London is one of the world’s great tourist destinations, welcoming around 18 million visitors per year from all four corners of the earth. If you love being a tourist in London, whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned visitor, and you’re considering moving abroad full-time, you could do much worse than choosing the British capital as your new home.
Moving to an entirely new country, particularly if you’re relocating a family, is never easy – but London has such great infrastructure in place to allow you to get things organised that it’s one of the easier places to do it. London has some of the largest expat communities in the world, so it’s a well-trodden path, and there’s plenty of help on hand to assist you in the essentials like housing, setting up health insurance, opening bank accounts, finding schools, and all the rest of it. The internet, as ever, makes all of this easier too. London’s so huge that you’ll probably know someone there, or someone you know will – in a city of this size, it’s not difficult to build up networks.
Another advantage of London’s size and economic importance is that the rest of the world is easily accessible – so it’s easy to get back home to visit family and friends, or to see Europe, or America, or virtually anywhere you’ve always wanted to visit. There are no less than five airports here and, again thanks to the internet, cheap flights are available all year round if you do a bit of shopping around. London’s physical accessibility is just another reason that it feels like the centre of the world. It’s also a treasure trove in terms of jobs, culture and education in particular. In Imperial College London, University College London, King’s College London and the London School of Economics to name just a few, the capital is home to some of the best universities not just in the United Kingdom – the original home of the university – but in the world. There are also world-leading specialist colleges, such as the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and aspiring actors and designers the world over flock to the likes of RADA, the Central School of Speech and Drama, and Central Saint Martins art school. If you’re thinking of applying for a place at any of these places, they’re all easily accessible from your hotel, the Marble Arch by Montcalm – meaning that you can use your holiday to do some research on a prospective move to London.
Many people who are in London on a student visa want to relocate permanently, but worry that they won’t be able to stay once they no longer have student status. Obviously, a degree from one of the aforementioned educational institutions won’t hurt your chances of getting a job and a working visa, but regardless, there is an abundance of jobs in London. The number of gap year and career-break people pulling pints in London bars and waiting tables in London restaurants shows that this extends to stopgap jobs which are great for tiding you over while you find something you’d prefer. Finally, London is one of the great cities in the world – the things that make you love it as a tourist don’t run out when you live here. Samuel Johnson had it right: when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.