Is London and the UK calling you?
The United Kingdom, particularly London, is the most popular working holiday destination for Commonwealth citizens and has been for many years. Literally thousands of young people head to the UK every year to make their dreams of living, working and playing there a reality. But why? Well there are a number of reasons why, but mostly because of the visas that are available to Commonwealth citizens, the availability of work and very importantly, the close proximity to Europe for travelling.
UK Working Holiday Visas
The two most popular visas are the Youth Mobility Visa (formerly known as the working holiday maker visa) and the UK Ancestry Visa. The Youth Mobility Visa allows those aged 18 to 30 years inclusive to stay in the UK to live and work while the Ancestry Visa allows those who qualify a stay of up to 5 years to live and work. Full details about the two visas, eligibility and how to apply are available from your nearest British High Commission or Consulate General or this UK government website.
London and UK Work opportunities
There are those who head to London to advance their careers because they believe having worked in London will look good on their CV when they return home, and yes, it probably will for those who work in business, hospitality and teachers. However, there are many who head to the UK to try a different profession, and believe me, there is plenty to try. A popular work opportunity is to pull pints in a pub, and yes, there is virtually one on every corner. Or there are many nanny jobs available where you look after kids of different ages. A nanny job, like some pub jobs provide accommodation so that takes care of employment and accommodation in the one hit. Whatever field you work in at home (teacher, trades, hospitality, accounting and banking, administration) you should be able to find employment in. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of employment agencies that can help you find work. Some professions such as legal and medical, ie doctors, nurses, physios, pharmacist, etc. require you to do exams to become registered with the peak body in the UK before you can undertake such work. This can be expensive and time consuming but many do it. An array of jobs along with their contact details can be found in our ebook LiveWork&Play in London & the UK.
The UK as your Travel base
A popular reason that travellers choose London and the UK as their chosen working holiday destination is that they can use it as their base to travel to many parts of the world. There are many well-worn paths that travellers take through Europe to include large events such as Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, drinking a stein of beer at the Munich Beerfest and for Australians and New Zealanders being in Gallipolli for ANZAC Day. Or many take the opportunity to buy a cheap air ticket and head to a European city for the weekend.
London is a great travel base to undertake your travels but you will need somewhere to live. Many people arrive and stay in a hostel or hotel until they sort out something more permanent. It is wise to book for at least 2 weeks for your initial stay because by the time you have recovered from jet lag, done some sightseeing and got your bearings, the 2 weeks will almost be up. Book your initial accommodation through Hostel World, HotelsCombined and/or Booking.com. You can compare facilities and rates and book a place to stay.
So with the visas available, the abundance of work opportunities and the potential to travel around Europe and beyond, London and the UK remain the most popular working holiday destination.
Get the info you need in our ebook
If you are considering heading to the UK on a working you will no doubt have many questions like: What is a BRP? Where will I live? What type of accommodation is available? What work is available? What is a national insurance number and why do I need one? Should I take out travel insurance? Live Work and Play in London and the UK has been answering FAQs about working holidays in the UK since it was first published in 1995 including all those questions above. Get your copy now and get going to London.
About the Author:
Sharyn McCullum arrived for her working holiday in London & the UK one cold March morning with no friends, no family, no accommodation and no work and asked herself ‘what had she done’. She survived her initial stay and after spending four years in the UK she wrote LiveWork&Play in London & the UK to give future travellers a head start to their working holiday.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked at Sydney Airport. In her 20’s she left Australia and spent 4 years on a working holiday in London before working and travelling in other countries. She currently calls Melbourne home.