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Relocation Support

This page is created to give expatriates some general information that might be useful to know before and during relocation to the United Kingdom. The information includes Housing, Insurance, Finding Schools, Settling in and other useful links.

Another link for general information for new staff members of the University can be found here.

Insurance

National Insurance 

National insurance is a government scheme which require those who are living and working in the United Kingdom to make regular payments towards benefits. These are known as National Insurance Contributions (NIC) and are paid to qualify for certain benefits and the state pension. NIC payments depend on how much you earn and whether you are employed or self-employed. 

Your National Insurance Number (NI number) is your personal account or tax number allowing you to track the amount you have contributed and to any entitlement to benefits. You are legally required to apply for a NI number when you start work in the UK or claim any benefit. You can find out more about this and to apply via the links below:

Health Insurance

When moving to the United Kingdom it is important to make sure you and your family have the right health cover in place. The United Kingdom had a public-owned health care service called the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS is free at the point of service for all UK residents.

Some expatriates in the UK choose to take a private Health insurance. This can help protect you and your family and ensure a quicker service than often is available on the NHS. It is advised to look at comparing sites as when choosing a private health insurance.

Please find below some of the comparing sites available:

Healthcare

As previously discussed, public healthcare in the UK is available through the NHS. If you are permanently living on the UK, you will be entitled to free healthcare through the NHS. In most cases you will need your National Insurance Number to gain access to the healthcare service. The NHS is a residence-based system rather than a insurance-based system. Those who visit the UK can access the NHS. Currently, EEA residents can access free NHS care through their European Health Insurance Card but this is likely to change due to Brexit. Nationals from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland for more than six months will have to pay Health surcharge of at least £150-200.

GP (General Practitioner)

A General Practitioner (GP) is a medical doctor who treat all common conditions and refer patients to hospitals and other medical services for specialist and urgent treatment. GP’s are often the first point of contact for anyone with a health problem and they focus on the physical, psychological and social aspects if care.  

To be able to visit a GP and register for healthcare in the UK, you will have to register with a GP surgery. You will need proof of identity, address and your national insurance number to register with an GP surgery.  Please find the link to find your nearest NHS, GP here: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-GP 

NHS healthcare is mostly funded through direct taxation. Most services are provided free of charge to residents although there are charges for certain services. these include, charges for dental treatment and prescription charges. 

Other Healthcare services can be found via the NHS and privately, e.g. the Dentist, Optician and other services. To find an NHS practices/surgery near you please follow the below link: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search

Housing

Renting

Many of our new employees arriving in Bath for the first time, opt for Airbnb www.airbnb.co.uk. With airbnb you can choose the type of accommodation you need and the price you feel is appropriate.

The following links might be helpful in looking for more permanent rental accommodation :

Buying a House

There are no legal restrictions on expatriates buying property in the United Kingdom. The costs associated with buying a home can be roughly split into two section, upfront costs and ongoing costs.  

Upfront costs are not limited to:

  • Stamp duty
  • Deposit (normally ranges from 5-40% of the property cost)
  • Mortgage costs (when taking out a mortgage there are costs associate with arrangement, booking and valuation fees)
  • Legal fees (potential solicitor or conveyancer to act on your behalf)
  • Land registry (these are paid to the UK government of transferring property legal deeds to the new owner)
  • Removal costs (Transferring your possession to the UK

Ongoing costs are not limited to:

  • Mortgage repayments
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Insurance (potential building and home content insurance)
  • Regular bills (E.g. Utility bills)

The government website has a very helpful ‘How to buy a home guidance’.

Council tax 

You usually have to pay for council tax if you are 18 or over and own or rent a home. Council tax is a local tax system used in the United Kingdom which is an annual fee that your local council charges you for the local services, e.g. rubbish collection and libraries. Every property is put into a council tax band which determines the amount of tax you will have to pay.

