Top ten things to know before you move to… Australia
Many expats move abroad with unrealistic expectations of their new homelands abroad, some go with the belief that things will be similar to the UK or that it will be just like a permanent holiday. We take a look of the things a potential expat to Australia should be aware of or know before getting on that plane to the other side of the world.
1. Do not underestimate the size of Australia. The country is bigger than you can imagine, being on a par with the USA or Canada, but even then it is unlike any other place on earth. If you’ve been to Sydney then do not apply that cities lifestyle to another’s, like Melbourne or wherever else you are thinking of settling, the vast size of the country means that every state, region and city is different, not only in climate, but also in a myriad of other things.
2. Prepare yourself for loneliness and isolation. Even if you think you are very self-sufficient today, think again. Moving to the other side of the world means that you will no longer be able to rely on family or friends to help with things like childcare etc.., it will take time to make friends you can genuinely trust so make sure you socialise. Use social networks to stay in touch with home. Also be prepared to deal with the fact that Australia is very far away from everything so no more cheap holidays!
3. Get used to the idea that there will be things that you will probably never get used to such as Christmas being in the summer, the extreme heat, the critters and the fact that people wear flip-flops everywhere.
4. Due to the exchange rate Australia is now more expensive than the United Kingdom for most goods and services. Make sure you bear this in mind before moving, as many expats have been taken by surprise by the expense. Retail is expensive but wages can be higher than the UK, make sure your wages are one of those that are high if you want to be comfortable.
5. No matter what you think now when the rain is coming down and the sky is grey, you WILL end up getting irked by the long periods of non-stop sunshine and heat, especially the heat at night. Flies and mosquitoes are sometimes so bad that you will be forced to stay indoors some days, if that’s the case make sure you get a well air conditioned property.
6. Always make sure you have enough funds in reserve for an emergency trip back to where you came from just in case disaster strikes. Keep all of your passports and relevant documents up to date as well; you never know when life will toss a spanner in the works.
7. Try not to make any rash judgements about Australia until you have lived in the country for a good amount of time. You read a lot of things by other expats listing what they love or hate about Oz but unless they’ve lived there for more than two years it’s just honeymoon phase feelings not a real judgement. It’s like anywhere, give it a chance!
8. If you think that moving to Australia will get you away from the issues your own country is facing, then prepare to be disappointed. Australia suffers from the same issues that all 1st world nations suffer from including dodgy politicians, red tape and other social issues.
9. Be prepared to pay for medical costs and dental costs, even children’s health care is not free. There is no free national health service to rely on in Oz. Make sure you get health insurance!
10. Don’t emigrate just because you think Australia will provide better opportunities for your children, kids can adapt wherever you go. Make the move because think it will be best for everyone involved. Many children have a great time in Oz but sadly their parents can end up hating the place and family breakdowns can occur. Make sure everyone is on the same page before emigrating; moving to Oz is not worth losing your wife or husband over.