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Unread 04-13-2012, 08:06 AM   #1
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Where to live in the UK (+ Ireland)?

Hello, fellas!

There's a lot going on in my life and odds are that I'll be venturing into legal translation. If these projects I'm looking into do work out, I plan on spending some time in either UK or Ireland, in order to sharpen my fluency in English. I might even sit an ILEC (International Legal English Certificate) exam while I'm there.

The main reason for my choice for an European country, despite the temptation of gear-whoring possibilities in North America, is that my sister lives in Italy, so I'd like to be closer to her. I also happen to like British/Irish accent a tad bit better

Here's what I have to consider:
  • I'd be working online for Brazilian (and perhaps Indian) clients, so, local economy, job opportunities, and difficulties of issuing a working visa aren't really a big deal. I'll be taking cost of living into account, however.
  • I won't be spending that much time, actually. Depending on how my prospective contracts go, it would be from 1 to 3 months - I don't think I actually need anytime longer than that. Besides, I couldn't stay for longer than that anyway, at least not before I acquired my Portuguese nationality, which isn't likely to happen prior to my trip.
  • My boyfriend would be coming with me. That means the more liberal the better, which I assume it means I should look for larger city centers (or rather, centres).
  • Social life is a must! I want to talk to as much people as possible. It's a language-improving trip, after all.
  • Weather is kind of an issue because there's a good chance I'd be going by the end of winter/beginning of spring. While I do love cold, I have to consider if social life disappears on winter or something. I've only been to Europe in winter, in central Italy and Paris, both of which remained vibrant as it was. It was February, though, and likely not nearly as cold as the UK/Ireland (the lowest I've felt was -1 C/30 F).

That said, I admit I hold Scotland and Ireland in high regard, if only for the reputation of having warmer people. Being Brazilian and all, I assume the cultural shock would be slightly smoother. But I don't know; I've never been to any of those.

So, ss.org, what is your opinion?

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Unread 04-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Well, if you're looking for open minded regarding you having a boyfriend... I've been told Brighton is quite the place

Compared to Amsterdam, I've found my friend in London lives pretty cheap. Nightlife on the other hand... Ouch, my wallet

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Unread 04-13-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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Bristol! It's an accepting and wonderful place where lots of different types of people get along. It's cheap, it has lots of everything, it's very social and everyone that comes here whether from the UK or not LOVES it.

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Unread 04-13-2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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Well, if you're looking for open minded regarding you having a boyfriend... I've been told Brighton is quite the place

Compared to Amsterdam, I've found my friend in London lives pretty cheap. Nightlife on the other hand... Ouch, my wallet
Brighton seems so small! Isn't it too quiet?

Everybody I know who lives or has ever been to London loves it, but it's ranked among the top most expensive cities in the world! Rio is quite expensive, but not nearly as much as London, it seems... I'd try to avoid it unless I got filthy rich

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Bristol! It's an accepting and wonderful place where lots of different types of people get along. It's cheap, it has lots of everything, it's very social and everyone that comes here whether from the UK or not LOVES it.
Hmmm I'm looking at pictures and google maps, and it does look amazing. Are you from Bristol or do you just live there? I quite remember a post of yours from a while ago saying something about moving to... Bath, IIRC?

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Unread 04-13-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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Brighton isn't quiet if you stay nearer the beach area. There's a few gay bars around that area as well quite a big gay community so I wouldn't worry about things being liberal.

Brighton has a good music scene too from what I've heard from old school friends who live their now.

There's also a big guitar shop their too called Guitar Amp Keyboard (GAK) which has some good stuff in there.
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Unread 04-13-2012, 01:55 PM   #6
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Brighton isn't quiet - there's a lot going on, plus you'd have the bonus of having GAK as a local guitar shop, one of the biggest in the UK.

It's on the coast as well, so you'd have a beach nearby.

