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UK Relocation


RSBDavid
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A year or two ago I made a thread asking what it was like to live in the UK. After bugging my employer's main HR team for over 4 months non-stop, they have agreed to let me transfer to their UK based location in London. I move next summer and they are covering most of my moving costs. I keep my same salary and instead of dollars I get paid in Pounds ... 60-70% raise?

 

I've been to the UK a few times to visit friends and family and for a two week stay for personal reasons. I love it out there. The only thing is, I don't know more than basics. I would have to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road, how to drive a manual, looking for living places a little more permanent than hostels, etc.

 

I am looking for advice from people who live in the UK and even London if possible to help me out with a few things.

 

Here are my questions:

 

1. What are a few samples of common dinner assortments in the UK? What type of foods are most often consumed where you live?

2. What is the average cost of a flat/apartment to rent a month/week/day?

3. What are some things that stereotypical Americans should be aware of (item names, slang, etc) that are different from the United States?

4. What are some good television shows?

5. What are the best internet options?

6. How expensive is it to travel on a daily basis?

7. Reccomended sectors of London/surrounding areas to live?

8. How large are flats?

9. Is there Mountain Dew in London?

10. Any suggestions/comments/input/advice from yourself.

 

I greatly appreciate any answers I get. I know a lot of people here are from the UK and I know you can help me out.

 

-bballer | Dave

( I know there is the Help and Advice thread, but this is for something a little different)

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1. What are a few samples of common dinner assortments in the UK? What type of foods are most often consumed where you live?

2. What is the average cost of a flat/apartment?

3. What are some things that stereotypical Americans should be aware of (item names, slang, etc) that are different from the United States?

4. What are some good television shows?

5. What are the best internet options?

6. How expensive is it to travel on a daily basis?

7. Reccomended sectors of London/surrounding areas to live?

8. How large are flats?

9. Is there Mountain Dew in London?

10. Any suggestions/comments/input/advice from yourself.

 

 

1) Oh Americans... Food in the UK is diverse, you could find pretty much everything.

2) Depends entirely on where you are living, the trend is usually the closer to London you go the more you have to pay.

5) Again, area dependent. I'm pretty sure virgin offer 50mb down

6) If you are travelling through London get an oyster card, it is like a top up card which you swipe on the barriers saving you the hassle of carrying tickets. I think it also works out slightly cheaper. Probably £10-£20 roughly a day.

7) They are called boroughs, not sectors. Entirely dependent on what money you have available. Rough ideas?

8) Depends on how much you pay. You'll probably get a medium size flat but I could be more specific with an average ppm cost. Again, rough idea on how much you will spend a month?

9) Yes.

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1) Oh Americans... Food in the UK is diverse, you could find pretty much everything.

2) Depends entirely on where you are living, the trend is usually the closer to London you go the more you have to pay.

5) Again, area dependent. I'm pretty sure virgin offer 50mb down

6) If you are travelling through London get an oyster card, it is like a top up card which you swipe on the barriers saving you the hassle of carrying tickets. I think it also works out slightly cheaper. Probably £10-£20 roughly a day.

7) They are called boroughs, not sectors. Entirely dependent on what money you have available. Rough ideas?

8) Depends on how much you pay. You'll probably get a medium size flat but I could be more specific with an average ppm cost. Again, rough idea on how much you will spend a month?

9) Yes.

 

 

First of all, thanks for your reply, secondly, to answer number 8, I spend over $700.00 between gas and rent a month now. I wouldn't have to worry about gas as much in London since I will be using pub transportation.

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1. What are a few samples of common dinner assortments in the UK? What type of foods are most often consumed where you live?

In London you can find everything pretty much. Food from around the world even some mock American diners. It can be expensive to eat in London but there is really no restriction on what you can eat. The commonest food places are probably; Italians, Indians and Chinese's along with the occasional British gastro-pub though you will mainly find these out of London.

2. What is the average cost of a flat/apartment?

To buy or rent? I live in a 2 room flat in central London (Kennington) the flat which is in a reasonably nice part of London but nothing special cost me £190,000 to buy and would cost around £240,000 now. In Kensington you would be paying £300,000 - £700,000 for a medium sized apartment.

