Gustavo Morello is a Social Worker from Panama, who came to our face-to-face interviews in Canada in 2016 and is now working in London. Here he tells us a bit more about his relocation.
1. When did you move to the UK and how are you finding life here so far?
I arrived in the UK on 24 November 2016. It has been quite a change! Coming from tropical heat, I am still getting used to how cold it is here. At least my dog, which came to the UK with me, seems happy about this, as her daily walks don't leave her panting and dehydrated.
London is awesome. There is so much to do; I don't even know where to begin. I have already been to a number of interesting museums, restaurants, street markets, and parks. Everywhere I go, people are very courteous and friendly, willing to give up their seats on the bus or train if they see me carrying my 3-year-old son, or to give me directions if I need them. I keep discovering the city slowly every day, walking down streets I had never walked before, and getting happily lost in different neighbourhoods. It has been a real adventure.
2. Why did you decide to move to the UK?
I have travelled a lot in my life and there came a time when I was ready to move again. Also, by researching social work opportunities in the UK, I became aware that the field is quite vast, with many types of social workers and many different ways in which I could choose to advance my career.
3. Have you found professional practices here to be different to back home?
I have very much liked the experience. I have worked as a Social Worker in the USA and in Panama, and yes, professional practices are incredibly different in the UK. I find that, on a daily basis, I have to interact and work in line with more professionals from different professional backgrounds than I have ever worked with before. These are people not only in my own organisation but also outside of it. Diversity in my caseload has been another, very rewarding difference. Every day, I visit people from a vast variety of cultures. It is not unusual to have a caseload where each family comes from a different country.
4. Did you encounter any challenges during your relocation?
Other than dealing with the normal, expected stress of getting used to an entirely new place, and the initial anxiety that comes from learning a new way of doing things, I can't say I encountered any problems. This was, in small part, due to having an open mind and a willingness to learn, and, more importantly, HCL Social Care being awesome at what they do. They helped me make an incredibly smooth transition, from the very first time I contacted them, until the moment I rented my new home and started work. They truly made me feel like no question was too small to deserve anything but their full attention. They helped me look for a place to live, open a bank account, obtain a national insurance number, among many other things, and always explained precisely what we were doing and why we were doing it, making sure I was comfortable and fully informed every step of the way. I cannot thank them enough.
5. Would you advise other foreign social workers to come and work here?
Yes, of course! And when you do, give me a call! I'll show you around. The UK is a beautiful, fascinating country with a unique culture. Furthermore, it is a country which finds itself presently needing committed, enthusiastic social workers. I feel happy to be here, as I know my work is appreciated, and I have the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
Interested in working in the UK?
Here at HCL Social Care, we understand moving to a new country can be challenging. We support candidates, like Gustavo, every step of the way. We have helped hundreds of foreign Social Workers find their dream permanent roles in the UK. You can be next. Upload your CV or give us a call on +4420 7861 8777 (extension 3).