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An Expat Talks about Living in Wantage, UK

Jul 10, 2017

Wantage, England

An expat living in Wantage, England discusses the challenges of expat life there. Locals are not overly friendly and it can take years for people to accept you. She recommends that newcomers consider living in Oxford instead.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


How long have you lived there?

3 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

As a mother, you can find mum groups in the Oxfordshire county area. You can also attend functions in the town centre to meet people. There is a community centre where you can utilize the gym and take fitness classes.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

As you will find in many small village towns across England, there is not much ethnic diversity. The population in Wantage is almost all white and almost all indigenous British. There are a few small churches but not many people attend religious ceremonies. I was told when we struggled to meet people there that most people have lived there their whole lives, and they aren't very open to newcomers. They said it would take between 7-10 years before we would be seen as locals.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

There are not a lot of job opportunities in the town itself. I work in nearby Abingdon for a university campus, and my husband commuted to Oxford to work. Your best bet would be to look in Oxford for work. The BMW/ Mini plant is there along with the main university.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Wantage is a quiet little village town so most of life is focused on work and family.

If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Not to expect people to be overly friendly. I moved from the south in the USA so had a bit of culture shock in this aspect. I would recommend living in Oxford itself if you can afford it. You will have a much better experience and more diversity.

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