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First Five Days in the UK

Stephanie has recently moved with her family to the UK and is teaching with us in Leicester. In her debut blog, she introduces herself and takes us through her first 5 days here. 

My name is Stephanie, I am 29 years old and was born in Ohio, USA. My husband was born in London and moved to the USA in 2000. We met while he was studying at college. We have two boys London who is 6 years old and Heath who is 4 years old. We decided to move to England because we’re both adventurous people and living in Europe will make it a lot easier and cheaper to travel and explore Europe.

My teaching certification is in Early Childhood and Special Education. My previous teaching job was as a Math Interventionist at an Elementary School in South Carolina. I am looking forward to teaching in the UK and cannot wait to explore.

Day 1:
I got my Spousal Work Visa! I came over to the UK on a Spousal Work Visa. That process was quite difficult and stressful, but I was fortunate enough to have the help of an immigration attorney. I flew out of Miami, Florida on September 26. Luckily it was a night flight although not much sleep accord. Feeling pretty jet lagged when I arrived in the UK on Saturday afternoon. Our 12 pieces of luggage made it off the plane and in my hands. That was a tricky endeavor trying to push 3 carts of luggage through the airport with two children. However, I completed the task. By 5pm I was shattered and couldn’t fight off the sleepiness. I gave in and was able to take a 2 hour nap. My first evening in the UK was pretty relaxed while staying with my in laws for the first day.

Day 2:
The first day in our new home. Arriving at our home in the countryside was a wonderful feeling. England has such beautiful landscapes. We went furniture shopping as soon as we arrived. Picked out a lovely couch. If anyone is trying to save money on furniture I know some great places to get second hand items. The first night was interesting to say the least. We camped out on the floor with one pillow and one blanket. Oh, and a few stuffed animals (which made nice pillows). The home came completely unfurnished. I have been creating some very memorable moments.

Day 3:
Furniture delivered! Our couch and chairs were the first thing to arrive in our new home. I easily found myself realizing how I took for granted the finer things in life.  I was looking forward to sleeping that night on something comfy. I spent the day in Loughborough doing more furniture shopping and bought the home furnishings at ASDA. The shopping cart was easy to fill up. I think I bought the entire store. Now the home had the basic home goods and a couch. Although still no tv, internet, phone, fridge/freezer, or washer/dryer. I kept telling myself this will all be worth it, right?

Day 4:
I felt like I took 2 steps forward and 5 steps backwards. It has been very complicated trying to get a mobile phone and a bank account. Both those things are probably the easiest things to get in America. Phone places either said I needed to live in the UK for 3 years or they said I need a bank card. Couldn’t open a bank account without a utility bill. I was getting so frustrated because I just moved into the house. Of course I won’t have a utility bill yet. By the end of the day I found a bank that would use my lease agreement and passport to open a bank account. If anyone runs into that problem as well Santander was the bank that helped me. However, I had to wait for an appointment to open the bank account. I have to wait 2 more days, really!! Day 4 (Tuesday) came to a close with not much more accomplished.

Day 5:
I have a fridge/freezer! I can finally buy groceries and cook a meal. My two boys started school today as well. My oldest will take some time to adjust because he is so shy until he gets to know people. My youngest jumped right in and started talking up a storm to some of the boys in his class. The time difference is still taking a while to get used to. I find myself texting my family at 3 am in America when its 8am here.  I forget that they’re 5 hours behind. Sorry, Family! I realized yesterday that I started feeling home sick. I just miss talking to and seeing my family. It makes it harder when I couldn’t communicate with them for the first 3 days because I had no phone or internet. That first skype call was an emotional one. Going through this rough patch of settling in was hard to do without speaking to my family. I got to cook my first meal in our new home, garlic beef tips. It was so yummy.

Until next time...

We look forward to hearing how Stephanie settles into the UK. We are sure you won't have to wait long until her next blog!

Tags: StephC, USA, Leicester

Category: Australian Teachers

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