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A Swiss in the UK

Thinking about moving abroad? I was born in Switzerland and settled down in UK nearly three years ago. I got my first job and moved in my first flat within just over a year. There have been quite a few steps for me to take in order to achieve this; this is my experience as an expat, share yours with us here!

01 June 2006

First day in the UK - weather fine, mood ok

The next thing I remember is Caroline giving me a ride in her red mini around Windsor Great Park, up and down the roads, and up to Windsor. English roads are quite frightening when you first get on them; supposedly because they drive on the wrong side of the road, as we know, but I also found them rather... narrow, for some reason.

Mobile phone - first item of a survival kit abroad

First things first, I buy myself a mobile phone. My first "substantial expense" (the first one of a long list of expenses, which cost me my whole fortune). I get myself a lovely and cheap red Siemens Pay As You Go phone - don't bother trying to get a monthly contract, because you can't, it's as simple as that. I still have that phone and it did me real favours.

Note: to get a monthly contract, you need a bank account to pay for you bills (obviously), but to get a bank account, you need just about everything you can produce to prove your identity, and mostly patience, determination, and solid nerves. But this will be another chapter. Leave that for day two (if you're in a rush).

At that point, I am settled for at least a couple of months (as stipulated in my oral contract); being an au pair isn't an easy task, as you know, but there are a few things you might find useful to be aware of. You can check out my list in this post: Au pair - best practice.

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