www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl.
- Travel Check for other communities: Transport Direct
- Hospital for Tropical Diseases and infections. Hospitalfor TropicalDiseases
- Britain’s largest databases of job vacancies: jobseekers.direct.gov.uk
- National emergency services for the police , fire brigade and ambulance : 999
- National emergency services for Gas and electricity hazards: 0800 111 999