While you’re busy dealing with the administration of moving to London you’re also going to have to deal with the emotional aspects surrounding an international relocation to London. Don’t think that you won’t have to deal with culture shock: It’s a very different culture in the UK!
It may be slightly easier if you’re moving to London and you speak English as your native tongue, but there are many differences that you’ll have to accept, get over, or deal with, so be kind to yourself during the first few months and know that what you’re feeling is normal.
London is a multi-cultural which makes it easier to find people who are going through the same thing that you are. There are over 350 foreign languages spoken in London alone, so you’re bound to find someone from home to help ease you through the caverns of culture shock.
It’s important though, not to only make friends with other expats. You may just be missing out on the opportunity to make new friends and speed up your immersion into the culture and the excitement of living here. Try to make an effort to become a part of your community.
Get out and participate in activities and hobbies in your neighborhood. It might be daunting to walk into your local pub and make friends over a pint of bitter, but you can join your local gym or take a class at your community center that interest you. Get involved with work events and activities and show that you’ll willing to try new and different aspects of life. The British are friendly, welcoming and will go out of their way to make you feel at home if you have the right attitude.
It can be hard for an accompanying spouse to make new friends if they don’t have the advantage of a relocation jobs package. You need to make an effort to get out and meet people on a daily basis after your relocation to try to adjust to culture shock. Get out, go shopping, learn as much as you can about your community, and your neighborhood. Ask people for help about classes and groups. One of the best ways of getting out and into your community is to volunteer at a charity after your relocation to London.