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The shoe’s on the other foot – well, snow-boot in this case

09th Feb, 2015

The shoe’s on the other foot – well, snow-boot in this case

For years, British healthcare workers have had it sussed; a working holiday on the other side of the globe with new challenges, new chances to learn and broaden their experience and at the same time enjoy some of the best beaches and surfing (and yes, barbecuing) on the planet.

British healthcare professionals love Australia and they’ve been slipping on the flip-flops and shorts and calling it a ‘chance of a lifetime’ for more than a generation.  Well now the tide is changing and we’re seeing Australians packing their winter thermals and exploring the British system and climate with a real sense of opportunity.

Arriving in The UK during the winter months can be a shock to the system, particularly considering the unprecedented recent temperatures in Australia.  Far from beaches and barbecues, visitors find their first experience of four-seasons-in-one-day weather can bring challenges they hadn’t anticipated.  Here’s our top tips for those planning a working holiday from sunnier climates:

  • British people love to talk about the weather. It’s almost a tradition, passed down from parent to child and we’re all expecting you to do it. The plus side to this is that you can keep commenting on how cold it is here and we’ll all agree with you.  You’ll fit right in!
  • In addition to talking about our weather, we love to complain about it. In winter, we’ll be too cold, in summer too hot.  In early spring we’ll moan about the rain and in early summer, the lack of it.  We like doing this, it’s not seen as a negative thing.  Feel free to join in and compare it to the weather back home, we’ll empathise and enjoy a good moan about it with you.
  • Despite having had this type of weather for most of living memory, we’ll always be taken by surprise by our weather.  When it snows more than half an inch, we’ll all stay home and claim to be ‘snowed-in’ and when more than two inches land on our motorways or railway lines, the entire country will grind to a halt.
  • Whatever we tell you on our weather forecasts, ignore it and plan for rain, sun, wind, ice and possible snow and you’ll have it covered.
  • We know you’re outstanding at sports, particularly the outdoor ones.  We know you love to learn new, challenging and physically demanding sports. We love to slide down a hill on a tea tray or tyre or old plank of wood as soon as there’s more than and inch of snow.  You’ll love it.  It’s like surfing, just colder and slightly bumpier.

A working holiday in Britain isn’t just about the weather of course; we’ll be sharing top tips on how to make the most of your time here in future blogs.  We’d love to know your experience of working in The UK this winter; were you prepared for the weather? Did you love it or find that it impacted your job?  Let us know your top tip for coping with the weather here or on Twitter.