Australia is among the world’s most popular destinations for those looking to move aboard. It boasts a pleasant mixture of favourite weather, an interesting and varied landscape, and a variety of weird and wonderful plant and animal life. On top of everything, everyone here speaks English, and so you won’t need to surmount a language barrier, and the culture shock will be far less than it would be if you’d decided to move to, say, Singapore.
Consequently, moving to Australia is a popular course of action. Australian and New Zealand Visas for UK citizens are easy to obtain, provided that you’re able to bring the right skills to bear – and thus making the switch is relatively straightforward.
But with all of that in mind, there are a few things that are worth preparing for when you make the switch. Let’s take a look at some of the most important pieces of advice.
You’ll want to go through the moving process with all of the necessary paperwork all collated into a single place. This might include birth and marriage certificates and your driver’s license. If you should need to refer to any of them during the early days of your move, then you’ll be grateful to have them all in one place. It’s useful to have a hard copy of any identification documents, as well as electronic ones that you might need to email when securing a place to live. Email them all to yourself, in case something should happen to your phone or storage media. The same goes for things like your CV and your children’s school reports.
You’ll want to appraise your new doctor of your medical records. The same goes for dentists, opticians, and other medical specialists. Be sure to also secure immunisation records – for both yourself and your children. If possible, you’ll want to research your new doctor ahead of time, and pack enough medication to see you through the first few weeks.
One of the chief reasons many choose to relocate to Australia is that it’s nice and warm here. But the truth is, many expats underestimate just how warm it can be – particularly if they’ve only visited the country during off-season. Even in coastal cities like Sydney and Melbourne, which enjoy a healthy sea-breeze and the temperature-stabilising effect of the ocean, the temperature regularly sits in the mid 30s during summer – and it can sometimes exceed 40 or even 50°C!
While it might be something of a lazy stereotype, there is some truth to the notion that alcohol is ingrained into Australian society. If you’re looking to socialise, the chances are that being able to hold your drink will be a major asset – since every social function will doubtless be lubricated by the stuff. You will probably also need to adjust slightly to the Australian sense of humour – which is slightly darker than the one we enjoy here in the UK. You might find some of the jokes you hear to be a little off-colour; you might even be offended. Until you get used to the change, it’s worth taking every utterance with a generous pinch of salt.
As with other cultural elements, you can expect to find different sorts of food on offer in this part of the world, too. Among these, naturally, is the barbeque – which you’ll find protruding from the streets along certain stretches of road, just begging to be brought to life by an impromptu cooking session.
By far the most noteworthy food change, however, is that banana bread is served far more frequently. You’ll be able to enjoy it alongside breakfast, lunch and dinner without anyone so much as batting an eyelid. If you’re looking to ingratiate yourself with the locals, then learning to cook up a batch yourself is certain to do it!
Australia is home to an ancient culture that’s entirely different to that which you’d find in the west. It’s probably a good idea to take an interest in the indigenous peoples here and their history – that way you’ll have a better understanding of how Australia came to arrive in its current state.
Australian society is infused with an almost religious work ethic. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, then they’re likely to become a social pariah. While Australians are known (they might even be notorious) for indulging in the occasional break, they don’t do so before their work is entirely finished with.