Congratulations on your choice to work for UCL. Moving overseas can be both exciting and daunting. We have put together various resources to assist your move to London and UCL. London is an exciting place to live and work, and UCL offers fantastic opportunities for development.
To find out a bit more about UCL, take a look at About UCL. Also to find out whether you are eligible for financial support to assist your move to UCL, see UCL’s Relocation Scheme. Our preferred suppliers for relocation services offer a range of services, such as shipping of personal effects, pet relocation, storage facilities, settling-in assistance, school search and cultural orientation.
Key Aspects of the Move
The aim of UCL's Accommodation Service is to assist new UCL staff with their accommodation needs when relocating to London.
- Household Goods Removal
UCL has been through a competitive tender process, and recommends that you use Robinsons Relocation, Lexicon Relocation, or Pickfords to move the contents of your home. For contact details, see the Relocation Scheme.
- Visa - Permission to Work
UCL’s Immigration webpage contains a lot of information about visas that will allow you to work for us. In particular you may find the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) useful. In the first instance, you should liaise with your Departmental Administrator about obtaining your visa. You may also speak to the Employee Contracts Administration team in Human Resources.
Settling-in and Useful Information
- Activities in London
Visit London provides information about events, theatre shows, museums, markets, restaurants, and a whole lot of other useful information for visitors to London.
- Bank Account
Before you come to the UK
You may wish to consider carrying out the following steps before you actually come to the UK:
The bank in your home country may have a special relationship with a bank in the UK.
Speak to your bank before you leave for the UK.
Ask your bank if you can use your cash card in UK bank machines and if there is any charge.
Find out how you can transfer money to and from the UK and how much this costs.
Should you require further information on UK banking, the British Bankers Association (BBA) has a downloadable leaflet with information on how to open a bank account if you are new or are returning to the UK.
The Money Advice Service, which was set up by government, and BBA both provide a range of information about financial services
Types of UK bank accounts
There are two types of bank account for managing everyday money, a basic account and a current account. In order to open one of these accounts you will need to complete an application form and provide certain personal information and documentation.
- Benefits for Employees
UCL offers a range of employee benefits, for more information see our UCL Employee Benefits webpage.
- Childcare and Education
The following websites provide information and advice for parents and carers about children's learning and the English Education System.
- Department for Education and Skills: is responsible for education and children's services.
- Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted): Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. They regulate and inspect to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners for all ages. Local councils provide a range of education and training related services for parents and young people. Each local council will have its own policies on school term dates, admissions, transfers and pupil benefits.
- The UCL Day Nursery provides high quality childcare and nursery education for children aged 0-5. We also offer a range of Family Friendly benefits at UCL. To make the most of your money you can apply for Childcare Vouchers.
- Council Tax
If you are buying or renting property in the UK, you will have to pay Council Tax. Information regarding how much you need to pay can be found on the Government website.
- Driving in the UK
- Employee Assistance Programme
The Employee Assistance Programme is available to all staff, and provides a wealth of information about a variety of topics, such as health and living, access to free counselling and they also have a section about international issues.
- Essential Travel Items for the UK
- Visa Air ticket
- Travel insurance documents (you may wish to leave a copy of these in your home country)
- Address and telephone number of your final destination
- Details of your onward travel details when you get to the UK British currency
- A full list of the contents of your suitcase in case it gets lost
- Enough prescribed medication for the journey. If you’re travelling with a longer-term supply of controlled drugs you may need to get a licence first.
Visit the Induction page to find out what you need to know when you start working for UCL.
- Outside of London
Once you’ve found your feet in London, you’ll want to explore other part of the United Kingdom. The Visit Britain website has lots of ideas and information about other places to see in this wonderful country.
Whether you’re going to join USS, SAUL or NHSPS or opt-out of contributions, all you need to know is available on the Pensions website, and if you have any questions then the UCL Pensions team are always happy to help.
- Pet Travel
To find out the rules about bringing pets to the UK, visit Government rules - importing pets.
If you want to send a letter in the UK you will need to know the postcode for the address.
- Research and Teaching
Excellence and the UCL community: a shared endeavour is a key document at UCL that sets out the expectations of Academic, Research and Teaching staff at UCL. The Academic Manual is a compendium of key documents relevant to academic quality management and enhancement operations at UCL and particularly to Internal Quality Review (IQR).
- Tax and National Insurance
For advice on tax and NI requirements please go to UCL's Payroll website.
Google Maps is a can be used to plan journeys by public transport, car or foot.
National Rail is provides up-to-date information about rail services across the UK.
The Transport for London website is particularly useful for finding the quickest way to get around London using public transport.
The Met Office is the leading source of weather information in the UK.