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Adapting To A New Lifestyle When Living In Australia

Aug 4, 2008
In America, with rising inflation, debt, healthcare, food and fuel costs, it's tempting to just pick up and leave the country altogether. You may be wondering, "What do American immigrants think of Australian society?" Liberals often flock to live in Australia because they view it as a more socialist-leaning nation that has a safer, drug-free environment and a "no worries" mentality.

Yet, many American expatriates grumble about Australia's strong central government, high taxes and overly generous welfare system. Despite their complaints, many Americans stay in Oz. They get attached to the landscape, they love the brazen honesty of Australians and they find homes they love.

If you're an American who has moved to Australia, then you likely experienced a period of culture shock. At first, you may have found yourself confused, frustrated or agitated by certain cultural differences that seemed minute before you became embedded in Australian society. You've probably heard the rumor that Americans aren't exactly "loved" around the world, courtesy of George W. Bush.

This isn't necessarily true in Oz, as many Australians are ambivalent about Americans. Some Americans reported that they felt they didn't belong or couldn't advance in jobs because of their "Yankee" accents, although 75% of Americans said their migration was a positive experience, without any discrimination.

In Australia, "summer" runs from December to February, "autumn" runs from March to May, "winter" is June to August and "spring" is September to November. Talk about a 360 degree turn around! Most of the population is located in coastal cities and suburbs, such as in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, which are very popular expatriate cities.

Immigration updates have created a fast track program for certain skilled workers in fields like teaching, medicine, accounting, computer technology, skilled construction labor and landscaping. Wealthy retirees and young people with an education, skills and money are always welcome.

One fifth of the population was born outside of Australia, so you won't be alone! There are many resources to help you get set up, but you can start with the Australian consulate or Department of Immigration.

Living In Australia can be extremely rewarding. Most Australians work for themselves, owning small businesses or operating from home as consultants, and enjoy freer schedules to enjoy the diverse Australian landscape. The Australian job outlook is excellent, as 2008 unemployment rates hit a 31-year low.

Western Australia has the lowest unemployment (2.7%), compared to the highest unemployment rate in Tasmania (5.6%). Each week, more than 200,000 jobs are listed for Australians and visa-holding immigrants, so you're likely to have success relocating, particularly if you're open to working in the service or finance sectors.
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