Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

‘Really high’ cost of living, ‘rubbish’ coffee — why do so many Aussies move to London?

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun11,2024
The familiar twang of an Australian accent is a common sound when walking the streets of London.
But with a high cost of living, bad weather, and even worse coffee (according to some), it begs the question: why do so many Aussies move to London?
Some 87,000 Australians were living in the United Kingdom in 2021, according to the UK’s 2021 census, the majority of whom lived in London.

SBS News spoke to Australians in the southwest London suburb of Clapham, where many Aussies are known to congregate, to get to the bottom of it.

Two young women at a pub in London.

Melburnians Beth Fearnside and Tahnee Sever have been living in London for 18 months and one year, respectively. Source: SBS News

Tumul Sinha said the main reason she and so many other Australians move to London is to travel.

“I think living in London is like a central beacon,” Sinha said. “It’s a lot easier to travel on the weekends and, you know, I can go away to Spain for two days whereas you can’t really do that from Australia.”
Sinha works at an “Aussie-influenced” cafe in London, where she has lived for six months after moving from Sydney.
She said there are “ten times more” things to do in London than in Australia, but the cost of living is “really, really high”.

“While you want to do a lot of things, you do start to convert everything back to Australian dollars and realise how expensive everything here (in London) is,” Sinha said.

Melburnian Beth Fearnside, 28, said “there’s always a lot to do” in London, where she has lived for the past 18 months.
“A lot of people when they’re younger want to experience living overseas and I think it’s an easy sort of link,” Fearnside said.
“You can get a visa easily and you’re also then right on Europe’s doorstep to travel, which obviously, compared to Australia, makes a big difference.”

Fearnside said London is “expensive” and the “weather can be testing”, but still recommended other young Australians try living in the British capital.

An aerial view of London looking

The UK is extending the age limit for its Working Holiday Visa. Source: Getty / Karl Hendon

“For me and my friends that have done it, it’s been an amazing experience and we’ve created a lot of memories,” she said. “I think you don’t want to get to a stage where you’re older and maybe regret not having done some of these opportunities while you have a chance.”

Grace Griffin said she likes how “accessible” London is after moving from Rockhampton in central Queensland four months ago.
“It’s easier just to jump on a plane on a Friday afternoon after work and go to another country,” Griffin said. “So coming from a place that’s so huge, it takes me eight hours at home (Rockhampton) to drive to our state’s capital city (Brisbane).”
London’s restaurants and opportunities to meet new people were also big draws for Griffin, while cleanliness, or lack thereof, was a criticism.
“Coming from a rural place, the amount of rubbish that’s here on the streets, that’s the thing that I don’t like,” she said.
When asked what Australians who’d made the move liked about London, another 28-year-old, Tahnee Sever from Melbourne, joked: “That’s a loaded question!”
“We like that Europe is so close, you can travel quite cheap for a weekend away; there’s some more opportunities work-wise to be amongst different people.”
When asked what advice she has for Australians thinking of moving to London, she said: “Maybe branch out of Clapham!”
And when it comes to how a coffee compares to one served at an Australian cafe?

“No good, rubbish,” Sever said.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “‘Really high’ cost of living, ‘rubbish’ coffee — why do so many Aussies move to London?”
  1. Living in London is truly a unique experience. The vibrant culture and endless opportunities for travel make it worth dealing with the high cost of living. As an Aussie myself, I can attest to the allure of this bustling city.

  2. I believe that despite the high cost of living and the not-so-great coffee, many Aussies choose to move to London for the endless travel opportunities and the vibrant city life. Personally, living here has opened up so many new experiences and possibilities for me.

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