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United Kingdom

Expat Women Living in the United Kingdom (UK)

If you are (or plan to be) an expat living in the United Kingdom, please find below a list of expat clubs, schools, general links for women living in the United Kingdom, country information and more...
Note: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (usually shortened to the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a country and sovereign state. The United Kingdom is a political union made up of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Expat Clubs... General Links...
International Schools... Citizens...
Looking for Work... Country Information...
Top 5 Tips...  
Albanian Women's Network - UK (AWN)
The aim of the AWN is to connect professional Albanian women living and working in the UK.
American Women's Club of Central Scotland
One of the things that AWCCS can be most proud of is the variety of club activities it has to meet the diverse interests of its club members. A fine example of this is the many Special Interest Groups we have to offer.
American Women's Club of London
Founded in 1899 as the "Society of American Women," the American Women's Club of London has for over 100 years provided a welcoming atmosphere to expatriates living in London. The purpose of the American Women's Club of London is to provide social, cultural, educational and philanthropic activities for our members living in London.
Australian Women's Club
Provides opportunities for Australian women resident in London to meet in a friendly, informal atmosphere designed to encourage friendships.
The club also provides support and advice for those who have recently arrived.
American Women of Berkshire and Surrey (AWBS)
AWBS offers social, cultural, and philanthropic activities for the enjoyment and enrichment of its members. A not-for-profit international club, our current membership is made up of citizens of more than 20 nations.
Canadians in Aberdeen
The Canadian Association of Aberdeen (CAA) is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of promoting friendship among Canadians, and persons interested in Canada residing in the Aberdeen area.  The Association holds various events throughout the year with an aim of helping newcomers settle in, providing support during cultural transition, and fostering friendships.  There are approximately 40 Canadian families who belong to the association and many of our events are family-oriented.
Canadian Women's Club of London
Founded in 1932, the Canadian Women's Club of London hosts a wide variety of social activities including special events, outings and lectures. The club also has an active charitable arm - the Maple Leaf Trust. Through various fundraising endeavours, the club provides funds for Canadian graduate students studying in the UK (see link below) and Canadian veterans living in this country www.canadianscholarshipfund.co.uk
Chilterns American Women's Club
The Chilterns American Women's Club (CAWC) is a group of approximately 200 North American and International women with an extensive network of support and information. Our primary objective is to welcome and assist newcomers and their families in England.
Expats Plaza
Expats Plaza is a website dedicated to expatriates living in the UK. This expatriate guide contains a large amount of information on practical aspects of living in the UK. Information is free to access and no registration is required.
International Women's Club, Edinburgh
The mission statement of the IWCE is to expand upon the rich tapestry of nationalities and cultures of its members and in doing so promote cultural awareness, social networking, philanthropic endeavours, women's issues, and to assist newcomers in their knowledge and understanding of Scotland.
Humberside International Women's Club (HIWC)
The Humberside International Women's Club (HIWC) was established in 1995 due to the increasing number of women from other countries moving into the area. It was founded to offer friendship and support to International ladies settling into the Humberside Region, as well as English ladies returning to the area after an extended stay abroad.
Ionian Club - Making Newcomers Welcome
If you are new to the London area, meet women who are, or have been, in the same situation by joining the Ionian Club, devoted to friendship and support. Members are from both UK and overseas. We look forward to hearing from you.
Londres Accueil
French families arriving in London will find this organization helpful in introducing them to the English way of life. Enjoy lectures, outings, activities will assist newcomers in settling in the UK.
Kent International Club
Newcomers Club - United Kingdom
An English-speaking group which is designed to give you the opportunity to meet and develop friendships that others who live in the same area.
Nora (For Norwegian Women)
Nora is a social and civic non-profit organization that promotes friendship and fellowship through its monthly activities. Nora was started in 1993 to improve the contact between Norwegian women in London, and to give us the contacts we can use on an informal level, such as "boys" have. It is a place to talk about work and other things that concern us, and is intended to provide both social and academic benefit. We welcome all Norwegian Women.
Northwood Area Women's Club (NAWC)
A club open to international women living in North West London (Northwood, Rickmansworth, Pinner, Ruislip). They have a general meeting once a month and various special interest groups meet monthly too. (Formerly the North American Woman's Club).
New Zealand Women's Association
The Associations' membership consists of women born in New Zealand ,married to a New Zealander, or women with close business or other ties. The Association has 20 Committee Members who organize monthly meetings at New Zealand House with speakers who are usually successful New Zealanders living in the UK.
Perwakilan London (The Malaysian Ladies Association)
Its primary purpose is to provide members with opportunities to meet each other, to exchange information and to help other settle down and adjust to their new environment. The other aims are to provide members with information on etiquette, customs and traditions of Malaysia and of the host country and to establish and develop contacts as well as to cooperate with other women's voluntary associations and individuals for the advancement of the objectives of the association.
Petroleum Women's Club of Scotland
Originally founded in 1972 by a group of five oil-related wives, the Petroleum Women's Club, based in Aberdeen, has grown in membership to around 300. This is an international club which sets out to promote friendship and understanding among all women connected with the petroleum industry. Members and their families are warmly welcomed during their time in the North East of Scotland. They currently have 40 nationalities in their membership.
St John's Wood Women's Club
The St. John's Wood Women's Club (SJWWC) is a social and civic non-profit organization that promotes friendship and fellowship through its many activities and groups. We welcome citizens of all nationalities and backgrounds and are dedicated to enhancing the "London experience" for all our members and their families.
