How to move to San Francisco from the UK?
Moving to a new location can be a lot of work. But if you are moving from a damp place to a city which has 300 days of sunshine, all the hard work will be worth the effort. The UK and San Francisco are poles apart in weather conditions and you will take time to adjust. Going up and down the hill will give you a good lower body workout too.
So what kind of things should you think about before moving to San Francisco from the UK?
Like any major city, San Francisco has a lot of traffic. Before you move, figure out where you are staying and how to get to work. San Fran’s multiple public transportation systems do not have common hubs to change routes. So, moving around the city will not be easy. Choose your localities with care. Speak to a few locals or friends from SF before you make your final plans.
Finding a place to stay can take a lot of time. Craigslist is a great tool if you are searching for a house in San Fran. In many other cities, Craigslist is a scam board. But in San Francisco, it is good. Don’t send any money or information before you meet a person. Do all your verifications in person before you hand over money.
Get a phone as soon as you can. The service charges are high when compared with any other western world. If you bring your own phone, it could get cheaper.
Get a bank account open as soon as you can. But don’t use the bank’s service to transfer funds from your UK account. Use a service like Transferwise to move your funds at a cheaper price. You also get great conversion value with such a service. If you continue to spend money on your UK account, be prepared for a big shock due to currency conversion. There are several other peer-to-peer currency exchange service which can also be explored.
To move around San Francisco, get a Clipper card which is similar to London’s Oyster card. If your bank account is active, you can link it for auto reload. Using Clipper card will make using the public transit system a breeze.
Once you have completed 10 days stay in the US, apply for Social Security Number if you don’t have one. This is crucial since you won’t get paid until you provide the SS number to your employer.