If you find yourself craving a change of scenery, you are not alone. England is currently home to over 200,000 Americans who feel the same way.

Moving across the pond, as it is lovingly referred to, offers residents the opportunity to advance their careers in a beautiful place filled with history, Shakespeare, The Royals, and delicious Chicken Tikka.

America and England have their similarities, but they are few and far between. There are many differences between these two nations, so if you are thinking about moving there – read on.

city of london
London is full of history and culture

Below are seven important things to know about relocating to England before you go:

  1. Cost Of Living

England is a relatively expensive country to live in.

Ranked on GDP, the UK is one of the top 5 richest countries in the world. That means that the cost of living is high – and on the rise, driven by the war in the Ukraine and the energy crisis.

Living in the UK is not cheap, especially if you are moving from a country with a much lower exchange rate like South Africa or India.

That cost can be balanced out with higher wages, but it all depends on where you want to live and what lifestyle you would like to lead.

As you’d imagine, London house prices on average are the highest at £527,929 in June 23, with the South East (£391k), East (£351k) and South West (£321k) behind. The North East is cheapest at £161k, with Yorkshire (£208k), North West (£215k) and the Midlands around £250k.

ammericans living in london
House-shares are common in London to make it more affordable
  1. Renting A House

House prices in England are at an all-time high, with some property values increasing by over 200% in the last two decades. The average annual salary has increased by less than 65% in the same period, so home ownership is tricky.

Most young people moving to England permanently must understand that they will likely be renting a house for quite some time. That is particularly pertinent for central London and other areas that are pricier than their country counterparts.

  1. Childcare

Childcare is notorious for not being cheap in the UK.

If you have a big family, or you are planning to have a baby shortly – factor those costs into your budget. A part-time childminder will set you back anywhere from £130 to £180 a week, depending on your proximity to London.

There are different rules for different ages, so you can apply for 30 hours of free childcare a week once your child turns 3 – and when they are older, they can get free schooling until they turn 18.

patient paying for care in England
The NHS is brilliant and well loved, but patients are going private to by-pass long wait times
  1. Healthcare

The British government set up the National Healthcare Service (or NHS) in 1948, intending to make healthcare accessible for everyone during a post-war era and economy.

While most NHS services are free, users must pay for prescriptions and specialist care. The NHS took quite a hit during the pandemic and has found itself increasingly strained, so private medical insurance in the UK is always recommended.

  1. Climate

England’s climate has four distinct seasons – and, sometimes, they all occur in one day, or at least so it seems!

The UK has a mostly temperate climate with cold, wet winters and warm, wet summers. That means, you guessed it, a lot of rain.

Sudden rain showers in the spring are common, and recently, England has been experiencing heatwaves in the summer – with temperatures frequently pushing over the 30-degree Celsius mark.

Lastly, everything you have heard about the British and how they love to discuss the weather is true. It is almost always everyone’s favourite go-to topic for light conversation, which simultaneously gives you some idea of how much they do not like small talk…

fish and chips british staple
In a throw back to medieval times, fish is often eaten on Fridays by many
  1. Food Tastes Different

When moving to a new country, one of the most talked about topics is often cuisine.

After all, if you do not try new things, how will you ever expand your palette?

While England lives up to some food stereotypes, such as being obsessed with tea or fish and chips (not necessarily together), you need to be prepared for some things to taste a little different from what you are used to.

Apart from the portions being smaller in England than they are in America – most junk foods taste vastly different in the UK. That is not a bad thing because it is largely because GMOs are either largely restricted or banned entirely in England.

For Europeans, yes, our food is bland in comparison, but we have a thriving restaurant culture from all cuisines so you can freely get treat your taste buds.

  1. Paid Time Off

England has far fewer public holidays than America.

Referred to as ‘Bank Holidays’, Brits enjoy a mere eight public holidays a year. They do not celebrate Thanksgiving, Labour Day, Columbus Day, or Memorial Day – to mention a few.

To make up for a distinct lack of public holidays, most full-time workers are legally entitled to around twenty-eight paid days off a year. Most Americans only get a total of ten days of paid time off, so that is a significant bump.

Most office jobs in England offer the typical nine to five hours, five days a week, with weekends off. Maintaining a work-life balance is easier when you have enough time off to relax and unwind.

Haworth Village
Yorkshire is cheaper to live and full of beautiful countryside.

To End

The UK is bursting with art, history, and culture. England is just  130,000 square kilometres, so would only make it to the 32nd largest state. Despite our diminutive size, the regions are varied and dialects very different. Even London has it’s own language in Cockney rhyming slang!

The streets are surrounded by thousands of years of rich history with castles, museums, churches, and homes all looking the part.

Moving to Great Britain will give you and your family access to a whole new way of living, and it will be an exciting experience for everyone!

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