The American Expats of North West England
The American Expats is a club offering support and friendship to American and Canadian expatriates, and others with ties to North America, living in North West England. Our non-profit organization assists newcomers in adapting to life in the United Kingdom.
The American Women's Club of Surrey
The objectives of this club of over 400 members are to welcome and assist newcomers and their families; to promote friendship and cooperation among members; to further members' knowledge and understanding of England; and to give financial and material support to philanthropic projects.
The Dutch Women of Surrey (DWS)
This group invites Dutch and Dutch speaking women living in Surrey and bordering areas the opportunity to meet and to assist with settling-in. Members enjoy coffee mornings, newsletters, activities, and regular outings
The Kensington and Chelsea Women's Club
The Kensington Chelsea Women's Club (KCWC) is a non-profit, volunteer organization formed to foster friendship and interaction among women of all ages and nationalities living in London. Founded over twenty years ago, we provide opportunities for members to make new friends and experience together so much that London offers.
The London Ladies Club
Offers a vibrant and friendly atmosphere where ladies of all ages and from all walks of life can meet in a centrally-located clubhouse. Ladies can also join them for outside excursions and events.
The North American Connection
A non-profit organization and social club that helps the North American expatriate in the U.K. to adjust to English culture and customs.
Turkish Women's Philanthropic Association (TWPA)
As a non-profit registered charity, TWPA.aims to provide medical supplies and financial help to those in need. Social events provide the funding and also provide opportunities for Turkish women to meet. Regular health projects and seminars are organized.
Welcome to London International
Founded for the promotion of international understanding and friendship by way of monthly meetings and excursions, at which the cultures and customs of other nationalities are presented.
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American Expats In The UK
Provides information and resources for Americans living in or moving to the U.K.
Arrivals Limited
A daily page on things happening in London -- noteworthy services, restaurant recommendations, interesting independent stores, cultural comments.
Country Web
CountyWeb is the easier way to find businesses both locally and nationally. Countyweb.com is the longest established online UK Business Directory and has been helping you find businesses since 1996 with more than 2.4 million businesses UK wide.
Easy Expats: London
The mission of this website is to provide English, French, Italian, Spanish and German speaking expatriates with accurate information and answers about the major cities with the most expatriates.
European Professional Women's Network (EPWN) - London
A vibrant growing pan-European federation whose common objective is to provide women with the tools, networks and support they need to assume leadership. We aim to share knowledge across Europe, and are participating in several Europe-wide initiatives. We combine a sophisticated online networking platform, linking several thousand business women across Europe, with regular, offline events in many cities across Europe.
Euronet London
This is a not-for-profit association run by volunteers to offer a range of activities to bring together international professionals living and working in London.
Expatica UK
The international community's home away from home on the web. It is a must-read for English-speaking expatriates and internationals across Europe, providing a tailored local news service and essential information on living in, working in or moving to your country of choice.
Expatriate Living
Expatriate Living Limited specializes in covering the events, issues and the lifestyles of the diplomatic and expatriate communities so that they can make the most of their time while visiting or living in the United Kingdom.
FOCUS Information Services, the information resource for expatriates living and working in the UK.
FOCUS Information Services
FOCUS is the information resource for expatriates, international assignees and their families living and working in London and the rest of the UK.
Flats and jobs in London.
London Amigo
Started in February 2007. Meet-and-greet type site for newcomers migrating to London. Initial efforts focussed on Spanish population in the UK.
Mingleplanet is here to service the large number of people arriving in London every day from abroad and who all face the same challenges: finding a new job, a place to live, new friends and business partners and learning how to mingle, the British way. Mingleplanet offers you both online and real-life networking.
We help you move to London! But more than that, we provide a visual, interactive, informative and insights into what is needed and helpful when moving to or living in London. Includes practical 'how-to' videos.
My Destination is a global travel resource powered by a diverse community of local experts on the ground, providing unrivalled local knowledge and unique local deals.
Network Canada
For Canadians living in the UK, a chance to connect with fellow Canucks.
Outpost UK
Assisting Shell families with their UK postings.
Royal Overseas League
The Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) has a long history of welcoming members from the UK and overseas to its London & Edinburgh clubhouses and provides a network of reciprocal clubs, branches or honorary representatives around the world.
Up My Street
Find out everything you could want to know about an area - from actual property prices to the neighbourhood's favourite newspaper.
The website that offers advice & information to expatriates moving to and living in the UK.
The Best of British
The American's guide to speaking British. Over 1000 words and expressions that differ in their usage between the US and the UK.
UK Yankee
A web site for the American expatriate living in the U.K. Provides information about moving, culture, education, immigration, real estate, etc., as well as a forum, live chat, and newsletter.
The Junior League of London
Founded in 1978, the Junior League of London (JLL) is an organisation of women volunteers committed to promoting voluntarism in all its forms, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. We empower our members to serve as catalysts for positive change throughout London, working collaboratively with over 30 community partners such as schools, community centres, and other non-profit organisations. The JLL is a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI).
Up Your Street Radio
An online bank of radio programmes designed for UK ex-pats across the world who want to keep in touch with what's going on back home. Each week we visit a different town in the UK.
For South Africans living in Europe and the UK.
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The American School in London

