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How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

Old Sep 4th 2013, 12:22 pm
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Default How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

I am scared. It looks like we are finally going to Melbourne.

I am one of those people who needs to know what is going to happen tomorrow in full detail before it even happens. Nightmare. Hubby on the other hand just lets it all "fall into place" and will then turn round and go "So... What now?" if it doesn't and expect me to have a back up plan.

Anyway, I have done as much as I possibly can to prepare us to head out to Oz in November. We are just waiting for the sale on our house to complete and we move out in a matter of weeks to stay at his parent's for a while until we are ready to go. We only have a few boxes of stuff (not yet boxed) to take with us.

He is so determined (and always has been) to move to Australia (we lived there for a year back in 2005) but he hasn't really looked into areas/schools/jobs or anything really as he feels it wasn't worth it until the house sold (which it finally almost has). He feels that the way we are living here is basically getting by day to day depending on how much money we have in an area that we do not want to live in. Anywhere in Melbourne is better than here as even if we have to live day to day on the money we earn over there, we will be no worse off than we are here... He is currently trying to secure work before we arrive and then at least we will know where to rent which he says proves his point a bit where I have been looking all over Melbourne for different places to rent checking out prices, schools, people's opinions on the areas.

I think I have looked into everything in tooooooo much detail now and my head is swimming in so much information I am panicking. The idea is to book a short term holiday rental where we can secure long term rental from when we arrive. I can't book flights or holiday rental until we know when we are going which also depends on the house sale.

To top it all off, our Child Visa 101 has not come through yet although the case officer says all we need do is get a holiday visa for the baby then fly out of Australia and back to validate the visa on the way through immigration. This is stressing me out too.

How organised do you NEED to be and what are the most important things to do before we get on the plane? I am a neurotic mess now!
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

Originally Posted by LadyCroft View Post
How organised do you NEED to be and what are the most important things to do before we get on the plane? I am a neurotic mess now!
Hi LadyCroft,

Being organised should ease your initial time here.

From experience, I'd suggest the following:

Try to have accommodation pre-arranged for at least the first couple of weeks to a month.

As far as possible, sort out your financial affairs in the UK. We kept open ISA's, Investment Trusts and Share accounts and they have proven a nightmare to manage - you potentially have to complete 2 tax returns each year for UK and AU (we do, as we have a rental property in England). The tax years don't coincide and the Aus tax system is not geared towards savings. Remember that you have to declare all worldwide income to the Australian Tax Office and the income from ISA's isn't tax free here.

Keep open at least one GBP account in the UK for trips back to blighty, paying bills and paying for gifts, etc. Ditto for at least one credit card.

Try to set-up a foreign exchange account using one of the recognised foreign exchange brokers - they will invariably be cheaper than the big banks for foreign exchange transactions and you could potentially save hundreds, if not thousands of pounds in fees and commissions - I have used XE trade and they have been fine.

Be realistic about your expectations of what Australia will be like - you've lived here before in 2005, so perhaps not so much of an issue, but after the holiday period of the first couple of weeks wears off and you're looking for work, etc, it can be a downer.

If you have white goods, ship them over. Your TV should work fine with an Aussie set-top box

Set-up Skype with your nearest and dearest in the UK and get used to using it before setting off, if you aren't already familiar.

You say that you haven't booked the flights yet - it might be a good idea to break the journey for a couple of days on the way over to ease the jet-lag - it worked for us.

Try to get organised for the rental here (if you intend to rent) - get references, payslips, evidence of savings, etc. to push your credentials to a potential landlord

Bring some UK to Aus power adaptors for UK appliances, phone chargers and the like

Finally, make sure you don't pack important documents like passports, birth certificates, marriage certs, etc. in the container! I've heard stories of this happening and it wouldn't make for a smooth trip! Scan copies of these documents just to be on the safe side.

All the best for the move

cheers

Rhubarb65

Last edited by Rhubarb65; Sep 4th 2013 at 2:11 pm.
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

My gosh I think my husband must be committing bigamy.

IMO you can't be too organised but you can overload yourself with information. True 'Melbourne' is a huge area so it is important to narrow down possibilities but its also very dependent on where work is located. However, console yourself with the idea that when you do know where work is all your research will put you a step ahead when narrowing down location.

As far as organising goes I agree with rhubarb - get a holiday rental sorted for a few weeks - I would suggest something central if you have no idea where work might end up. If you're expecting the baby's visa soon why not wait - rather than faffing around with the cost and hassle of an international flight when you've only just arrived. Create a file with a checklist of everything you need to do - you might not have instant access to a printer so print forms and google maps of places (eg centre link offices etc) while you're in the uk.



Remember fail to plan and plan to fail - especially with a little one in tow - so you're doing the right thing but just maybe change what you get organised over.

Good luck
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

I can't really add much to what the others have said- planning is important, but so is not stressing too much. Take that stopover!!

