Life in diaspora: Ten Things You Should Know From The Horses’ Mouth
Primarily, this writeup is aimed at folks migrating to developed countries (UK, USA, Canada and so on). Certainly, leaving the known for unknown is a daunting experience. Even more so, lack of foresight and planning makes it tougher to integrate into the host society.
Although this prototype is targeted at people settling in The United Kingdom, it’s also an informative read for all. Citizens Advice is my encyclopedia for information.
Food is very important, and it will be one less thing to worry about if you plan well. Bring as much allowed local foodstuff as your air carriage can allow. It’s definitely cheaper from home.
It is still a top option in augmenting the home discipline.
Are you are a practicing catholic and have the desire to benefit from Catholic education? Endeavor to have a letter of introduction and recommendation from your priest. It would give you an edge. Also, have your marriage certificate at hand as this will massively ease your acceptance into catholic schools. Early baptism of a child is highly encouraged too. Certainly, Catholic schools are highly competitive, give yourself the best chance.
Although most of them are not being run by nuns, the Christian ethos is still highly visible.
Finally, you have crossed the seven seas......
First of all, shop only for what you need. Don’t fall for buy one get two free it’s a scam. It’s a tact used by the supermarket to manage stock level. Except you need it or it’s a freezer item don’t buy. If you don’t require it, don’t spend that money, even if it’s a few quids. Bulk buying doesn’t necessarily mean a good bargain. From experience, (unlike back home), most larger packages per unit cost are more expensive than smaller product.
Although It’s good to use a store loyalty card to shop and earn rewards. However, don’t let it restrict your shopping experience especially food items. Snoop around and identify what items are best purchased from which shop.
For expediency, settle in with friends or family for the first months if you’ve not secured accommodation. The benefit; you will be in the company of familiar faces. Consequently, you will enjoy off the mill hands-on advice. Probably being in a hotel is more convenient but the money runs out quite quickly.
While staying with family or friend, be tactful and diplomatic. Ensure, sensibly use of resources at your disposal. In the diaspora, everything costs money and you don’t want to annoy your host. Chip in as much as you can to the upkeep of the house and be gracious at all times.
While securing your accommodation, try not to wander off from familiar faces. You would need help, especially if you’re a family with young children. Finally, all hands must be on deck. Husband, be ready to push the buggy and do domestics.
Certainly, get a bank account as soon as possible. Even more, conduct transactions using your card so you can start building a credit history. Whilst having a joint account is good for a married couple, likewise, it can spell doom if one of you slips up financially. In the United Kingdom, having a joint account makes you liable to your partners’ financial woes. If she/he defaults in making payments and bags a bad credit history the same will be reflected on you. It’s noteworthy to remember that once you have a joint account, you are inseparable financially. Finally, “shine your eye” and be sure that joint account you are in a hurry to open doesn’t become a joint liability.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can
When the kids finally settle in school, its important to know that its an offence for children to be absent from school without prior notification and agreement with the school. Endeavour to make GP/Dental appointments outside school hours. I would recommend to use the half term or holiday dates except in cases of emergency or if no appointment at desired dates
Realistically, less than 4% of immigrants settled to very satisfactory jobs in their first years. You would normally downgrade 2 to 3 steps down the lather in comparison to your status quo before migrating. But eventually, you gain everything back and propel forward quite quickly. However you try to make do with all manner of menial jobs to get by financially, don’t miss the bullseyes.
Never lose focus of who you are. Don’t limit yourself, dream big, aim for the jugular at all times. Seize opportunities, don’t focus on your limitations. Take a huge leap, invest in yourself and have faith in God to do the rest.
He who fails to plan has planned to fail.
A bit of candid advice is to up your skills and pursue a very bespoke career. Avoid common jobs inundated by the indigenous so you will always be in demand and have an advantageous earning power. Go for careers usually deemed tough or difficult, crack it and master it. You didn’t cross 7 seas to watch London bridge!!!
In the UK, you can drive with your international driving license.
Essentially, you are expected to pass a theory and practical driving tests before you can handle the wheel in the UK. Irrespective of how long you have been driving before your relocation, you must prove your competency.
At least health is free, so make sure you register with your nearest surgery and dental practice. Ideally, opt for one closer to your home. Ensure to develop a habit of regular medical and dental checks, for kids and adults.
It cannot be overemphasized the benefits of availing your services to companies to gain UK job experience. Volunteering is the fast-track to a job or character reference when you start applying for jobs. The catch is to avoid a gap in your employment and obtain a valuable and transferable skill.
Depending on your destination, always aim to utilise the cost of your ticket to its maximum value. If you need to travel by train (with bus) to 4 or more destinations, getting a day travel card might be the best option. If possible, plan and cram in as many travels into that day to get your money worth. A family with at least a child of over 4 years of age should get a family card. The family card would discount train fare by ⅓ of the total cost.
Register to vote
As soon as you settle down, put your name on the voters’ register. A lot of inquiry links back to this singular source. It’s basically one of the ways of confirming your identity, especially when seeking a loan.