Relocation Support


We asked people who have relocated to tell us about their experiences of moving to Edinburgh and to the University. If you have any stories of your own that you would like to share please do get in touch.

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Moving to Edinburgh - the good, the bad and the ugly

Julia Loecherbach

I moved to Edinburgh in June 2012 with two months preparation. My story is fairly simple as it was only me having to move a small rental household from an EU country (Germany) to the UK.

The biggest part before the move was wrapping up things in my previous home and finding out how much help I would have from the University's side. I had to ask if there was a budget but luckily there was, and also enough to include temporary accomodation for a short while.

Talking about temporary accomodation. Staff are eligible for a discount at Edinburgh First and so I wanted to book two weeks at Pollock Halls. If you want to do the same, it is best to call them and have your staff and credit card details ready.

After arriving in Edinburgh the next hurdle was looking for more permanent accomodation. There are various agencies which offer more or less helpful websites. It took a while to find an unfurnished flat although the timing was good. Over the summer and autumn it is harder as you have to compete with festival tourists and new students.

To find a flat you need to provide references and you need to prove that you are able to pay the rent. References can be a problem if your old landlord does not speak English well enough, so you might want to prepare them. To open a UK bank account you usually need UK residential address. Some banks offer a so-called passport account where you do not need proof of address. I was able to open an account with Lloyds TSB and together with details of my German bank account that was sufficient to secure a flat.

You need to provide your bank account details to the University's payroll administration before your first payment (deadline is around 17th of the month). You also need to provide your NI (National Insurance) number. As an EU citizen there is no need for a work permit but you do need to apply for an NI number as soon as possible. Just call the Job Centre Plus and arrange an interview (see link below)

So, after opening a bank account, finding a flat and getting an NI number, the rest should be easy. Very helpful in providing details and a timeline is the EURES site.

By Julia Loecherbach, Bioinformatician, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies