Everything you need to know about moving to Australia
When you finally get that big job promotion, or you decide its time to swap the cold for the sun and head down under to Australia there are a few things we think you need to know before you get here.
It’s not always what it seems
We know from experience that if you are arriving from another English-speaking country then you might think that the culture is similar therefore making your transition easier. This isn’t always the case though, and being aware of this can help you adjust quickly if you are honest with yourself that you are moving to a new country and acknowledge that they will do things differently here.
Upon arrival when approached by a colleague or someone in the street and they say “how’s it going” Don’t be fooled into thinking this lovely person is needing to know how you are. This is just their way of saying hello. You, in turn, utter a polite “how’s it going” back to them and you move on your merry way. DO NOT say, “fine thanks, how are you” and expect a reply as the person will already be striding off into the distance leaving you feeling a little miffed. Take it as a hello, repeat back, move on!
Australians have a great sense of humour and sarcasm is rife. If you are moving from the UK then you should be fine. Americans take note as this can be new for some of you. Sarcasm and light jokes can and will be used in the workplace and it’s very common so don’t worry, they are taking life and their job seriously but they like a laugh at the same time!
Australian’s love their leisure time! It’s common here to get 4 weeks paid annual leave and they will take it, and mostly go camping with it! We love our camping and everything is geared up to make the most of your time off. If you want to go camping in the school holidays, we suggest you book it about a year in advance, in fact, just book it now, book it before you get here. We have over 10,000 beaches and a total of 50,000Km of coastline for you to choose from, not to mention the bit in the middle which is stunning and mesmerising in its own special way. Work is what you do to afford to go camping here.
Making new friends
Luckily, we excel at this! Australians are keen travelers. We know we are miles away from everyone and we love nothing more than travelling about to check out other parts of the world so we are safe in the knowledge that Oz is best when we come back home after that compulsory year living in Shepherds Bush in London.
Everyone is from somewhere else in Australia, the place is so young and growing so fast that everyone is happy to make friends and share friends. Get out on the weekend with your colleagues for a BBQ at the park. If someone asks you to bring a plate, they mean to bring some food to share, don’t just bring a plate!
If you are still struggling then we suggest joining some local clubs or sports. The weather is so nice here its best just to get out and enjoy it and make some mates along the way.
If you used a relocation agent you can check with them what they recommend in the area, or if they do any ex-pat meetups. Claymore Thistle has a Christmas Party every year for their ex-pats they have moved into the area so this would be a great time to come along for a sausage sizzle and ‘bring a plate’!
A Place to Call Home
Finding a place to live in the more popular cities can sometimes be pricey and difficult. A nice family home close to the city can set you back anywhere from around $700K (AUD) and up depending on the size of the house and location. If you choose to rent first then it’s a good way to get to know the neighbourhoods before you commit to buying.
You will probably have no credit history here, making you a little less attractive to landlords and estate agents. Here are a few tricks to use to your advantage:
- Have a few references from previous landlords won’t hurt;
- Show them proof that you’ve got savings to cover your rent if you suddenly lose your job;
- Suggest paying a few months’ rent in advance;
- Use public transport to your advantage and look for a place further away from the CBD;
- If you have previously been a homeowner, get a statement from your bank showing your regular mortgage payments;
- Have a copy of your Visa and your job offer so landlords and estate agents feel more at ease letting to you;
- Use a relocation agent who can vouch for you and assist with the negotiations.
Don’t forget that you’re here on an adventure, for a change of scenery or just to experience something new. So, don’t spend all your time working or sitting at home. Get out and explore your new city, town and adopted country! Have fun!