by Sarah Husselmann
It’s fair to say I was unprepared for my new life in Australia. Not that I wasn’t organised on some level – belongings were shipped, finances were in place, and my old life in London wrapped up – but when it came to familiarity with my new country, my knowledge was lacking.
Five things I knew about Australia
To give you an idea here’s a quick list of what I knew about Australia before moving here;
1. From a 2 week stint in Sydney, I knew that Sydney is physically stunning. I climbed the Harbour Bridge on a sunny winter’s day. That experience alone that made me want to live here.
2. In Sydney, I stayed in a Backpacker’s in China Town and concluded that there are loads of Chinese in Australia. Not wrong, but not based on the most thorough research.
3. I spent a week in Melbourne and concluded that the Southbank is like London, and the city beaches aren’t as good as Sydney. I plan to spend more time in Melbourne very soon.
4. I spent four days in Perth on a visa validation run and felt unnerved by this peaceful city. I wondered where all the people were and decided, until they’d been found, Perth wasn’t the place for me.
5. Finally, a key source of my insight into Australia came from the Aussies I knew in London. They taught that Australians like beer, watching sport, and like to drink beer whilst watching sport. Sure, this is a stereotype but it’s not wrong.
None of this exposure to the Aussie way of life is particularly practical, and I’m sure my summaries of Melbourne and Perth are far from accurate.
Australian Life Readiness Test
Once I arrived in Australia, my lack of practical knowledge caused me concern so I decided to get up to speed. Here are some of the first things I looked up upon arrival.
1.When do Australian seasons start\finish?
Summer: December to February, Autumn: March to May, Winter: June to August, Spring: September to November.