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Moon Living Abroad in London

Paperback, Avalon Travel, by Karen White

Reviewed by Volker Poelzl

Living Abroad in London

Moving to a complex and large metropolitan area such as London can be as overwhelming as moving to an entirely new country. Moon’s foray into the Living Abroad city guides addresses exactly this issue. Living Abroad in London is a concise and informative guide to everything you need to know to make your move a success. With unemployment high in the UK, and with the global financial sector still in recovery from the crisis a few years back, this may not be the best time to try and move to London. For those lucky ones who have either a student or work visa, an overseas spouse, or are transferred by a company on an expat package, this book will help make their move a success story.

Author Karen White is an American who has lived in London for over two decades. Her well-researched book “Living Abroad in London” provides the views and insights of an insider and long-time London resident to newcomers who have yet to figure out how London works. White does an admirable job at explaining all the minutiae of becoming settled in London, while keeping the book an enjoyable read.

London is a world unto itself, with its distinct neighborhoods, historic streets, and the modern financial district. The author is a skillful guide who takes us on a tour across this fascinating city and explains how it all works, how it all forms a vast, complex and yet appealing metropolis that has so much to offer to residents and visitors alike. As the author writes in the introduction, “those expecting a cold, unfriendly urban center with expensive (and bad food) will find instead a vibrant, engaging city…”

The book has a clear and simple layout—everything you need to know is now part of one of three main sections: Welcome to London, Daily Life, and Prime Living Locations. The book covers the same essential information as the country guides, except that it focuses exclusively on living in London. After a brief introduction to London’s history, government, and economy, the book discusses people and culture, etiquette, customs, the arts, and sports. Readers learn about how people get along in this vast, multicultural environment, and how Londoners who have arrived from all over the world find their cultural niche in this diverse city.

Tips for a successful fact-finding trip are rarely included in books about living abroad, but they are part of every Moon Living Abroad guide. Readers receive a variety of suggestions regarding when to go, where to stay, and how to go about exploring London and finding locations they might want to live should they decide to make the move.

The section about Daily Life covers all the most important aspects of everyday living that you need to know before making the move:

  • immigration and visas
  • housing
  • education
  • health care
  • employment
  • finances and taxes
  • communications
  • media
  • transportation
  • and more...

The authors also places special emphasis on helping readers deal with all the logistic and legal hurdles foreigners are faced with when moving to the UK. This is especially important, since getting a work permit has become so much more difficult in recent years.

The section on “Prime Living Locations” is a great introduction to the various neighborhoods in London widely considered great places to live, complete with information about the following:

  • rental costs
  • transportation
  • schools
  • shopping
  • leisure

The “Resources” section at the end of the book includes useful contact information about key information:

  • government offices
  • embassies
  • education
  • housing
  • health
  • finance
  • employment
  • transportation
  • and much more...

If you have plans to move to London any time soon, be it for work, study, or pleasure, “Living Abroad in London” is the book that will help you get settled and established there with confidence. You have all the essential information you need in one place to help you with a successful move. For more information, visit the publisher’s Living Abroad in London web page.

Related Topics
Living in the UK: Key Resources, Links, and Articles

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