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Mar 26th, 2014, 12:01 PM
  #1
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Foreigner-friendly UK cities/districts?

Hi,

I'm going to travel to the UK this year to do some training for a few months (or more?) and I wanted to know your opinions about some of the foreigner (Arab/Muslim) friendly cities/districts to live in. I heard it is more friendly in the north but I'm not sure. Big cities, small cities, which is better?

Also, what about safety and transport feasibility? What are the best cities in regards to these things?

Thanks a lot
ImMotaz is offline  
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Mar 26th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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Wouldn't it make a difference where your training is located????
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Mar 26th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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Do you want contact with other Muslim communities? Or to spend time in areas with large Muslim communities?

If it is a general question, then Britain is extremely multi cultural most areas are very open to all cultures. There are isolated areas where individuals from a different culture will stand out.

Put simply, Muslims make up 5% of our population and you should be made as welcome as any other.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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" I heard it is more friendly in the north"
That's a myth put about by northerners, having traveled all over the UK over many years, I've found no difference in cities, or in the country.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 01:11 PM
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"I've found no difference in cities, or in the country"

We are no different from any other country of a certain size. Small countries like Denmark clearly will have a more common culture. Our regional differences are very easy to pick up on, to the extent that some parts may leave the country (Scotland).

I don't think Britain differs from any other country in that the pace of life outside big cities is slower, less pressured and this may result in people being generally more open and friendly. They also "may" be less accepting of different cultures.

These are all generalisations.

As a visitor it isn't difficult to spot the differences between say Charleston and NYC. Although it is difficult to cope with those general differences.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 01:47 PM
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<> Actually that's not completely true in my experience. There are regional differences even in a small country like Denmark, for instance between those who come from Jutland vs those who come from Sjaelland.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 01:58 PM
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I think I should have clarified my question more. I'm a doctor and I'm looking for a clinical attachment in the NHS. By friendly I meant that the city has mosques and halal food and it is tolerant. I know that the UK is a safe place in general but I've never been there and I've been hearing some warnings from colleges like avoiding small "colsed towns/communities,, things about "chavs" and not hanging out after 8 pm, and even avoiding the areas with heavy Muslim presence! etc.. Some mixed advice, so thought I might ask the real people ..
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Mar 26th, 2014, 02:36 PM
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The North is definitely much friendlier!
You have received some interesting 'warnings' I have to say. I think many of the replies you will receive on here won't be from the 'real people' you are seeking - if by real people you mean locals?
That's not to say that overseas visitors to the UK can't give you good advice because they can of course. But it seems as if your query is much more about living and working in this country rather than being a tourist.
My son is also a doctor and has worked in the NHS in many parts of the country during his training. His prime consideration was always the job rather than the location. I can't think of anywhere he would have turned down because of it being unsafe.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 02:37 PM
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London has to be one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It would be my first choice due to the range of people here compared to a smaller town where there may not be as much diversity if you are concerned
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Mar 26th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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Leicester, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Oldham, Manchester all have big Muslim communities if you don't want or can't afford London.
But in any reasonable sized town or city you will find a mosque to suit your form of Islam, and Halal food.
Consider the suburbs of London too, and places like Slough and even Oxford, which have good NHS hospitals.
Consider the cities in Scotland and Wales too. Lots of choices for you, so I would try for a hospital that offers the best training in your speciality rather than the town or city with the most mosques.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 03:31 PM
  #11
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Yes, Morgana I meant the locals *nice name btw*! Yes, job comes first but I'm not going to apply to jobs yet, just some unpaid shadowing/attachment and yes, my question is really about living and mingling and being part of the community.
Thanks a lot everyone
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Mar 26th, 2014, 03:35 PM
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I live in a smallish town in the south and we have a significant Muslim community here at least enough to have a Mosque in the area, and |i would like to think that we are welcoming to all new arrivals.
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Mar 27th, 2014, 12:37 AM
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Can your local British Council help with advice and information? And given the plans you outline, you will need advice about immigration, because it sounds as though you'd want to come as a visitor and then look for a training placement, which is just the sort of thing the immigration authorities get twitchy about. The NHS Careers and NHS Jobs websites will start you off, if you haven't already checked those out.

Bigger cities are more multicultural, but even smaller towns will have the basics you require, and there are towns in the north and midlands with very strong Muslim communities (usually more from Pakistan and Bangladesh than from Arab countries).

One thing about the UK is that what most of us might see as "minding our own business" might be experienced as coldness and unfriendliness - but at worst it's indifferene rather than the kind of outright hostility that's been mentioned to you. Oddly enough, you might experience that in some of the smaller towns with the strongest Muslim communities, where for all sorts of reasons the communities didn't integrate well and local politics came to be seen as a sort of zero-sum game. But even in the larger and more cosmopolitan cities, it's not always easy to predict where some bunch of idiots is going to get drunk and look for trouble.
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Mar 27th, 2014, 02:19 AM
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Yes Patrick, I have done my research and I'm aware of the needed exams and the visa issues and laws; which I have no intent to manipulate. This "training" is just like a taster or a work experience for a few months after which I can apply to jobs.
I'll have to go back home and apply for a new visa for work.
Actually, I don't like big cities that much, if a small town has what I need then that will be great. Also, I'm not looking for some "ghetto" of Muslims to stay in but having a nearby mosque and food will make my life easier .

Thanks for giving me the full picture. The cultural "shock" that most of Arabs get is because NO ONE is minding their own business and your personal space is small...
I'm aware of the political scene, the extremists, the EDL and the nationalists -we have all of them-, we have enough crap here and I want to stay away from UK politics as far as possible..
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Mar 27th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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" things about "chavs" "

Well, they're a worry for most of us.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 01:08 AM
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>> I want to stay away from UK politics as far as possible..<<

I wish I could, but don't get me started on that! In general, though, I think hetismij's advice makes the most sense: once you have a shortlist of hospitals that would suit you professionally, we might be able to advise on local circumstances, or at least on sources of suitable information. Unfortunately, there may be little pockets of nastiness anywhere, but that needn't rule whole towns or cities in or out.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 01:58 AM
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Chavs are a bit old fashioned now, our young thugs seek other names.

British politics moves with the wind but "immigration" during times of economic hardship has proven to a hot topic, right now that is more about European immigration. This means that entry control is tight but once in the country the people are generally welcoming to those who either join the main community or who find welcome in some of the smaller communities. Basically people like people.

ImMotaz, you could probably advise me better than I you, do Kashmiri Muslims welcome Arab Muslims? Bradford Muslims are mainly Kashmiri descendants and I suspect that particular cities have taken people from specific areas. Hope that helps.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 02:05 AM
  #18
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Guys, you have been of great help .
Bilboburgler: yes, I think Kashmiris like Arab Muslims, I don't think it can be a problem.
Making a shortlist is a really good idea, thanks Patrick. I'll make sure to make another post when I have that list.

Thanks again guys!
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