Teach in the UK• 3 Min read

8th September 2020

How To Prepare Yourself For Working Abroad In The UK


Whether you are a veteran traveller or have never left Ireland, moving to work abroad carries a whole new range of challenges. From ensuring you have the basics of medical care, transport and accommodation sorted to learning all the subtle cultural differences that come with moving countries, you can expect at least a short settling-in period as you get used to your new environment and deal with the logistics of moving.

First of all, the basics, you’ll need to make sure you have thought about everything here!

Preparing For Working Abroad


You’ll need to arrange accommodation for the duration of your stay. House sharing is safe and easy to arrange with flexible contracts perfect for those moving from abroad. Your Engage consultant might be able to recommend some websites to search for suitable house shares, or you can rent privately through an estate agent – since 2019 letting agents are no longer allowed to charge additional fees so this could be an option if you are looking for more privacy or want to bring your family. Your Engage consultant can connect you with our exclusive accommodation finding group, where you’ll be able to find houseshares in your area, once you have landed a role with us!


Once you have your accommodation sorted you can register with a local doctor – this will automatically register you with the NHS and you’ll be entitled to most urgent and non-urgent healthcare free of charge. Find out more here. Not all Dentists in the UK are NHS – many are now private and their patients pay the full cost of their treatment so it’s worth researching your local Dentists before registering.

National Insurance

All workers in the UK must have a National Insurance number – a unique identifier used in tax and social security. You can start work without a National Insurance number, as long as you can prove to your employer that you have the right to live and work in the UK. An Irish passport proves your eligibility. You’ll need to visit your local JobCentre Plus to register for a National Insurance number – find out more about how to do this here. 


If you need to arrange childcare in the UK before you start work, it’s worth doing your research in advance. Many childcare providers in the capital have a waiting list, although this isn’t so much of an issue in suburban areas. Find a childminder here or search for childcare providers in the area you want to move to here.

Bank Account

You’ll need a UK bank account in order to be paid. Most UK banks require proof of address before you can open an account but The Post Office, Halifax and Barclays all offer accounts that can be opened with just your passport. These won’t offer you all the functions of a standard account, you’ll need to upgrade your bank account as soon as you have proof of address to get a debit card. There are various online banking providers in the UK such as Monzo, Starling and Revolut. These accounts often do not require proof of address to sign up. Find out more about opening an account in the UK here.  

What Else Will Help You Prepare To Move To The UK?

It’s not just the practicalities you have to think about! Here’s a little checklist of ideas that are useful if you are planning a move;

See friends – Make the most of the time before your move by connecting with important people in your life

End Subscriptions – Let’s face it, you probably won’t be popping back 300 miles to go to the gym!

Plan trips back – The Irish school year is similar to the English school year, so plan trips back in the breaks!

Package up your belongings – There are lots of companies that can help with relocation, a quick google search will show you many who specialise in the Ireland-UK route

Spend time in your favourite places – Visit your favourite restaurant and take photos of your favourite spots!

Research the area you are moving to – Find out where the best places to eat, relax and have fun are

Connect with your new community – Join the local Facebook group for the area you are moving to and start connecting with people!


Teachers working with Engage can take advantage of all of our benefits for teachers, including mental health and wellbeing being support from our partners, Education Support and practical help with your move from our expert team – get in touch to start your journey to a rewarding UK teaching career!

Recommended for you

Sign up to the Engage newsletter for education insights.
IrelandEnglishUSACanadaAustraliaUnited Arabic EmiratesSouth Africa