Sunderland is a small city just south of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, on the east coast of England. It is famous for the stunning Sunderland City Bridge, and the local Sunderland Associated Football Club. Soccer is practically a way of life in England, so it is worth getting to grips with the sport before arriving in the country. Speak to British expatriates on the InterNations discussion boards and forums and learn enough to blab your way through pub conversations. Sunderland was only officially given city status in 1992, and includes the city center and surrounding suburban areas such as Hetton-le-Hole and Washington. Expats living in Sunderland will discover a small but well serviced city, with a relatively low cost of living (at least compared with the rest of the UK), and some truly beautiful local sights. Visit the stunning 14th century Hylton Castle, and spend some time getting to know the area at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.
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Probably the biggest challenge faced by expats moving to Sunderland is understanding the local accent. The Geordie accent is famously difficult to decipher and is closer in sound to the Scottish or Ulster burr than London English. Celebrities such as Cheryl Cole and Ant and Dec are flying the flag for the local accent, but it is worth spending some time listening to Geordie speakers online before arriving in the city. Depending on where an expatriate moving to Sunderland is originally from, the weather in the North East of England will also take some getting used to. The city has a typically English climate: wet and cold. However, on sunny days during the summer, expats in Sunderland should head for the local beaches – the truly brave can even take a dip in the North Sea! For more of an insight on the English North East, or for advice on coping with the English weather, check in with other expatriates on the InterNations discussion boards and forums.
Sunderland has a busy and modern city center, and many businesses have set up offices there in the past few years. A number of expats living in Sunderland have chosen to work in Newcastle, which is just 20 miles up the road. If you have worked in England in the past, you will find working in Sunderland an easy transition. Although smaller than most other English cities, it is a friendly place with a great social scene. Before you arrive, make sure you have all your visas and work permits in order, and keep an eye on any employment legislation which may affect your working status. If you have any concerns about your working status, or life in England, check in with the InterNations community and ask away.