Moving to the UK: A Life-Solvers Guide
Preparing to start a new career in the UK can be daunting to say the least, but
nevertheless an exciting opportunity. Whether you are considering the UK as a location for
work, or have already been accepted in a flashy new role, here are some pros and cons to
help you prepare.
PRO: Access to the NHS & (mostly) Free Healthcare
The UK is world-renowned for its National Health Service (NHS), which gives UK residents
and citizens access to medical care at little to no cost. So say goodbye to pricey insurance
packages and rest easy knowing that calling an ambulance isn’t going to cost you a penny.
Keep in mind that although healthcare is generally free, you may be exposed to a relatively
small fee depending on the extent of your needs. Also, if you’re applying for a Visa to live
in the UK you will be subject to an NHS surcharge, which can reach as high as £2,000
CON: Long NHS Waiting Times
The caveat to living in a country with a state-funded healthcare system is that, you
guessed it, everyone can use the service. This exposes hospitals and medical centres in
the UK to longer-than-usual wait times for prospective patients. In fact, according to
government statistics the number of people waiting for surgery through the NHS is
currently at its highest level since 2008. Whilst the UK government puts a large emphasis
on trying to trim down waiting times, this may be important to consider if you suffer from
PRO: Access to Free Education
Residents in the UK are legally entitled to send their children to a public school free-of-
charge. Whilst the education standards vary considerably, in general, your children will be
exposed to adequate schooling without any financial strain.
CON: Expensive Private Education
Private schools in the UK are considered to be some of the best in world, but if you are in
a position to consider private schooling for your children, do not expect to be able to do so
on the cheap. On average, a private education will cost around £14,000 annually, with
more reputable schools costing over double that amount.
PRO: Excellent Employee Benefits
Full-time employees in the UK are entitled to a generous 28 days paid vacation per year. If
you combine that with the eight annual public holidays, you’ll find you will have lots of time
to explore the beautiful British countryside or even take a convenient trip to European
cities like Paris or Amsterdam via the EuroStar train.
CON: Unpleasant Weather & Harsh Winters
Although you will have lots of time off from work to relax, don not expect to be doing much
sunbathing. The UK is derided for its cold, dark and rainy climate, particularly during
winter. This may be especially important to you if you are starting a new office job that
requires you to work long hours. If you find yourself getting to work at 8am and leaving the
office at 5pm without ever seeing the sun between November and January, do not be