Living in Australia

A move to Australia could be described as a dream move and an amazing decision. Australia is home to 21 million people and stands as the sixth-largest country globally. The country is made up of over 3 million square miles, containing a diverse range of wildlife and nature as well as great cities and suburbs. Interestingly, the wildlife is a major reason for why expats move to Australia, apart from the excellent working and living opportunities it offers. Experts state that the country’s stress is relatively low when put against other countries and has a high life expectancy. Australia’s national language is English, so you’ll find no problem in communicating with natives. However, despite there being a common language, the UK and Australia offer a completely different living experience. They are completely different culture, and the two countries are really nothing a like at all. Some have stated that they’ve had to replace the pub with a hike in the countryside due to the beauty of the outdoors. In addition, Australia is extremely safe and has a brilliant lifestyle.

Weather

Due to its size, the country experiences different climates around the island. Northern Australia tends to have a tropical climate whereas Southern Australia has a temperate climate dependent on the season, experiencing hot summers and wet winters. Western Australia has a similar climate, with the temperature dropping to 7 or 8°C in winters. Unfortunately, we often hear on the news about Australian bushfires – and one of the reasons for such happenings is the lack of rainfall the country has, paired with the tremendous areas of greenery. The weather is another popular reason for why expats choose to travel to Australia – it offers such a diverse climate that one of them will certainly be pleasing for you.

Transportation

Whether you’re looking to travel between cities or explore the country, Australia offers extensive modes of transportations that will be of benefit to you. Research highlighted that international students in Australia spend between $700 – $ 1500 per year on transport, therefore owning a bicycle is an economical alternative. Bikes can be bought or rented across the island. However, if you plan on getting a bike, you must also make sure to wear a helmet, have working lights on the front and back of the bicycle and get a good lock to protect your bike from theft when locking it outside. Keep in mind that if you’re cycling, you’ve got to follow road rules. The bus is also a good option and you can use a reusable smart card system to get on whilst some also offer the possibility to purchase a ticket from the driver. The bus can also be used if you want to travel a long distance. The other alternative is the train, which connects to every part of the country. The railway system is one of the easiest and convenient modes of transport in Australia. Taxis are always another option that you can use – however they can be pretty expensive. You can summon a taxi using the taxi’s respective mobile app. Alternatively, a personal car could be an option.

Cost of Living

Expats have found the cost of living in Australia relatively higher than their home country. Numbeo research shows that a family of four living in Australia estimated monthly costs are close to A$5,000, whilst a single person estimated monthly costs are A$1,300. In 2020, Australian cities are climbed significantly higher up the list that compares costs of day-to-day consumer goods and services. Moreover, Propertyology reported that Byron, Sydney, Kiama, Surf Coast and Wingecarribee are Australia’s most expensive cities. Let’s be straight – Australia isn’t in the world’s top 10 most expensive countries to live in, but it tends to rank at 11 or 12. There are added costs such as the air conditioning that have to be used in summers. In addition, living expenses in Australia are between those in the U.S. and the UK, even though most of the expenses are related to housing. On the other hand, food and drink costs are more expensive in the bigger cities than the rural areas.

Education

School education is compulsory between the ages of six and sixteen in Australia, during which students attend primary, secondary and senior secondary school. English is the main language of instruction in the education system, even though some schools offer bilingual programs. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) monitors the country’s education system. There are both government and non-government schools in Australia. Expat families can easily send their children to government schools; however, you may need to pay the fixed tuition fee. This depends on the visa that you own, otherwise, children can attend these schools for free. Moreover, you can opt for private schools, which tend to be Catholic private schools.

Healthcare

Australia’s healthcare has been praised by many to be one of the world’s best and can be highlighted in the country’s high life expectancy. As an expat living in Australia, the public healthcare is a good one, and whilst being highly efficient, you may still find a queue for non-emergencies. On the other hand, there is Medicare, the government-supported healthcare system, which is available for all residents. Medicare is paid for via income deduction and covers essential medical costs but isn’t all-inclusive. A private healthcare cover is mainly popular in Australia to cover specialised, non-emergency surgeries. As an expat, you can only apply for Medicare and health insurance cover from within the country.

Tax

If you’re living in Australia, you declare on your tax return any income you earned including employment, rent and capital gains on Australian assets amongst others. Australian residents are subject to Australian tax on worldwide income, whilst non-residents are subject to Australian tax on Australian-source income only. If you qualify as a temporary expat, you may be exempt from Australian tax. In order to calculate the amount of taxes paid, one should subtract deductible expenses and losses from the assessable income of the taxpayer.

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