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What 10 Things should you know before you move!

What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Old May 8th 2013, 6:07 pm
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Question What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Hi everyone,

We are looking to move to Australia in the next 12 months and I would like to know what 10 things we should know. The things that people don't tell you. For example things like.... You need to re take you driving test (I don't know if this is true). All 10 things would be great even if people repeat then I know that it is a major thing to get your head around. Please feel free to write anything!!

Cheers Kx

Last edited by katy1; May 8th 2013 at 6:12 pm. Reason: title is misleading
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Old May 8th 2013, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Originally Posted by katy1 View Post
Hi everyone,

We are looking to move to Australia in the next 12 months and I would like to know what 10 things we should know. The things that people don't tell you. For example things like.... You need to re take you driving test (I don't know if this is true). All 10 things would be great even if people repeat then I know that it is a major thing to get your head around. Please feel free to write anything!!

Cheers Kx
There is a useful list here - http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=345774

I think the biggest thing that people emigrating seem to be missing at the moment, is that to maintain your UK standard of living in Australia, you need to earn $2.5 to the pound, so if you currently earn say 20,000 pounds, you will need to earn $50,000 minimum to have the same buying power.

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Old May 8th 2013, 11:37 pm
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Originally Posted by katy1 View Post
Hi everyone,

We are looking to move to Australia in the next 12 months and I would like to know what 10 things we should know. The things that people don't tell you. For example things like.... You need to re take you driving test (I don't know if this is true). All 10 things would be great even if people repeat then I know that it is a major thing to get your head around. Please feel free to write anything!!

Cheers Kx
re the driving test - every State is different, thats one of the first things to remember, that things can differ from State to State.
Where are you heading to?
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Old May 9th 2013, 1:37 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Things people dont know but should, mine would be..

Employment conditions, about 40% of jobs are casual, that is.. on call, if when, employers whim, professional jobs too, not just low skilled.

Summer - generally the WORST season not the best, think extreme, heat, rain, flies, UV, fire etc

Expensive

Kids medical and dental, not free.

Medical, even with medicare and private insurance, still allow more for gaps.

Australian Pension, age, residency and income and asset tested.

Budget may 14. Expect severe tightening of the already strangled belt.

Airfares out back to UK for a family allow around $10,000 in school holidays.

Last edited by jad n rich; May 9th 2013 at 1:42 am.
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Old May 9th 2013, 2:11 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

So, Jad, come to Australia if you can get a professional job that won't make you casual.

my advice is, don't be a battler.
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Old May 9th 2013, 2:42 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

10 things from me in no particular order:
1. Never start a sentence with 'This is stupid, back in the UK its like this...."
2. Never say "We want the best lifestyle for our kids"...its expensive here and your kids could adapt anywhere not just Australia
3. DO make sure you get the best possible package to come over..salary/relocation expenses/relocation agent
4. IF on a Temp 457 Visa, account for SOME states charging $4500 per child per year at Public School
5. DO NOT think you can rent a property without seeing it physically first, NO agent will allow that and believe me it is better for you. This means you will have to arrange some short term accom for when you get here....OR...like I did, get your company to sort it for you.
6. In line with 5 above, do NOT believe the Real Estate pictures of a property, they will have been taken years ago when first built/refurbished.
7. DO plan to be lonely at times, DO think about how you can cope without your friends/family and usual support.
8. DO NOT be afraid about not meeting people, if you have kids you WILL make friends through school pick ups, sports etc....if you have no kids then you are a lucky sod!
9. Do think about what furnishings you will/will not bring especially electricals and TVs.
10. Do expect a massive culture shock, it is definitely NOT Britain with sun and some variances between States is bizarre. Politics is an embarrassing shambles and some things are said in a public domain which you may consider Un-PC.

God I could say far more and I'm trying to not be too pessimistic, in fact I'm trying to provide realistic advice.
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Old May 9th 2013, 2:51 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Yep - I'd say that was all very realistic.

