Simone spoke with us about living and working in the UK, as well as her aspirations for the future.
Simone is a proud Brazilian who loves London and the blend of cultures that it has to offer. She spent the first 25 years of her life in Brazil and still has a strong connection to the country. She worked as a journalist while living there, writing about topics ranging from shopping to education in cities.
Simone came to the UK to study and to seek a new type of life. She studied English at Metropole College upon her arrival, and began the daunting task of adjusting to life in a new city. It was during this time that Simone met her husband Maciej, a migrant from Poland. The two met through Maciej’s sister-in-law, who was taking English classes with Simone at the time.
Her marriage and subsequent experiences have played a key part in Simone’s positive transition to life in London. Now 10 years after from her journey to the UK, Simone has grown to embrace London as her home away from home. Residing in North London, her favourite parts of the city are the parks and Southbank. Hobbies include dancing, meeting friends, and going to concerts.
She feels that the multicultural aspects of the city reflect her values as a migrant. “I like the diversity, it’s a dynamic city. “ I can identify with London”.
Currently, Simone works as an immigration advisor for the Brazilian migrant group ABRAS (Associação Brasileira no Reino Unido). This organization provides support for Brazilian community services and Brazilians living in the UK as a whole. Within ABRAS, Simone is involved in public relations and provides support for migrants looking to renew their visas or for advice on other immigration matters. This usually involves helping with the application process, contacting the Home Office, and serving as a representative for individual migrants. Simone enjoys helping others through her work, especially since she knows how hard it is to stay on your feet in this environment.
She believes that life in the UK is increasingly difficult for those who are not high earners. She also notices that many people are unwelcoming to migrants. “I like it here, it’s my home, but sometimes people make me feel like I don’t belong.” These kinds of challenges do of course make an impact on Simone’s views on life in London. After living in the UK for years, Simone plans to return home with her husband and ‘do something on her own’. What this is remains to be seen, but whatever change it may bring she will be ready.