(Closed) Calling all Aussie bees!

posted 8 years ago in Australia
Post # 3
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I’m a Yank who just married an Aussie, so while I can’t really give you a good answer, I suggest you check out this site, which has lots of good info on moving to Australia, visas, and cultural differences:

Yanks Down Under

Post # 6
6473 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011 - Sydney, Australia

Do you have any ideas what state you’d be looking to move to?

Also, what age group do you guys teach? Each state has it’s own Department of Education, so you can research the requirements, and also the job boards, just to get an idea on the kind of work available. There are plenty of teaching agencies around you can start with for casual work, depending on where you want to go.

The cost of living depends where you are, too. If you’re in a big city, the prices go up. Some things to keep in mind about Australia vs the USA. It’s so much more isolated and the population is much smaller – so we don’t have anywhere near as much choice or value with shopping. I’ve just come back from London where we were living for a few years, and the price of everyday things is blowing my mind! It’s all relative to your earnings of course, but it seems like a big difference. Also, we desperately need more online shopping. That being said, it’s BEAUTIFUL living here. It’s a gorgeous country (in my humble opinion) and it’s very laidback. I wouldn’t change a thing about living here. (Well, except for the shopping options.)

I’m in Sydney, but I live in the ‘burbs. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 7
303 posts
Helper bee

I’m the child of teachers, and 3 of my friends have recently graduated…if you can get in, then it’s a good stable job.The pay is decent when you first start, and there is a good progression through the pay scales. Also, you get 10 weeks paid holiday every year.

In NSW at least, it’s tough to get a job at a “good” school in the bigger towns and cities, though there are bonuses if you live “beyond the line” out west. It depends a lot on what kind of teacher you are. There are shortages at the moment for mathematics, physics and chemistry. The humanities not so much.

I used to live with an American, and she complained a lot that food and clothes are more expensive. She was also horrified by the small size of the large coke at MacDonalds (though I have to say when I visited the US, I was horrified by the opposite ๐Ÿ™‚

I live in the inner west in Sydney, which is sort of like the outer ring of suburbs before you really get into the burbs. As a comparator, for a crappy/ pretty-much-decent 2 bedroom apartment in the inner suburbs, it costs anywhere from $380 to $500 per week in rent. In contrast, the country town where I grew up, rent is $200/week for a 2 bedroom house with a backyard… expect to pay ~300/quarter for electricity. I commute into the city every day, and my monthly train ticket costs 100 bucks.

Post # 8
2459 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

It’s funny the cost of living in Australia is very high esp for food and clothing, however Australian cities always rank very high in the most liveable cities in the world I think Melbourne was ranked the 3rd most livable city in the world.

Australia is incredibly safe

Poverty is very low 

It is very un polluted with so much pristine environment

The food is the best in the world due to great produce and multi culturalism

The weather is amazing

The beaches and oceans are the best

The people are warm and friendly

All in all Australia rocks!!


Post # 10
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Holy schlamoly aussie bees, can you imagine a 4 bedroom house for 150K?  You’d struggle to get a 4 bedroom house for 10 times that (not exaggerating) here! 

@runnerbeez: I’ve shared most of my insight with you already, but really i can’t stress enough that despite the high cost of living, the quality of life here is second to none.  Especially as teachers – i just can’t imaging better working conditions that what you get here.  @so_said_ellie is conservative with the leave – even in the public system you get 6-7 weeks for summer, and 3 mid-term breaks throughout the year that are 2 weeks each.  So even if you take the minimum, you’re still looking at 12 weeks paid leave compared to what, 8 or 9 in the states or canada?  In the private sector, where i work, I get 7 weeks in summer and three 3-week mid term breaks – so almost 16 weeks off a year! 

Thats the main difference i percieve between aus and anywhere else i’ve lived (canada and europe) – they really value work life balance here (in most sectors anyway – don’t ask my Fiance who works in banking!) and people are MUCH happier for it.  Australians are SO well travelled – i’ve never ever met one who hasn’t been overseas, and most have lived overseas – it gives them a tolerance and an understanding of other cultures that you don’t see everywhere.

As you can tell I’m sold.  I think despite the cost, it would be totally worth it for you guys to come over! Even if its just for a year to feel it out, and if you hate it you can always go back. 

Post # 11
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Oh, and just for fun – this is the view out my office window:

Post # 12
6473 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011 - Sydney, Australia

@ScarletBegonia: I wish I had a view like that! Our school looks out onto the Great Western Highway. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 13
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I love Australia and I really like Brisbane, but I’ve pretty much lived here my whole life. Here are the cons that I can think of.

The cost of living is very high. Houses are 300K and upwards. I live in Brisbane and the way we control our traffic here sucks. Can you say traffic lights on a round-a-bout? Or Traffic lights coming off of a freeway? Yeah, we love our traffic lights *rolls eyes*. The public transport system is lacking, very few busses and trains and they don’t run very well.

Some examples of things I found different (for things I purchase whilst in Seattle) in terms of prices:

Books: Ones I bought in the US were $10-$20. They would have cost me $35-$45 in Australia

MAC Makeup: $14.50 for a lipstick. $36 in Australia.