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Unread 04-13-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maliciousteve View Post
Brighton isn't quiet if you stay nearer the beach area. There's a few gay bars around that area as well quite a big gay community so I wouldn't worry about things being liberal.

Brighton has a good music scene too from what I've heard from old school friends who live their now.

There's also a big guitar shop their too called Guitar Amp Keyboard (GAK) which has some good stuff in there.
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Brighton isn't quiet - there's a lot going on, plus you'd have the bonus of having GAK as a local guitar shop, one of the biggest in the UK.

It's on the coast as well, so you'd have a beach nearby.
Hmmm that's all very interesting. Will look into it a bit further =)


edit: I found an interesting article on Brighton. This is the highlight:

"There were a wide variety of responses as to what made Brighton great – popular choices included the brilliant vegetarian restaurant Terre A Terre; Coffee@33, the spartan Trafalgar Street cafe where the barristas pore over every mocha like men conducting an experiment of potentially world-changing importance; the fact that "the pubs are open until 1am and it feels safe for a woman to walk home alone afterwards" – but the word that came up most regularly, was tolerance. That sounds a bit pious, and if there's one thing Brighton residents aren't, it's pious: a priest from an evangelical church who fetched up here last year declared it "the most godless city in Britain", which, according to a poll in the local paper, 93% of residents thought was a compliment".

Sounds awesome!

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Unread 04-14-2012, 01:03 AM   #8
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- From what I've heard UK working visa is a pain to get.. wait, are you coming to work or study English? And what sort of activities are you going to do here? I hope you're not coming just to hang out for a few months with your boyfriend because chances are you'll not speak English with strangers at all apart from supermarket clerks. A lot of international students misunderstand that just coming to the UK would automatically improve their language skill, while the truth is they stick with their buddies from the same country all the time. See the flocks of Chinese students wherever you go, most of them can't really speak English very well.

- Weather is uniformly shit throughout the year in this country, but summer is your best bet.
- If you're looking for a "new" city to live, I think Leeds is pretty good. Cardiff is even nicer but it's smaller (pop. 300,000). I stayed in both cities for one year. Nightlife is plenty in both cities.
- I think you can have a social life wherever you go.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 07:21 AM   #9
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Much as I like to trumpet the brilliance of London in all things (nightlife, social life, culture, music, et cetera, et cetera), it is murder on the wallet. I could've bought a house by now if I lived in the north of England.

Brighton's pretty cool. They've got the UK's only Green Party MP (who has a PHd in medieval literary feminism), and the town's pretty much full of hippies. No problem for me, I'm a bit of a hippy myself (until they start rambling about gaia and moon-goddesses, at which point I'm like "SHUT UP, WE HAVE SCIENCE NOW"). My girlfriend's mother lives a few stops on the train away from there, and the few times we've gone, it's been a very enjoyable experience, and more importantly, a hell of a lot cheaper than London. It's a bit far out of the way if you want to visit any other parts of the UK during your time here, but it's only an hour on the train to London, and from there you can get a train to anywhere.

Yeah, for somewhere cheap, liberal, and fun, I heartily recommend Brighton
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Unread 04-14-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Varcolac View Post
Much as I like to trumpet the brilliance of London in all things (nightlife, social life, culture, music, et cetera, et cetera), it is murder on the wallet. I could've bought a house by now if I lived in the north of England.

Brighton's pretty cool. They've got the UK's only Green Party MP (who has a PHd in medieval literary feminism), and the town's pretty much full of hippies. No problem for me, I'm a bit of a hippy myself (until they start rambling about gaia and moon-goddesses, at which point I'm like "SHUT UP, WE HAVE SCIENCE NOW"). My girlfriend's mother lives a few stops on the train away from there, and the few times we've gone, it's been a very enjoyable experience, and more importantly, a hell of a lot cheaper than London. It's a bit far out of the way if you want to visit any other parts of the UK during your time here, but it's only an hour on the train to London, and from there you can get a train to anywhere.

