Top Tips for Expats - Australia
Find some friends
One of the best ways to have an awesome Aussie adventure is by making some Aussie mates. And the one of best ways to achieve this is to get active. Australians love their sport and you are sure to meet some great friends and make long lasting contacts at a local sports club or gym. But if sweating isn’t your thing, get involved by joining a book club, volunteer your time at a local charity sign-up with your child’s school’s PTA.
Pick a sport, any sport and that is the best way to meet someone over here. If sport isn't your thing then try bushwalking, volunteer groups, join a gym, whatever, there really is quite a diverse range of groups you can join.
Melbourne is a very cosmopolitan, culturally positive, diverse, multi-cultural city with interests for everyone. Great theatre companies, museums, galleries, opera, symphony, concerts of all kinds, food festivals (greatest food city I've seen). Meeting people is easy," added a Melbourne expat.
Find out about Expat Life in Australia
“Do your research and be clear on what you're looking for. Brisbane can offer you an easy, laid-back lifestyle, with lots of outdoor living. Blue skies are the norm, winters are warm and dry and the worst humidity and storms of summer only last about 4 months,”.
Australia is considered one of the most liveable countries in the world. Australians are on the most part friendly and relaxed. They like to kick back and they have everything needed to make sure you are never at a loss of things to do.
There is so much to explore. The coast line is full of internationally recognized blue-flag beaches. The country is home to some of the most beautiful scenery and nature walks you are ever likely to encounter.
For those with a keen interest in culture and arts, Australia offers sophisticated, cosmopolitan cities with theatres, concerts, excellent dining and easy access to top notch entertainment, festivals, markets – all in architecturally inspires cities.
"It [Melbourne] is ranked as the world's most livable city. Many expats travel the world and end up here," said an expat living in Melbourne.
Australia’s diversity will make you feel right at home
A migrant in Melbourne said "[Melbourne is]very diverse. Biggest Greek community outside of Greece. Italian and other European. Ethnic tolerance is big here. In fact, there's an appreciation for what makes Melbourne great--its diversity. Greatest ethnic restaurants in the world.”
An expat living in Perth said, "The people are diverse and are very accepting of differences. Probably not as diverse as Melbourne. With all the world unrest at the moment people are still quite open to cultural differences and do not seem openly affected by everything but are cautious none the less - but more about travelling than anything internal to the country."
Where to Live
Get recommendations from locals and take a drive around to familiarize yourself with towns cities and their suburbs – there is nothing quite like seeing it for yourself.
Your area might be determined by access to transportation, parking, schools and other services – so find out what is on offer before committing.
“Also ask people like taxi drivers about neighborhoods, they are very well informed," said an expat living in Sydney.
Finding a Home
"Be aware of a few key things. For instance rent is quoted weekly and while most of the time GST is included. The best way to secure a rental house or unit is to offer to pay rent in advance for 2-3 months. This is good especially for unfurnished homes which are cheaper than furnished homes and there are more potential tenants competing for them," explained an expat in Sydney.
"Getting rental accommodation in Sydney is rather difficult as there are more people wanting to rent than houses available. This means that for a good property there will be heaps of people attending the inspections and many will apply on the spot. So it is good to have all your IDs with you plus all the paperwork that the agents require for the application. I don't think there are hidden costs or traps, but you have to read the contract attentively and all the fine prints and understand what obligations you can have (for example mowing the lawn, maintaining the garden)," advised another expat who rented a home in Sydney.
Australia has virtually free health care. Around 75-100% of health costs are borne by the Government. The system is called Medicare. Seeing a GP is free, all you need to do is present your medicare card, and prescription medicines are subsidised about 75%.
However private health cover which ensures priority treatment in private hospitals etc are also available. Prices are very competitive and attract a tax break at tax return time.
Pets in Australia
Australia is a pet friendly country making pet transport simple and stress free. If you are thinking about relocating your pet to Australia the good news is that it is not a difficult process for your pet to be arranged to fly as long as the requirements are followed in a timely manner and in most cases there is just 30 days in quarantine on arrival. Furthermore if you choose to relocate from Australia at a later date the process is often simpler and in most cases without any quarantine at the other end, meaning your pet can be delivered straight to your home for you.
Working in Australia
An excellent website to find a job in Australia is www.seek.com.au. First however you will need to obtain a working visa. Some employers may offer sponsorship to skilled employees, so always enquire with any job applications you make. Speak to your New World Immigration practitioner about the Australian work permit application process.
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