ACS International Schools

ISBI Schools
isbi schools include schools in the British Isles, independent schools, special schools, boarding schools, fee-paying schools, state boarding schools, international schools, schools worldwide, summer schools, English language schools

Overview of Education Options in the UK
For families moving to the UK with children, the choice of school is paramount to the success of the relocation. The school search should therefore be informed by the place of work and precede the home search in terms of priority. It is important to be informed about all education options at the start in order to decide on the best type of schooling for your child..
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Southbank International School
An independent international day school representing 73 nationalities for students 3-18 years, teaching all three IB Programmes throughout the school. There are three central London campuses in Kensington, Hampstead and Westminster.
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Back in Blighty
This is offers everything the British expat needs, from gardening links to cricket scores.

British Expats
A resource for British expats around the world. Immigration and general discussion forums, articles, blogs, chat room, photo gallery and more.

Brit World
BritWorld is designed with the expat in mind. Those people whom for one reason or another, left their homeland to start a new life in another part of the world. For those that miss their homeland there is a free emailing list to help find new friends and keep in touch with others.

British Club Worldwide
As the name implies, all this British for Brits around the world.

British Expat
An on line magazine for British expats that has loads of info, forums, travel section and ways to keep in touch with fellow Brits abroad.

British Food - buy online
British Food shopping with worldwide delivery

Expat Essentials
Your one-stop shopping service for all your favourite British foods. We have over 8000 food and house care products to choose from, so there is something to suit everyone. Here you can find all the famous UK brands that we all love plus Tescos, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer products. So, no matter where you live in the world, you can now enjoy "a taste of home delivered to your door", with some of the lowest delivery rates available.

Expat Index
Online information and shopping site for British expatriates.

We are a free source of information for British expatriates, contracting or living overseas, almost a UK expats yellow pages, also with an overseas recruiter database, country information with links relevant to British expats (and any other English speaking ex-pats

Expat Shopping
UK online supermarket with 1500+ famous British Branded Products including biscuits, beverages, crisps, health & beauty, confectionery and many more groceries. Delivered direct to your door.'

Expats Shopping Arcade
Expats shopping arcade offers the freedom to virtually shop in a UK highstreet without ever leaving the country!

