The UK is the 5th largest economy in the world by GDP. Significantly, London is the world’s largest financial hub, maintaining the largest trade surplus in financial services. It is also an international center of trade and innovation, which certainly bodes well for active job seekers as well as hiring companies. With the largest concentration of top universities in the world and an international student population of about 110,000, London fosters young minds on a global scale. According to the QS World University Rankings, Imperial College London is ranked joint 2nd in the world and University College London 5th. The London Business School has now been ranked as Europe’s top business school 4 years in a row by the Financial Times. London’s economy is particularly fueled by tourism, attracting around 30 million visitors each year and notably receiving the title of the world’s top city destination by TripAdvisor users. Not to mention the London 2012 Olympics, which contributed a staggering £9.9 billion to the economy.
London is Europe’s hub of innovation, in which 78 of the fastest-growing companies are based. The capital truly provides a solid base for thriving startups, with over 1,000 co-working spaces on offer. Significantly, there are 205 incubators and 163 accelerators in the UK, among which include SeedCamp and Tech Stars. Building on its dominant financial position, London has the highest number of FinTech startups in the EU, among which include Monzo, a digital bank that has raised over $44 million since launching in 2015. Seedrs is now Europe’s largest equity crowdfunding company, launched only in 2012. London hosts hundreds of technology conferences and events each year, including the famous TechCrunch, Lean Startup Summit and Wired. East London’s very own tech district, otherwise known as Silicon Roundabout, fosters various projects for companies as big as Google and Facebook.
London’s vibrant, multicultural atmosphere translates directly to the workplace, where 37% of professionals were born abroad. However, those seeking a well-paid job will need an excellent level of English to keep up with the city’s highly educated workforce, of which 60% have university degrees. While it depends on each company, the daily grind in London typically begins at 9 am and finishes at 5 pm. As a nation renowned for its politeness, the British always maintain a high level of respect and curtesy in business situations. In keeping with tradition, London businesses tend to adhere to a hierarchical structure, although a significant emphasis is also placed on teamwork. Furthermore, larger, well established companies usually adopt a formal dress code where all professionals are required to wear suits or dresses, whilst in developing businesses, like startups, employees can often get away with a t shirt and jeans.
London boasts one of the largest transport networks in the world. Whether you’re looking to catch the bus, metro, train, tram, boat, or use a bike… London has it all! Not to mention the famous black cabs, who have memorized each and every street in the city, making your journey as safe and efficient as possible. You can also use Uber to save some money. Travelling long distances is a breeze from King’s Cross St Pancras, where you can get to Paris in 2 hours 20 minutes, or Brussels in just 2 hours. London has the world’s largest airport system, flying to 14 domestic destinations and a staggering 396 international destinations. You can feel safe in London, where increased security is placed to ensure you feel comfortable and healthcare can be accessed through the NHS, which is free for both UK residents and EU citizens possessing an EHIC card.
Full of restaurants, theatres, events, concerts, sport, you will never run out of things to do in London. Nor will you go thirsty, with 7,000 pubs to choose from in the city. For football fans, London is home to 6 premier league clubs, including Chelsea and Arsenal. Significantly, 40% of London’s total area is made up of green space, including the famous Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Regent’s Park. Other points of interest are Borough Market, where you can pick up fresh, organic produce whilst admiring the well-known skyscraper, “The Shard”, just behind. For a more alternative experience head to the vintage, jewelry, music and food stalls at Camden Market, which attracts around 250,000 visitors each week. By night, the entertainment options are endless in London. There are music concerts at the O2 or Wembley arena, top-notch theatre productions in the West End, 2,143 bars to choose from and 337 nightclubs.
Being over 2,000 years old, London is rich in history and culture. Significantly, it contains 4 World Heritage Sites: The Tower of London, Kew Gardens, Westminster Abbey and Maritime Greenwich, which is the base for the world’s time zone “GMT”. London boasts 3 of the world’s top 10 museums – the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery and the British Museum, which attracts over 6 million visitors per year. The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace should never go amiss, nor should a ride on the 135 meter-high London Eye, where you will be in prime viewing spot of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge. A brief stroll across the Golden Jubilee Bridge will take you to Covent Garden, where you can visit specialty shops or marvel at stunning performances at the Royal Opera House.