Australia is a large and beautiful country that is especially know for its quality of life, multicultural society and booming economy. If you are considering immigrating to Australia, there are some important things to know before deciding.
Contrary to popular belief, the country is more than just barbeque parties, beer and hot weather. The country has such diverse weather that you can surf, ski and dive on the same day. The country is very colourful and exciting and is home to several unique wildlife like kangaroos, emus, koalas, Tasmanian devils, platypus and echidna. Here is a brief guide on important things to know before deciding on moving ‘Down Under.
It is Massive
Australia encompasses more than 7 million square kilometres. TO give a clearer perspective of how massive it is, it is almost the size of Europe which is around 10 million square kilometres. Therefore, after moving to the country, you must have a decent amount of fuel and essentials if you need to go from one city/town to another. You will not find any gas station or shop for miles.
The Weather is Diverse
As mentioned earlier, the weather in Australia is very diverse. Over 30% of the country is a desert, while another 40% can be considered dry. The remaining 30% is filled with wetlands and icy
mountain ranges. Moreover, as the country lies in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are inverted. Therefore, even if you are leaving for Australia in the middle of a scorching summer, be sure to pick up
some good winter clothes as well.
Great Healthcare Options
The healthcare system in Australia, termed Medicare, is publically funded to provided highly subsidized cost of health care for everyone in Australia. You will be entitled to receive a Medicare card after arriving in the country. Once you have received the card, you can access all the benefits. However, if you are over 31 years old, you have to pay for the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC).
Smoking Costs a Lot
In Australia, smoking will hurt not only your health but also your pocket. The Oz government hates smoking so much that they have made it very expensive. Cigarettes carry a tax of around $1 per unit. The tax value increases every year.
This has brought down the smoking rate in the country to almost a half since 1980. According to reports, Melbourne and Sydney are two of the world’s most expensive cities for buying a cigarette costing around $35. So, if you have the habit, get rid of it.
Cities Are Not Everything
With over 90% of the Australian population living in cities, it is obvious that they get most of the attention. This is why, when you think of Australia, you will only remember Sydney, Melbourne and
Adelaide. However, there are several places in the country like Uluru and Kata Tjuta that are stunning. Also, the country is home to over 500+ national parks and the Snowy Mountains.
Learning Slang is Important
Many immigrants consider learning Australian slang an optional but essential skill for making their lives easier. While English is the official language, slang is used almost always. The basic part of the slang is to take any word and cut it down to half, adding a ‘y’ or an ‘e’ in the end. Therefore, you will often hear the ‘Aussies’ throwing a barbie (barbeque), eating a bikkie (biscuit), taking a yewy (U-turn) or call for the ambo (ambulance).
Also, they have several bizarre and unusual words for things. Broken things are called ‘cactus,’ bedsheets are called ‘Manchester,’ swimming ‘bogey,’ a boomerang is called ‘kylie.’
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