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Moving to London #1 – Pre Departure Checklist
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Moving to London #1 – Pre Departure Checklist

Finally THE month has just arrived and I’m in the middle of a packing and organisation process. If it would be just about the stuff that I have to take with me, everything would have been a lot easier. There’s much more that I needed to think about before I made my decision to move to London. What I can say for sure is that I spent many hours googling and searching insider tips and gathering information about public transport, taxes and living costs. Some of the blogs I found (Broke in London, Girl in London) guided me through the past few weeks, especially in how to get an National Insurance Number, finding a budget-friendly flat and much more. In case you are planning to move to London in near future, this checklist might help you to get things organised and to not miss out the important things.

The Before I Go Departure Checklist

Before I got a ticket and before I even organised accomodation visit I spent a day creating my very own departure checklist. I started writing down the things that went through my mind and I suggest you to start creating this list at least 5 month prior to your final moving day. My list might be slightly different, as I’m going to write from a view as student – there’s going to be a lot of uni stuff as part of it! The last month is going to be stressful enough so keep that in mind when planning to get the most important stuff done before.

March (1st month)

This month I spent most of the time sending out emails to my tutor, confirming my decision and getting along with the UCAS system. ( definitely a experience I won’t ever forget since the whole application process took more than 6 months!) I don’t want to scare you off – just have a lot of patience ;)

  • Accept your UCAS offer (Yay!)

  • Book your flight (no way back :P )

  • Print Out UCAS Acceptance Letter

  • Register for IELTS Academic Test

    At UK universities it is required to have an specific IELTS score in speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Book a date for your test two to three months before. 

departure checklist-1

April (2nd month)

A horrible month connected to lots of UK calls with Student Finance England. Kind of made me nervous that my passport stayed in the UK for quite a while. Nevertheless lucky me got it back right on time before my visit to London in June!

  • Check your Passport for validity

    I decided to get a new one because I wanted one with ePassport option – quicker check in at the airport and you don’t have to stand in line. 

  • Send required documents to University

    You will be asked to send it online about 2-3 months before to confirm your online enrolment. You will have to do one in person too.

  • Apply for Student Finance England

    You can do it online too, but start as soon as possible as it can take up to 8 weeks! Also keep in mind to use the right application form and to send the right one. One of the worst things I’ve had experienced was to send off my passport for eight weeks, as they didn’t accept a copy only the original. This is why you should…

  • Organise an ID card

    If you’re holding an Personal ID card, send it off instead of your passport ;) I didn’t have one at that time, but now I’m glad to have managed one. 

May (3rd month)

In May I spent most of the time learning and preparing for the IELTS test. Since my university required to have an IELTS score of 6.5, I got a bit nervous as it was an intermediate score. All I can say is that you should be well prepared for the test, then everything should be passed with ease ;)

  • Create a note with Student ID number and login Data

    You will have to use your login data a lot the upcoming month – Lots of mails incoming at your student mail account. Have a sticky note on your desk to remind you!

  • Take your IELTS test

    The IELTS test costs are about 200 Euro. Quite expensive for me, which is why I really focused on passing the test at once. Make sure to have enough time to rebook the test in case you failed the IELTS score. I was a lucky girl and made it due to my first try ;)

June (4th month)

  • Quit the job

    I loved my job so I decided to stay until July. I also didn’t want to have any issues coming up with my insurance. Currently I am within the compulsory insurance, which is great.

  • Check back with your insurance

  • Look for a flat

    I have organised some visits before via email, so we had about 10-12 to check out when we arrived at the end of June. The more options available, the better ;) 

  • Check on public transportations

    Besides the famous buses and the tube there’s also the Overground available for quick journeys. I got myself an Oyster Card a year ago and it’s very easy to top up. Student get discounts, so it should be around 90£ per month. 

departure checklist-2

July (5th month)

  • Prepare your UK CV

    This one was hard for me to do since the UK have specific requirements when it comes to a good CV. No pictures just words – write down your skills and sell yourself at your best! 

  • …aand a personal letter/statement

  • Register a UK number via Skype

    It’s the best thing to do beforehand when sending out your CV. The chance getting called under a UK number is bigger!

  • Book removalists for shipping items

    Although it’s quite early for booking – at least check out some of them and compare the costs – don’t go for the cheapest if you want to be on the safe side. 

  • Check out studentroom.co.uk

    If you’ve got a questions whether it’s about discounts, flats, your university, this is the place you should sign up. I found it very helpful during my Student Finance application and I got a quick respond.

  • Think about mobile phone tariffs

    As long as you’ve got your UK address I would suggest you to order your SIM online. When looking for the perfect tariff, avoid contracts as it’s really expensive to get out of them. I will have my final address on the 5th of September (moving in day!), so I will have to wait a little. Probably I will go for giffgaff as it’s highly recommended from other students and comes with good packages.

departure checklist-5

August (final month!)

  • Cleaning out your wardrobe

    A move is always a good chance to sort out things! Clean out your wardrobe, makeup products and even electronic devices you don’t need anymore. I’m going to donate most of my garment – that’s always a good thing! 

  • Packing wardrobe essentials

    Since it’s super hot here in Vienna I started packing coats, and boots for fall. When the final packing day arrives there’s not much to do anymore ;)

  • Pack your books

  • Organize a big party

    Bring together your friends, have a nice barbecue and some cool drinks. As I mentioned in one of my posts I’m not really good at saying goodbye. Instead of it I celebrate a new chapter of my life <3

  • Sorting out documents and your post

    I had lots of paperwork to do the last weekend! So don’t save it for last like me :P

  • Closing Bank accounts

  • Cancel your home address the last!

    I’m going to do it in the week of my departure. So it’s still something on my to-do list.

  • Have a safe flight!

The things that I intentionally left out, National Insurance Number, bank account will be set up on-site. I never had a car, so I didn’t need to sell one or even our house. If that’s your case I would suggest to do that around 3rd or 4th month. National Insurance Number is only in person and with an appointment possible so it can’t be managed before. However, this list was a lifesaver for me and of course I adapted it from time to time. Hopefully this lines might be useful for you too ?
Did I miss out something you’d like to know? Don’t hesitate to leave your question in the comment section below!

xx Bella


Fashion pen behind the Wearabelle Journal │Fitness junkie who lives by the Wine Not Wednesday rule and cheese.

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