Dreaming of a flat in the heart of Camden Town? Buying souvenirs in Notting Hill? Fell in Love with Westfield Stratford City? Did you grow up watching 4 Weddings and a Funeral? Do you love art and want to spend your weekends in the Hayward Gallery or Serpentine Gallery?
So many people dream of living and working in London either to further their career or improve their English language skills.
What are you waiting for?
Rather than attending language courses at a school or online, start speaking English with native speakers in everyday life!
Improving Your English by Working in London
As you probably know, immersion is the best way to learn a foreign language. If you don’t have the time or money to attend classes in an English academy or online in your free time, working in London is an option that you may want to consider as you can learn the language just by living your life!
Of course, your current employer won’t send you to London if your English is terrible. After all, those who have a period of working abroad on their CV are in higher demand than those who haven’t.
You'll be expected to have a decent level of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in English and while you won't be expected to speak like a native upon arrival, you should be able to comfortably integrate into a business without needing too much help. From there, you'll start learning quite quickly.
There are a few situations in which you’ll need to know a decent amount of English and be able to use it effectively:
- Renting a flat
- Finding a job (if you’re not being sent there by your current employer)
- Going to the doctor
- Getting around London
- Starting English lessons
The vocabulary for these situations will also help you in other situations.
But why should you work in London?
Those who are lucky enough to have family or friends already in London are lucky as they may have the opportunity to see London without having to work at first. Once you’ve got the basics down and found a job, you can start earning a living and mastering English. During this time, you'll want to be making the most of every opportunity to speak, learn, and improve your English.
If you find yourself sitting around and not doing much, you may want to attend an English course so you can spend time practising with other students or even sit an exam like the Cambridge exam or the IELTS exam. These are good for proving your English level to potential employers.
After your English is at a decent level, you’ll find it much easier to find work. You don’t want to be spending entire days walking the streets handing out CVs. There are plenty of sites for finding work in London and the UK for those coming from abroad.
There are also plenty of guides to living and working in London. With immersion, you’ll be surprised at just how good your English is after just 6 months.
Can You Earn More Money in London?
Did you know that with 400,000 French people there, according to the French consulate in London, London would be France’s sixth-largest city?
There’s a good reason for so many of them to go there.
In reality, other sources put the number between 70,000 and 300,000 but that’s still a big population. Many go to London because British businesses offer them an opportunity they can’t get back home.
Let’s get back to the topic at hand! Employees in London earn more on average than their counterparts in France as their employers’ outgoings are less. However, this doesn’t mean that someone coming from France to the UK would automatically have all this as disposable income to spend on leisure activities as many may find that rent and public transport are far more expensive than back home.
The good news is that negotiation is welcome in British companies and employees have more chances to ask for the salary they think they’re worth. Of course, this negotiation has to take place in English. For example, the average salary for a waiter in London is around £1,400 a month and a marketing assistant takes home around £2,000 a month.
Aside from the obvious financial benefits, English language skills and speaking a second language at a high level can further international careers, not just in London. Any student interested in working in an English-speaking country will need to either have experience working with English or have a qualification in English like a degree, Cambridge qualification, or have taken an IELTS test.
Work in London as a Babysitter for Wealthy Parents
If you can’t find work in a business in London, don’t worry. Young women can offer to babysit. Obviously, men can also do this job, but it’s far less common and there’s still the notion in the minds of parents that they aren’t as good at it.
You’ll have the opportunity to speak English to the parents, other nannies or babysitters, parents at school, etc. You may also have to do homework with them in English or take the kids out for their hobbies or extracurricular activities. It’s a great way to improve your English.
This option can be effective in the long-term or short-term. There are often sites offering upwards of £10/hour for 3 to 4 a week, too.
Working in London to Broaden the Mind
Do you have a sense of adventure?
You might want to go back to school after a year doing a job you don’t like.
More seriously, it can sometimes be good to break the routine and go somewhere else to learn who we are. Breaking a negative cycle and living and working somewhere else can also give you perspective.
Some go to Africa for humanitarian work, others save elephants in India, and some learn more about themselves by living and working in London.
A new life, new routine, new food, new friends, etc.
How can you find work in the UK?
- Look for work in your field according to your qualifications and experience.
- Go freelance and find jobs that only you can do in London. You could teach your language to the British.
- Find part-time jobs. Work as a waiter, cloakroom attendant in a nightclub, fast-food, cleaning, etc. They’re great jobs for meeting people and practising your English.
- Offer language classes to big businesses looking to break into the market in your home country. You could help organise trips, develop new products, etc.
- Apply to schools or cultural associations.
After chatting with host families, messaging friends, and posting to Facebook, you’ll start to see what options you have. After that, you could stumble upon opportunities you didn’t even know existed.
Go for it!
Things to Do Before Going to London
Before you go to London, you have to make sure that you’re legally allowed to. Make sure you check what the visa requirements are for your country and how long you can live and work there.
Getting there is the easy part. London and the rest of the UK are quite well connected to international transport hubs so anyone from anywhere can get there.
Your visa will dictate whether or not you have access to the National Health Service or not. If you don’t, you’ll need to pay for healthcare or insurance.
Even if you’re on the NHS, there are certain services that you still have to pay for anyway. In most cases, there are cheaper options with doctors and dentists approved by the NHS.
There are plenty of reasons to go and work in London. Whether it’s 2 months working in a shop, 6 months teaching your other tongue, or 9 months babysitting, you could have a great time and improve your English. You may even decide you don’t want to leave. In any case, your English will improve a lot.
What are you waiting for? A promotion, perhaps?
The opportunities are endless.
If you want to learn English (or any language, for that matter), consider getting help from a private tutor on Superprof! There are different types of tutorials available, each with their pros and cons.
Don't forget that many tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson for free. Use these free lessons to try out several different English tutors before choosing the one that's right for you. After all, you'll learn much more effectively with a tutor you get along well with.