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Teaching in London

Heading to the UK and choosing to teach in London is a big step for a Canadian teacher. With so far to travel, and so much to learn, Protocol Education tries to help in every way we can. Here are some frequently asked questions about living and teaching in the capital. Click on the question to see the answer.

What’s an Oyster card and how do I go about getting one?

What’s the best and most cost effective way to travel around London?

I don’t have Sat Nav on my phone. Is there a specific street directory I can buy to help find my way around London?

I’m really not into big city living, can Protocol Education place me in schools in more country settings?

Where's the best place to start in terms of London Accommodation?

Do you have stories from other Canadian teachers living and teaching in London?


The Oyster Card

An Oyster card is a method of paying for travel on London's tubes, buses and overground trains. London is divided into zones, with the city centre (Oxford Street and Trafalgar Square for example) being in Zone 1. The London network stretches right out into Surrey, with Kingston being classed as Zone 6.

With the Zones in mind, which ones you travel to and from determine how much you pay for that journey. When you first come to London, we recommend buying an Oyster for a small fee (usually £5) and topping it up with £20 to get you through the first few days. Once you get a hang of where you want to travel, and what zones you are most likely to use, you can look into buying a weekly or monthly travel card - this is applied to your existing Oyster. You can always have some 'pay as you go' money on your Oyster - this will only be eaten into if you go anywhere on the tube outside the Zones you have pre-paid for.

The travelcard you buy will be restricted by the Zones you request - for example, if you buy a Zones 1 - 3 travelcard you can only travel to tube stations within these Zones. However, with any travelcard you can use all buses in every London Zone - which is a bonus! So basically only the tubes and overground trains are restricted by Zones.

An essential resource for travelling in and around London is this UK Government website - Transport for London - otherwise known as TfL. On this site you can plan your London journey by public transport, see any tube delays or travel problems, and also look at other methods of transport, such as cycling.

What’s the best and most cost effective way to travel around London?

There are other options for travel, such as just buying a single or return ticket on the day you are travelling, or even buying a travelcard. However, the Oyster Card more often than not works out cheaper - and much more convenient.

With an Oyster Card, once you settle down and find a permanent place to live you can start buying monthly travel cards. If you are living in Zone 3 for example, you would spend approximately £130 per month on travel if you are using the tube. If you are lucky enough just to be using buses, you're looking at about £60 per month! These 'travelcards' are applied to your Oyster, so you just beep on and off the tube (or just 'on' for the buses!).

Finding Your Way Around London

Buy a London A-Z, the A5 size. Don’t be tempted to go for the pocket size - these cover far less ground than an A5 one. You won't need to worry about buying one of these before you leave Australia - they are sold pretty much everywhere in central London, and you'll most likely find a good one at the airport on your way in!

Teaching Outside of London

Protocol Education boasts a huge network of offices outside of the capital, and we can place you in a regional centre or a small country village through any one of our 11 Regional offices. Contact Protocol Canada to discuss your options.

London Accommodation

Protocol Education can help you find UK Accommodation. We work with many London-based companies who have years of experience in finding places to stay for our Canadian teachers!

Plenty of Canadian teachers ask us about setting up permanent accommodation before they leave. To this question, we answer that it's best (and easiest) just to book into a London hostel for a week or so, while you have your UK Induction, and start looking for a permanent place to live. One hostel to check out is Piccadilly Backpackers - it's straight through on the Piccadilly line from Heathrow Airport!

Remember to add '0044' and take off the first '0' to call England numbers for example our London Head Office may be written on a UK site as 020 3219 7700, however from Canada you would have to dial 0044 20 3219 7700.

See our UK Accommodation page for more information.

Stories from Other Canadian Teachers

Protocol Education looks after you from the day you begin your UK teaching adventure. Many of our Australian teachers have been kind enough to write a few words to describe their experiences.

We look forward to adding your testimonial to the list, once you've begun to teach in the UK!

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