Study Abroad Blog by Pavel Vassiljev

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hell continued...

Our first month in UK was full of surprises… Firstly, the boiler situation got worse… Well, it was the same for like two weeks because British Gas people were either early, late or never turned up… Which teaches us the first English rule.. If u expecting maintenance, postal deliveries or anything else = WAKE UP EARLY AND SIT BY YOUR DOOR. You will not believe until you experience it, but they knock on your door easier than a feather. OH GOD, how many times we missed our deliveries only because we didn’t hear them knock…

A couple of weeks later we got the boiler fixed and got ourselves comfortable with the house. So it was time to open bank accounts, get internet and find jobs… That is when we stumbled into UK’s first paradox: “If you want to get a job – you should get a bank account first”….”if you want to get a bank account – you need a job acceptance”..(Thank you HSBC) This totally screwed our minds. If we are not getting lucky with jobs and banks, at least we can easily get broadband to our house. HELL NO! It takes another week to set it up and an 80GBP deposit (THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE RETURNED IN DECEMBER). After settling everything down with VirginMedia and buying a router, paying the deposit, month’s fee and connection (40GBP) we were staying alert not to miss the Virgin Media Guy. And when he came (EARLIER) to connect it was a WOW :O situation… He just connected the modem to a broadband socket… 40GBP eh!? My Grandma could easily do it! So every other time we moved in to a new house and connected to VirginMedia we just ordered delivery with no connection, at least saved us money.

Deposit situation: We paid the deposit in September, that was promised to be returned in December, of course I never got it in December, after calling them and speaking for 40min (at least it was at my work). They promised me to return it next week… Well, the same situation happened 3-4 times and in APRIL i`ve finally got the deposit back. What a special company Virgin Media UK is.. 


  1. Right,so i'm about to start searching for an appartment with my friend in London and we are hoping to study in Middlesex University and could you write me please a list of the tips and things i must find out or do BEFORE choosing the appartment ( or,mby better a house?)
    And in your oppinion...when it's best to leave from Tallinn and go to London?
    thanks A LOT )

  2. Hi!
    I always looked for a place that would have bills included, so you don't need to worry about paying too much for water/electricity/heating bills (especially girls :))

    Then of course location and transport, look for something in the same area as the university. In London you`ll still buy monthly passes I guess. So same tube zone would be fine.

    I always got furnished flats/houses, which saves you time and nerves, when moving in :) But if the price is a lot lower, then I would consider an unfurnished. (IKEA is always there to help for cheap :D)

    Its also a good idea to share a house/flat with other course-mates or students. The costs come down then and is generally more fun. So I would search for a student shared house with about 4-5 people including you and your friend. More, than that becomes messy :)

    If you find a 4-5 bedroom apartment you should search for students to share with, post an ad on Facebook, the university website and etc. Then you will be able to choose who to live with.

    When searching on the net I was always checking ads with pictures only. If you have friends in London, you can arrange them to view the house. (not too many houses though :D)

    However, there is a lot of fraud going on so don't send money prior to coming to London. If you are not 100% sure about the landlord.

    I would say check out you can find tons of ads there.

    Regarding the departure I would suggest to come like a month before university starts to settle down, get internet, insurance, bank accounts stuff like that. And experience the freshers weeks.

    But definitely enjoy most of the summer home as you will miss it later :)

    Good Luck!