Guardian Abroad

Telegraph Newspaper Online
News from the UK and links for expats

Wales Country Nationals
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Doing business with the Brits: The art of politeness
All, or at least most, Dutch people speak English. And with this comes the conviction that they can do business easily with the Brits. However, as Nannette Ripmeester points out, it isn't quite as simple as that.
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Supplied by Expertise in Labour Mobility
Looking for Work in United Kingdom
Looking for work in another country requires more than just the obvious CV translation. You will be confronted with issues that probably didn't even cross your mind when you decided to go for an international career, but don't underestimate the big impact they can have on the outcome of your adventure!
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Supplied by Expertise in Labour Mobility
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United Kingdom Map
Central Intelligence Agency, 2005
Location: Europe
Capital City: London
Other Important Cities: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey
Currency: Pound Sterling
Language: English
Calling Code: 44
Internet TLD: .uk
Emergency Numbers:
Country Information
Embassy Information
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These tips were kindly provided by volunteer Expat Women Mentors in 2007. ExpatWomen.com shares these tips in an effort to help but takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information.
Provided by Tracey F, American, in East Yorkshire, The United Kingdom
Expect things to be different in your new location. Things will be different and possibly quite difficult, but it will get better and you will learn how to cope with your new environment.
Keep yourself busy. Being away from friends and family can be tough. The busier you are the better off you will be.
Things are more expensive here than in the United States. Don't keep converting everything into US Dollars. It's much less painful this way!
Only take what you really think you need. Houses and flats are much smaller here. Big furniture can also be a problem. Going up stairways and around corners have been major issues for us!
5. Take advantage of your geographic location and travel! There are plenty of low-cost airlines (and even the rest of them aren't all that bad) and endless opportunities for short breaks on the continent or right here in the United Kingdom! Europe is so full of history, culture, and interesting foods and customs, etc. I just can't get enough and it's right on your doorstep.
Provided by Bonnie A, Australian British American, in Cambridge, England, The United Kingdom
1. Don't stress (you will get a job, you will find a good place to live, you will make friends.
2. Money is all relative - it's not that expensive when you earn the currency of your local country.
3. You can usually find a substitute for most types of food - taste everything at least once.
4. Listen and learn.
5. Home is just a phone call/email away. If you really don't like a place, leave, don't moan about it.
Provided by Patricia N, American, in London, England The United Kingdom
Do your research. London is an expensive place to live so it's worth spending some time researching the cost of housing in different areas of the city before you arrive. Find a property (http://www.findaproperty.com) will give you a good idea of how much flats cost.
Looking for a Job Focus Information Services is an invaluable organisation for expats in London. They offer workshops on how to prepare for British style interviews and the ins and outs of what to include on your CV.
Join Everything. There are lots of clubs and organizations in London and the best way to combat any homesickness you might be feeling is to get out there and meet new people.
Take advantage of all the Freebies. Galleries, Museums, Exhibits, Markets, Attractions. There are hundreds of things to do in London that are free.
5. Keep a journal. It's fun to look back at your first impressions and reflect on your experiences and perceptions.
Provided by Pricilla K, American, in Oxfordshire, England, The United Kingdom
1. Everything is smaller, so don't bring too many clothes or other stuff. Even some kitchen products might not work, like full size American cookie sheets
2. Learn to make tea properly -- with boiling water! and always offer visiting friends a hot drink (tea or coffee).
3. The English are friendly once you get through the natural reserve; children are a great 'prop' for making friends.
4. For Americans, go easy on the makeup as English women generally wear less (or none), and white wear trainers/sneakers are only worn for sports or with jeans; black shoes are a much safer bet.
5. Read 'Watching the English' by Kate Fox. Very funny and it will help you understand the workings of the culture and might save you some mistakes.
Provided by Maria M, a New Zealander, in London, England, The United Kingdom
Thoroughly research Immigration/VISA options before arriving-and make sure that you read through all the accompanying small print!
If seeking work, do as much desk research as possible in your chosen area of work and if possible make contact with desirable companies/employment agencies before arriving.
Make sure you have all the likely documentation that you will need to apply for things like National Insurance Number (for tax purposes), for getting a bank account, etc.
Make sure you have references (if possible/relevant) from your landlord for purposes of securing rental accommodations. And do some research into rental prices/house prices (if intending to buy), so you know what you can afford. London can be very expensive, so it is worth coming with an idea of what things cost here.
5. Accept that there is going to be an adjustment period and then may mean you have to "tough it out" for a while, to give the move a chance. It took us a year before we felt like we were settled in.
