You finally got that visa; now you’re ready to bolt down to the UK. I was just like you few years ago, flipping through the pages of my passport as I left the embassy. Still looking for the visa page, you needed to see the wide grin on my face when I saw the visa on the last page *dancing shoki*. I was so intrigued with the joy of leaving that I did not equip myself with the knowledge of my intended destination; I did not ask about the UK economy or their way of life. I only focused on the education and believed that when I get there, everything will fall into place… and yeah they did eventually but looking back, I wish I knew then what I know now. I am not where I would have wanted to be but I am happy for how far I have come despite my ignorance of my environment at that time. 
So if you have plans of moving to the UK for studies or work and intend to stay for a long time; these are few things you need to know before making your trip. 
1) Prepare your mind: The most important thing is to first prepare your mindset for the new environment and decide to embrace it with enthusiasm. Forget any negative stories you’ve heard and decide to create your own beautiful story. Focus on your goal, your ability to fix your eyes on the reason you came will help you not get distracted or influenced.
2) UK’s culture of individualism – Individualism as defined in the dictionary is a belief in the primary importance of the individual and in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence. Unlike Nigeria, (collectivist country) it is believed that you are O.Y.O (on your own) and 90% of the time you must learn to D.I.Y (do it yourself). In Nigeria, we practice collectivism which stresses the importance of cohesion in groups eg family ties – uncles & aunties who were not born by your grand parents but still part of the family. We love being in groups and create bonds that are not easily broken, so don’t expect too much from anyone cos they expect you to be independent. However, God will always place the right people in your path to help you but you need to be aware of the culture. 
3) Working in the UK: As soon as you come in – first thing is to get your National Insurance (NI) number and begin your search. You’re at a better advantage if you have a previous UK experience prior to your job search. If you don’t… God dey, you can start by taking professional courses to improve yourself. It is also wise to do a volunteer job or internship for few months and then hit the job market. As a student, your school will always have  a career department; they’ll be very helpful. Also, register free with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity http://www.seo-london.com/ to help maximize your opportunity for career success. Apply for summer/spring internships to boost your CV and give you that UK experience; before you graduate you’ll get job offers from big multinationals and kick-start your dream career. Visit SEO and read testimonials for more inspiration. #wishiknewaboutSEOin2011
4) Accommodation: Students, you may not have any problem with this if your accommodation has been provided by the school. If you’re not, or if you’re here to work – I’ll advise you go for a house that is “bills inclusive”. So that if anything goes wrong e.g. slow internet, no heating (during winter), no water, electricity goes off; all you need to do is call your landlord and he/she fixes it. If your accommodation is without bills, more work for you cos you have to do the duties yourself. You shall become electrician by force (D.I.Y thingz). It’s best to make things easier for you when you’re still fresh in the system and when you get used to the environment you can take responsibility of topping up. 

5) Stop the currency conversion: I see most people who come for vacation and convert the price of every item before they buy it. PLS STOP IT if you’re here to stay for a long time cos you’ll just vex and not buy anything. If you used to be extravagant, learn to be prudent and not buy everything you see. The economy here is different and you cannot expect it to reflect what you were used to back home. Just re-adjust and gradually get used to it. Yes, things are expensive (especially if you live in London) but this is why you should learn to buy the things you need not impulsive buying. If not, your N1,000,000.00 that you thought was big money when you came will vanish in 30 days. 
6) Networking: Some people have been in UK for over 9 years and the only friends they have are Nigerians. Haba… why na? Networking helps in many ways especially if you’re thinking of going very far here so mix up and make friends with people from all backgrounds, race, colour, religion. Employers need to know that you have good interpersonal skills; also, you don’t want to appear as a racist (that’s your career being dead on arrival). 
7) PUSH: You must learn to push your way through. Surprisingly, there are still some parts of the UK where racism is very high; you need to stand firm and not sulk at every unkind word spoken to you because of your skin colour. Never see yourself as disadvantaged or limited; just keep pushing your way through. 
Lastly SHINE YA EYES… There are lot’s of opportunities if you keep yourself informed at all times. Ask as many questions as you can; there will be people willing to answer you. If not Google is your best friend, ask google. 
PS: There is no “owambe” here, where you get invited for a party to chop free rice, chicken, pomo, shaki etc; so if you’re invited for a party or any outing, better carry your money cos you’re in an individualistic country so ain’t nobody paying for your food. O.Y.O #oyolowa

Hope this was helpful…


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There's more to Lynn than meets the eye; visit "ABOUT ME" page for more details. I hope you enjoyed the article.

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