10 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Australia
Australia’s history is uniquely entwined with that of the United Kingdom. The influence of British culture on that of Australia can be felt in many aspects of life, yet Australian culture is also very much distinct from that of Britain.
In practice, this means that while you will have to make some small adjustments to the Australian way of life, the similarities of the cultures and the shared language both make integrating much easier for those coming from Britain.
As long as you know the key facts, you will find moving from the UK to Australia is much easier than it is moving to most countries. Here are the key things that you need to know.
1. So Many Incredible Cities
There are so many places you can choose to live, from incredible world famous cities like Melbourne and Sydney to more relaxed destinations like Adelaide, Perth and Darwin, you will be sure to find somewhere to match your interests.
2. It is Very, Very, Hot
Australia is well-known for its gorgeous weather, so you probably understand that it’s hot, but lots of people don’t realize just how hot it is. The temperature in Australian cities can hit the high-thirties during the summer months, sometimes even high-forties. At these temperatures, things can easily go from pleasant to dangerous very quickly if people aren’t prepared.
If you’re planning to move to Australia, you are going to need to educate yourself as to what precautions need to be taken in high heat environments. As well as managing your exposure to direct, bright sunlight, you also need to be prepared for the hazards that high sun can create. Wildfires are also an increasing concern in Australia.
3. Ourdoor Culture
With the sun shining so bright for much of the year, it’s no surprise that Australians like to barbecue outside often. And what better accompaniment to a barbecue than a nice cold beer? Most Australians drink to some degree; if you don’t partake at all then expect to stand out for it. One of the upsides to the Australian love of alcohol is that it makes buying gifts that bit easier since you can never go too far wrong with a nice bottle of something.
4. People are Very Social
British people are known for being rather reserved. British culture, in general, is quite an individualistic one in many ways. In Australia, on the other hand, it is common for strangers to talk to one another. Walking down the street in Australia you may well encounter people who want to stop you and talk to you. This can take a bit of getting used to when you are coming from the UK, but you will soon get used to the natural inclination to start long conversations with everyone you meet.
5. Fair and Equal Society
Australian culture is a very fair one that emphasises equality. Like Britain, Australia is a multicultural society where everyone is valued equally. The egalitarian streak that runs through Australian society is what draws many people to it. A lot of people who visit the country for the first time are taken aback by just how entrenched the quality is, even compared to places like Britain.
In this spirit, Australians always accept generosity from one another, and they understand that such generosity will be repaid in due course. This is in contrast to the attitude that some people in Britain have where they are too proud to accept help or charity from others.
6. High Salaries
This is one of the main reasons that people decide on moving to Australia, so if you are moving to Australia from the UK, you won’t be disappointed. Australian’s are proud of the extensive employment rights that their citizens are afforded. Many people are stunned to discover that when going to work in Australia the minimum wage is a little over 17 GBP an hour!
7. Aussies have a Good Sense of Humour
The Australian sense of humour can sometimes seem quite coarse to outsiders. Those who already have a penchant for dark humour will feel at home here, but if you are someone who prefers lighter comedy, be prepared for the different standards. Try and remember that the humour is in good nature. What might sound offensive to your ears could be more or less standard Aussie banter,
Australians, like Brits, enjoy a good deal of self-deprecation in their comedy, so often this humour is directed inwards, rather than at any particular group or person.
8. Don't Mention Kiwis
This is another case where things appear very different from the outside Australians and Kiwis (New Zealander’s, if you didn’t know) love to make fun of one another, but they do so in the best possible spirit. There is no underlying ill will beneath the barbs that they trade.
For those coming from Britain, this is a familiar situation, as the United Kingdom is made up of a number of constituent countries who like to trade good-natured insults from time to time.
9. They are Serious About Sport
There are a lot of people in Britain who enjoy watching sport, especially football. In Australia, the nation’s love of sport goes even further. It is cricket rather than football that is the most popular sport in Australia, although football remains popular.
Whereas many British people are only interested in sports as far as England or the UK’s participation in them goes, Australians love all sports and follow them closely, whether Australia is involved or not.
A feature of Australian sports culture, which may or may not be familiar to you, is that they enjoy staying up late for major sporting events. This is a by-product of an enthusiasm for sports across the globe. Different events will be held in different locations, therefore, keeping up with them all requires being able to make time to watch at any time of day.
Australian’s hold their sports stars in very high regard, probably even more so than they are in Britain.
In Britain, it is common to greet people while also asking them how they are. It is then customary to reply with a brief answer to that question. In Australia, on the other hand, when these questions are asked as part of a greeting it is a rhetorical question and no answer is expected.
If you were to respond to a ‘hi, how are you?’ with an actual rundown of your current state, you may well elicit some funny looks. Instead, simply respond with the same, or just say ‘hi’ in return.
11. Stick to the Left
Australia, like many other ex-British territories, drives on the left-hand side of the road. However, you should be aware that on roads, whereas in Britain it is customary to walk on the right-hand side of the road, against the flow of traffic, the opposite is true here.
When you are walking along Australian roads, it is customary to also walk on the left-hand side of the road. This is what drivers will be used to, so you should do it even though you have been told otherwise. No matter what reasons you have heard for walking on the right, drivers will be looking for you on the left, so make sure that’s where you are.
12. Incredible Tourist Sights
There are lots of amazing places you will get to visit in your spare time, from the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands, Ayers Rock - you will never be bored! Taking a gap year in Australia or living there is the perfect opportunity to see spectacular places in your spare time.
There are many different reasons that people choose to move Down Under to Australia. For those coming from the UK, the familiarity of the culture and language makes integrating and fitting in that much easier.