4. What are some good television shows?

Well once you are used to the British Television - I think you can access BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world so perhaps you should start watching that. Current TV: Mock the Week, Have I got News for you!, Lead Balloon, Campus, The Inbetweeners, Luther, Lewis, Miss Marple, The Apprentice and many more. Some icons of British TV culture well worth watching: Monty Python's Flying Circus and Films, Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Dad's Army, Not the Nine o'Clock News, Green Wing.

5. What are the best internet options?

Living in London gives you fairly good internet options with posibility for 20MB+ connections. The most commonly used providers are BT (reliable but famous for crappy customer support) and Sky (some discrepencies in connection and where it supplies but its Phone, Internet and TV packages mean it's chosen by many.

6. How expensive is it to travel on a daily basis?

Get an Oyster card as soon as you arrive! It is a little thing that you can add money to and swipe to get on the Tube and London Buses charging you less money and decreasing queueing. Travel is fairly cheap but not as cheap as it was under the last mayor. You'd probably pay £3 - £10 to get to and from work everyday via the Tube or Bus. If you are fancy enough to get a taxi expect to pay £20+ for most journeys.

 

7. Reccomended sectors of London/surrounding areas to live?

Kensington is one of the poshest areas of London so if you've got money to throw live here. If you live further out Islington is a favourite of mine that still has reasonably priced housing around and is a generally middle class left wing area of London. Everywhere in London has nice places to live and [cabbage]-holes within walking distance of each other so pick a spot and you'll be able to find what you want there.

 

8. How large are flats?

For a £200,000 flat in the centre of London it's going to be 1 - 2 reasonably sized rooms. For the same price in zone 3 - 4 you'll get another 2 - 3 rooms. Past zone 4 (basically not London) you'll get even more bang for your buck.

 

9. Is there Mountain Dew in London?

Yes

 

 

10. Any suggestions/comments/input/advice from yourself

I will edit my post with some right now I'm late.

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I've found http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/ to be a pretty good place to find comparisons on broadband, phone and digital TV.

 

While we're on the subject on digital TV, you into sports? The MLB, NBA and NHL are nowhere to be found on the UK's five free-to-air channels. One match per week--the late game every Sunday--in the NFL is available through Channel 4 (kick-offs usually around 2am by the way, so maybe not convenient for work) and the Superbowl is shown on the BBC. F1 is also shown on the BBC.

 

In which case you'll be wanting Sky TV with Sky Sports and the ESPN package (MLB, NHL and NBA are only available through ESPN America here). You can get Sky Sports through other digital TV providers but it costs a ton, so you may as well go for Sky instead.

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1. What are a few samples of common dinner assortments in the UK? What type of foods are most often consumed where you live?

You can get lots of meals in the UK, especially in London. Some traditional English meals include Sunday Dinner (chicken/beef/pork/whatever with mash, yorkshire puddings, veggies), Fish & Chips (or just chip shop chips). We have lots of Pizza places, Chinese's and plenty of other fast food.

 

2. What is the average cost of a flat/apartment to rent a month/week/day?

I'm not sure, but be aware that living in London costs a lot more than outside the capital. Of course, wages are higher, but it's just a note.

 

3. What are some things that stereotypical Americans should be aware of (item names, slang, etc) that are different from the United States?

Crisps = Chips

Chips = Fries

I think Lay's Chips = Walker's Crisps

Shopping Centre = Mall

Secondary School = (sort of) High School (though some secondary's do call themselves high schools)

University = College

There are loads of these sorts of things, I don't think that many are particularly hard to pick up on since most have a similar meaning. Google can probably get you a lot more than me.

 

4. What are some good television shows?

Personally I'm a fan of a lot of BBC shows. Us Brits have some great comedy series so you should find (however you wish to) and watch shows like The Inbetweeners, Misfits, IT Crowd. Then you have the BBC comedies which, when you come over here, you'll have access to with iPlayer - Mock The Week, QI, Have I Got News For You! Then there's the classics you'll find on channels like Gold, your Only Fools and Horses and whatnot.

Reality shows are big over here but I've never been a fan - they're a dime a dozen and most of them have been exported to America so they won't be anything new.

