A Comprehensive Guide about Living in Birmingham

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  • Jan-Peter van Tijk

    I wish I'd found InterNations sooner: It would have made my first few month as an expat in London much less overwhelming.

Life in Birmingham

There are a lot of people setting up really interesting businesses in Birmingham, especially in the hi-tech industries. There are good independent coffee houses and clothes shops and you can have as fun a night out here as in London at half the price.

Education in Birmingham

Expats will find that Birmingham offers a wide choice when it comes to education. There are over 400 schools, 15 universities, and three university colleges within one hour’s drive of the city. There is also an extensive choice of religious based schools – Catholic, Anglican, Jewish and Islamic. Excellent further education opportunities also exist in Birmingham with world famous establishments such as University College Birmingham and Bournville College.

Healthcare in Birmingham

Anyone moving to a new country will naturally be anxious about healthcare. There are six hospitals in and around the Birmingham area offering world class care, as well as an extensive network of doctors and nurses provided by the National Health Service, the UK’s publicly funded health care system. Expatriates living in England will find that the vast majority of public health services on offer are free to anyone living legally in the United Kingdom. For private healthcare and even better services, on the other hand, you’ll need to take out a private health insurance.

Culture and Leisure in Birmingham

Expats thinking of living in Birmingham will love the diversity of arts and culture on offer in this city. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is home to the world’s largest collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings, the region’s theaters showcase a mix of touring London shows and local talent, and there is the world renowned Birmingham Royal Ballet, as well as film, and a lively music scene. Birmingham is also home to the Premier League football team of Aston Villa and the Birmingham Bulls American football team.

When it comes to eating out, Birmingham is in a league of its own. It is the home of a fragrant and delicious Asian style of cooking known as Balti. Most of the Balti restaurants are concentrated in an area known as the Balti Triangle, which brings together the Sparkbrook, Ballsal Heath and Mosely areas of the city. But it’s not just Asian food that’s on the menu! There are more Michelin-starred restaurants than in any other English regional city, with 200 restaurants in the center offering cuisine from 27 different countries.

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