Palmers guide for your new life in London • London Hostel, Palmers Lodge

Palmers guide for your new life in London


You decided to move to our beautiful city but don’t know how or where to start?

No worries, we came up with a guide for you to follow step by step.

If you are thinking about moving out from your country and come to London to improve your English, looking for better opportunities or simply living the experience; first thing: you need to have a starting point. A hostel is always a good way to start your life in a new country as you get to meet people and make new friends easily, you pay cheap rent and at the end of the day you can relax and drink a beer in a pub located close to your bed. Also, it gives you some time to find and go visit the home you are looking for.

Palmers Lodge is the perfect place to start your adventure because many of our staff members started as guests too! And we can see every year that in our common areas people want to socialize and share their experience. And this helps you to improve your English in a fast pace!

Ok, so let’s pretend you already are in London. Now.. what to do next? First, it’s time to enjoy the city so take two or three days just to see it, to know the important monuments, the key places and learn a bit more about its history. Go to Piccadilly, Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Camden Town, Tower Bridge, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and take photos everywhere. This is the beginning of your London adventure! And it’s not a bad idea to take some CV’s with you. If you see a shop that you like, why not hand your CV to the owner?

When you finish this two or three days of recognition of London, It’s time to start with the serious stuff.  In order to work legally you will need a National Insurance Number. So in order to get it you need to apply for it here You will have to call them and book an appointment. During the phone call, they will to ask you many questions but don’t be afraid, they are going to try to help you and repeat anything you didn’t understand. They will tell you the address where the appointment will take place and you need to focus on the post code. That’s the easiest way to find a location in this country: Post Code. Just type it on google maps and it will show you the exact address where you need to go. And when the day comes.. be punctual as English people are 🙂

In order to have a NIN number, you need to pass a very easy interview with a very polite person in the Job Centre. He or she will help you and will ask you some questions about your name, your father’s surname, etc… all very easy.. unless you are not yourself! They will give you a provisional NIN number and a few days later they will send you a letter with your definitive NIN number. SAVE IT! It is the most important letter you ever had because it’s going to help you find a job soon!

Ok, so now we need to go to the next step. The bank! You need an English Bank Account because they use their own currency. It’s not hard, but it’s not as easy as in other countries. You need to go to a bank of your choosing and book an appointment with them. The interview will take place in around ten to twenty days. Take with you your NIN letter as a proof of address and your ID as a proof of identity. Soon after your interview the bank is going to send you at least two letters. One with the debit card and bank account details and another one with your PIN code.

The only thing that might complicate the process is that sometimes the banks will only open an account if you already have a job. And in some jobs, they will only hire you if you have a bank account. It’s sort of a vicious circle. But fear not, you will get both eventually. But just in case, it’s always better to start sending CV’s (At least online) since day one. So if you have a job interview coming up, it will look good for the bank. Also, we recommend that you make an appointment with at least two banks in case one of them don’t open an account for you.

Now let’s focus on the job hunt. Your job will depend on your skills, studies and the most important thing; your level of English. But at the beginning, if you don’t mind about the type of job you’ll do, it’s somehow easy to find one in this city. Once you have some experience and your English level has improved, you could then look for something more specific of your liking.

So let’s see.. Now you have your NIN, a bank account, a job and seems like something is missing.. Oh, yeah! Your own roof! It’s not too difficult to find a room in a flat with other tenants, but it can be quite expensive at first. You will have to pay a deposit, a month’s rent and, of course, commit to a contract (Usually for a year. But some do accept 6 months only). You can always check on gumtree for ads!

Maybe you will be tired in this last step and you are missing your family.. The first month in a new city is never easy, but now, at the end of your first month, you’ll have a lot of friends from all over the world and you’ll feel proud of yourself! Overcoming some obstacles is something that will definitely make you stronger. And that will make you stay in London longer!

Continue enjoying your London experience, continue improving and enjoy the city at its best!


Photo by London and Partners.