I moved to London in 2016 after getting myself the standard tier 4 working visa entitling me to work in the United Kingdom for 2 years once activated. I arrived there with no real plans and was imagining myself looking for a job in a small bar which I heard was not the greatest source of an income but could provide plenty of fun times, or my other option consisted of me continuing the trade that I had done in Australia for the best part of 10 years, as this was a working holiday type adventure I wasn’t super keen to continue to do the exact thing I had just left in Australia and was more looking for a change. This is how I found ANZUK London.
At the time I was dating a teacher and she had organised a job on arrival with ANZUK London. We went to the office the second day we landed in London and to my surprise once they had done all her paperwork they enquired about my intentions for work while here, I told them I had no certain plans and within a few minutes I too was in the process of signing up with ANZUK London as a teacher assistant. It was something I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would do but something that seemed to make a lot of sense, as this would allow me the time to explore Europe during the school holidays, which is something they get a lot of throughout the year.
The process to sign up took around 2 weeks, this included getting the standard police checks, signing up with the umbrella company that handles your pay and applying for all the local taxes and things. Once this was all complete I signed up to the ANZUK London ready to work scheme. The way this system generally works is, to begin with, you register when your available to work, from there it involves the schools that need assistant on that particular day to ring ANZUK London in the morning and inquire about the position they need filling, ANZUK then rings a suitable candidate and they send you on your way.
It was a pretty nerve-racking experience the first day I received a call, which happened to be the first day I was actually available to work, that’s how quick these guys operate to find you suitable positions. The job I was given was to cover for a science class at an all-boys school, (let’s just say with no actual teaching experience ever behind me my only advice I received was to be confident and fake it to you make it). These words rang true as I took my first ever class mostly without too many issues, sure the kids test you since you’re a relief teacher, but in saying that I can still remember doing the exact same thing when I was in their position. I left that afternoon thinking things could only get easier the longer I stuck it out and got more experience.
From here I completed a week’s worth of relief work for a primary school, as a maintenance man. This was something I very much enjoyed as it was out of the classroom environment and I was just given a list of jobs to complete, with keys to get me into the required areas. The week went very quickly and I was hoping something like that would pop up on a more permanent basis, but it wasn’t to be.
The next job ANZUK London organised for me was probably the most interesting of the 3 and this is where I stayed for the remainder of my time working in the UK. It was called a PRU school in North East London and this is a school that receives children that have effectively run out of behavioural chances at standard secondary schools. The children were aged from 13-16 years generally, and mostly speaking there were around 15-25 at the school at any one time. The first day I went there I remember being warned from my ANZUK London representative that these schools were either somewhere you found very rewarding or somewhere you seriously hated. Let’s just say I can understand why but luckily for me it was a case of me absolutely loving my time there and enjoying the changes that you could see evolve. Don’t get me wrong, there were unbelievably tough days where nothing you said or did made any difference at all to the kids and practically went unrewarded, but this is what made the good days so great. The first month I asked a kid to complete a task was almost certainly followed by the response “F#@k off” or a simple “No” but I slowly worked them around and got them to see that I wasn’t planning on leaving anytime soon. A lot of these kids are used to people coming in and out of their lives so regularly that they generally shut people out until you can earn a little of their trust.
Like I said earlier I ended up staying at this school for the remainder of my working time in the UK, I went from just being a teacher aide to teaching a woodwork class full time as well as assisting with teacher aide duties when required. I also helped out by doing the local handyman tasks as they popped up, I saw two sets of year 11 students complete their GCSE exams and it was a super rewarding feeling knowing that I played a small role in helping them set themselves up for a brighter chance at life. One of my best memories was going out for dinner with one set of year 11 students once their exams had been completed.
The staff at the school were all quality people and we all had to stick together pretty well or the kids had the ability to quickly change situations to suit themselves. We shared plenty of laughs and great times during my time there and not going to work there every day is certainly something I’m going to miss. There was a group of ANZUK London workers at the school during my time there and we created a great friendship. Some of us have even since caught up once back in Australia.
ANZUK London is always there for you whenever you have questions or need assistance. They done regular catch ups with both myself and the school while I was working there. They choose monthly winners to acknowledge the hard work you are putting in and reward you with a goody hamper of Australian treats. It’s something small but these little details are certainly welcome when you are so far away from home. They also organise some fantastic company get together parties to help celebrate the end of school terms and special events such as Easter or Christmas. It’s a great way to meet new Australians and make some friends you can continue to catch up with while having the time of your life on English soil.
If you are heading to the UK anytime soon and looking for a job that will at times test you, reward you and also allow you to see lots of Europe during your holidays then I couldn’t recommend getting in touch with ANZUK London more. They have a Facebook page for you to check them out a bit more. If you would like to contact some directly in the ANZUK office Joy said to contact her by email [email protected]. If you pass on my name they will certainly be more than happy to help you out and get you started working in the UK. Partly thanks to these guys my 2 years in London was some of the best times of my life.
Find out some of the highlights I enjoyed while calling the UK home for two years. All my UK blogs are easily found right here.
- Hiking Lions Head in Cape Town – What you need to know beforehand
- Africa safari packing list – Plus a guide on what to wear on an African safari
- Tips on travelling for business – Make your trip easier, more comfortable and stress-free
- Top E-Biking Trips Around the World – Discover Your Adventure Side While on Vacation
- Where to stay in Cape Town – Plus a list of the best restaurants in Cape Town
- Best time to visit Cape Town – Guide to the best time to go to Cape Town
- Safety in Cape Town – Is Cape Town safe for tourists?
- Travelling to Cape Town – A Quick Introduction To The City
- Old Town Baku City – A Fascinating Insight Into The Capital Of Azerbaijan
- Essential Must Try Foods in Southern Africa – My Mouth-Watering African Foods List
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Happy Travels, Brodie