Teach in London, play in Europe! Start now

… general

Why would I want to teach in the UK?

Most people from overseas choose to teach in the UK in order to earn a good wage and live in a location that allows them to easily travel through Europe during their stay.
Other reasons though include; for professional development, for multi-cultural experience, to explore and push your own limits, to develop a broader perspective on life, to meet new people and make new friends.

Why London?

For any of the above reasons, London is the definitive experience.
If you want to travel, it’s cheapest and easiest from London.
If you want a totally different, socially and culturally diverse teaching experience, London provides that.
If you want professional development, there are more opportunities in London than anywhere else.
If you want to meet a whole lot of people, you’ll be struggling not to in London!

When is the best time to go?

When the feet start itching, it’s time to go!
Some people feel that they have to save up a whole lot of money in order to start their adventure. You’ll need a bit to set up some accommodation in the first few weeks, but you’ll quickly be earning the pound and feeling financially extravagant! You don’t want to feel poor coming here, but don’t leave it so long that you don’t come at all!
In terms of busy times for work, December through to March is always busy for casual supply, while September, January and April are times when a lot of new full-time positions start. Just remember that the long summer holidays here run from mid July to the start of September, so don’t come over then relying on work to keep you afloat.

What will I need to organise?

Passport
You should be able to organise this at your nearest post office

Visa
There are a number of options that may be open to you. If you have British or EU ancestry then you may be eligible for a passport or ancestry visa. Otherwise, you can apply for a ‘Working Holiday Maker Visa’ which lasts for two years. Or else other options include sponsorship and spousal visa’s. For full information find your local British High Commission website at www.armedforces.co.uk/linksfco

Money
Having said that you don’t need to save up for ever, you do need to be able to satisfy immigration officials upon entry to the country that you have recourse to sufficient funds for your stay. The easiest thing is to have a current bank statement printed off with you.

Medical checkup
It’s a good idea to visit your doctor before taking off and getting a clean bill of health. Also find out if there are any immunisations you need, or travel issues you need to be aware of.

CV
If you want work, you’ll want a decent looking CV. Generally speaking, make it easy to read, in chronological order, and include a photo of yourself. However, standing out from the crowd is also a good idea, so be creative! If you need some help, just ask.

References
Another good help getting work!

Police check
You should be able to organise this at your local police station

Accommodation
It’s a good idea to sort out somewhere to stay before you first arrive. Most people stay (“doss”) with friends until they sort out a place of their own. “Dossers” are usually asked to contribute about £5 a night … don’t hang your friends out to dry! If you don’t know anyone at first to stay with then there are plenty of hostels to choose from that offer short and long term accommodation.

Copies of all your important documents

What airline ticket will I need?

This in entirely up to you! There is no rule to say you must have a return ticket. However, you may need to be able to show that you don’t intend to stay permanently in the country.

Which airlines are good?

Each persons experience generally varies (even on the same flight!).

Some things to consider though include:

  • • How much leg room there is
  • • Whether the flights are direct
  • • Whether there is a free stop-over
  • • Whether you can pre-order special food
  • • Which other airlines their frequent flyer program is affiliated with
  • • Baggage allowances
  • • Cost!
What should I pack?

You’ve heard the saying 4 seasons in one day!
You’ll definitely need warm, wet-weather clothes, but you’ll also need skimpy little summer wear!
The best advice we can give is to not pack too much. There are shops here too!

Just don’t forget your wallet and camera!

Where should I live?

Most travellers choose London as their base because of the availability of jobs, exciting lifestyle, and easy access to other destinations. When choosing a place to live within London the most important thing to keep in mind is how far away the closest Tube is and what “zone”it is in. Living in zones 1, 2 or 3 will save a lot of commuting time. Some popular areas are Fulham, Putney, Wimbledon, Clapham, Shepherds Bush, Acton and Hammersmith in the South West of London, and Islington, West Hampstead, and Maida Vale areas in the north of London.

What will accommodation cost?

In London
Expect to pay upwards of £80 per week for a room, depending on location and quality. Many people room share to save money … don’ be afraid, this is a great way to make friends and have a good laugh!

Out of London
Accommodation is generally cheaper per room, but because you are less likely to be sharing a room, and because wages are slightly less, the “real” cost of living is fairly similar.

Renting
If taking on a lease these are a few things to remember:

  • • You will need at least 4 weeks rent as bond + at least 2 weeks rent in advance
  • • You will need a bank account and references from an employer
  • • Tenants are generally expected to pay the Council Tax and water bills
  • • There is no Rental Bond Board so it’s a good idea to ask for the bond to be placed in a mutual bank account

Check out www.gumtree.com for loads of share, short-term and long-term accommodation options.

