Living in Great Britain

Keep calm and start your new life in the UK

Despite its small stature, the UK is a global economic and cultural force and an attractive destination for internationals. With a relatively low unemployment rate, diverse job sectors and multi-cultural population, foreigner workers can benefit from a whole host of exciting living and work-related opportunities. Take a look at our articles to reveal the advantages of moving to the UK.

The English, despite loving a good moan, have a lot to be cheerful about with life in the UK. Boasting a large and diverse economy, excellent public services, world class art, music and literature without forgetting of course numerous cultural quirks such as tea, pubs, politeness and dry humour, the UK is wonderfully varied.
On top of one of the most vibrant and exciting world cities in London, the UK is renowned for its greenery and has some spectacular scenery the further north you go. Adapting to life in the UK is a simple affair, with a tolerant and welcoming populace and a language that is fairly easy to get to grips with.

UK Universities: top higher education programmes

The UK boasts some of the world's top universities and colleges, which is why studying in the UK attracts a huge number of leading academics, industry professionals, researchers and international students every year. Four of the World's top eight universities are in the UK and student satisfaction is growing every year. No wonder that UK universities and research institutions have produced 107 Nobel Prize winners and that the UK ranks second in the world for the quality of its scientific and research institutions! UK courses are internationally recognized and can help make you stand out from the crowd when considering job options. Universities in London are among the top universities in the UK and are usually the most popular – but whilst it's a well-known fact that the cost of living in London is highly expensive, outside of the capital is far cheaper, particularly cities in the Midlands and the North of the country, and there are also many student discounts available. On top of that, UK degrees at UK universities tend to be shorter than their international counterparts – a Bachelor's degree can be completed within three years (with honours) compared to four in most countries, which saves a year of tuition fees. Moreover, international students who are planning on studying for more than six months can benefit from free medical care with the NHS. The UK is also highly international and multicultural. London and universities in London in particular are a melting pot of different cultures and there are plenty of organisations and societies to help you settle smoothly into life as a student and facilitate your socialising. Applying for a visa for the UK, if you require one, is a straightforward process and each year thousands of students are granted their visas and welcomed to the UK hassle-free.

Working in the UK

With the fifth-largest economy in the world and the third-largest in Europe, working in the UK is appealing for many international job-seekers. Jobs are available in a wide variety of sectors and the countries' unemployment rate is currently quite low at just under 5%. However, competition for jobs, especially graduate jobs, is high, though if you have the right qualifications and experience, opportunities are extensive. Major industries in the UK include agriculture, production and services, with a particular emphasis on the latter. London's economy, which forms the backbone of the UK's economic well-being, essentially runs off banking, insurance and business services. That said, there are many other important industries, such as metals, chemicals, aerospace, automotive, textiles, clothing and electronics. Areas such as education, healthcare, social care and hospitality are currently experiencing labour shortages. The most popular cities to work in England outside London are Cambridge, Nottingham, Manchester and Leeds. In the UK, you can apply for the majority of jobs online with a CV and cover letter. CVs should be no longer than two pages, and cover letters no longer than one page where possible - check out these useful application phrases on bab.la so that you are properly prepared for the process. Networking is becoming increasingly important and can help you get a foot in the door in the UK when it comes to enquiring about vacancies, so make sure to take advantage of any contacts you might have. Recruitment processes for popular companies and over-subscribed roles tend to be long and drawn-out, so it is best to get your application in early and to consider other possibilities at the same time. But don't worry - recruiting happens all year round due to the generally high turnover of staff, which means that you can apply any time. This also means it is handy to keep your CV up-to-date, and some cover letter templates that can be tailored accordingly. Interview processes can be tough, often including a mixture of online tests and assessment centres, followed by group and individual interviews. It is also possible to obtain seasonal, temporary work and internships in many areas of the UK in a number of different industries, particularly tourism and retail. bab.la's internship platform posts internship offers on a regular basis and allows users to post their advertisements for free, providing a valuable resource for your job-hunt.

Learn English

The UK is the top destination worldwide to learn English and to study English, with English courses and English classes for all ages and abilities. You can learn English in the UK for your career, for educational purposes or just for fun. As arguably the world's only ‘global' language, the importance of studying English does not need to be stated, and certainly if you are looking for work in the UK you will need a certain level of English. When exploring the UK you will be surrounded by native speakers, as well as English-language media such as TV and newspapers, enabling you to constantly practice your language skills. In the world of work, English language skills are highly valued by employers and universities, so improving your English is a worthwhile investment in your future. Boost your English language skills before making the move to the UK with bab.la's English dictionary, language quizzes, games and conjugation tool.