Preparing for your Classroom
Start Up Costs
How do I find housing in the UK?
Aurelia will assist their teachers in finding suitable accommodations and arranging housemates if requested. You can also choose to find your own accommodations as well, many of them being fully or semi furnished. If you choose to scout out your own place, Aurelia teachers currently living in the area will sometimes volunteer to view the house on your behalf and facetime or provide pictures of your potential new home.
Some good websites to begin your search for housing include:
What should I pack?
Each person is different, but the majority of teachers coming over will bring at least 2 suitcases. You might want to bring things like bedding and towels if you prefer (however there are definitely places where these items can be obtained at a good quality and affordable price once you have arrived). Some immediate items to think about might be a fitted sheet if you have arranged to move into your flat the same day you arrive (in case you can't get to the store right away). The same goes for toiletries, it is easy to replace those things cheaply (however stick deodorant and some of your favourite brands and products might not be available in the UK, do your research so you can stock up on your favourites before your move).
As for clothing, bring professional, business-casual work clothing suitable for the climate (damp and chilly most of the year). The winters are much milder in the UK compared to Canada with little to no snow, but can still be very cold and damp. Don't forget your umbrella and rain coat!
If you plan on travelling frequently throughout your visa, come prepared with clothes for the climates in which you are hoping to travel and comfortable shoes. Pictures of your loved ones come in handy for quick decorations around your flat, and frames can easily and cheaply be purchased upon arrival.
What should I bring for my classroom?
More often than not, you will have no need to bring your own supplies from home for your classroom. Most schools will provide any resources you require. This being said, do remember to bring any digital resources you have saved/collected, as those are easily transported and can be incredibly useful (via USB or an external hard drive). Consider bringing some Canadian-themed gifts (especially for those teaching younger age groups) as prizes or beginning of the year gifts to help your students get to know you and your background. Some teachers have gone as far as bringing a flag to hang within their classroom.
How much money will I need to get started in the UK?
First months rent and deposit - £800-£1500
Flight (one-way) - CAD $300-$500
Mobile phone (have it unlocked while in Canada) - £15-30 (SIM card only plan)
Flat Set-up - £100-£200 (flats come furnished, but you'll want towels, bedding, and household products)
Monthly Bills - £50 (council tax)
First grocery order - £40
16-25 Rail Card (for cheaper train tickets) - £35
*This estimate is for someone sharing a flat and will vary based on the location you are moving to, London is the most expensive area to live. If you are living alone, expect that some of the living expenses will be increased.
Plan to make the move with approximately £2000 - £3000 (around $3500 to $5500)
When should I arrive and where do I fly to?
You will need to arrive on or after the start date of your visa. This is very important as you will need to pick up your biometrics residence permit upon arriving in the UK and they may not send it out if you arrive before your visa begins. If you do enter the country before the start date on your visa, you will need to leave the country and re-enter through passport control to have your visa stamped.
If you plan to search for a flat upon arrival rather than arranging it before you leave Canada, plan adequate time for this (mostly for those in the London area). It doesn't happen overnight and will require some legwork. If you have accommodations sorted, arriving 1-2 weeks prior to the school start date is sufficient.
If you are moving to the Northern part of the country, you have the option of arranging a flight into Manchester airport (if you can find an affordable flight). Train access if available directly from the airport and can take you to nearly every small area or town in the North.
If you are moving to the South (including London), flying into one of London's many airport is the best idea (if you are living in the North and find a cheap flight to London, you can also easily access trains Northbound from these airports, but try to book your train in advance as the prices can get quite expensive closer to your departure date - try using www.trainline.com). There are 4 airports you are likely to fly into surrounding the city of London, which include Heathrow Airport, Luton Airport, Stansted Airport, and Gatwick Airport.