Publication Date - 09/11/2021
By - Chani Fletcher
Ted Lasso. The man of biscuits. The man of belief.
Ted is an American football coach who migrates to the UK to coach a Premier League football team. Underneath it all, though, he is a man who is just trying to make it in a strange, new country.
The world is ripe with opportunities but moving countries - whether it is for work, for love or to be a goldfish and have a fresh start - can still be a daunting experience. Getting the visa is only the beginning. What is it like to live in a different country? When you get here to Australia, what can you expect?
Like with many of other life's big questions, Ted Lasso has some answers for you.
"I do love a locker room. It smells like potential."
Embrace your fresh start. You have the opportunity to explore new horizons and you will certainly learn more about yourself in the process.
Australia is a huge country - wider and bigger than most people can comprehend. You can drive for several hours and never even leave a state. Make sure you know how to drive a car!
We have beaches, tropical rainforests, deserts, scrubland and cities that serve some of the world's best coffee (just ask us). Any type of country you want, we have it all - make the most of this opportunity to explore something different.
Be curious - Australians love that. We love telling you about our country. How do you know if you've met an Aussie? Don't worry, they've already told you.
"Your body is like day-old rice. If it ain't warmed up properly, something real bad could happen."
If you thought moving house was painful, wait until you try moving countries. But you got this - all you need is preparation.
Here are some tips from someone who has moved countries a few times:
- Check travel rules: check the current travel rules both in your home country and in Australia. You'll need a travel exemption, along with your visa, to arrive in Australia right now but vaccination rates are heading towards 80% in Australia so things will be changing rapidly. You can stay up-to-date through the Australian government website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia
- Get work-ready: give yourself a head start by understanding what's required to work in Australia. You'll need a visa that gives you work rights. Once you're here, you'll need an Australian bank account to receive your wages into. You should also look at obtaining a Tax File Number (TFN). You don't have to have a TFN to work in Australia, but if you don't have one you will pay more tax. You can apply for a TFN online with the Australian Tax Office - check it out here.
- Make a list and check it twice: wrapping up a life in your home country can be a daunting task. There's so much to remember - the best thing you can do is to make a list and go through it methodically. Things to think about:
- Services to cancel - for example, gas / electricity services, internet, subscriptions, insurance
- Electronic notifications - for any services that may need access to back home, make sure you're signed up for online notifications rather than mail. It makes is much easier to manage from overseas!
- Rental references - as a newly-arrived migrant, you won't have a rental history in Australia which can be tough as it is a very competitive market in all states. You can help offsite this by getting references from your current/previous landlords in your home country before you leave. You can include these in your rental application in Australia to demonstrate your good rental history.
- Banking - you may wish to keep your old bank account active but you will want to update them with your new contact details in Australia once you know them. Make sure that any 2FA / authentication you need to access your old bank account will still work if you're trying to access your account overseas.
- Tax - some countries still require you to do your taxes even if you're working/living in a foreign country. Make sure you understand the requirements for your home nation. When you work in Australia, you'll also need to do a tax return here.
"I think that you might be so sure that you're one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there you're just one in 11."
- We are none of us an island and moving countries means you'll be without your normal support network. Make sure you are kind to yourself and keep strong links with your friends and family back home, especially while you're settling in. Video links help to reduce distance when you're on the other side of the world!
- It also helps to connect with the locals. Explore our food scene - nothing unites (and divides) Australians more than food. Ask your colleagues where the best sushi in town is and watch the chaos that ensues as they argue about it (this can only be a good thing, as you'll leave with recommendations for no less than 5 separate places, each sworn to be the very best in town).
- Cultivate your friendships over a "chicken parmy" (parmigiana to you lot) and barefoot bowls. Immerse yourself in Australian music. Understand the difference between Barnsey and Farnsey.
Which leads us to Aussie lingo...
"It's kind of like back in the '80s when 'bad' meant 'good'. "
Australian lingo can be bewildering if you're not used to it - here's some common words:
- Arvo = afternoon (lets catch up this arvo?)
- Brekky = breakfast
- Togs = swimsuits (but, depending on the state, you could also say 'bathers' or 'cossies')
- Thongs = always footwear, never underwear
- Biccy = cookie/biscuit (wanna biccy?)
- Lollies = gummy sweets
- Too easy / no worries = I would be happy to do that for you
"Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse. If you're comfortable while you're doing it, you're probably doing it wrong"
Finally, be mentally prepared for change and expect it to take at least 12 months before you actually feel "settled". Australia won't be like home but cultivate a sense of curiosity and celebrate the similarities and the differences. This is an adventure - enjoy it!