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Advice for an Australian NQT, Part 2, by Darren

Following on from Advice for an Australian NQT, Part 1, Darren goes on to talk about things to think about if you are making the big move to teach in the UK. Darren is currently teaching in the UK through Protocol Education Cambridge.

More Advice for Australian NQT's Moving to Teach in Cambridge...

Part 2: You’re Here

Some more tips for those making the big move:

• Expect to take about 3 weeks from when you arrive till when you can move in to a place. We were lucky and it only took 1.5 weeks. Travelodge has £19 per night deals sometimes if you book far enough in advance (non—refundable) and can be a cheap way to live while you find your feet without having to share a bathroom with someone.

• Eating out every meal while you’re trying to find a permanent home adds up quickly! You can get decent lunches for under £6 and dinners for £10 if you look around. My best advice is if there’s less than 3 tables of people in a restaurant, then don’t go in there (even if it looks nice)… its empty for a reason.

• At the moment almost everything is cheaper here than in Melbourne (except for meat and petrol). Food, clothes, alcohol, phone plans, etc are all cheaper! Rent is similar (although you’ll probably get something a little smaller for the same amount of money).

• Sainsburys, ASDA, ALDI, Waitrose, and Tesco are the shops to get your groceries from. If you want some familiar items like Milo or Bundaberg ginger beer, then find an Asian Supermarket like Nasreen Dar.

• Buy a bike ASAP! Cambridge is so easy to get around on by bike… almost everyone does. You can’t drive through the city centre anyway. Public transport is quite reliable, so a car is really not necessary (and this is coming from someone who would drive to the shops 10 mins walk away when I lived in Melbourne). You can buy a new bike from £140 (Tesco if you’re desperate) or get a second-hand bicycle for even less.

• If you do hire a car for a weekend trip, have a quick check of what the road signs here mean first as they really are quite different! Ie. Our no entry sign is pretty much England’s ‘Don’t stop here… Keep going sign’.

• Get maps/GPS on your mobile! Doing supply teaching and relying on public transport to areas outside of the city of Cambridge can be a bit nervous-making if you’re not quite sure where your stop is. Being able to keep a track of where you are is invaluable. My 12-month phone plan costs £10/month and it gives me 1 GB of data, 500mins of calls and 3000 SMSs, so it’s cheap as anything here. Look around,… there’s plenty of competition (O2, Virgin, 3 Mobile, Orange, Vodaphone, Carphone Warehouse, Tesco).

• Getting your household phone/internet connection will take ages! All companies (except Virgin in some instances) rely on BT to set up your line and they take about a month!... yet another reason to get a mobile plan with decent internet access so you can Skype your family back home while you wait to get connected to the world.

I think that’s a good start anyway. Cambridge is a beautiful city. The people here are friendly and the schools are quite normal (nothing too scary), although sometimes classes can get to 30+ students but there’s more Teacher Assistants here for those students that need them.

Good Luck!

~by Darren, an Australian teacher now teaching through Protocol Education Cambridge.

If you are an Australian teacher looking for work in the UK, contact one of our local Australian branches to register before getting on the plane.

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Tags: Teach in Cambridge, Teach in London, Primary Teaching, SEcondary Teaching, Cambridge Schools, Protocol Education,

Category: Australian Teachers

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