Life in Australia.

G’day mate, hows it going?

So, you are finally making the move across the globe – CONGRATULATIONS!!! As exciting as packing your bags and moving your life to the other side of the world is, here are a few things I wish people had told me before I made the move over 2 years ago.

TFN AND SUPER – You may be thinking ‘what are these?’ (I know I was). TFN is also known as your Tax File Number and Super is  Superannuation fund.

TFN – This is essential if you would like to work in Australia. You can apply for your TFN online and it can take up to six weeks until you receive one. If you have applied for a TFN and you haven’t got your number yet but  would like to work in the meantime it is possible to give it to your employer once you receive it. You have up to 28 days to provide a tax file number to your employer.

SUPER – Superannuation is a way to save for your retirement. The money comes from contributions made into your super fund by your employer, your employer must pay 9.5% of your salary into a super fund. This is called the super guarantee and it’s the law. Most people can choose which super fund they’d like their super contributions paid into – if you want to choose your super fund, tell your employer by filling in a standard choice form from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or from your employer. However, if you are on a working holiday visa or choose to leave after your sponsor visa has expired you will be able to access your super money once you leave the country.

JOBS – Research jobs in Oz before you leave. Australia may have a good economy, but it might not be as easy to get a job as you think. If you’re on a working holiday visa, you’ll be restricted to six months with each employer so plan what you want to do to save time. Register with as many recruitment agencies as possible and keep your eyes peeled on job sites such as Seek and Indeed.

Now we have covered the important stuff, here are some fun facts that I really wish I had known!

  1. You assume trying to find an apartment to rent will be hard. Nothing will prepare you for exactly how hard it will be. Seriously, clear your diary and get on the apartment hunt.
  2. Everything will seem so expensive at first…You will get used to the crazy prices – eventually!
  3. You probably won’t go to the beach all that much. SHOCK! I know but this is true.
  4. Australia gets cold. Very cold! Especially Melbourne – Maybe bring that Zara winter coat from last year.
  5. Everyone in Australia drinks coffee. If you don’t drink coffee then start.
  6. Regional work – Everyone dreads this but if you want your 2nd year visa, then you need to do it – No one tells you what a great experience it will be – DO IT.
  7. Getting into nightclubs and pubs might not be as easy as it was back home, carry your ID everywhere.
  8. If you’re looking for very fashionable clothes at the high-street stores then don’t bother! The clothes are expensive and not that great. Second-hand, vintage and charity shops all have great finds and wealthy Australians often use them to get rid of last season’s fashions so you’ll be able to snaffle up some bargains for a few dollars.
  9. You’ll find lots of new food experiences in Oz: Kangaroo, Crocodile, Smashed Avocado. The list is endless. Brunch is also a major thing, if you don’t eat breakfast then start.
  10. Last but not least Enjoy it!!!!!

I hope this has helped you prepare a little bit more for your move. It really will be the best thing you ever do and who knows maybe I will see you Down Under. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Steffi Miller, Recruitment Consultant.

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