Yeah, for somewhere cheap, liberal, and fun, I heartily recommend Brighton


OP, Brighton is great, you'd love it. I was going to go to uni there and one of my old best friends has lived there for years. It's a really cool town.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 10:45 AM   #11
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- From what I've heard UK working visa is a pain to get.. wait, are you coming to work or study English? And what sort of activities are you going to do here? I hope you're not coming just to hang out for a few months with your boyfriend because chances are you'll not speak English with strangers at all apart from supermarket clerks. A lot of international students misunderstand that just coming to the UK would automatically improve their language skill, while the truth is they stick with their buddies from the same country all the time. See the flocks of Chinese students wherever you go, most of them can't really speak English very well.
Like I said, I'd be working online if I were to stay for longer than 1 month. I won't be looking for job or anything like that.

So true about the stick-to-your-buddy-and-don't-learn-anything... but we wouldn't allow ourselves to speak Portuguese with each other at all! We do that sometimes over here and talk in English for a whole day.

My idea would probably do a course of some sorts as well, just to get to know people. I'm not sure what exactly, though - I still have plenty of time to think.

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- Weather is uniformly shit throughout the year in this country, but summer is your best bet.
- If you're looking for a "new" city to live, I think Leeds is pretty good. Cardiff is even nicer but it's smaller (pop. 300,000). I stayed in both cities for one year. Nightlife is plenty in both cities.
- I think you can have a social life wherever you go.

Well, it suppose it depends on what is shit weather to you. As far as I'm concerned, I hate when I'm already sweating the moment I step out of the bathroom after a cold shower. That's Rio 6 months/year. I wouldn't mind some cold weather for a change, although it would suck if all I get is heavy rain all the time. I don't think that's the case, is it?

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Much as I like to trumpet the brilliance of London in all things (nightlife, social life, culture, music, et cetera, et cetera), it is murder on the wallet. I could've bought a house by now if I lived in the north of England.

Brighton's pretty cool. They've got the UK's only Green Party MP (who has a PHd in medieval literary feminism), and the town's pretty much full of hippies. No problem for me, I'm a bit of a hippy myself (until they start rambling about gaia and moon-goddesses, at which point I'm like "SHUT UP, WE HAVE SCIENCE NOW"). My girlfriend's mother lives a few stops on the train away from there, and the few times we've gone, it's been a very enjoyable experience, and more importantly, a hell of a lot cheaper than London. It's a bit far out of the way if you want to visit any other parts of the UK during your time here, but it's only an hour on the train to London, and from there you can get a train to anywhere.

Yeah, for somewhere cheap, liberal, and fun, I heartily recommend Brighton


One hour from London is nothing! I take that much time to get to work every day.

Yeah, Brighton sounds like an awesome idea. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks everyone, and feel free to give more suggestions! =)

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Unread 04-14-2012, 01:32 PM   #12
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If you're going to live anywhere in Scotland, I would highly recommend Edinburgh. It's got something to cater to everybody and is very comsmopolitan by Scottish standards. The city centre is lovely and there is always something to do in terms of daytime activities and the nightlife is great. And since Edinburgh caters to all kinds of people, be it tourists, locals or university students, the people are generally very friendly and welcoming. A friend of my had a Brazilian flatmate for a while and from what I heard he loved it in Edinburgh.

In terms of weather, since it's in the south of Scotland it's warmer than cities in the north like Aberdeen but this is Scotland we're talking about, so the weather is often changable and goes from sunny to downpours of rain back to sunny in the space of a few hours. But this is Scotland we're talking about

EDIT: Also, the Scottish accent is milder in Edinburgh than it is in most other places so you should have no trouble understanding people there. Some accents in other parts of the country will sound like another language to you if you're not used to them though!

EDIT 2: I'm obviously very biased since I live about 40 minutes south of Edinburgh and some of my friends go to university there. I don't really have anything bad to say about it as a result!
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