How to prepare to move to Australia? 4 great tips for new residents

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If you’re considering migrating to Australia and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

While moving overseas might seem straightforward, that’s not always the case (take it from someone who has moved to Australia recently). In fact, new research from HSBC found that 1 in 3 expats who move to Australia said that settling in is not easy.

Notably, 1 in 2 immigrants said: “They felt unsettled in Australia after struggling to get important things such as a bank account set up.” And the average immigrant takes nine months to feel settled.

Moving to Australia might appear overwhelming, but preparing in advance could make the transition easier.

Related: Can foreigners buy property in Australia? Yes, here’s how

“Living in another country can be exciting and enriching but also daunting. A core challenge isn’t so much a practical matter as a psychological one - the task of creating a home,” says Stanford science and psychology professor, Geoffrey CohenCohen. 

“Home is a psychological state as much as a physical place, one defined by a sense of belonging - a feeling of being an accepted part of a larger community. That’s why it’s important for people to be patient, not put pressure on themselves and take their time to feel settled.”

With the help of Cohen, HSBC has offered some great tips below to help you move to a new country.

man on mountain looking out into the distance

1. Plan for practical matters.

The most essential tip is to figure out your financial and living logistics early so you can focus on settling in socially when you arrive in Australia.

This could include: 

Related: How to send money overseas 

2. Learn local customs

Moving anywhere means needing to learn ‘how the locals do.’ 

So before moving consider learning some Aussie slang to avoid getting caught in awkward situations when speaking to the locals.

Common Aussie slang

  • Arvo - afternoon
  • Aussie (pronounced ‘Ozzie’) - Australian
  • Barbie - barbecue
  • Bloke - man, guy
  • BYO - Bring Your Own – often wine at a restaurant or food to an event
  • Esky - insulated food/drink container for a picnic, barbecues etc.
  • Footy - Football
  • G’Day - Hello
  • Good onya - good for you, well done
  • Lollies - sweets, candy
  • Mozzie - mosquito
  • No drama - same as ‘no worries
  • Postie - postman, mailman
  • Sickie - day off sick
  • Sunnie - sunglasses

3. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there

Being in a new place is intimidating especially if you don’t know anyone. Hence why it's important to put yourself out there and find a social network based on your interest, whether it be a book club, volunteering at an event, or showing up to trivia or meet-ups.

4. Understand that belonging is a process that takes time

Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t feel comfortable in your new home immediately. There will be moments when you’ll feel lost physically and mentally but don’t let that stop you. Just take it one step at a time; before you know it, Australia will become your new home.

Before moving to Australia, remember to research how to send your money overseas. Aim to keep your hip pockets full when it comes to exchanging money. Compare international money transfer providers below to see which option is best for you.

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