I thought this was a post worth writing as many people have asked me about the what, when, where and hows of moving to London. Here’s my guide:
If you’re contemplating moving, the first thing you will most likely be wondering is which area to live in…
There are many great areas to choose from. A lot of South Africans – or Saffas / Saffers as we are called here – live in the South or SW of London in places such as Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Raynes Park, Putney, Colliers Wood, Morden.
I live on the opposite side of London in the NE and I’m very happy here. A few nice areas on this side that I know of are Highbury & Islington, South Woodford, Snaresbrook, Buckhurst Hill, Loughton and Epping.
Friends of mine mentioned to me that it was easier for them to find a place in the SW because it’s renowned for South Africans. The estate agent was more inclined to help them even though they had just moved to London and didn’t yet have jobs.
The average rent for your own place could be anything from £800+ per month depending on the area. If you are open to house sharing (which a lot of South Africans do here even though they may not have back home), then it could be anything from £450+. You’ll most likely be expected to put down at least one month’s rent as a deposit.
The average annual UK salary is about £25,000 whilst the average salary in London is about £31,000. Initially your biggest expenses will probably be rent and transport. Food is fairly affordable and a lot cheaper in comparison to South Africa. Whilst job hunting, it would be useful to set up a LinkedIn profile to start forming your professional network. Many employment agents also use the site for job advertisements.
If you use the tube or bus daily for commuting to work, it’s worth getting an Oyster card. This can be purchased from the ticket machines at tube
If you are staying further outside of London, the National Rail website will be able to help you with your journey planning: www.nationalrail.co.uk
You can get a free sim card online which offers good rates for calls to South Africa. At the time of writing, Vectone Mobile offers landline calls at 1p per min and mobile calls at 5p per min.
South African shops:
There is a chain of South African shops in London called The Savanna where you can stock up on biltong, boerewors, Nik Naks, jelly tots, cream soda and all things Saffa I know you can find these stores in London Liverpool Street station, Victoria station and London Bridge station. I’ve also been told that you can find the best biltong at Snoggys Butchery in Upper Richmond Road, Putney and Snoggys Wimbledon Station.
Hopefully you will find some of this information helpful. Good luck on this new journey and make the most of the opportunities that may come your way.
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” – Samuel Johnson
lifestyle blog about anticancer, life in the UK and this and that…