Category: Blog

Meet our Team – Samantha Magennis

Position title: International Resource Consultant

Favourite Quote: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney

Q1. What is your role at sugarman and how long have you worked for us?

My Role is International Resource Consultant based in Australia and this is my first month at Sugarman international.

Q2. What is your favourite part of the role?

Assisting those who are seeking a new experience in the UK.

Q3. What is your favourite thing to do when travelling?

Finding a unique cultural dish as well as going outside the normal tourist areas.

Q4. What is your ideal holiday destination?

Somewhere diverse and full of nature, Canada is one of my favourites to seek this.

Q5. Where can we find you on the weekend?

Going on nature walks or trying out some trendy restaurants with my mates

Q6. What work related advice would you give to our international candidates relocating to the UK?

Have all your important documents ready before you go, this will mean less stress for you and a smoother transition over in the UK.

Q7. What is the first thing you would do if you visited the UK?

Straight to an English Pub!

Q8. Where is your favorite place to eat?

Cheesecake factory , I love the Salted Caramel Cheesecake.

Q9. Where have you travelled before and what was your favourite part about it?

Travelled all across the USA, Canada, Caribbean, Noumea, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Zealand , Thailand and Singapore. Favourite part about all of these destinations would be the people I met in these destinations, I met some of my best friends whilst travelling + working overseas!

Q10. What would be 5 things you would miss if you left Australia?

My dogs, Australian coffee, Vegemite, my family and Tim Tams!

Q11. On fun fact about you!

I can draw a backwards elephant….

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Meet our Team – George Bland-Wells

Position title: Business and Talent Development Executive

Favourite quote: “There will be obstacles, there will be doubters, there will be mistakes, but with hard work you can make your own luck, there are no limits to what you can achieve.”

Q1. What is your role at Sugarman and how long have you worked for us?

I am a business and talent development executive, I place professionals into both the NHS and private sector.

Q2. What is your favourite part of your role?

I enjoy speaking with new people on a day to day basis and securing their ideal post over here in the UK.

Q3. What is your favourite thing to do in London?

I am a big football fan and have a season ticket at West Ham Utd so I like to watch them on the weekend.

Q4. What is your ideal holiday destination?        

My ideal holiday destination is Dubai, I love the mixture between city/beach holiday.

Q5. Where can we find you on the weekend?

You can find me at my local pub in East London called the Carpenters before I head to watch West Ham.

Q6. What work related advice would you give to our International candidates relocating to the UK?

My recommendation is to always be open minded and explore outside of London as there are many nice places to live/work across the UK!

Q7. What is the first thing you would recommend our candidates do when they get into the UK (tourist tip or fun adventure ).

When I meet with my candidates in our London HQ I always recommend them to visit the Sky Garden and the Shard as they are a throw away from the office and has incredible views of London.

Q8. Do you live in London or do you commute to work? If so how long is your commute and what are your tips for the travel time?

I live in Hertfordshire which is part of the home counties just outside of London, my total commute is around 1hr 10mins door to door. My tips would be to find something under 1hr .

Q9. Where is your favourite place to eat in either London or surrounds?

My favorite place is Hakkasan, I love the cuisine and ordering loads of little dishes.

Q10. What are five things you love about the UK or five things you would miss if you left the UK?

5 things I love are – The Countryside,  Festivals, Transport in London, Friendly people and the restaurants and nightlife 




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Meet Our Team – Annie McCarthy

Position title: Business Talent Development Executive

Favorite Quote: “It will all be okay in the end and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end”.

Q1. What is your role at Sugarman and how long have you worked for us?

A. My role as Sugarman is Business and Talent Development Executive, I have worked at Sugarman since 2015

Q2. What is your favourite part of your role?

A. I love it when I am able to find someone their ideal job, whether this is working at a hospital they’ve always wanted to or getting the opportunity to work in a clinical area that they have wanted to gain more experience in, it is always a good feeling! 

Q3. What is your favourite thing to do in London?