We came to Sydney in 2008. We had a central hotel for the first week so that we could get paperwork/medicare/banks organised, then 4 weeks in a holiday apartment near the beach, so we could relax a bit. OH did have a job to go to, but it didn't start until 3 weeks after we arrived and luckily it was in the centre of Sydney, so he hopped on the ferry to work! We used the holiday time to look for a rental and a school for DD- we had already contacted prospective schools, and once we had done the rounds we could narrow down our search area to somewhere closer to the school.

With the best will in the world, there is only so much research as far as rentals/schools etc you can do in the UK- nothing beats actually getting out there and seeing for yourself. We had a file of contacts, bank info, scanned copies of everything, and the originals. We took letters from our priest and estate agent who sold our house to show we were of good character, kept our property in good order and a bank statement to prove we were solvent- useful when trying to rent- tends to put you ahead of the queue.

Our PR had not come, so we came in on a 457 sponsored in haste by OH's firm, then two months later when they had finally arrived, (after an 18 month process,) flew to NZ to validate the PR's.

Oh, and good luck.
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

Originally Posted by LadyCroft View Post
He is so determined (and always has been) to move to Australia (we lived there for a year back in 2005) but he hasn't really looked into areas/schools/jobs or anything really as he feels it wasn't worth it until the house sold (which it finally almost has). He feels that the way we are living here is basically getting by day to day depending on how much money we have in an area that we do not want to live in. Anywhere in Melbourne is better than here as even if we have to live day to day on the money we earn over there, we will be no worse off than we are here... He is currently trying to secure work before we arrive and then at least we will know where to rent which he says proves his point a bit where I have been looking all over Melbourne for different places to rent checking out prices, schools, people's opinions on the areas.
Taking it as it comes isn't a bad approach really but there are a couple of things to be realistic about.

Firstly, you are going to spend a lot of money on this process, so saying you will be no worse living day to day is possibly incorrect. Your house sale might take care of that mind you.

Next, you mentioned about arriving in November and trying to get a job first. While not impossible, getting a job remotely isn't easy. You need to have a plan for the what if's here because November is not a great time to arrive if seeking immediate employment - recruitment pretty much shuts down over summer and can remain quiet through February - you should try and budget for that.

If he can secure work first then a lot of that careful planning is probably unnecessary.

Last edited by bcworld; Sep 4th 2013 at 11:13 pm.
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 2:16 am
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

Phase 1 - plan to get yourselves and the house contents here. Research ideas of where to live and go there when you arrive. Stay in a local hotel, chill for a week to get rid of the jet-lag, then start looking at houses.

Phase 2 - start your life again. Sounds hard, but arranging schools, banks, house rental/purchase... is pretty straightforward. Why? You have a bunch of people on this forum that will put you right.

You will look bewildered with that "I have only just arrived look" which Aussies will respond to and make you feel at home. I worried about getting the kids in schools. When I went to do it, it took me an hour.

My advice is to forget Phase 2 until you get here.
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 2:39 am
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

We arrived 2 months ago and my head was spinning before we left, so I know how you feel
I do think its important to be organised and the advice already given is good advice. However, looking at areas on the Internet is very hard and until you know where you will be working, pretty impossible.
Book temp accommodation for the first 3 weeks and you will be able to look around once you arrive. That said, it's good to know which areas to avoid!

I agree that if you can break the journey up, then do so. We stopped for a few days in L.A and then a week in Fiji. I'll never regret this as we arrived feeling fresh and ready to go. The emotion of the last few weeks is awful and I was glad for the holiday.

Finding work is going to be very important so making sure you have an Aussie style resume ready to go may be wise.

Above all, keep a sense of perspective if you have any down days.
A couple of days ago I found out my son's school is off for one day next week and because it's only his school that is off, there are no holiday clubs running on that day.
I had a complete panic because neither my husband nor I could take the day off as we have no holiday due.
I phoned the school and they put me in touch with one of his friend's Mum, who offered to have him over that day.
As it turns out, a work colleague who doesn't work on Fridays also offered to have him and my boss told me I could bring him to work if necessary.
People will help if you ask
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 2:56 am
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

I echo all points here, look at areas but until you or OH have a job it will be difficult to plan, so get a rental, maybe in the city so it's easy to get to interviews, banks, Medicare etc
Most importantly remember you can ask us on here, I had a wealth of advise when we got here and as I am in Melbourne, am happy to pass on any pearls of wisdom...
But get that accommodation for when you arrive booked as soon as you know flights, even if its a hotel for a few nights...
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 2:56 am
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

I echo all points here, look at areas but until you or OH have a job it will be difficult to plan, so get a rental, maybe in the city so it's easy to get to interviews, banks, Medicare etc
Most importantly remember you can ask us on here, I had a wealth of advise when we got here and as I am in Melbourne, am happy to pass on any pearls of wisdom...
But get that accommodation for when you arrive booked as soon as you know flights, even if its a hotel for a few nights...
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 7:00 am
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

The school year ends approx. a week before Christmas (or earlier if you choose the private school route) and will not resume till the last week of January. State schools have a voluntary contribution of about $500 but then camp, swimming, etc is additional. Depending on where you choose to stay, your annual State school spend could be about $2K all up, with uniform and the extras included per child. The better State schools are zoned too, so choose wisely. Private school fees can go up to $20K+ per school year for Primary School depending if you choose the first tier ones (ie older established ones in the inner suburbs vs the newer ones in the outer suburbs).

