The cost of relocating to the UK to teach

Ever wondered what it costs to relocate to the UK to advance your teaching career?

You may know about visa and passport costs, but what about all of the other stuff that comes with a big move overseas?

The Main Costs

Passport and Visa

You can talk to one of our Education Consultants to establish which visa you will need to apply for unless you have UK Ancestry or British Passport.

The Youth Mobility Visa is currently £298. The Healthcare Surcharge is £470 per year of the visa (min £540 for a 2 year visa). All visas require proof of savings, so your new home country knows you can support yourself whilst you’re there. You will need £2530  in your bank account (untouched) to be able to successful.

Total –   £3298

For those on the Skilled Migrant Visa you are looking at higher initial visa costs. The visa application is currently £719. The healthcare surcharge is £624 per year of the visa (£1872 for 3 years upfront). You also need proof of savings in your bank account to the value of £1270 (untouched, unless exempt).

Total – £3861

Flights and Accommodation

The cost of flights can be variable depending on where you are departing from and the time of year you are travelling. Budgeting £1000- £1500 is a benchmark you can work towards, although this will be higher during peak travel periods (November-January and June-August).

There are so many great properties available now through Airbnb and Booking.Com. We highly recommend that you plan to have a base that has Wi-Fi, a washing machine and shared kitchen/bathroom facilities. This way you can use the postcode of your new school to search for properties nearby and get to know your new locality while you view and secure your longer-term flat or apartment. £1500 – £2000 for a couple of weeks depending on your location and personal living standards.

When you secure a rental property of your choice it is standard practice to pay a bond upfront to the landlord or letting agency. This will likely be one of your greatest expenses in the whole relocation.   Some teachers will move into a shared house where the going rate for a room might be somewhere in the vicinity of £900 – £1400 per month, so a bond would roughly be £1800 – £2800. These are estimates based on current teachers’ accommodation and living costs in London. If you secure a teaching job further from London, these estimates would be less.

Total £3500 – £4500  (Arrival Accommodation 1-2 weeks & bond for your long-term flat or apartment.

To help you with your research these are some of the helpful sites Point to Point teachers are using to secure long-term accommodation.

There are also several Facebook pages such as Kiwis in London (KIL) and Aussies in London that have regular flat posts which can be helpful for sublets and networking.

Depending on the accommodation you secure you may also need some incidentals of your own (linen, utensils, appliances etc…). Put aside a couple of hundred pounds for household items along the way.

The Other Costs

Food and Fun

Checking out new places to eat and drink is all a part of the fun and helps you to get out and about whether by foot or using the great transport systems. You should allow £50-60 approximatey per week until you get into the groove of things and know your daily commute. Purchasing an Oyster card will allow you to top up easily and pay for transport around London. The further you live out of Central London, the more you should allow for transport within your budget.

Most people love to check out their local pub and often weeknight meals are discounted.  The main supermarkets you will look for are ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons. Aim to shop at large supermarkets for better deals, as smaller stores tend to be more expensive. More upmarket shopping can be done at Waitrose and Marks & Spencers, but these stores are more expensive.

Budgeting for regular food shopping will be dependent on what you like to eat.

Over the weekend you can always head to the markets and pick up yummy coffee and some treats on the go. Popular markets to hit up are the Borough Markets, Greenwich Markets, Spitalfields, The Stables (Camden) and the Columbia Rd Flower Markets.

Budget £20- £30 per day depending on your activities and drinking habits! A decent coffee will set you back around £4- £5 while you are out an about!

Total £800 – £1500 approx. for your first month.

Our Top Tips

Save save save!

It’s important to save what you can before your move. Certain visas require proof of savings, but we recommend saving more than the required amount to give yourself enough of a buffer when you move. We would recommend a good savings amount would be close to £6000 – 8000 (this is with a good buffer!) This is a generous budget! It’s always better to have a little extra for the unknown!

Sell what you can before you move!

Take it from us, if you’re moving from Australia, your ‘winter’ clothes won’t be enough to survive the winters in the UK! Plus the UK have plenty of great clothing stores so you can buy everything you need whilst you’re there.

Consider the cost of living.

It’s tough everywhere right now, and we’re all feeing it in our back pockets. Have a look at living costs before you make the move (you’ve already got a head start by reading this blog). Consider how much you will need to budget for food and general living expenses and explore what you might like to do on the weekends/your holidays.

Create a budget.

Consider all of the bills you will need to pay including rent, gas, food shopping and travel expenses. Ensure you leave an amount for fun! You’re so close to other European countries and living in the UK opens up opportunities to explore new places – ensure this is in the budget to help you maximise your time over in England.

We hope you find this helpful as we know that relocating to England is so exciting, but it’s more enjoyable if you are not stressed by tight finances. We’re always here to help! Chat with any of our friendly staff if you’re concerned about finances when you move over. We have a list of handy resources we can share and also more insider tips.