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How to Settle Into a New Country

Moving to another country can be very overwhelming, but if you've chosen to transfer to Australia, you've made a great choice. With some of the best working conditions in the world, a relatively strong economy and range of options for amazing living locations, Australia has a lot to offer.


Photo: Pain Chaud

Before moving down under, you will have a lot to think about -- how to relocate, study English, make travel arrangements, and work with the embassy to establish visa documentation. Below is a list of four actions that are 'must-dos' and will get you started on your relocation to Australia.

1. Know your visa and documentation
When travelling, or moving to a new country, it is important you make yourself very familiar with the rules and customs of your new locality, and also, very importantly, with your own role, responsibilities and protections in that location. This includes ensuring you know how to meet your basic needs in that country.

In Australia, citizens access healthcare primarily through the Medicare system, which is a government initiative that provides rebates for a range of basic health-related issues such as visits to the GP. In addition to this, many people also have private health cover, which offers further rebates on less basic costs such as ambulance rides, elective surgeries and dental.

As a 'visitor', it is your responsibility to understand the provisions that are made in your visa for the likes of health cover, or if you need to purchase additional insurance. Read through all of your documentation carefully so you know all areas where you are covered and where you require additional cover or a 'rainy day' fund.

2. Finding work
Unless strictly travelling, it is likely your visa will require you to undertake a certain amount of work in order to remain in the country. Australia has a rich and diverse employment market, and skills shortages are prevalent in many areas.

The best methods for finding employment are to explore job boards, and also to register with as many recruitment companies in your location of choice as possible. Australia has a vast array of international and local, large and boutique recruitment agencies, some specialist, some generalist. The largest job boards, include seek, career one and my career.

3. Learn the local language
In order to get a temporary working visa in Australia, you will need to have a good understanding of the language -- English. While you may need to start learning before you arrive, it is also a good idea for your partner and family to attend an English school once they arrive so they can polish up their communication skills. This will make everyday tasks -- school, work and even shopping much more comfortable.

4. Accommodation
With the internet and online inspections available these days, it is highly likely you can find a place online before even arriving in Australia. If this is your plan, keep in mind that things aren’t always what they seem, so be careful and if possible, wait until you have seen a place prior to signing a lease or any other holding documents.

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