Moving from US to Australia – Everything You Need to Know
Looking for a fresh start on the other side of the world? Are you ready to embark on a new journey to the Land of Oz?
By this time, reading this article is basically a giveaway— you’re either: 1) certain you want to live in Australia or 2) considering moving to Australia. Either way, we’ve got you covered! So from the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, let’s take a quick look at the land down Under.
What You Need to Get Ready For
Before you get started on your moving boxes, here’s a heads up about Oz.
- Not your ordinary weather
Used to the -3.0°C (26.6°F) of Alaska? How about the usual 21.5°C (70.7°F) of Florida? Australia is a continent with a unique climate. They’ve got tropical climates in Brisbane, four seasons wrapped in a single day in Melbourne, and snow in the Southeast. Not only that, Australia has a thing with opposites— when it’s summer in the South, better expect wet season in the north. Oh, and don’t forget that the sun can be a problem. The temperature can skyrocket all the way to over 40°C (104°F). With this in mind, bushfires are common in several rural areas around Australia. To avoid the risks that come with these incidents, Australia’s Housing Industry Association (HIA) has a few guidelines for you.
- Stay on the left… at all times!
When you drive in Australia, you are advised to stay on the left lane when going to your destination. It doesn’t stop there, you need to stay on your left when you walk along the sidewalk and cross the street. It’s bizarre for someone who lived most of his life in America. You’ll be a total weirdo if you keep right in Australia, though.
- Meat-lover mania
Australia’s got all kinds of meat: beef, chicken, emu, crocodile, possum and the iconic kangaroo. Have you ever heard of the Australian meat pie? How about those Kanga Bangas? Don’t forget, free barbecues are a thing in Australia. If you’re a natural carnivore, you might want to consider living in Australia.
- Beware of animals
We all know it is the common stereotype—poisonous spiders crawling, kangaroos on the loose, and those nasty magpies swooping down. Well if you’re no farmer, kangaroos won’t be a problem for you. It is highly advisable to keep caution and look for signs to prevent any encounters with Australia’s dangerous animals. Still, Australia is a safe place to live in— you just need to pay attention while you’re driving, walking and swimming in rural areas.
- The Aussie slang
Don’t be fooled by Australia’s wide usage of the English language. Speaking to locals on your first day won’t be a walk in the park. Why? Aussies use a wide array of colloquial words and phrases in their everyday lives. Arriving into Australia with little knowledge of Australian slang may get you into a few awkward situations. So read Aussie slang guide.
- The oddity in their drinks
Going to a pub will definitely be one of your major challenges as an aspiring immigrant. Beers in Oz come in numerous sizes… and terminologies. They have a glass (200 mL or 7 oz.), a pint (570 mL or 20 oz.) and a schooner (450 mL or 15 oz.) Different terms also come depending on the region of your local pub. So here’s a quick guide http://beerbrewguru.com/beer-brew-news/beer-size-guide-to-australian-beer-measurements to prevent you from getting woozy before heading for Australia.
Also, coffee is a drink that Australians do not take for granted. They highly value quality in their coffee making. This is one of the reasons why you should say goodbye to Starbucks if you’re bound for Australia.
While Australia doesn’t share much of your good old NBA, NFL and MLB, the continent and its people do enjoy sports as much as you do. Aussies love rugby, football (soccer), cricket, netball and tennis. They would love to play basketball with you, too—just ask Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova and Ben Simmons.
What You Need to Prepare
Finally sure about Australia? Here are things you need to consider before living there:
- Making a living: the primary setup
Yes, this is a main priority if you want to live there. The cost of living there is ridiculously high! However, one upside that Australia has is that you can still survive and save with proper budgeting. The government offers the best welfare support system in the world as well as free healthcare.
While having a job is one goal, choosing what kind of job is another. Here are a few key pointers for specific job roles:
- Hospitality workers (usually in Melbourne) should render an unpaid trial period.
- Bartenders are required to have Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificates before serving alcoholic beverages.
- Entrepreneurs and investors looking to expand their horizons in Australia are required to be under its set of regulations.
- Healthcare professionals such as physicians should pass the board examinations required.
Also, bear in mind that finding a job in Australia would involve ways old and new alike— from walk-ins during non-busy hours to online job searches on Facebook, and online job hunting sites such as Seek.com and Gumtree.com. No work experience? No problem! Australia can still open its doors for unexperienced workers.
- Apply for a Visa
For US citizens, getting approvals are pretty much a guarantee. All you need are the following:
- Filled out application form and application fee
- 5000 AUD (that’s roughly 3630 USD) pocket money
- A passport
- Two passport photos
- Age requirement of not beyond 31 years for Australian Working Holiday Visa, 50 years for Skilled Workers Visa, and 55 years for businessmen and investors.
For more information and guidelines, you can always check their Department of Home Affairs website.
- Once you get there
There are a few more things you need to do once your feet settle on Australian soil:
- Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN).
- Get a bank account.
- Find a place to stay via Facebook, Gumtree and Flatmates.
If you are looking for a place with a unique culture, a ton of fascinating sceneries, a diverse set of wildlife and conducive living conditions; Australia has its arms ready and waiting for you. You’ve got heaps to do—starting with those Visa applications, packing various weather-appropriate clothing and many more. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get going, mate!