• Living in the UK - things you need to know


    Ever thought about living in the UK?

    Moving abroad and living in a new country is a daunting prospect for anyone.

    You have to adapt to a new culture, different customs, unfamiliar cuisine, and sometimes a new currency.
    It can be stressful and exciting.
    So to give you a head start on what it’s like to live in the UK, we’re putting together a series of articles on what it’s like to live in the UK, top things to see and do, and useful facts about the country.
    This opening article gives you a short overview of 5 things you need to know if you’re thinking about moving there.

    Cost of living

    cost of living uk

    Like any place you choose to live, the cost of living will depend on your lifestyle.
    So if you choose to live in an affluent area of a city, especially London, naturally your costs will be higher than if you live in a small town in, say, a suburb of Newcastle.

    The best thing you can do is narrow down where you want to live and do some research into:

    • The average cost of renting or buying a house
    • The availability and cost of private schools if you want your children to get a private education
    • Nearby supermarkets. For instance, using Waitrose instead of Lidl will likely increase your lifestyle costs


    British Weather

    If you enjoy chasing the sun, then the UK’s probably not the best place to live.
    Winter is cold and wet. And there’s an age-old joke about the British summer – namely that it doesn’t exist!
    British summers can be extremely hot, or it can rain for the entire month of August. It tends to be pot luck, and not guaranteed like some countries.


    Full English Breakfast

    The Brits aren’t as famed for their food as the French or Italians.

    The two dishes they are most known for is:

    • The classic roast dinner – which offers roasted meat (usually a choice of chicken, beef, lamb, and sometimes pork) accompanied by a range of vegetables and Yorkshire pudding. You can lather the meal in gravy.
    Full English Breakfast – referred to colloquially as a ‘fry up’, this isn’t the most healthy meal in the world but it’s tasty and filling. A full English can comprise of any of the following: eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, hash browns, beans, tomatoes, black pudding, fried bread, and toast.
    That being said, the UK is rather multicultural when it comes to food and you can find restaurants offering all sorts of cuisines throughout the country.


    Customs vary from country to country. So it’s good to get an insight into what’s accepted before you visit a new place.

    Tipping isn’t expected in the UK. You can choose to tip if you want, and the amount you tip is entirely up to you. Some restaurants may include a ‘suggested tip’ on your bill, but you’re not obliged to offer one.
    •  Bank holidays
    There are eight bank holidays in the UK and, depending on what type of work you do, you usually get them as extra holiday in addition to the amount of holiday your employer offers.
    • Driving
    The UK drives on the left hand side of the road, and the national speed limit is 70mph.
    • Eating
    Britain adopts the continental style of eating – with fork in the left hand and knife in the right.
    • Meeting someone new
    The French kiss each other on the cheek, whereas in Thailand that’s seen as taboo. When meeting someone for the first time in Britain, you often shake their right hand with your right hand.

    How does healthcare work in the UK?

    If you’re considering moving to the UK, you might be wondering if you need to get international health insurance.
    Or you might already know about the NHS and how it works.
    If you don’t, the NHS (National Health Service) is free at the point of use for people classed as ordinarily resident.
    According to the gov.uk website, ordinary residence means:
    “Broadly, living in the UK on a lawful, voluntary and properly settled basis for the time being.”
    So you might be entitled to use the NHS depending on your situation.
    But if you don’t want to leave this to chance, you could benefit from an international health insurance plan.
    You can find out more about international health insurance, and request a free quote, by clicking here.



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