From An International Student: What Should I Expect in West London

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kimmiexsweetie
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I'm a New Yorker pursuing an MA in journalism this Fall. And I honestly have no idea what to expect living in West London.

My main concern is getting a job. Here in the US we have Monster.com, CareerBuilder.co, etc to find jobs. I know you guys have Gumtree.com, what other websites do you have that will help me find a job?

What's Uxbridge's reputation? Is it safe? Is it a pricey neighborhood?

How does the tube, bus work? Are there any YouTube videos that will explain West London's public transportation?

Lastly, is there anything I should pack that a typical International Student might forget to bring along? Thanks.

-Kim
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Hercules5
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Hey, I've been living in Uxbridge for all my life now, so hope I can help. I've also applied for Brunel this year.


(Original post by kimmiexsweetie)

My main concern is getting a job. Here in the US we have Monster.com, CareerBuilder.co, etc to find jobs. I know you guys have Gumtree.com, what other websites do you have that will help me find a job?

-Kim
Here in the UK searching for a job isn't that hard. Alongside Gumtree, we have websites such as indeed.co.uk and reed.co.uk. Most stores have their own websites where they will advertise their vacancies. Applying for a job is usually done online - I'm pretty sure it's the same in NY. Additionally, you can visit many shops such as those in Uxbridge shopping centers and hand out your CV; it may be beneficial to hand it in to the manager rather than any worker.

What's Uxbridge's reputation? Is it safe? Is it a pricey neighborhood?
Personally I find Uxbridge a very safe area, I've never felt unsafe walking around Uxbridge town, even at night. However, I can't say the same for surrounding areas such as West Drayton, but even then, it's very unlikely that you'll face any trouble.

In terms of price, I've never been to The States and so wouldn't be able to compare. However, it is in London (even though it pretty much borders on the edge of falling outside London), therefore you can expect higher prices than if you were to visit places outside of London; however it isn't as pricey as being in central London.

How does the tube, bus work? Are there any YouTube videos that will explain West London's public transportation?
For public transport, you should definitely get an oyster card. This is an NFC card that you top up either online, at participating shops (there's one in pretty much every corner) or at train stations. Using an oyster card is not only faster but also cheaper. A bus trip will cost you £2.40 if paid with cash, but falls to £1.40 if paid by oyster card. You can get an oyster card at the TFL oyster card website or at a station. Students get discount oyster cards which I think reduces the travel rate by around 30%, not too sure though. You can apply for a student oyster through the TFL website. You can now also pay the reduced amount of £1.40 using a contactless bank card.

All London buses and trains accept oyster cards and it's as simple as tapping your card on the yellow card reader. You can always plan your journey ahead of time using the TFL journey planner or even Google maps. Also, you can always ask around; West Londoners are very polite people . Bus drivers will also help with any directions or routes if you feel unsure, just make sure you ask before you tap your oyster.
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Jmaguire
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Getting a Job

Brunel have the PCC, Placement and Careers Centre, where they advertise jobs and help you with your cv, there are also job listings on their online page too, as well as there being 2 smaller shopping centres in Uxbridge so there is a good chance of being able to get a job at the start of the year. Uxbridge isn't that pricey coming from someone who lives closer to central but it's still more expensive than the rest of the country.
http://www.brunel.ac.uk/services/pcc/vacancies

Uxbridge well, it's a bit of a chavvy area that could be a little intimidating but I've never had problems with safety but then I'm a guy.
The tubes and bus work by using Oyster cards. You'll add money onto your card at a newsagents or at the train station and then just tap it on a bus or a barrier before a train, they are attempting to phase out money on buses soon I believe.

Only thing I can think of is those adaptable plug sockets because we have different sockets than you use in America.
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kimmiexsweetie
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Thanks!

I'm heading over to browse through Indeed and Reed as soon as possible!

Couldn't be more appreciative on the Oyster Card information. It's so great that I can order one online before I fly to Brunel this fall.

Not sure what "chavvy" really means, but it's cool -- I'll Google it!

Thanks again!

-Kim
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jelly1000
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(Original post by kimmiexsweetie)
I'm a New Yorker pursuing an MA in journalism this Fall. And I honestly have no idea what to expect living in West London.

My main concern is getting a job. Here in the US we have Monster.com, CareerBuilder.co, etc to find jobs. I know you guys have Gumtree.com, what other websites do you have that will help me find a job?

What's Uxbridge's reputation? Is it safe? Is it a pricey neighborhood?

How does the tube, bus work? Are there any YouTube videos that will explain West London's public transportation?

Lastly, is there anything I should pack that a typical International Student might forget to bring along? Thanks.

-Kim
I also live near the Brunel campus when I'm home from uni- (although I don't go to the uni). Uxbridge is one of the cheaper areas of London due to being right on the edge (however as Hercules has said expensive compared to the rest of the UK) It's about an hour into central London and the Brunel campus itself is about a 10 minute bus ride to Uxbridge town centre. Buses won't be accepting cash by the time you arrive so do get an oystercard, its credit card shaped and you tap it on a yellow reader. From Brunel Uni you also have the option of getting a bus to West Drayton station from where you can get trains to Reading, Slough, Oxford and Paddington. From Paddington you can follow signs to the tube to get into central London.

As for what you need to pack it depends on where you will be staying, a house share or halls?
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