Another favourite of mine is - never confuse a great holiday destination with a great place to live. I wouldn't particularly care for 2 week holiday in Melbourne but I absolutely love living here, equally I would love a 2 week holiday in Coral Bay/Port Douglas/insert sun-soaked beach here but living in those places would drive me a bit nuts.

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Old May 9th 2013, 3:02 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Originally Posted by paddyo View Post
Politics is an embarrassing shambles
Something we really do have in common with the UK
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Old May 9th 2013, 3:22 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Originally Posted by paddyo View Post
10 things from me in no particular order:
1. Never start a sentence with 'This is stupid, back in the UK its like this...."
2. Never say "We want the best lifestyle for our kids"...its expensive here and your kids could adapt anywhere not just Australia
3. DO make sure you get the best possible package to come over..salary/relocation expenses/relocation agent
4. IF on a Temp 457 Visa, account for SOME states charging $4500 per child per year at Public School
5. DO NOT think you can rent a property without seeing it physically first, NO agent will allow that and believe me it is better for you. This means you will have to arrange some short term accom for when you get here....OR...like I did, get your company to sort it for you.
6. In line with 5 above, do NOT believe the Real Estate pictures of a property, they will have been taken years ago when first built/refurbished.
7. DO plan to be lonely at times, DO think about how you can cope without your friends/family and usual support.
8. DO NOT be afraid about not meeting people, if you have kids you WILL make friends through school pick ups, sports etc....if you have no kids then you are a lucky sod!
9. Do think about what furnishings you will/will not bring especially electricals and TVs.
10. Do expect a massive culture shock, it is definitely NOT Britain with sun and some variances between States is bizarre. Politics is an embarrassing shambles and some things are said in a public domain which you may consider Un-PC.

God I could say far more and I'm trying to not be too pessimistic, in fact I'm trying to provide realistic advice.
What he said

My top ten
1. Do not underestimate the size of Australia. It is bigger than you can ever imagine unless you've lived in the US or another vast country before. And even then, it is different to the US or any other vast country.

2. Following on from 1 above, do keep in mind that advice and experiences that apply to life in Melbourne (weather, school system, culture...) do NOT apply to life in Sydney, Hobart, Cairns, Perth or wherever you might think of settling. The sheer size of the country means that every state, region and city is different, not only in climate but also in a myriad of other things.

3. Make sure you come on the right and best visa for your circumstances. Research visa types extensively and be aware of the limits/restrictions of each option.

4. Prepare yourself for loneliness and feelings of isolation at times. Even if you think you are very self-sufficient today, think again. Especially if you have kids and rely on family/friends for help. It will take time to make a network of friends you can count on so make sure you know what work/schooling/childcare conditions you will have. And Australia IS VERY FAR AWAY FROM EVERYTHING!

5. Life will seem more expensive. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But it takes time to uncover the good deals, the best shopping places, the right suppliers. This means that you will most likely spend a lot of money getting set up. This gets better and cheaper.

6. You won't have to re-sit a driving test but you will have to adjust to driving in Australia. And the fact that we drive on the left is helpful but no certainty that we drive well (well I do but that's just cos I'm an awesome driver)

7. Research areas where you might want to live. Then book temporary accommodation and actually live there. Only once you have lived somewhere for a little while will you be able to decide if it is the right place for you. This could just be deciding on a state or a city, but also a suburb.

8. Decide whether you can survive without going back to the UK every year. If you can't, then budget about $3,000 per person to fly back and spend some time there. For a family of 4, a minimum of $10,000 will be needed to go back. Also, you will find a lot of similar food and things but not everything. Australia is NOT the UK.

9. Get used to the idea that there will be things you will never get used to - Christmas in summer, extreme heat, critters, people wearing tracksuit bottoms and flipflops everywhere...

