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01 September, 2015
If youre planning on making a big move, youve probably already figured out all the visa and tax information. Thats only the basics. The transition to Australia may be shocking and difficult if you dont know exactly what the implications of your surroundings are. Youre going to have to adapt quickly, and researching exactly how beforehand is never a bad idea.
Finding Long Term Housing
Chances are, youre not going to buy a house as soon as your plane lands. You also dont want to agree to rent an apartment that you havent even seen. For all you know from what youve seen online, its dangling off the edge of a cliff. Check Stayz for cheap accommodation and send out some messages to see if anyone would be willing to give you a slight discount on a long term stay. Youll have enough room to keep all of your stuff while youre setting up a permanent arrangement. Carefully consider where youll call home. If you dont have to live in or around a major city, dont do it. Things can cost as much as triple there. And speaking of costs
Expect Everything to Cost You
Australia is a country, a continent, and a huge island. Since its isolated from everyone else, it costs a lot more to import goods into the country. Your $5 lunch from McDonalds at home might cost $10 at Maccas (thats what they call McDonalds) in Australia. When you consider that Australias minimum wage is more than double what it is in some parts of America, that makes it a little easier to swallow.
The Language Barrier
This might throw you off. Australia is an English speaking country, but its not the same English that youre used to. You may have some stereotypes about the way Australians speak swimming around your head, thanks to pop culture, but those arent accurate, either. Theyre very informal speakers in most situations, and a significant portion of their regular conversational language is slang. While we do this with some things in the states (like saying fridge instead of refrigerator), Australians have a tendency to do this a lot more often, and some of the terms are a lot more abstract. When you couple those terms with a heavy accent, it can be easy to feel lost or confused.
The Seasons Will Get to You
You expect certain things to happen at certain times of year, and when December is sweltering hot, youll have a hard time wrapping your head around it. Santa comes to meet the kids at water parks, because thats where they are in the summertime. At the times of year youre used to having backyard barbecues, some parts of the country will be experiencing snow.
Youre also making a lot of trades on holidays. Youre getting rid of the Fourth of July for Australia Day (or Straya Day, as many call it) and they have no reason at all to celebrate Thanksgiving, since it doesnt pertain to their country. Most of Australia isnt crazy about Halloween, so youll likely be giving up those traditions as well.
The Culture is Completely Different
Youre used to certain forms of etiquette in certain situations. Job interviews, dining out, and even meeting new people all have a certain set of rules we generally follow in America. Australia is tremendously different, and its because theyre not big on mundane social niceties. Talking yourself up or bragging is the quickest way to get shot down by someone. Aussies dont have time for show-offs who flaunt their ego. Tipping in restaurants is abnormal, because unlike in America, the restaurants pay their servers well. When someone offers you out for drinks, its because they want to get drunk with you. Australia is much more forward, and you may have to teach yourself to be more candid and blunt if you want to fit in.
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