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Home Away From Home

Daniela is Canadian primary teacher who made the move to the UK and teaches with our South London branch. In her debut blog, she gives an insight into what she has found to be the some differences between Canada and the UK, in particular London. 

I still tip toe around my newly rented home in London as if it’s still not my home. I share this home with four other Canadian teachers, whom I went to school with back in Canada and graduated from the same program with. When we all found out that each of us had applied to teach over in the UK, that’s when our friendships began as we didn’t talk much to each other before then. Being someone who never experienced living away from home before, it was something that I desperately wanted as living at home when your 23 is somewhat suffocating to “becoming who you want to be”.

I can't stay here anymore...

Well that’s what I thought at the time, because the city I was from offered no new opportunities when it came to the teaching profession. It was a stale and dull city. To be honest I don’t think it was growing at all, the city always felt like it was at a stand still. The only development or modernization you saw taking place was with the Universities and Colleges, and for them that’s a huge must. The population was shifting and decreasing. After graduation students were leaving to find work and giving living on their own/roommates a try outside of a dull city that offered nothing to the twenties population except bars and strip clubs. I grew up rather fortunate for a middle class working family. Both my parents were supportive financially and stable enough to cater to four needy children.

But I actually became a better version of myself throughout this whole experience. I became less dependent. And it taught me a whole lot about the kind of person you want to be when you’re older, which is to have a happy home, happy marriage, and a job you enjoy and find fulfilling everyday. London offers all of these things, but I am not so sure I could live here and raise a family. London offers so much for families who are wealthy, and of course wealthy is what we all aspire to be. But unless you work in a position that pays more than the average worker, owning property in London will suck you dry regardless of how much you try to save. I realized the difference between living here and living back home in Canada.

Here vs There

In Canada you can own a nice home, a nice spacious backyard, luxuries like pools/hot tubs, a nice car, and have a decently paying job. But in London to achieve that you have to be extremely wealthy. The middle class are living in densely populated flats, housing units, and smaller homes that are in rough shape. To get to the city centre in central London, to experience the London that we all want to requires much commute and effort that I watch families struggle with. It’s the perfect city for someone like me, whose single and only supporting themselves. It’s a city for the youth, as I couldn’t see the elderly enjoying it as much unless they were set for life.

Shared housing can teach you many things

Living with roommates taught me a lot of tolerance, patience, and co operation. It taught me to put some effort in learning how to cook different meals and trying new things. It taught me how to clean properly, how to do simple fixtures and I started valuing things I never did before. It was fun to start seeing our home become more of our own flair, and it was nice to see how we each decorated and styled our rooms to suit our personalities. Most of the time we got along, and the house is big enough to have your own privacy as well. In this moment, moving here was not a mistake. It taught me confidence, as navigating the underground and overground systems every morning to find your job for the day is tough and takes a good sense of direction, which I got better at the more I did it. Before I was too afraid to go to the bathroom alone without my friends, now I am grocery shopping alone and walking long distances alone and getting on with my day alone. It seems almost surreal to how much you change and adapt to your new surroundings. Because you have to and because the change is good for you.

Shared similiar experiences? Would you like to share them with us? Email Megan at for more information. 

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Tags: DanielaB, Canada, LondonSouth, Canadian-trained, supply, teaching, living, difficulties, getting-settled, differences, London, concerns

Category: Australian Teachers

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