Utility Bills

When renting or owning a home you are likely to be responsible for paying utility bills. The most common utility bills are as follows:

  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Agency Fees
  • House insurance
  • Broadband
  • Landline
  • TV License

Please make sure that if you are renting the tenancy agreement states which bills you and/or the landlord is responsible for.

When setting up your utility bills it is advised to compare the market to find the best deal. 

Commuting Times

When choosing your home location you might want to consider the commute time and costs to and from the University to your new home. The University has several commuting to work loans in place which can help you to decide how you wish to commute to campus. For travel advice please click here.

Education

Preschool

The school system in the United Kingdom begins at age 5 though parents can decide to prepare their children for the education system by attending preschools as, nurseries, kindergartens or playgroups.

Children can attend preschool from Monday to Friday, most preschools are open from 7 am in the morning until 6pm in the evening to allow parents to work full time. In preschool children might learn about social interaction as well as developing their language, numerical and visual skills. The British government has created a search option to find the appropriate information associated to your location.

The University of Bath has an on campus Nursery . The nursery allocates places on the basis of the child’s position on the waiting list and availability. It should be noted that students and staff have an equal level of priority in this process. Subject to availability the Westwood Nursery offers placed on full time or part time basis appropriate to the requirements of the parent.

Education

When moving to the United Kingdom you might need to apply for a school place for your children. The council website gives an overview on the different types of schools and a suitable place for your child.

In the England all children aged 5 to 16 must receive full-time education. Children leave primary school at age eleven and will then move into secondary education. 

Primary School

  • Year R (Reception) (age 4 – 5)
  • Year 1 (age 5 - 6)
  • Year 2 (age 6 - 7) The year when SATs testing takes place for Key Stage 1
  • Year 3 (age 7 - 8)
  • Year 4 (age 8 - 9)
  • Year 5 (age 9 - 10)
  • Year 6 (age 10 - 11) The year when SATs testing takes place for Key Stage 2

At age 11 children start secondary school. After the first two-year period, students take GSCE (General certificate of Secondary Education) state exams. The GSCE is a single subject exam and is marked by independent examination boards. Students normally take around 10 GSCE exams in different subjects. After these GSCE’s the students may choose whether to leave school or continue with your education.

Secondary school

  • Year 7 and 8 – (Age 12) Junior school 
  • Year 9 – (Age 13) Senior school
  • Year 10 and 11 (Age 15, 16) – GCSE programme
  • Year 12 and 13  (Age 17) (A level)
Settling in

Banking

It is advised to research banking options before you arrive.  Many of the bank in the UK are larger international banks which can make it easier for you to transfer. In order to fund a back account or to make payment, you are likely to need to exchange your home currency into pounds. Doing this is fairly easy nevertheless it is a good idea to keep an eye on the exchange rate you might get.

If you want to open a bank account, the bank might ask you for proof of identity, address and employment. To get a letter of proof of employment please email staff-references@bath.ac.uk. For more information please click here.

Driving in the UK

When relocating to the United Kingdom you may wish to commute by car. You might be able to drive in the United Kingdom with your non-UK licence. To check whether you are able to drive with your driver licence in the United Kingdom click here.

Alternatively you will need to exchange your driver license or have to learn how to drive.

In addition, it is essential to get vehicle insurance if you chosen to drive a car. In the UK insurance is compulsory, you must at least insure you vehicles at the level of third-party liability, unless you have declared the car 'off the road'. It is advised to look at several comparing sites when looking at insurance, the previously stated comparison sites can also be used for car insurance.

Language Training

You might wish to improve your English Language skills. The Skills Centre at the University of Bath offer a 10-week course to improve your vocabulary, grammar and develop your reading, listening speaking and writing skills. For more information please click here.

The University of Bath also offers other languages as Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Please click here for information.  

Staff Social

The University has a social space to share ideas, ask questions and get feedback with other colleagues across the University and around the world. Yammer is also used to sell and buy products/goods and can function as a marketplace. You will need a University account and password to be able to login. Please find the link to yammer here