Settling into another country isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It takes a lot of research to understand what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. So, if you’re feeling nervous… it’s totally normal!
When I arrived in Australia on September 11th 2019, I had no idea where to start. All I knew is that I wanted to meet people and get a job. Had I been given a checklist with the most important things to do when I land, I would’ve saved a heap of time, energy and money!
Here are my top 10 tips to guide you through your first week in Australia. Tick these off and you’ll have a much smoother transition than I did.
1. Complete Bank Account Registration
Assuming you already set up your bank account before you arrive, all you need to do next is to visit your chosen branch and collect your debit card (with the appropriate ID). You can transfer funds into your Aussie bank account before you arrive using an app called Wise.
2. Apply for a TFN (Tax File Number)
A TFN is a unique number the ATO (Australian Tax Office) generates for you. It’s your unique tax identifier and essentially and allows you to work legally and pay tax in the country.
3. Register with a Super Fund
Superannuation, or ‘super’, is money that is put aside and saved in a fund in preparation for retirement. It is part of the Australian pension system designed to give you a regular income throughout your retirement once you stop earning a wage. If you leave Australia before you reach retirement age, you’re entitled to claim a percentage of it back.
4. Buy an Aussie Phone SIM
Australia’s main network providers are Telstra, Vodafone and Optus. Each provider offers national coverage and relatively similar deals. Call or visit in-store to compare plans.
5. Organise Health Insurance
It’s strongly recommended to get good health insurance coverage when you visit Australia on a working holiday visa. Health insurance coverage could save you thousands if you need treatment. You may be able to enrol in Medicare if you’re visiting from a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement country.
6. Visit Some of the Area’s Most Popular Sights
Whichever city you arrive in, take some time to check out the top attractions and places to visit. Whether it’s Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth; every city has its own something special and unique to offer.
7. Apply for a Job
Finding work in Australia is easy. Search and apply for jobs with GoTo, register with a recruitment agency, or drop in on a local business with your CV. Given the national labour shortage in Australia across almost every white- and blue-collar sector, chances are, they’ll welcome you with open arms.
8. Enjoy a Night Out
There are many bars, clubs, restaurants and events to satisfy your social craving in most of the major Australian cities. Whether a quiet drink with some nice food is your thing, or an all-out party until the early hours of the morning is a little more up your street, you’ll always find somewhere to go to have fun with friends.
9. Search for Long-Term Accommodation
Hostels are great places to find your feet in new surroundings or to meet new people while you’re travelling. But, if you’re staying at the same place for longer than a few weeks, a leased apartment or shared house would be more suitable. Websites like Domain and Real Estate host all the latest rentals for you to browse and arrange viewings at.
10. Decide on When and Where to do Farm Work
If you’re on a working holiday visa, you must work 88 days in regional Australia to be eligible for a second or third-year visa extension. Farm Work is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in which most travellers look back on as being one of the most enjoyable parts of their entire working holiday. Choose a farm with a good reputation, safe working conditions and plenty to do when you’re not working.
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