10. Don't compare - prices, fashion sense, lifestyle, accents, culture, TV, food, whatever... Some things are better than the UK, some things are worse. If you choose to live in Australia, be prepared to take the bad with the good.
For us, the good has always outweighed the bad and therefore we can be described as successful migrants. Others have not been so lucky, for whatever reason, and so are either miserable living in Australia or have gone back to the UK.

We are all different with different stories, backgrounds and expectations. Take everything on this forum with a pinch of salt even all of the above
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Old May 9th 2013, 4:39 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Not a top 10 and in no particular order...

This is not the UK with sunshine, nor is it nirvana. It is a different country with different attitudes and cultures. It has crap drivers, crime, traffic issues, school issues, work can be crap etc etc.

Be prepared to be alone and fed up. It takes a long time to establish a good circle of friends who really understand you.

You will miss your friends and your family. My wife has become very very homesick or parent-sick and this has become a real problem especially as they get older. Calls, emails, skype and visits home cannot compensate.

Be prepared for friends/family to visit for long periods - and the close relationships you had with these people will become strained ! Going away for a weekend in the UK with friends is very different to them & their kids staying for 2 weeks, expecting to be fed, housed and shown around. Similarly, you may get very frustrated at the inlaws being in your house twice a year for 4 weeks at a time !

If you intend renting then bring a letter from an agent in the UK explaining what a wonderful person you are - regardless of whether you are renting out your place or have sold it.

Be careful where you rent and the school you choose. Many people arrive and rent in a fabulous area and send the kids to the local school. A few years later when they look to buy they cannot stay in that area and either have to take the kids out of school or are faced with a long journey each day to take the kids to/from school.

The move can put enormous strain on your relationship, especially in the first few months/years. Due to a lack of friends/family and limited social life we spent much more time together as a family and with my wife. Sounds great but we probably spent too much time together and relying on each other.

That said, it's a fabulous experience. Good luck.
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Old May 9th 2013, 5:02 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Originally Posted by katy1 View Post
Hi everyone,

We are looking to move to Australia in the next 12 months and I would like to know what 10 things we should know. The things that people don't tell you. For example things like.... You need to re take you driving test (I don't know if this is true). All 10 things would be great even if people repeat then I know that it is a major thing to get your head around. Please feel free to write anything!!

Cheers Kx
You asked. This is for South Australia, and in no order:

1. You do not need to retake your driving test if you have a full British licence.

2. Australia is a very hot country. Even now with winter a couple of weeks away we had 31 yesterday and 29 today. Nights can be hot. Make sure your accommodation has good air conditioning.

3. Retail is expensive, but wages can be much higher than the UK. Make sure your wage is one of those that is much higher than the UK.

4. Try not to make any judgements about whether you like or hate Australia until you have lived here for a good amount of time. You read a lot of stuff here about how much people love/hate where they are. If they've been there less than a year or two it's just honeymoon phase feelings.

5. House prices in Australia are expensive, but differ greatly by region. In South Australia they are cheaper than southern England, but those living in more expensive parts of Australia report much less affordable housing. Look at this carefully. You will get more for your money, but it could be a lot of money!

6. Make sure you are eligible for a visa, and that it is the right visa for you.

7. It is expensive to keep a vehicle on the road. Fuel is cheap, but Rego is not, and driving licences are expensive as well.

8. I have done extensive comparative analysis between online shops, and my findings were that food was cheaper in Australia, just. Most is of the same or higher quality than the UK, but not vegetables, which are considerably higher quality in the UK. It's something that happens to bother me! They go off much faster in Australia, but I am told this is because more veggies are irradiated in the UK. I don't know if this is true or not.

9. No matter what you think now, you will get irked by non-stop sunshine and heat, especially the heat at night. Flies and mosquitoes can be a real pain as well, sometimes so bad, even with repellent, that you are driven inside. Suck it up, it's Australia.