I'm not really up on drama shows, though, but I watched an episode of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe (show making fun of TV) where he went to America and found that a lot of Americans are underwhelmed by our shows because they often have a lot less WHAM and impact, and often are more realistic. Then, we do have mundane shows which might confuse you, but many people do enjoy, like Bargain Hunt and Antiques Roadshow :P

 

5. What are the best internet options?

Since you might be wanting to get Sky TV as well (Sky+ is our equivalent to TiVo) you could get a deal with them. But I'd always check with Money Saving Expert about utilities and internet and such (I personally use his website for everything, it's hella useful for saving money).

 

6. How expensive is it to travel on a daily basis?

If you're close to the city you'd probably use public transport. I don't know about costs but getting a season or monthly ticket for your regular journey could save you some money. Petrol (gas) prices are constantly going up, so it might be expensive to run a car in London.

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1. What are a few samples of common dinner assortments in the UK? What type of foods are most often consumed where you live?

Everything and anything. British supermarkets generally stock everything you would need to make any dish you fancy, from Italian Dishes, French, Traditional British, American, Asian etc.

 

2. What is the average cost of a flat/apartment to rent a month/week/day?

London will be VERY expensive to live. I'm currently looking for flats in Nottingham and the average 2 bed flats are coming in around £500 to £800 per month. I would expect London to be at least 20% more.

 

3. What are some things that stereotypical Americans should be aware of (item names, slang, etc) that are different from the United States?

[bleep] - Cigarette. Can't think of any others that you wouldn't pick up on very quickly.

 

4. What are some good television shows?

Apart from Mock the Week and QI, the best shows are American anyway.

 

5. What are the best internet options?

Totally depends on preference. I know a lot of people who are with Virgin as they do deals for phone, satellite TV and internet. The same goes for Sky and BT.

 

6. How expensive is it to travel on a daily basis?

Totally depends on distance. If using the underground in London, their website will say.

 

7. Reccomended sectors of London/surrounding areas to live?

 

8. How large are flats?

I'm not sure about flats, but houses in general are much smaller than in America for the same price, so don't immediately think you are being ripped off if a place is small.

 

9. Is there Mountain Dew in London?

Never seen any in British shops.

 

10. Any suggestions/comments/input/advice from yourself.

The cost of living is generally higher than in America, but the conversion from $ to £ should keep you pretty well off.

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Nobody's mentioned Top Gear... It's exported to BBC America but is still awesome. Start watching it before you move (BBC America that is) and you'll pick up the slang and such pretty fast.

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Though it is important to remember Jeremy Clarkson's views do not respresent those of Britain as a whole.

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Though it is important to remember Jeremy Clarkson's views do not respresent those of Britain as a whole.

Not on the topic of this thread, but that's good to know...

Someone else mentioned the need to watch top gear, so I think it is.

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I'm in London

 

1. What are a few samples of common dinner assortments in the UK? What type of foods are most often consumed where you live?

London being such a multicultural city there is a large assortment of food from all over the world. It isn't centered in one area, so it really depends on which part of London you're going to.

 

3. What are some things that stereotypical Americans should be aware of (item names, slang, etc) that are different from the United States?

So long as you know what the tube is (the underground line) there isn't a whole lot of slang that I'm consciously aware of. The oyster card is a card that is an easy method of payment on the tube. Cornershops/newsagents are the equivalent to shops like 7-11 in the US.

 

4. What are some good television shows?

Mock the week, QI, top gear, have I got news for you. Dave is a channel which shows repeats of comedy shows basically 24/7.

 

5. What are the best internet options?

Virgin is quite good - it offers fibre optic broadband as an option. BT does to in select areas, but just stay away from them.

 

6. How expensive is it to travel on a daily basis?

The tube is (I think) 1.70 pounds for an average journey. It changes depending on the distance you have travelled (the underground map is split into 'zones', the more zones you cross the more

expensive it is. Zone 1 is central london. Busses are inexpensive.

 

7. Reccomended sectors of London/surrounding areas to live?

Just moved here myself, so I'm not sure.

 

9. Is there Mountain Dew in London?

Not in cornershops. There are a couple of shops that 'specialise' in foreign products, i.e. mt dew and vanilla coke, but they aren't all that common.

 

10. Any suggestions/comments/input/advice from yourself.

Get an oyster card - they are phenominally helpful.

