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06 September 2006 @ 12:14 am
Weather, Work, and Travel  
Hi everyone,

I'm leaving for the UK for 8 months soon (like, Thursday): studying for 5 months and then on a working holiday visa for 3 months.

What I'm worried about is the working holiday part...do you guys know how easy it is to get a temporary job (3 months full time) in London? I've joined SWAP already and have registered with some headhunters, but it seems SWAP jobs are mainly hotel, restaurant, amusement park - service related, and I'm actually more looking for an office job in the transportation planning sector (kind of specific, I know). I'm open to internships to get good experience, but it seems that all internships in the UK are unpaid, with the best reimbursement being lunch and travel expenses. I'm just a bit concerned about being in London on the last 3 months of my stay: homeless, jobless, and friendless!

Also, have any you guys also had the experience of having a working holiday visa when you go into the UK, but asking them not to activate it? As my working holiday visa starts in September, but I will be studying when I first go into the UK in September, and you're not allowed to study on a working holiday visa, I am a bit concerned that the immigration officer will not be happy with me. I don't need a student visa for the 5 months I'm studying, Canadians are allowed to study in the UK for up to 6 months without a visa. Hopefully they deal with these situations all the time, even with the tighter security now, I will not be turned away at the border!

Sorry for the long post...and I appreciate any and all advice!
the pickled fœtus: cowsgelatinnn on September 6th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
Do you have the working holidaymaker visa already?
rokugatsu on September 6th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
yes, because you have to apply for it in your home country. so since i won't be in canada from sept-jan, and i am looking for a job from jan-may over there. i thought it would be best if i got one before i left, so i didn't have to come back to canada in jan, and wait a month to get a WHM visa, and then go back there to look for a job again.
the pickled fœtusgelatinnn on September 6th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
Okay, good :)

There is no 'activating' it. It's valid from the date on it until two years later. You just work up to any 12 months out of it (unless they've gone and changed the rules again). They'll put a stamp on your visa the first time you enter the country is all. You've nothing to worry about.

As for finding a job, though, it can be a bit tough. Service industry ones are really easy to come by as you've probably gathered with SWAP, but if you're absolutely set on working in your specific industry, it can be really difficult. Especially for such a short time. Not impossible though! And you'll have a chance to hunt for the work while you're here and studying, so that's a definite bonus. But yeah, it doesn't seem atypical for it to take a couple of months from the time one starts looking until the first job is found here.

Best of luck with it all — I'm sure you'll have a great time :D
rokugatsu on September 9th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
thanks for your help! i'm in the uk now, and crossing immigration was fine. hardly even any questions! slightly overwhelmed with adjusting to everything right now, but i know it'll be alright :)
(Anonymous) on September 8th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
I recommend that you register with Hudson. They're a temp agency that concentrate on jobs beyond low-end office work. I did not have a problem finding a good temp job with them.

It will be hard work and lonely when you first arrive, but don't worry too much. Everyone eventually finds a flat, a job, and good friends you'll hate to leave. I promise!
pretendtoberealpretendtobereal on September 8th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
damn, I always forget to sign in.
rokugatsu on September 9th, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
thanks for the recommendation, i went on their website and it sounds great!