How do I get around?

London
The Tube (London Underground Trains), buses, taxis and aboveground rail are all easy to use and will get you anywhere quickly. For route information check out the Transport for London website at www.tfl.gov.uk
Cycling is a great alternative as long as the weather holds out!

UK
The National Rail (www.nationalrail.co.uk) system is extensive and fast, although not that cheap. If using it, it’s best to either book in advance or look into a Young Persons Rail Card (available to those under 26) to take advantage of any savings that are available.
Coach lines, such as “National Express” and “Megabus”, offer more cost effective travel.
Roads are excellent in the UK and driving gives you the freedom to explore the small country lanes and quaint villages. Cars are also generally cheap to buy secondhand. However, fuel and insurance are hefty!

Europe
One of the greatest reasons to live in London … Europe on your doorstep! It’s so easy to just jet off for a weekend, and sometimes even cheaper than staying put!
There are five airports servicing London; Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stansted and Luton. The airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet tend to fly out of Stansted and Luton while the bigger airlines use the other airports. It will depend where you live as to which one is closest. There is also the Eurostar that goes straight through to Paris or Brussels and can sometimes work out cheaper, faster and easier than flying.

We highly recommend though, if you have the opportunity … do “Van Tour” with some mates!

How do I set up a bank account?

Don’t pay any company a fee to set you up an account before coming over! Most agencies will have an arrangement with a particular bank to be able to sort you out an account quickly and easily once you’re here.

Will I need a mobile phone?

Yes! It helps a lot if you’re contactable to be offered work!
Lots of people just bring their mobile from home and get a pay-as-you-go SIM card to start off with. Once you’ve organized a place to live and some work, it’s then easier (and probably worthwhile) getting onto a plan.

Which agency should I choose?

The one that looks after you best and gets you the right job!

There are so many teaching agencies in the UK so it’s tough to know who to go with. We always recommend contacting a few and seeing what sort of service and work they provide. The most important thing is not to get pushed into a position that you don’t know enough about or don’t want. For this reason, we’d always recommend not committing to a position before arriving in the UK.

You shouldn’t feel pressured to belong to only one agency. We’re confident though that whoever else you sign up with, you’ll be very happy with, and keep coming back to, Vibe!

What will I have to teach?

You will be expected to implement “The National Curriculum” within schools. The skills and knowledge required to do this for casual Supply teaching will probably be similar to those that needed wherever you currently teach. However, if you are taking on a full-time position then you will need to have a better grasp of the curriculum, which you can find through our “information” pages “4 teachers” and “4 teaching assistants”.

How much will I be paid?

All agencies have different pay rates and structures. Pay rates may vary depending on where and what you teach, whether it’s Supply or longer term work, and your previous experience. We always offer great rates in great schools with great support! Check out our Pay and Bonuses section for more details.

Do I need to organise work before I go?

No! There is plenty of work available so it’s best not to tie yourself into something unknown. The people that do are usually the one’s with the horror stories!

How much work is available?

Plenty! From December through to March is the busiest time for day-to-day Supply, but there is also always work at others times for those who want it. The only times when day-to-day Supply work is less available is going into July when the summer holidays start and at the beginning of September when schools come back. If you’re planning your budget, remember these times!

Is it better to take a position or casual supply?

We think it can be a good idea to do some casual supply work when you first start teaching in London. That way you can get a feel for different areas, age groups and schools, and hence make better decisions when taking on full-time positions. However, there are certain times of the year when casual supply work is light on and its worth considering jumping straight into a position for more financial security.

Are all kids in London bad?

No!!! They’re just kids!

Yes, there are some tough schools and classes in London but you’re unlikely to find them through Vibe.

Will I be supported?

Yes!!! Everyone in the Vibe office comes from a teaching background with a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass onto you. We work very hard to make sure that you fit comfortably into whatever school and position you choose.

Do I need to bring resources with me?

Schools have resources here of course and it’s always easy to find further resources online. However, if you have some particularly good resources that you are familiar at implementing then it wouldn’t hurt to give yourself a flying headstart!

Where are Vibe schools located?

CENTRAL LONDON!!! When we say central we mean central! Usually Zone 1 (on a tube map) but very rarely further than Zone 2. Basically, more central London schools use us exclusively than any other agency.

Why is it better to be in CENTRAL London?

Less travel time to and from work – Easy!

When are the holidays?

There are 3 school terms in the UK, each broken into 2 half-terms. Schools opening weeks vary but in general schools start the year in September and finish in mid-July. There are then holidays at each half-term and term break, which are usually about every 6 or 7 weeks. It means there is plenty of time for travel!

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