Get ready for a cultural overdose in London
Those expecting to live the supposedly real English countryside life à la Harry Potter will need to expect to live a lot more when moving to London! London is a nearly 9 million inhabitant big metropolis spanning an area of 1,572 km2 making it the biggest city in Europe. Its enormous cultural wealth and significance makes the English capital shine – literally – when thinking of its rich theatre culture concentrated in the West End area, its partly eccentric, partly traditional but always buzzing nightlife, and its renowned music scene that has seen the rise of artists like David Bowie, Queen, The Spice Girls or the recent Amy Winehouse. But London is just as exciting and politely overwhelming in the day time: Famous landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, the primary residence of her Majesty, are spread all over the city, just like the over 240 museums, galleries, and cultural centres. Those in need for some peace and quiet can experience a holiday-like retreat near the Thames waterfront or in one of the parks, gardens and squares easily accessible from all over the city. Oh, and don’t worry: Stories about monsoon-like rain showers all year long are just rumours!
A technical, creative and entrepreneurial ecosystem
London is the business capital of Europe and the continent’s epicentre in digital technology. Full stop. The city’s entrepreneurial scene with its 1,434 businesses per 10,000 residents in 2015 certainly has a lot to offer to those active and interested in the digital sector. The technology cluster Silicon Roundabout located in Central and East London is home to 2,000 start-ups alone employing 48,000 people in the digital economy. All over the city, London counts an impressive 155,600 digital technology employees. London cannot be compared to just any US American city, rather it reunites the appeals of several: Like San Francisco it is spoiled with founders and entrepreneurs, like the Big Apple, it has thriving media, art and fashion scenes, and financial services. The city has a well-developed advertising sector like Chicago and creative industries like LA. Technology is playing an ever increasing role in all of these sectors.
Have a drink with like-minded technical geniuses like you
As the European start-up, business and financial capital that the British capital has become, the networking and professional growth potential seems almost unlimited. No need to go for a beer by yourself in the pub around the corner if you can mingle with tech geniuses like yourself every day! Important online references for local tech events are the following:
- Tech London is a comprehensive online platform connecting and supporting London’s expanding entrepreneurship ecosystem. The website offers a comprehensive list of events helping you to grow your local network in no time.
- Tech City News is, according to the website, “the leading resource of news, events and information for technology innovators in the UK”. It lists all the leading tech events across London that can be filtered by keywords, date and location.
- Launched by a Czech developer expat based in London, io is an extensive tech and start-up related event platform updated by its users.
What to think of when arriving in London
As a software engineer, developer or programmer, it is surely difficult to resist London’s seemingly endless opportunities. Good for you: Moving to London is quite straightforward!
Ready, set, work!
As a national from the European Economic Area – EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – and Switzerland, you automatically qualify to live and work in the United Kingdom (the only exception: Croatians). Registration with the police or city hall upon arrival is not necessary – hooray! The only thing you need to do when wanting to work in the UK is get a National Insurance number that you can apply for during a previously organised appointment at your local Job Center Plus.
Why not go “flatshare with green garden” hunting?
London is a very transient place attracting professionals from all over the country and all over the world for the short, medium or long term. Is not without reason that the Boston Consulting Group ranked it the most appealing city for expats worldwide. The city is doing well to cater for all styles, cultures and preferences: Like Amazonian communities, every area in London has a different atmosphere, vibe and population. Shoreditch in the East has a particular attraction for the bearded and vegan hipster who likes wearing colourful socks; for Chelsea it would the chic upper-middle-class Sloane and for Camden often students. It is common for the inhabitants of London’s quickly changing communities to live in flat shares with often furnished rooms which makes it easier to find accommodation and to meet new people from the very beginning. In certain areas you can even live in one of the typical semi-detached English houses with small gardens. Are you ready for your barbecue in the summer?
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