Septimus felt that circumstances were limiting his personal growth – and that his professional objectives would be better met overseas.

Septimus felt that circumstances were limiting his personal growth – and that his professional objectives would be better met overseas.

As a qualified teacher with responsibility in South Africa, his Hourglass consultant knew he’d be a hit in English schools.


There were many factors that made Septimus consider the move to the UK. He lived in a small rural town which is one of the hottest places in South Africa. It is culturally diverse, but limited in terms of infrastructure, entertainment and leisure facilities. In addition, he was living there alone, without a personal support network, and felt he was in danger of getting stuck.

Making it happen

In contrast to the job search, Septimus found applying for his visa to be the biggest headache. After acing his English language test and obtaining a police clearance certificate, he didn’t trust his precious documents to the postal service. Unfortunately visiting the visa office in Pretoria meant a round trip of 900 km!

After that, leaving the borders of South Africa for the first time, navigating airports and international security was a breeze. Septimus says: “I would like to add that the friendliness of the Hourglass consultants, their willingness to answer questions and the relocation guidance booklet really helped me manage the stress of taking up my new job in a different country”.

Settling in

Perhaps the biggest single factor Septimus is adjusting to is – believe it or not – the famous British weather! He’s had to adjust his lifestyle, and entire wardrobe to cope with the various conditions he’s encountered.

“After relaxing into things, I’ve found the people around here to be open and straightforward.”

When he first arrived, Septimus moved in with a friend, her husband and two children, but is now renting his own flat in Uxbridge. It’s closer to work and has better access to transport and shops. 

“Renting in the UK is definitely more expensive than I’m used to,” he says. “If you’re able to share with someone, it becomes much more affordable. The further away from central London you are, the cheaper your rent will be”, he adds.

Broader horizons

Like everyone in the country, Septimus has been coping with Covid-19 and all it entails, but putting that to one side, he’s making the most his new life in the UK. “The variety of food and drinks,” he says, “the ease of travel and the increase in pay makes it easy to explore beautiful towns (especially Windsor) and the UK countryside”. He has discovered scenic routes perfect for bike rides, and a wide variety of people to enjoy it all with.

Septimus is also surprised to be developing English language skills. Never having come across classroom slang before, words like ‘fam’, ‘brav’ and ‘innit’ were not exactly familiar to him. He was also surprised to discover that some British children don’t bother with the letters ‘L’ and ‘R’ when they talk.


Hourglass has a specialist overseas recruitment team which provides dedicated support throughout the recruitment and relocation process.

With years of international experience, we are best placed to support the needs and expectations of our candidates.

If you'd like to explore teaching opportunities in England, don't hesitate to get in touch.