from Canada to UK

Old May 9th 2004, 4:25 am
  #1  
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Default from Canada to UK

Hi,

I am soon going to have an interview in Aston university and have 2 questions.

My first question is simple: how to get from the Heathrow airport (Terminal 4) to Birmingham (Aston university campus) faster and without risk of getting lost?

Given that I have never been to England, would renting a car be better than taking a train? Is it easy to drive from Heathrow to Birmingham?

If I go by train, as I understand, I should first take a Watford Railair coach from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Watford Junction. Then I should take Virgin Trains to Birmingham (Birmingham New Street).

Am I right? Is that the optimal train route?

I have checked the airport web-site:
http://www.baa.co.uk/main/airports/h...ere_frame.html

and on-line train ticket booking
http://www.qjump.co.uk/index.jsp

My second question is more serious -- comparing the cost of living in Canada and England.

I teach in a college in mid-sized city, which is located 100 km from Toronto. My present salary before taxes is C$60K/year. My wife is a (classical) musician by profession, has not worked for 5 years, stays at home with our children of age 7, 4, and 2. We are thinking about buying a house. The cost of a new 4-bedroom house in a good neighbourhood is C$250K-300K.
Clearly, C$60K/year before taxes is not much for such a big family. So, if we buy a house, it would not be easy to meet ends, but still possible.

If we move to Birmingham, UK, what salary before taxes should I have to maintain comparable quality of life?

We are naturalized Canadian citizens and we do not have a EU citizenship, English is not our mother tongue.

As a special comment - it is not easy to get a continuing teaching position.

I will appreciate any opinion and advice.
Thanks a lot

Last edited by Alex-RA; May 10th 2004 at 5:01 am.
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Old May 9th 2004, 12:28 pm
  #2  
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Default Re: from Canada to UK

1. Don't try to do the journey the same day as your interview!
Plan to arrive in the UK a day or two in advance.

2. Whether you should hire a car or not depends on what else you plan to do and how confident you will feel to be driving on the 'wrong' side of the road.

3. If you hire a car, make sure you have a car with automatic transmission booked, unless you are used to a manual gearbox. People from North America can get caught out by this.

Also make sure you've got a good road atlas and detailed map of the Birmingham area.

4. I don't think you should be thinking about buying a house until you have lived in the area for some time. This lets you decide:
a. whether you plan to stay long term;
b. what are the best areas to buy in.

5. After four years continuously in the UK on a work permit (which one presumes your employer can obtain), you may be able to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This is the UK's equivalent of permanent resident status. After one further year with ILR (5 years in total in the UK) you will be able to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation.

6. Under Canada's current laws, you will not lose Canadian citizenship even if you become British. But keep in touch with developments in Canadian law via http://www.cic.gc.ca

7. Some UK links to help you:
http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk

8. Once resident in the UK, as Canadian citizens you may be eligible to vote even without being British citizens (on the basis of being citizens of a Commonwealth country). If you do go to live there, check with your local council after arriving.

9. Finally - I don't know what the reaction of Immigration officers at Heathrow Airport usually is to people coming to the UK for a job interview (even if there is no intention to work and application for the permit/entry clearance to do so will be made offshore).


Jeremy


Originally posted by Alex-RA
Hi,

I am soon going to have an interview in Aston university and have 2 questions.

My first question is simple: how to get from the Heathrow airport (Terminal 4) to Birmingham (Aston university campus) faster and without risk of getting lost?

Given that I have never been to England, would renting a car be better than taking a train? Is it easy to drive from Heathrow to Birmingham?

If I go by train, as I understand, I should first take a Watford Railair coach from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Watford Junction. Then I should take Virgin Trains to Birmingham (Birmingham New Street).

Am I right? Is that the optimal train route?

I have checked the airport web-site:
http://www.baa.co.uk/main/airports/h...ere_frame.html

and on-line train ticket booking
http://www.qjump.co.uk/index.jsp

My second question is more serious -- comparing the cost of living in Canada and England.

I teach in a college in mid-sized city, which is located 100 km from Toronto. My present salary before taxes is C$60K/year. My wife is a (classical) musician by profession, has not worked for 5 years, stays at home with our children of age 7, 4, and 2. We are thinking about buying a house. The cost of a new 4-bedroom house in a good neighbourhood is C$250K-300K.
Clearly, C$60K/year before taxes is not much for such a big family. So, if we buy a house, it would not be easy to meet ends, but still possible.

If we move to Birmingham, UK, what salary before taxes should I have to maintain comparable quality of life?

We are naturalized Canadian citizens and we do not have a EU citizenship, English is not our mother tongue.

As a special comment - it is not easy to get a continuing teaching position for me in Canada, USA, or England. I have had very few interviews and only one offer.

I will appreciate any opinion and advice.
Thanks a lot
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Old May 10th 2004, 2:22 am
  #3  
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Default Re: from Canada to UK

Hi,

I've regularly been to birmingham to drop my sis of at uni, and i can tell you driving in birmingham is not a good idea. Especially if you haven't been there before as the roads are quite complicated, and is a bit hard to get back on track if u do get lost... I would totally reccomend you take the train there to new street, as the campus is not too far away from the centre and u can probably get a taxi to uni from there which shouldn't cost too much.

Hope this helps..

Originally posted by Alex-RA
Hi,

I am soon going to have an interview in Aston university and have 2 questions.

My first question is simple: how to get from the Heathrow airport (Terminal 4) to Birmingham (Aston university campus) faster and without risk of getting lost?

Given that I have never been to England, would renting a car be better than taking a train? Is it easy to drive from Heathrow to Birmingham?

If I go by train, as I understand, I should first take a Watford Railair coach from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Watford Junction. Then I should take Virgin Trains to Birmingham (Birmingham New Street).

Am I right? Is that the optimal train route?

I have checked the airport web-site:
http://www.baa.co.uk/main/airports/h...ere_frame.html

and on-line train ticket booking
http://www.qjump.co.uk/index.jsp

My second question is more serious -- comparing the cost of living in Canada and England.

I teach in a college in mid-sized city, which is located 100 km from Toronto. My present salary before taxes is C$60K/year. My wife is a (classical) musician by profession, has not worked for 5 years, stays at home with our children of age 7, 4, and 2. We are thinking about buying a house. The cost of a new 4-bedroom house in a good neighbourhood is C$250K-300K.
Clearly, C$60K/year before taxes is not much for such a big family. So, if we buy a house, it would not be easy to meet ends, but still possible.

If we move to Birmingham, UK, what salary before taxes should I have to maintain comparable quality of life?

We are naturalized Canadian citizens and we do not have a EU citizenship, English is not our mother tongue.

As a special comment - it is not easy to get a continuing teaching position for me in Canada, USA, or England. I have had very few interviews and only one offer.

I will appreciate any opinion and advice.
Thanks a lot
quiksilver is offline  

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