A. I love the summer in London! Living in South London I spend a lot of time in Greenwich Park, on Blackheath and in the pubs surrounding!  

Q4. What is your ideal holiday destination?

A. The Carribean is always a hit for me, although I would love to see more of Mexico

Q5. Where can we find you on the weekend?

A. Spending time with friends and family with time for yoga and good food in between

Q6. What work related advice would you give to our International candidates relocating to the UK?

A. Don’t be afraid to ask for opinions or advice- London is a big place and even bigger when getting familiar with it. I always urge any candidates to feel free to ask me anything, whether its where is best to work, live or have fun!

Q7. What is the first thing you would recommend our candidates do when they get into the UK (tourist tip or fun adventure ).

A. Spend time doing the touristy bits and seeing the sights, have a look on Secret London and Time Out for those special things happening! 

Q8. Do you live in London or do you commute to work? If so how long is your commute and what are your tips for the travel time?

A. I live in South East London and travel in to the city for work, it usually takes me around 45 minutes to travel to and from work, I have to take one train and tube 

Q9. Where is your favourite place to eat in either London or surrounds?

A. This is a tough one!! There is a fantastic restaurant called Piazza in Forest Hill in South East London which I have to say does amazing Italian food! I am also a sucker for a good Turkish restaurant! 

Q10. What are three things you love about the UK or five things you would miss if you left the UK?

A. My friends and family, My team at work and Christmas time in the City

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The London Experiment – Visa Application Process

Samantha Mckenzie

International Resource Consultant From: Wagga Wagga, Lived in London for 2 years. Currently: Living in Sydney, Australia

This week’s post is all about the Visa application process, where to go for information, when you can apply, how much does it all cost and what exactly is the Healthcare Surcharge?

This particular post is centred on the Tier 5 youth mobility visa application but if you have any questions on the process for other visa’s get in touch with our team!

If you have thought to start this process and then given up because there is NEXT TO NOTHING concrete on where and how to complete this process then hopefully this will help you!

TIER 5 YOUTH MOBILITY VISA (Working Holiday Visa):

  1. Check your Eligibility: If you are aged between 18 and 30 and are from Australia, New Zealand or Canada you are eligible to apply for the Youth Mobility visa as long as this is your first time. Other eligibility requirements include but are not limited to a savings amount the equivalent of £1890.00.
  2. Pick a DATE: you need to be very sure when you are travelling, the application can only be submitted 6 months prior to your travel and arrival dates. Researching flight dates and travel costs for different times throughout the year will help you to make a better decision on when it is best for you to leave and then give you a time frame, websites to check out for some great travel deals include: Skyscanner, Student Flights, Cheap Flights.com, Expedia and Flight Centre. You also need to keep in mind that you will be required to pick up your BRP within a certain time frame after your nominated date of entry.
  3. Research locations for initial accommodation: It is important to note that pre booking initial accommodation where possible or at least narrowing down a specific area or hostel will save you time and effort later during the visa application. This is also important for the move itself finding somewhere cheaper but central to where you need to go in those first few weeks will make your transition to London much smoother.
  4. Head to the website to complete the APPLICATION FORM but first read the guidance notes: Its important to make sure you read these and collect any of the supporting documents you need in advance of completing the application, these things include making sure you passport has a free page and that it has more than 6 months left on it – this saves you having to renew it while abroad, a bank letter with proof of savings (£1890.00) details of your parents full names and birth dates + cities etc. There is also the option of completing the application via the Gov.UK portal at the end of the Visa overview. A few things to keep in mind when completing the application: You do not require sponsorship for this visa no details are necessary for any questions relating to this. Picking a post code to pick up your BRP is important you do not want to be travelling half way across London to an obscure post office to get this, knowing where you will be staying initially or at least having an idea of this will help narrow down your preference for pick up. Know when you can book yourself in for interview dates ahead of time, the quicker you can finalise the Biometrics interview the less time you will have to spend on travelling (especially if you don’t live near a bigger city). Have your funds ready for payment!
  5. Pay your Application fee and Healthcare Surcharge: The application cost is an upfront payment for the processing of your application and currently costs £244.00 and is generally non refundable, you will then need pay your healthcare surcharge as part of the application. The cost for this has gone up in the past year to £300.00 per year of your visa, you must pay up front for the two years your Visa last bringing the total to £600.00 altogether. The healthcare surcharge entitles you to the use of the NHS and GP services in the UK and it works similar to Medicare and bulk billing in that you will not be charged for visits to them but will have to pay for scripts. The scripts however are capped in pricing so they are affordable. Should you wish to process your application quicker or have your passport returned directly to your residence once the application has been approved you can opt to pay for the premium and priority service at the end of your application as well.
  6. Book in for your Biometric Interview: This is when you will take the hard copy of your application along with supporting documents that are needed and will have your Biometrics taken for your BRP card, this will include fingerprints and photos.
  7. Send your application: Now it is a waiting game most decisions come back between 4-6 weeks sometimes earlier and sometimes a little slower unless you have previously paid for priority service.
  8. YOU’VE BEEN APPROVED: You will be notified via email and or letter of your approval, this letter will also confirm your visa number and the date your visa will commence, it should explain also which post office you need to pick up your BRP from along with the dates it will be available.
  9. Book your FLIGHTS: if you haven’t booked already this is the best time to get this underway, when booking flights it is important to make sure that you are arriving either on the date you put down as your entry date into the UK or within a 10 day period of that date. You have 10 days from your entry date in most cases to pick up your biometrics so it is very important that you are getting in to London within this time frame.
  10. ENTER THE UK: Your trip has begun make sure to pick up your BRP within 10 days of your entry date, one last thing to keep in mind treat your BRP card as precious this is your ACTUAL visa and is what will allow you to travel freely in and out of the country along with your right to work. Its is the size of  a licence but remember not to take it out with you while out on the town.

