We’ve all heard about how awe-inspiring Australia can be, with its beautiful beaches, breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary wildlife. It really comes as no surprise that Australia just so happens to be one of the most popular emigration destinations in the entire world. And, of course, each and every one out of the thousands of migrants that pour into Australia every year do so for their own reasons; whether it be to broaden their academic horizons by studying abroad, to seek a new life for them and their family, or to simply travel.
Regardless of your reasoning, if you’re thinking of uprooting your life and moving to Australia, there are a few things you should know before making the big leap. Australia is a one-of-a-kind destination, one that has the potential to improve your quality of life; and whilst it’s no easy task, migrating to Australia is by no means an impossible feat. After all, there is truly a plethora of information to be found online about the entire process, and to shed some light, we’ve whittled down some of the most important things worth knowing before you go.
Secure our Australian Work Visa.
Perhaps the most crucial thing you must clue up on before planning your big move to Australia is the visa application process. If you hope to enter Australia to live and work on either a temporary or permanent basis, you must have a visa. Although it’s generally not quite as complicated as you might think (actually, it can be rather straightforward, and much more concise in comparison to many other countries across the world), there are an abundance of different types. That said, there’s no need to panic – the Australian Department of Immigration has a very clever visa finder tool online, so you can easily suss out which type of visa is most appropriate for you and your relocation circumstances. And don’t delay – the visa application process can, on occasion, be a painfully long one; in some cases, it can take up to 6-8 months for your visa to be processed. So, be sure to sort it as early as you can.
Australia is expensive.
Generally speaking, the cost of living in Australia is comparable to neighbouring New Zealand, but it is much higher than that of the UK, USA and Canada. In fact, Australia is somewhat notorious for having an expensive way of life, especially within main cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, and there’s no real getting away from it. This is particularly the case when it comes to buying or renting property; it could be argued that buying a house in Sydney is next to impossible. That said, once you get settled into your new way of life and into a new job, your income will often reflect the cost of living, so it all becomes quite relative.
Finding work can take time.
Following on from the previous point, it is worth mentioning that finding work in Australia can take some time, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t find yourself in a great role as soon as you get there. Just think ahead of time and prepare yourself, just in case work doesn’t come along as quickly as you’d like it to. That being said, Australia places a huge focus on skilled work, so if you have a particular special skillset to offer, you will find opportunities aplenty.
The wildlife isn’t so scary.
Australia is world-renowned for its fascinating wildlife, and while there are some incredible creatures to be found, there are also a lot of deadly ones, too. From crocodiles, to snakes, to spiders, and even the kangaroos! It’s no surprise that many feel apprehensive about it when they consider moving to Australia, because apparently deadly creatures are everywhere, right? Actually, it might surprise you to find out that coming face to face with a dangerous creature is less common than you think. Especially within cities – it really isn’t so scary at all.
Australian English is unique.
Did you know? Australia doesn’t have an official language. That said, English is still the one that is most widely spoken, so if you’re an English speaker, you technically don’t have to worry too much about any language barriers. We say technically, because you’ll quickly find that Australian English is unique – and that’s no exaggeration. Australian spelling draws many similarities to British spelling, but in terms of actually speaking the Aussie-way, you will need to spend a lot of time talking to locals and getting your head around the local jargon.
Travelling is difficult.
If you’re a keen traveller, you might find that one of the major drawbacks of uprooting your life to Australia is that it can limit your travel capabilities. If you’re from Europe or the USA, there are truly an abundance of countries on your doorstep just waiting for you to visit. However, leaving Australia can be incredibly expensive if you want to travel further than New Zealand or Bali, not to mention the long-haul travelled involved to, well, anywhere.
That said, Australia is a vast country with so much to offer. Travelling internationally may not be an option when you move there, but domestically, there is so much for you to see and do. From big cities, to stretches of coastline, to the Outback, to variations of climates across regions – travelling across Australia can be just as fulfilling as travelling across the world.
Be patient and you’ll make friends.
Contrary to popular belief, Australians actually are a very friendly, easy-going bunch. They’re known for their laid-back nature and their unique sense of humour; the ‘no worries, mate’ mentality is omnipresent in all parts of multicultural Australia. Generally speaking, Australians place a high value on friendships, and though it may take some time to integrate (you may have to earn their trust first) you’ll soon make friends. Just always be yourself!
Written by Katy Mairs, blog editor at UniBaggage.com.