Planning on walking the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz?
We got in touch with expats living in Australia and they shared their top tips and thoughts about the initial adjustment to life in Australia as a migrant.
Make use of a good immigration agent. It is money well spent while buying you the certainty that your visa application is being handled correctly and that your immigration process is in good hands. Immigrating is never an easy process and having a professional immigration consult that knows the law and on speed dial is priceless.
Unlike South Africa Australia advertises a weekly rental rate and not a monthly rate – take note of this before you agree to look at a property. Get a good relocation agent to help you.
Some exceptional agents will make arrangements for you to see as many properties as in possible within a short space of time. Ask them to drive you around the city and perhaps show you where the local schools, libraries, banks, ATM’s, doctors and so on are.
Do research and more research. The best way of learning about a country is by speaking to someone from your country already living there. Expat forums are ideal for these purpouses.
Get a set of City Walk Cards. There are sets for every Australian city. They are a wonderful resource and will definitely help you to find your way around the city and give you good guidance as you get to know the new city you live in.
If you have children get them onto a school waiting list without delay. In Australia the formal preschools often have long waiting lists. In some cases you may remain on a waiting list for two years or more.
Preschool is also rather expensive at AU$100 (some times more) per day.
Make use of Gumtree. Yes Australia has Gumtree too! What a relief! The classifieds style free ads website – used by thousands of South Africans everyday – is in actual fact an Aussie invention. Here you will find tutors, second hand cars and furniture and even support groups. Make use of it!
Get a Skype account if you don’t have one yet. It is the second best way of staying in touch with family and friends who might still be in South Africa. Not only are Skype calls cheaper, the video calling option is a wonderfully visual way of staying in touch.
The best tip that every expat we speak to keeps sharing is to get involved in the community or at your child’s school. Getting involved will help your family make friends and integrate into the Australia lifestyle.