Check in again soon for our next installment on how to pack your life into a 27 KG suitcase.

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Meet Our Team – Lydia Archer

Name: Lydia Archer

Position title: International Resource Consultant

Favourite quote: “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” – Erin Hanson

Q1. What is your role at Sugarman and how long have you worked for us?

I am the International Resource Consultant for Sugarman International in the Sydney office and I have been working here for 6 months.

Q2. What is your favourite part of your role?

I mostly enjoy helping people and giving allied health professionals the chance to do what I did, live and work on the other side of the world. I also very much enjoy the creative marketing side of my job.

Q3. What is your favourite thing to do in London?

I very much like exploring London, especially the free museums such as the tate modern and the natural history museum, I also love socialising in a good old English pub!

Q4. What is your ideal holiday destination?

I absolutely loved Langkawi in Malaysia – definitely would recommend.

Q5. Where can we find you on the weekend?

Out brunching and socialising with friends, shopping or coastal walking.

Q6. What work related advice would you give to our International candidates relocating to the UK?

Definitely make use of agencies, I came to Australia with no help from agencies and it took me far longer to secure a job than I expected. Be organised and prepared with everything that is needed to live and work in the UK. Enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity to the fullest!

Q7. What is the first thing you would recommend our candidates do when they get into the UK .

Find your bearings, make use of public transport and be a tourist for the day/week! Visit all of the famous sights and have a beer in a traditional English pub.  

Q8. Do you live in London or do you commute to work? If so how long is your commute and what are your tips for the travel time?

I firstly commuted to work from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire which took around 1.5 hours door to door, I then moved to Shepherds Bush in London and my commute was around 40 minutes, I loved reading during this time.

Q9. Where is your favourite place to eat in either London or surrounds?

My favourite restaurant in the UK is a family run Italian restaurant in Kings Langley, around 25 minutes outside of London called Oscars! It is amazing. I also love Wahaca in London, a well priced Mexican restaurant, visit the one on beautiful Southbank London.

Q10. What are five things you love about the UK or five things you would miss if you left the UK?