10. You will enjoy the extra space in Australia, and the lower population density. There is always somewhere to park, parks and gardens are usually totally empty and you can sit and picnic where you like without being bothered, the beaches are clean and empty, the ocean is a private swimming pool half the time, etc.

And one for free:

11. As the honeymoon phase fades, you will start to miss home and family. The best advice is to ride through it if you can, and go back for a short visit when you're more settled. Write yourself a letter explaining why you want to come to Australia, and when you feel doubt, read it. We never did this, but we wish we had.

Last edited by Zen10; May 9th 2013 at 5:04 am.
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Old May 9th 2013, 5:11 am
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Smile Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Originally Posted by Zen10 View Post
Write yourself a letter explaining why you want to come to Australia, and when you feel doubt, read it.
I spent the year before I left the UK adding to a document called "Read this if you ever doubt why you emigrated". Every time I had to drive round 10 times to find a car park, or got bashed by a trolley in a crowded Tescos, or felt threatened on public transport etc etc, I added it to this document.

I actually haven't opened it since I arrived in Australia.......

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Old May 9th 2013, 5:14 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
I spent the year before I left the UK adding to a document called "Read this if you ever doubt why you emigrated". Every time I had to drive round 10 times to find a car park, or got bashed by a trolley in a crowded Tescos, or felt threatened on public transport etc etc, I added it to this document.

I actually haven't opened it since I arrived in Australia.......

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In case of emergency, break glass, etc! We wish we had done this. Sometimes when we look at photos of our old house we understand why we did it, which is a similar thing, I suppose, but a letter would have been clearer.
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Old May 9th 2013, 6:06 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Originally Posted by katy1 View Post
Hi everyone,

We are looking to move to Australia in the next 12 months and I would like to know what 10 things we should know. The things that people don't tell you. For example things like.... You need to re take you driving test (I don't know if this is true). All 10 things would be great even if people repeat then I know that it is a major thing to get your head around. Please feel free to write anything!!

Cheers Kx
Only one bit of advice - be careful about what you read and want to believe on this forum

Opinions are like assholes etc. Only you can find out for yourself

Good luck
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Old May 9th 2013, 6:28 am
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Default Re: What 10 Things should you know before you move!

Some excellent advice on there already but mine, in no particular order

- try not to burn any bridges - take a career break, don't sell your home, don't transfer your super etc until you know it's what you're going to do for the next few years

- it's not UK with sunshine, it's a foreign country bestrewn with red tape on the other side of the world with all the same social problems of any other first world country

- most Aussies couldn't give a toss about where you came from or how you used to do stuff wherever it was you came from

- expect to pay for medical and dental services and prescriptions (and health insurance - but if you are going to take that, do it within 12 months of arrival or incur an age related loading for every year you are over 30)

- expect to have to fund your own retirement, salary sacrifice into superannuation if you can

- local phone calls from a landline are flat rate (that was the thing that amazed me on arrival LOL)

- tv is cr*p and you'll probably want to fork out for cable tv

- no fly repellant actually repels flies or mozzies (well, they love me and my pheromones!)

- always have enough slack on your credit card for an emergency trip back whence you came just in case you have a disaster and keep all your passports current just in case (join a frequent flier scheme with the airline of your choice attached to your credit card)

- if you are earning in $ don't keep converting everything to £ - that way madness lies

- and, no, you won't need to do a driving test although you might have to do a vision test. UK and Aus have a licence exchange agreement and if you are on a permanent visa you have to make that exchange within 3 months

- get vehicle break down cover with the state service eg NRMA and if you are likely o do any long drives then get the top level of cover with no restrictions on towing distance.

Good luck, enjoy the adventure but remember that it's not a life sentence and if it doesn't float your boat then move on to a place which will, don't bang your head against the same old brick wall in the hopes that it will make your headache go away. Some people love it, some don't, some grow out of live with it over time and others grow to love it more over time - only you will know what works for you.

Last edited by quoll; May 9th 2013 at 6:33 am.
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