 

 

In response to a comment by Racheya - don't immediately go for Sky TV unless its included in some package. Freeview is a one time payment (and is even included in some TVs) which gives you access to lots of channels. Sky has additional movies and sport (I think, probably more). I would see how you go along with freeview (a box is around 100-200 pounds IIRC)

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In response to a comment by Racheya - don't immediately go for Sky TV unless its included in some package. Freeview is a one time payment (and is even included in some TVs) which gives you access to lots of channels. Sky has additional movies and sport (I think, probably more). I would see how you go along with freeview (a box is around 100-200 pounds IIRC)

It's true that it may not be worth Sky straight away. I do believe that there are setups now with DVRs for Freeview so you aren't limited to Sky+ for TiVo-like TV. Freesat is another method which is cheaper than Sky but has more channels than Freeview. Freeview boxes can be got for tiny amounts of money these days, far less than £100 if you get a cheap one from Tesco or ASDA.

 

But if you want sports or movies then Sky is the one to get - they do cost more though.

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@Guy I'm very much sure that I have seen Mountain Dew in a fair number of corner shops and even bought it a couple of times. I really don't think it's that uncommon.

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Theres a luminous mountain dew energy drink that just been released here. It tastes nothing like the mountain dew I had when I was in America but it's the same brand. Take from that what you will.

 

I'd say the advice already given in this thread is pretty good, although expect the slang to change if you visit different parts of the UK. London slang is a world apart from Glasgow slang.

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It would be odd to think your relocation could be influenced by the availability of Mountain Dew...

 

 

Its like a smoker moving to somewhere where cigarettes were banned. Mountain Dew is my cigarettes since I don't smoke.

 

Thank you all for splendid answers so far. Does anyone have any good recipes I could try? I love fish btw, I just grilled some epic salmon fillets.

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1. What are a few samples of common dinner assortments in the UK? What type of foods are most often consumed where you live?

 

Dinner is generally (for the working man) all about ease/cost. So grabbing a quick lunch from a cafe/shop such as Cooplands is popular where I live.

 

2. What is the average cost of a flat/apartment to rent a month/week/day?

 

In London, compare it to living somewhere like Manhatton. It's [bleep]ing expensive compared to the rest of the UK. Most people are forced to commute from 20-30 miles outside of London.

 

3. What are some things that stereotypical Americans should be aware of (item names, slang, etc) that are different from the United States?

 

There's so many to cover, your best bet is to speak to plenty of British people before going and pick things up here and there.

 

4. What are some good television shows?

 

Completely depends. On gender, age, tastes etc. You will also find that many British people watch A LOT of American TV.

 

5. What are the best internet options?

 

Virgin. From experience both BT and the cheaper options such as Tiscalli are [cabbage]. You are much better off paying a little more from home broadband and haveing a quality service. I can't really comment on mobile broadband such as dongles since I wont have tried one until September. As for mobile phones internet, 3G is much faster than I expected. With a good network such as o2, it's worth paying a bit more for a phone.

 

6. How expensive is it to travel on a daily basis?

 

In London, not much. Use the tube and you'll get good rates if you use it often. Otherwise, use the buses and try to avoid running a car in London. Anywhere else I would say cycle or car, but not in London. :P

 

7. Reccomended sectors of London/surrounding areas to live?

 

There are some fantastic areas such as Camden which are considered to be quite rough, but the things you will see will really open your eyes and I think for a young aspiring man, it's a good move.

 

8. How large are flats?

 

How long is a piece of string?

 

9. Is there Mountain Dew in London?

 

Yes.

 

10. Any suggestions/comments/input/advice from yourself.

 

I'm 20, studying in the UK, living in the north but looking at doing the opposite to you (working in the US) so anything you can advise me on would be great, I'm doing a 6-9 month placement year with my degree but have to look for a placement myself. (Web design related). I could do it in London but I'd like to set my sights higher.

 

Anyway back to you, just be inquisitive, don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be afraid to make friends. For many people it will be a novelty to have a foreign friend living with them so take advantage of this. If possible arrange to meet up with a few Tip.It'ers once you arrive to go for a pint or a bite to eat. It will help, let them show you around and introduce you their lifestyle.

 

More than anything else, this will depend on you and what you make of it, you have a fantastic oppertunity, one that I'm envious of and struggling to obtain for myself. Give it your best shot and I hope you have a fantastic time :D

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