Most people buy a car quite early on too to save on renting a car. You will need new cars seats too for your kids as the UK ones don't conform to the Aussie rules.

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Old Sep 5th 2013, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

Just to add on......If you're looking on returning to UK, I would look for a school (some State schools offer it) with the IB PYP programme in the Primary Years (designed for children aged 3 to 12 & is an international accreditation) http://www.ibo.org/pyp/

Here's a list of what's available Australia wide:
http://www.ibo.org/school/search/ind...d_schools=Find

Narrow it down to Melbourne, Victoria. I can already see a few State Schools on the first page in Melbourne ie Auburn South Primary, Beaumaris North Primary School, Brighton Primary School, Caulfield South Primary School, Coatesville Primary School, Footscray Primary School, etc

However, as these schools have this accreditation, they maybe zoned so you must live within their catchment area in order to gain access.
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

Originally Posted by LadyCroft View Post
I am scared. It looks like we are finally going to Melbourne.

I am one of those people who needs to know what is going to happen tomorrow in full detail before it even happens. Nightmare. Hubby on the other hand just lets it all "fall into place" and will then turn round and go "So... What now?" if it doesn't and expect me to have a back up plan.

Anyway, I have done as much as I possibly can to prepare us to head out to Oz in November. We are just waiting for the sale on our house to complete and we move out in a matter of weeks to stay at his parent's for a while until we are ready to go. We only have a few boxes of stuff (not yet boxed) to take with us.

He is so determined (and always has been) to move to Australia (we lived there for a year back in 2005) but he hasn't really looked into areas/schools/jobs or anything really as he feels it wasn't worth it until the house sold (which it finally almost has). He feels that the way we are living here is basically getting by day to day depending on how much money we have in an area that we do not want to live in. Anywhere in Melbourne is better than here as even if we have to live day to day on the money we earn over there, we will be no worse off than we are here... He is currently trying to secure work before we arrive and then at least we will know where to rent which he says proves his point a bit where I have been looking all over Melbourne for different places to rent checking out prices, schools, people's opinions on the areas.

I think I have looked into everything in tooooooo much detail now and my head is swimming in so much information I am panicking. The idea is to book a short term holiday rental where we can secure long term rental from when we arrive. I can't book flights or holiday rental until we know when we are going which also depends on the house sale.

To top it all off, our Child Visa 101 has not come through yet although the case officer says all we need do is get a holiday visa for the baby then fly out of Australia and back to validate the visa on the way through immigration. This is stressing me out too.

How organised do you NEED to be and what are the most important things to do before we get on the plane? I am a neurotic mess now!
On the child visa, we applied in January to London and got ours two weeks ago. If it hadn't come we would have done this too. Don't let it stress you too much! On the other stuff- try and chill and if something goes wrong - there are always worse things that can happen! It's a stressful time but it doesn't last forever
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Old Sep 6th 2013, 7:49 am
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Smile Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

Originally Posted by LadyCroft View Post
How organised do you NEED to be and what are the most important things to do before we get on the plane? I am a neurotic mess now!
I am ridiculously organised, my friends take the piss out of me about it but I find it stressful if I'm not.

I researched down to the nth degree, even doing things like taking out Ambulance Victoria cover 2 months before we arrived in Melbourne as I found out you couldn't use it until you had been a member for 2 months, but there was nothing to stop you taking it out before you arrived!

Things like getting your UK income tax back when you leave, claiming your VAT back for anything you have bought recently and are taking with you, these "organised" things all help the finances and I was amazed how many people I knew who hadn't done them.

Equally you need to be flexible. What looks like a dream area to live on the internet may turn out not to be in the flesh.

Nothing wrong with being super-organised though, especially if it helps you to relieve stress.

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Old Sep 6th 2013, 9:11 am
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
if it helps you to relieve stress.

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There are clubs for that
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Old Sep 6th 2013, 9:49 am
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Default Re: How organised were you preparing to arrive in Oz?

very organised - moving to the other side of the world and taking family with you is one of the biggest changes in life so checking out everything and having a to do list is imperative.

Read the good, the bad and the ugly - then make your own mind up. Don't always believe everything you read as everyone has their own take on things but take everyone's opinion into account and make your own mind up re what to believe. Also don't set your self up to fail by thinking everything will be great, it won't - shit happens wherever you live.

Good luck mate
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