This is a guest post by Stuart Cooke.
Each and every year, thousands of people pour into Australia for their own reasons; whether it be to
- Broaden their academic horizons
- Spend some time traveling a new continent
- Seek a new life for them and their family
If you’re thinking of uprooting your life and moving to Australia, it will be nothing short of a fulfilling experience. That said, the process of getting there is no easy feat.
There are an abundance of things to consider when it comes to taking the leap to the Land Down Under, and so, to shed some light, we’re detailing 9 of the most important things you need to know before moving to Australia.
You need the correct visa, and it can take time.
Although it might just be one of the more laborious processes when it comes to relocating to Australia, sorting your immigration as early as possible should be your top priority.
Whether on a temporary or permanent basis, if you hope to enter Australia to live and work, you must have the correct visa. Luckily, applying for an Australian visa is generally not as complicated as you might think (it’s actually rather straightforward, and much more concise in comparison to other countries).
The Australian Department of Immigration has a very clear visa finder tool, so you can easily determine the most appropriate visa for you and your relocation circumstances.
Note that some visa application processes can take quite some time: sometimes as long as 6-8 months! Don’t delay.
Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world.
Australia is well known for having an expensive way of life (especially if you like to drink!), and although the cost of living can be compared to neighboring New Zealand, you will quickly find that it is much higher than that of the UK, USA, and Canada.
This is particularly true within major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, where there’s no getting away from expensive property costs. That said, your income in Australia will generally reflect the cost of living.
Take out some of the guesswork for budgeting by familiarizing yourself with the pound to AUD money conversion (and how other currencies hold up against the Australian dollar).
Finding work can take time.
Uprooting your life and moving to Australia can be particularly daunting when it comes to thinking about job and career prospects, as finding work in Australia can take some time.
Try not to feel too disheartened if you don’t find yourself in a great role as soon as you get there—you’ll eventually get to where you want to be. Take this into consideration when planning your move and prepare yourself ahead of time, just in case work doesn’t come along as quickly as you’d like it to.
The healthcare system is different.
Before moving to Australia, you should be aware that the Australian healthcare system differs greatly in comparison to many countries across the world. That said, it may give you peace of mind to know that the country’s healthcare system is regarded as one of the most efficient in the world.
Medicare, Australia’s primary health scheme, subsidizes most medical costs for Australian citizens and for many migrants.
Travel opportunities can be limited.
Something that could be considered a drawback to moving to Australia are the arguably limited travel opportunities. Unless you’re traveling to New Zealand or Bali, leaving Australia can be incredibly expensive. You just don’t have exciting travel opportunities on all sides of you, like in Europe.
That said, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Australia is a vast country with so much to offer. While international travel may be slightly out of reach, domestic travel offers so much for you to see and do. From stretches of coastline, to big cities, to the Outback—traveling across Australia can be just as fulfilling as traveling across the world, as it really is a huge country.
The wildlife isn’t that bad.
Australia is known around the world for its fascinating wildlife, as well as its slightly more deadly creatures. From crocodiles, to snakes, to spiders, and even kangaroos that are ready for a fight—it’s easy to understand why so many people feel apprehensive about going to Australia.
Honestly? Coming face to face with a terrifying, deadly creature isn’t as common as you think—especially within main cities. Seek them out if you please but know that it’s just as easy to stay away!
Australian English takes some getting used to.
Australia doesn’t actually have an official language, however, English is still the one that is most widely spoken throughout the country. So, if you’re an English speaker, you don’t have to worry too much about language barriers.
It should be noted that Australian English certainly does take some getting used to. It’s unique, and that’s no exaggeration. Although Australian English spelling draws close similarities to British English, actually speaking the Aussie-way takes some practice—so spend some time talking to locals!
Australian weather also takes some getting used to.
It’s very much common knowledge that the weather in Australia is pretty great—with the beaches and the barbeques, what’s not to love?
That said, Australia’s weather does take some getting used to, especially if you’re not from a hot country. The heat can get rather intense, in fact, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach 40 degrees Celsius (about 104 degrees Fahrenheit!). Of course, the weather and climates differ throughout regions, so do your research!
Australians are generally a friendly, easy-going bunch.
Australians are very much known for their laid-back nature and unique sense of humor. The ‘no worries, mate’ mentality is very much omnipresent in all parts of multicultural Australia.
Australians also place a very high value on friendships and relationships, so although it may take some time to integrate and earn their trust, you’ll soon make friends with the locals.
Final Thoughts: 9 Things You Need To Know Before Moving To Australia
Ready to take the plunge? You now know the most important things about moving to Australia.
But of course, there’s still more to tell. What are your best tips for moving to Australia? Let us know in the comments!