At Remitly, we know Australia is a hugely popular relocation destination for professionals and students across the world. We also know that it will take some getting used to. That’s why we’ve created this quick, one-stop list of tips for really making yourself comfortable Down Under. Whether your new life is unfolding in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, or anywhere else, this guide on how to settle in Australia is for you.
Finding a place to live
Picking the right property is an all-important consideration if you plan to settle in Australia. The good news is you don’t need to spend days going between real estate agents. Thanks to online listings sites, you can seek out places that meet your specifications from the comfort of the couch. Sites such as Realestate.com.au and Domain put the latest properties at your fingertips.
Whether on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device, you can quickly get browsing for potential candidates. Look out for filters that can narrow the field and save you time. As well as searching within a certain area and price range, you may be able to filter for more specific attributes. Whether pets are allowed, for example, and whether there are built-in wardrobes. The sites mentioned above also let you search for rooms in shared properties. This can be a great way to meet new people in Australia. Plus, it’s likely to be cheaper than renting an entire flat.
Regardless of how good the photos are, you’ll want to arrange an in-person viewing. This is the only way to be sure the property matches your expectations. The rental application process will involve showing some documents. These can include your passport, foreign driver’s licence, and recent payslips or bank statements. A security deposit and some advance rent will also probably need to be paid.
Like some more detailed information on the whole process, and how regulations differ in different parts of the country? Check out our dedicated guide to renting in Australia.
Setting up a bank account
It’s always a good idea to set up a local bank account when you move to a new country. For one thing, you’ll avoid international banking charges which may apply if you carry on using your home country account. Plus, certain formal transactions – like paying rent or receiving salary – may be much easier with an Australian bank account.
There are a variety of banks popular with Australians. These include NAB (National Australia Bank), ANZ, and CommBank. Creating an account is generally straightforward, as long as you’re able to provide the right documents. These may include your birth certificate, passport, and recent utility bill. Bear in mind that different banks may require different combinations of documents. You can find out more about banking options in Australia with our quick overview here.
Finding a job
Depending on your Australian visa requirements, you may not be entitled to change your job if you plan to settle in Australia. However, if you are free to switch roles, there are a number of websites that can help. These include SEEK, Indeed, and the government-run Jobs Hub.
According to the latest research by professional social network LinkedIn, some of the most in-demand roles in Australia include:
- Senior human resources officers, leading junior HR staff members
- Machine learning engineers, developing AI systems for products and apps
- Data engineers, maintaining IT data storage systems
- B2B sales reps, especially within the IT sector
- Digital content designers, specialising in content strategy and user experience
- Cybersecurity specialists, protecting data from hacking and ransomware attacks
When job hunting, it’s essential that your CV/résumé is as polished and accurate as possible. If English isn’t your first language, it’s worth having an Australian friend read it over. Maintaining an active presence on LinkedIn can also be invaluable for staying aware of possible opportunities.
Exploring Your New Home
Australia is a truly vast country. In terms of land mass, it’s significantly larger than Europe. As a result, there’s a wealth of things to see and do. The cities get a lot of international attention, with good reason. Sydney, for example, boasts one of the world’s most iconic skylines, thanks to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Whether you live in the city or are just visiting, you should make time for the Rocks. This is the oldest part of Sydney: an atmospheric warren of cobbled streets and heritage buildings, packed with pubs and restaurants.
Foodies should certainly make a pilgrimage to Melbourne. Regularly touted as Australia’s culinary capital, it has numerous trailblazing restaurants to explore. From dim sum you can eat on the go, to impeccable high-end cuisine, it’s all on the menu in Melbourne.
The natural beauty of Australia should also be explored. The country has over 10,000 beaches, and many have their own distinct feel. You can enjoy the famous camel rides on Cable Beach in Western Australia. Or, if you’re feeling very active, go surfing at Bondi Beach in New South Wales.
You can also head into the interior of the country to explore the legendary outback. Also known as the Red Centre, it’s a sprawling zone of epic landscapes and fascinating wildlife. It’s where you’ll find Uluru, the sandstone monolith that’s one of the great natural wonders of the world. While climbing Uluru is forbidden, you can go camping in the vicinity and soak in the magical landscape.
Getting Used to Cultural Changes
If you plan to settle in Australia, you’ll be glad to know that this is a very welcoming nation, with a famously friendly and laid-back culture. People take things easy in Australia, and are always ready to greet a stranger with a jovial ‘G’day mate’. One thing you may have to get used to is Australia’s take on English. Slang is deeply embedded in the language, with words frequently shortened. So, instead of ‘afternoon’, an Australian may say ‘arvo’. Firefighters are known as ‘firies’, and Australia itself is often simply called ‘Straya’.
Whether you love sport or don’t, you may well find yourself swept up by local passions while living in Australia. That’s because sport is a huge part of life in the country. Rugby and cricket are massive, and then there’s the home-grown phenomenon of Australian Rules Football. It’s an intensely physical contact sport, and beloved by millions of Australians. The AFL Grand Final every September, which determines the winners of the Australian Football League, is the country’s answer to the Super Bowl.
Sending Money Home
While Australia is far removed from most places in the world, you can easily send money home to loved ones. Banks and high street remittance companies can get the job done, but you should shop around online for potential deals. You may find that online-only transfer companies like Remitly provide the most value for money.
Remitly offers low transfer fees and great exchange rates whenever you send money abroad from Australia. Every transaction takes place behind multiple layers of security. Our app also takes the hassle out of transfers, whether you’re sending a one-off payment or providing regular financial support. Wherever you settle in Australia, Remitly puts the power to help your family and friends at your fingertips.