This summer not a few people from the US will pack up crates and move to the UK. It’s an experience that is both terrifying and exciting all at once. It is also a logistical nightmare (or wonderful problem to solve, depending on your perspective).
My wife and I were blessed to have a few contacts “on the ground” here who helped answer a lot of our questions before we moved, and we have learned a ton since we arrived as well. We thought it would be helpful to future pilgrims to document what we learned.
I have written several posts about getting to the UK, and Kate has written several about what to do when you are here (specifically focused on Cambridge, but the basic principles are the same elsewhere). I thought it would be beneficial to do a quick summary with links to each of those posts.
(A) Moving to the UK
- Visas and Immigration: covering the official documentation requirements, timing, costs, and headaches.
- Healthcare and Finances: basic information you need to know about healthcare in the UK (more provided by Kate below) and how to handle getting your money from the US to the UK
- Moving and Traveling: what to bring, what to leave behind, how to get it here (crates, etc.), unplugging your old life, and tips for traveling (esp. with kids).
- Housing: finding a place to live in the UK, some tips for how the process works, managing your expectations, dealing with landlords.
- Setting Up: all the minutiae for setting up a new life here, from utilities to cell phones.
(B) What to Do While You’re Here (Cambridge edition)
- National Healthcare—general thoughts on NHS, Britain’s nationalized health system.
- What’s for Tea?—thoughts on how eating is different here than the US.
- Mummy, What are We Doing Today?—a guide to family-friendly children’s activities in Cambridge.
- Mummy, Can I Take Swimming Lessons?—an overview and listing of children’s programmes.
- Mummy, Where am I Going to School?—an introductory guide to schooling and nurseries/childcare.