  1. My Family and My Toy Poodle Timmy.
  2. Cheap Euro trips. Berlin has been my favourite so far
  3. Winter walks through the countryside followed by a hearty roast dinner.
  4. A traditional English Pub/ Good English beer garden.
  5. The seasons.

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The London Experiment My UK Adventure – Sam Mckenzie

International Resource Consultant From: Wagga Wagga, Lived in London for 2 years. Currently: Living in Sydney, Australia

It was January 2015 and I had just realised that I had failed my last New Year’s resolution and had no idea why I was still working a never-ending series of night shifts at the bar and why the farthest place I had travelled to date was Thailand.

Fast forward another month and much whining later and I was still pondering these same facts when my brother mentioned he was off again to the UK for a while and if I was really that unhappy why didn’t I just quit and move to London, as it was the simplest thing to do in the world! As if I didn’t have an entire life here and no responsibilities…

Now this was not the first time it had been mentioned but it WAS the first time it had been really heard and I thought to myself, well yes why don’t I do that? What is really holding me back? The answer was me; I was just too afraid to make the leap, WELL not anymore!

So, decision made I decided to give myself a date and book flights so I couldn’t back out…. The 4th of March, that sounded like the perfect date, so I locked it in and stood back to congratulate myself on a job well done.

Turns out that the 4th of March was just over 4 weeks away and I had NO idea what I needed to do or WHERE to start.

Thus, began my journey through the world of blogs, visa websites, social media pages and contact lists with little luck and a whole lot of frustration.

Looking back, I really wish I had someone to point me in the right direction and offer the right kind of advice less of the… “You will need those ten thousand pairs of socks and thermal underwear” and more… “check out this website for the guidance notes on how to fill out that application”  even though at the time I completely shunned agencies due to the cost I now realise that some of them may have been if not beneficial financially, definitely worth it for my stress levels. 

Fast forward 4 years down the track and I now spend every day at work helping people just like I was, make the same life changing decision I made, give the advice I wish I had gotten and then ultimately enjoy the most AMAZING experience that I enjoyed.

So, because of all of that I thought why not give you all a snap shot each week of what I did and what my time working with Sugarman has taught me about how to prepare and then enjoy your move to the UK with as little stress as possible!

This week’s post is all about #PREPLANNING

First things first, this will only work if you have made that decision so stop second guessing yourself and commit!

PREPLANNING:

Now it might sound fun to fly by the seat of your pants but lets be honest it rarely ever works and more often than not you end up out of pocket and hostel hopping for a month without unpacking your bag while rewashing your work uniform every night before eventually running out of money and heading home with your tail between your legs! So, get to making that list.

  1. Create the list and section it into months as a countdown, it should include the following columns: To Do, Cost Involved, Completed.
  2. Make sure you keep it updated, it isn’t enough to just update it once a month in the lead up put aside the time you need once a week or on the weekend where you can take the time to finalise the points!
  3. Monitor your cost so you can create a Pre UK and Post UK budget.

Things to include in your checklist:

  • HCPC Application – for all my AHP candidates
  • Decide on a date – make sure you know this before completing your Visa application
  • Visa application
  • Book Flights
  • Agency registration paperwork – get it out of the way
  • Sign up to social media pages – Facebook groups are a great place to start, Aussies in London, Social groups, event nights. Keep yourself up to date with what’s happening and use the people in the groups as a sounding board they have been and are doing the same as you!
  • Make a list of what you need to sell prior to leaving i.e. Furniture and Car – put those things up for sale: Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Carsales.com are all great places to start.
  • Make a list of anything that will go into storage and price storage facilities – remember that you will potentially be gone for 2 years + so if you have family or friends with storage space don’t be afraid to ask.
  • List, finalise and cancel any outstanding debt or ongoing payments such as: Toll bills, credit cards, insurance, health cover, phone repayments etc.
  • Notify your bank and decide if you will keep the accounts open.
  • Notify your real estate – organise break leases and bond clean etc. consider moving home in the lead up to save on rent.
  • Notify the Electoral commission
  • Notify the ATO – especially if you have HECS debt.
  • Make sure that your phone is unlocked and will work in the UK.
  • Look into Bank accounts and phone companies – This is much easier with all the online banks like Monzo that are floating around. Also luckily Sugarman send out Sim Cards and Oyster cards to all our Candidates prior to their arrival in the UK so that is one thing you can make off ahead of time.
  • Temporary Accommodation in the UK while looking for permanent lodging – weigh up the cost difference between a long stay hostel room and Airbnb, alternatively you may have a friend with a couch or available floor space for you to rest your head till you are up and running.
  • Pre booking Mandatory training – book on line and save yourself the hassle
  • Book in with your GP and organise all your health needs, including if you need
  • START CHECKING THINGS OFF YOUR LIST!