Provided by Beth N, an American, in London, England, The United Kingdom
1. Thoroughly research the type of area you want to live. London is a large city and each area tends to have its own offerings and "vibe."
2. Only pack what you REALLY need. Most apartments come with basic furnishings, including dishware and cooking utensils.
3. Rent prices are usually quoted "per week." These are also usually negotiable by £25 - £50.
4. If you're bringing a pet, be sure to check the requirements. The United Kingdom is "rabies-free" and you should start the pet process 7 months in advance to avoid a quarantine period.
5. Come with an open mind & a good sense of humor, and be prepared to tackle hurdles along the way. No amount of planning will make moving to a foreign country easy. There will be difficulties, but they are well worth it in the end!
6. Bring an umbrella!
Provided by Pietje K, Dutch, in Uxbridge, England, The United Kingdom
Enrol your children (if any) in an International School (there are a couple of high quality International Schools in the London area).
Explore the London metro/tube system for easy and affordable days out -Avoid driving in London.
Pick up some local county park maps for hikes and walks.
Read "Watching the English" by Kate Fox before you move, to get a better understanding of the British culture and the way they interact. This to avoid common 'mistakes' when trying to make new friends and to not take it personally when this does not happen so fast.
Provided by Lynne M, American, in Brighton, England, The United Kingdom
1. Go car-less or join a car club.
2. Join a club (eg. a book group, a sports team), take a class, and/or do some volunteer work in order to meet people from different walks of life.
3. CyberCandy on Gloucester Road is a great place to stave off homesickness by getting sweets and sodas from home.
4. Always try to fly in/out of Gatwick, rather than Heathrow or anything else. (It's so much closer and so easy to get to. It's definitely worth paying £50 more for the plane ticket, probably worth paying £100, if you value your time/sanity.)
5. OneTel and similar outfits offer have 3p/minute phone rates to the US, and similarly cheap rates to other places.
6. Maintain a sense of self by doing the things you enjoy in your new country.
7. Don't get discouraged if everything isn't just how you pictured it to be.
8. Expect for things to be difficult in the beginning and know that you will begin to feel more comfortable soon.
9. Expect to feel foreign and embrace your differences.
10. Unexpected discoveries and relationships made will make your time abroad wonderful, unforgettable.
Provided by Elizabeth K, American, London, The United Kingdom
1. Go with the flow (accept where you are and that there are differences, not necessarily better or worse, just different).
2. Realize Londoners are friendlier than they appear;
3. STOP CONVERTING, it will drive you crazy (unless you're going back to the States!).
4. Read Time Out London.
5. Do something to discover the wonders of the city/country at least twice a month.
Provided by Jonnie D, American, Surrey, England, The United Kingdom
1. Get involved in the existing support groups such as AWBS.
2. If there are children, get involved in their schools.
3. If older, get involved in charity or volunteer work.
4. If there are particular interests, ie. sports/art/ animals, find groups to join.
Basically, GET INVOLVED as quickly as possible to meet others with similar interests.
Provided by Lizelle B, South African, London, England, The United Kingdom
1. Get a good detailed map of the area and even county.
2. Find a Doctor/Dentist and register.
3. Buy the local newspapers.
Search out organizations for hobbies and interests and participate and visit the town and county council offices and CAB Citizen Advice Bureau for free leaflets and advice.
Speak with the CIS – Children's Information Service.
Provided by Lisbet T, American, Oxfordshire, England, The United Kingdom
1. Surround yourself with familiar things, photos of loved ones; listen to your favorite music; continue with rituals you had in your home country.
2. Find friends doing things you love.
3. Keep busy, the more time you have to think the higher the likelihood you'll end up on a negative path.
Find something good about every day – keep a gratitude journal.
You may experiences changes to your identity – it's normal and don't put your life on hold, live your best life wherever you are!!
Provided by Monique, American British, London, The United Kingdom
Take advantage of all the cheap theater deals in London & go often, there are new shows starting all the time! (lastminute.com is great!). And keep an eye out for deals in the free daily newspaper published for commuters – The Metro.
Take advantage of cheap air fares to Europe on Easy Jet & Ryan Air and don't forget we get 4 bank holidays a year (two in May and 1 in August) when you'll get a 3 day weekend (also the 4 day weekend for Easter), which is great for short city trips!
If you are looking for a job – register with as many agencies as possible – this is the way most employers in the United Kingdom recruit.
Do The United Kingdom day trips – Bath, Windsor Castle, Leeds Castle, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton – London is fantastic – but there are also many other gorgeous places to visit in England.
Be a tourist in your own city! There are so many fantastic tourist sites – in 5 years I still haven't done everything. Take advantage of the history and culture that London is bursting with and visit museums (they are all free now!), do the open top bus tour, visit the queen's home, tour the tower of London, etc.
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Expat Women: Confessions – 50 Answers to Your Real-Life Questions about Living Abroad