- Age: 31
- Address: London
- Work: Secondary PE
- From: Tasmania, Australia
How was your transfer to the UK?
It was easy! I had my visa and stopped in Singapore along the way and then had two weeks settling in and travelling around the UK before my first day at work teaching.
What helped you settle in once you arrived in the UK?
TimePlan, giving me the ‘TouchDown Pack’ and answering a heap of questions and pointing me in the right direction after having the ‘Interview’, and of course, having a place to live!
What do you wish you had brought with you?
More ties for work.
How have you brought your own culture/ethnicity into the UK classroom?
I think being a proud Tasmanian is a bit of a novelty out here in Surrey. Students are always interested and asking stories about Tasmanian Devils and things about Australia, etc. It is always a good thing to have a few stories about you and about back home and knowing your geography helps.
What are your favourite inexpensive things to do in the UK?
Go for walks along the River Thames, free open air concerts in Hyde Park, hiring a car and driving to see friends.
What have been the highlights for you so far?
Going to a Premier League Football (soccer) Match – it is a must do! Running through local Parks (Richmond and Bushy) and Hampton Court Palace area, music festival in Hyde Park, British Open Golf tournament, Wimbledon Tennis Open, and easy access to trains to any corner of the UK you want to go to.
Did you get a chance to travel outside of the UK? If so where did you go?
Yes, I have visited Ireland, France, Iceland, Germany, India, Turkey, Bath, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Brighton. My tip would be to book really early for air travel. August is also like Christmas time in Europe and air travels only seems to go up and never down. Book packaged tours if you don’t have a long time off work.
Having now taught in the UK, what is your opinion of British schools?
As my experience of going to different schools has been limited, I would need to see more schools to make a more educated assessment/judgement. Fair, good probably. Be prepared for everything, the students will take a mile off you if you give them an inch.
What are you excited to take home with you?
My experiences, more of an open mind of the world, an empty bank account and friendships that will last a lifetime. I have professionally developed and made myself more employable, it has also made me prepared for anything.
What did TimePlan do well?
They gave me the ‘TouchDown Pack’ and helped me settle in. The team at Surrey are absolute gems and are so helpful and very good team players. They gave me ‘local’ advice and were always giving me constant updates and emails and always keeping me in the loop with things. When trying to contact schools, they always had a follow up call to me and I was well informed as to how I was getting on and what the school thought of me. Because the TimePlan employees are all teachers, this definitely helps.