Check in next week for my guide to all things Visa Applications.

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Highs and Lows of London Life – Lydia Archer

International Resource Consultant at Sugarman International. From: Hertfordshire, UK. Lived in London for 1 year. Currently: Living in Sydney, Australia

What was your biggest struggle when first arriving in London and how did you overcome it?

Rent prices: If you are on your own and do not want to share a room, rent for a bedroom even in a shared house in London can be pricey, I paid £700pcm for my own room in Shepherds Bush. Follow our hints and tips document in our registration pack for the best areas in London to live including estimated rent prices!

Commute: was longer than expected – it took me around 50 mins in zone 2. I became quite content with my commute though! I got really into reading and zoned out completely on the Hammersmith and City Line and almost looked forward to it!

Work hard play hard lifestyle can cost: When working in London I was on my University placement year on £15,000 (I know, not a lot right!) and my work loved to go for drinks on a Thursday and a Friday most weeks, with leaving do’s and birthdays constantly happening and great bars all around my office in Aldgate East, it’s sometimes hard to say no!

Everyone in London is always on the move, you feel as though people are always in a rush to get somewhere which is very different to Australia. London weather can also be questionable!!

How did you look for accommodation and how easy/hard was it? How did you find it?

I used the website Spareroom.com – this was an easy way to find accommodation for me*.

Note* make sure you tick bills included when searching areas.

How did you adjust to using public transport and how do you find commuting?

Once you know your route, all is well! However, it is always worth working out your commute (if possible) before finding accommodation or making sure the area you are looking to live in has good transport links to where you are planning on working.

How did you go about finding friends/networking, how easy was it to make friends when moving?

From living in Australia compared to London, I found it a lot easier to make friends in Australia, just because there is a large UK/Irish community in Australia and I started off in hostels where you make lots of friends and also completed regional work where I made many friends. I also joined Facebook groups such as Irish around Sydney.

In London, the majority of my friends were from work or others from my University who were working in London whom I had already met. You have to make more of an effort to make friendship groups in London. I would recommend joining lots of Facebook groups such as Aussies/Kiwis in London and living in an area such as Clapham with a large Aussie/ Kiwi community.

How have you found the culture in London?

London is extremely multicultural, with the sheer volume of tourists on the streets at the weekends especially you get to experience many different ways of life.

Are you missing anything from home?

London is extremely busy with lots going on all the time, whereas where I am from is quiet and in the countryside. Luckily enough I was close enough to home to visit some weekends. There are lots of lovely day trips from London that are easily accessible on the train to wind down such as Bath and the New Forest. Follow websites such as Timeout for regular information on what to do in and outside of London.  

What have you found the best change to be since moving?

Independence: As living in London was my placement year at university, I loved the independence I had. There is so much to do in London that days spent exploring or walking around London, especially exploring some of the beautiful markets or free museums such as the Tate Modern and the Natural History were my favourite things to do.

Was it hard to find and register with a GP?

Relatively easy: I googled the closest GP to my living area in Shepherds Bush and just needed identification documents to register. Registration took about half an hour filling out a few straight forward forms. You do have to however have a permanent address before doing so.

International Resource Consultant at Sugarman International.

From: Hertfordshire, UK. Lived in London for 1 year. Currently: Living in Sydney, Australia

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