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Moving to London - would really appreciate some advice

 
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frogandeagle



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:09 am    Post subject: Moving to London - would really appreciate some advice Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'll be moving from Sydney to London late January, 2012 on a two year working holiday visa and would really appreciate any advice you could give me.

I've read almost all of the posts on the UK forum and I'm aware of the dire conditions for EFL teachers in London. Let's just say that personal reasons and a strong desire to see Europe (I've never been before) are the reasons for why I'm going, despite the above.

What I'd really like to know is, what are the chances of getting a job at an FE college or teaching ESOL and is it even possible for someone who isn't undertaking any further study? (From what I've read you need to have or show to be undertaking certain qualifications)

And secondly, would I need a CRB check for most jobs and is it possible to get one if I've never lived in the country?

A bit about me: I have a degree, CELTA and I've been teaching for nearly two years in Sydney. I've taught General English and FCE. I'm a really hard worker and I want to give EFL teaching in London a shot but I know it's going to be really, really tough.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can pass on, I really appreciate it.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 712
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello frogandeagle,

I think a working holiday visa in the UK , called a Tier 5 visa, entitles you to work for any 12 months out of 24 months.

You are required to declare any criminal offence(s) you committed in your country of origin before they allow entry to UK on such a visa. You also need evidence of at least 1,600 GB pounds in a bank to support yourself.

See :http://www.visabureau.com/uk/youth-mobility.aspx

The EFL scene in the UK at present is very tight, flooded with young CELTA holders all trying to find work that pays more than the appalling 8-10 GB pounds per hour offered in some language schools. I'm not sure that an FE college would even consider you knowing you are on a working visa....however, I stand to be corrected.

Good luck and let us know how you get on - this would be helpful for others in this situation.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 147

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
The EFL scene in the UK at present is very tight, flooded with young CELTA holders all trying to find work that pays more than the appalling 8-10 GB pounds per hour offered in some language schools.


I gotta agree with Dedicated here. I think you'd be making a serious mistake coming here, a mistake that could get you into a lotta debt. It's not just finding a job . . . you also have to worry about the costs of living in the UK while you're looking for a job. There are better alternatives out there . . .
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frogandeagle



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey - thanks so much for replying. Dedicated, I am coming on a youth mobility visa but fortunately they've changed the rules and I can work the full two years in any job I want.

I guess that was the news I was expecting, but, I'm quite a positive person and I tend to think people can be negative (especially on forums) so I wanted to see if the situation was REALLY that bad or if people were just being negative in general.

To put it in perspective, two years ago I was fresh off the CELTA and people in Sydney said that the situation was dire and there were no jobs. Yet I managed to get a full time contract which I've kept for two years. I'm not paid well compared to people my age with similar experience/qualifications in other industries. I also live in Bondi, which is arguably one of the most expensive suburbs in Sydney, yet I've managed to save a significant amount of money in 6 months to prepare for this move.

I guess what I'm saying is, not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty good at sustaining myself on a low income and working hard to make ends meet. But I want to prepare myself for the realities of living in London as I've never been there before.

Should I be applying for jobs other than teaching until the summer period?

Thanks again for your feedback.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 712
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frogandeagle,

I apologise if I came across as being unduly negative, but I was being realistic. Unless you have an MA or more and can secure a university post, then you are looking at "bottom feeder" EFL jobs, which usually pay about 10 GB pounds an hour. You might get 15 GB pounds at better language schools. You might be able to pick up some private work if you post around the university union noticeboards.

However, accommodation and transport in London are expensive; heating is expensive now -it's cold! - and January/February are not the best months to be looking for EFL jobs.

April sees the start of 20 week pre-sessional courses in London and if you interview well, you might be lucky enough to get onto one of those, though they usually prefer MA and DELTA holders.

I think you should organise accommodation first, then be prepared to work at anything whilst you look at EFL jobs. Otherwise your savings will quickly be eaten up. Check out tefl.com site/jobs.ac.uk everyday and fire off applications from now, and you might strike lucky.

Good luck!
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 147

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
I think you should organise accommodation first, then be prepared to work at anything whilst you look at EFL jobs. Otherwise your savings will quickly be eaten up.


Yes, getting a job isn't the only thing you have to worry about . . . it's surviving too. Getting a room in London is really difficult now because there are too many people chasing too few rooms. It's a renters market and don't they know it. You'll be paying high rents and you'll probably need to commit for a minimum of 3 months, but most landlords want 6. And don't forget the deposit too. Transport costs are rising as well. I think you'd be crazy to arrive here without a job and some accommodation set up. Applying for work in London and waiting around for a job, which might take months, will certainly put you on Grub Street.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is a difference between being negative and being realistic.

OP: If a British person wanted to go on a working holiday trip to Sydney and asked you for information about the flatting and TESOL scene there, what would you tell him/her regardless of your own situation? It's a long way from home. I think most posters here don't want to give someone the wrong idea. However, there will always be some kinds of opportunities. Jobs, though probably not well paid, do come up from time to time everywhere. Being self-sufficient and able to make do with very little are important qualities when heading off without a fixed setup, IMO.

The summer is the best time to pick up short term and sometimes residential work in TEFL. You might also get longer term work from that too, depending on the provider. If you're determined to go late Jan, then I agree that working out where you'll be staying is essential. You're probably aware of the gumtree.com? A very useful website for accom, and sometimes jobs. You'll probably need some kind of temporary place to stay initially, but can hopefully organise a room to rent. You will almost certainly need to pay a deposit for that.

As London is so huge you could pay a fortune just travelling around, so when you know where you'll be based target any language schools and institutions as nearby as possible. FE is possibly out without a Masters, but no harm in trying for relief work and the pre-sessional courses Dedicated mentioned. I would look at other kind of work (Thegumtree might be helpful for this). Lastly, I just suggest the following: have a 'get out of jail' plan! Otherwise, enjoy London! (I did).
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Yorks Lad



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 70
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other thing to look for - as I've mentioned elsewhere - are residential camps, where the pay isn't bad and your board and lodgings are provided free, so you can essentially save most of what you earn. That is a huge bonus. (You also get to see some of the UK's sights for free, albeit while shepherding kids around!) Summer is obviously the main time but there are some in the spring and Easter. Also, the better summer schools are already advertising, so it might be an idea to get in early to take your pick of the best deals.
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frogandeagle



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for the honest and realistic replies everyone. I'll be coming with low expectations in regards to work, so, best I start making a few different types of CVs for all my other experience and hit the ground running once I land.

I will keep you updated if I have success!
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