Petrol: $1.50 per/L now in Australia (1 L = 0.26 gallons)

Clothes: I found some fabulous clothes and shoes in America which were all around $25. In Australia it’s hard to find something nice under $75. ($75 is almost a bargain)

Average wage (I think) is $50,000. (Aussie bees feel free to correct me on this)

We do have a public health care system, HECS (an interest free loan for university fees) and a decent education system, particularly for universities.

Aussies are laid back people which is good because we love a holiday but bad because things get done slowly here.

We love our sport. We have soccer, ALF, NRL and Rugby but no gridiron.

I feel like we are quite an accepting country, yes there are exceptions to this and some scum who are awful, but for the most part, we welcome anyone. You’ll probably be asked “Where are you from?” All the time, but we don’t mean it in a hostile way. Us Aussies just love to talk to people from other countries because we have a large culture of travel. Travel the world and then when you retire, buy a caravan and travel Australia.

We have an ageing population so it’s possible that taxes will increase in coming years to support them.

Australia doesn’t get a lot of products (phones, makeup, movies, clothing, TV Shows) for a long time after America does – if ever sometimes!

Things to do before coming to Australia: Learn how to swim! We have some pretty dangerous waters in Australia and every Australian is expected to know how to swim, we also love our pools. Along that same vein, swim between the flags whilst on the beach, this is were the lifeguards have checked and will rescue you if you need to be. Raise one arms in the air and wave to be rescued.

Aussie Lingo:

Lift = Elevator

Thong = Flip Flop

G-String = Thong

Tea = Dinner

Soft Drink = Soda/Pop

Lemonade = Sprite (we don’t have American lemonade aid, all lemonade is carbonated)

Rubber = Eraser

Condom = Rubber

University = College (and we don’t refer to it as “we met at school” we say “we met at uni”)

Footpath = Sidewalk

Footy = Anything but soccer

POM = A term used to make fun of (but in a nice way) Englishmen

Mozzie = Mosquito

Barbie = BBQ

Chuck = To throw

Meat Pie = Like Sheppard’s pie but encased in pastry and no mash potato

Sausage Roll = sausage meat encased in flaky pastry

Wasted = Drunk

Jumper = Sweater

Sandshoes = Runners

Togs (in Queensland) Cossie (in NSW) = Swimmers

Cotton Bud = Q-Tip

Sorry for the tangent, I just really like thinking up these sorts of things. ๐Ÿ™‚

Feel free to add to the list Aussie bees!





Post # 14
1829 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

As an American who lived in Melbourne for a year back in 2008, and now lives in Brisbane with my Fiance, I can tell you with full certainty that Australia is an awesome place to live but there are some things you might want to take into consideration.

First of all, it is ridiculously expensive to live here.  Salaries are better, but not hugely so.  Part of the problem is that the Aussie dollar is usually about $1 to 70 cents American; currently, they are $1 AUD = $1 USD.  When I first moved to Melbs, it wasn’t too bad converting, now, the prices are cringeworthy  ๐Ÿ™ 

Living accommodations:  WAY more expensive than the US! I am from Chicago and used to ‘high’ rents.  Here, my Fiance and I pay for one week what I paid monthly for an awesome place in Chicago.  You don’t get as much for your money and an article just came out today saying Australia has the most overpriced housing market in the world….. that beats the UK, Japan, and every other crowded country with exorbitant housing costs.

Shopping:  Food is killing me right now (I should add I only just returned to Brissy three weeks ago after being back in the States for a couple of years).  Expect to pay two to three times what you pay for food in the States.  Clothes – same thing.  I moved to Melbourne after living in London, where clothes are SO cheap and the sticker shock was unbelievable.

And my last thing for you to consider – distance.  Whilst Australia is an amazing country to live in, it is very far from everything.  Again, I came here from London, where I had been able to travel to just about any European country I wanted for a weekend and could get to the rest of the world fairly easily as well, so my view may be a bit skewed, but everything is a significant distance and cost away.  Sydney to LA is 14.5 hours.  Melbourne to Bangkok is 9 hours.  Melbourne to London is 26 hours.   It’s just far so you need to be prepared for that.

Now for the positives of which there are many!  It’s a gorgeous country, there are a million places to visit here, each more exotic and unique than the last.  The friendliness and laidback attitude of the Australians can’t be beat.  Definitely the best beaches in the world along with some of the best food.  Everything is fresh and the country is quite diverse, meaning a wide array of ethnic foods.  The air is clean, cities are clean and safe, people look out for each other and even the big cities have a sense of community.  Once you’re a resident, health care is free.  Schools are universally good/decent, as opposed to the polarised education in the States.  Banking is much simpler than the US and much more user friendly.

Really, it is an awesome place to live and I am so happy to be back! 

Just out of curiosity, how were you planning on coming over here?  There is a 12 month Work and Holiday visa for Americans under 30 to live in Australia.  Beyond that, unless you’re claiming asylum, I think you need to have a sponsor and/or a reason (family, job etc) for coming.  The Work and Holiday visa might be a good option though for you at least to try it out and see how you like it. 

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