Recently my long term fiancée and I decided to relocate back to Britain for the foreseeable future. I have enjoyed being a location independent online worker, more commonly known as a digital nomad. However, my parents aren’t getting any younger so we have decided to brave the cold for now.
Having worked and lived in Asia for the past 7 or so years, we have been able to survive on less than what is required in the UK. My parents are from Manchester, where prices are lower than London and other southern cities, but it is still a massive jump up in living costs. I was horrified on my last visit just to learn how much a pack of chewing gum now costs (I remember it being 12p, and was like 68p 2 years ago).
Therefore we decided that my Filipina partner would find work too. She has a little care experience, having been the premier carer for her father in his last months (quite a drawn out affair). A good friend of mine is the owner of a nursing home, so she was happy to apply for the job of care assistant.
There are no qualifications required and like many from the Philippines, she speaks excellent English. However her grammar is not perfect and she has an American accent. Therefore I found her an English school in Manchester where she could could perfect those grammatical mistakes and speak more like the residents. We choose Communicate School of English as it is very reasonably priced and looks like a really friendly place:
So the plan is for her to begin work immediately, whilst taking part time classes at the English school. They have a course for Accent Reduction and English Pronunciation. This will also help with grammar and I have already been tougher with her when she makes a mistake.
I have also got her helping me now a little with work, just doing a few bits and bobs like blog commenting to promote a website. This is helping her written English too. She will work as a caregiver and then if she decides this is a possible future career, she will take a nursing course at Manchester University or somewhere else?
We are currently doing a bit of travel around the Philippines to get it out of our system. I love warmer climates so am delaying going back to grey Manchester until early May, when things usually start to pick up. I have been assured that the weather is noticeably milder than when I left in the UK, but we shall see, that could just be family members wanting to get us home. The last year I was there it seemed to rain every single day, which probably made the decision to leave easier.
The reason I decided it was essential to have my fiancée speak perfect English is simply because us Brits can be tough on immigrants. My grandparents could say some pretty harsh things and I wanted to avoid that with my fiancée. Therefore I decided that having her blend in as a long term resident rather than a newcomer would be best.
She has already visited the UK, so is familiar with everything, I just felt that getting pronunciation, accent and grammar correct would give her an immediate boost, especially if she decides to take a different route.