Monday, August 01, 2011

Expat Experiences: Australia - Sami, Perth

Who are you?

I am Portuguese by birth, but have lived in South Africa (20 years), Germany (6 years) and Portugal (12 years).

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I moved to Perth to accompany my husband who had been offered a job. We came in January 2007. Although we were happy in Portugal, there was always a wish to go somewhere else where we could provide our children with a better future, and to an area where we could eventually explore the Asian countries.

What challenges did you face during the move?

We were lucky that the company that sponsored our move/visa paid for a removal company, so it make our life easier. We had to give away a lot of stuff as not all fitted in the container. Of course leaving family and good friends behind is heart wrenching but we had made the choice! We also had to leave our 3 cats behind, as it was far too expensive to bring them. Lucky for us our daughter was staying for a few more years and she took them.

How did you find somewhere to live?

We lived in a rented furnished flat (apartment) for 3 months paid for by the sponsor company, then we had to make our own way.

Perth was in the middle of a property boom at that stage and after having looked at over 30 properties, we had to settle for something less than we would have liked, as we had to give 20% deposit. We had lots of trouble finding a bank that would give us a loan too as we were on a 457 visa (4 year temporary business sponsored visa), hence the 20% deposit and we still had to pay an extra lenders insurance. We settled for a "renovators dream" as the...

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