Living in Australia: 7 Tips to help you settle in
The first few months of living in Australia is guaranteed to be a roller-coaster ride. You’ll start a new job and set up a house. At the same time, get used to everything that’s new. And it might be a lot!
Fortunately, there are ways to make the settling-in period easier.
For starters, you’ll need to acknowledge that it’s going to be tough. After that it gets easier.
1. Accept that the first few months will be hard
You’re living in Australia. You are thousands of miles away from everything that’s familiar.
It’s going to be tough. Perhaps tougher than you thought.
Get through the hardest patches by cutting yourself some slack. It’s okay to feel scared, isolated, disappointed or homesick. Many expats, if not most, feel the same way in the first few months!
Keep on talking too – to your partner, about how you feel. Sit down for regular chats with your kids also. They might not speak up about their feelings without a bit of a nudge.
2. Get connected as quickly as possible
We’re talking cell phones and internet here. The quicker you’re set up on both, the quicker you’ll be able to connect with friends and family back home again. It’ll be just what you need to get through the tougher moments.
3. Establish a routine
Routine makes most of us feel safe. You know what to expect and when to expect it. This feeling could help your mental state massively while you’re trying to deal with and adjust to a million new things.
Establish routine by drawing up a weekly schedule for the family. Add work, activities, even grocery store trips.
Then put the schedule on the fridge where everyone can see it. You’ll feel much more in control of your situation in no time.
4. Explore your new home
The best way to get to you know your new home is by exploring it.
Take a walk or do a sightseeing tour. Sit down at a local restaurant and talk to locals. Get on the public transport system. Find out about festivals, sports days…anything that’ll introduce you to the local way of living and doing.
The sooner you get to know your city, the sooner it’ll start feeling like home.
5. Make new friends with locals as well as other expats
Making friends is about much more than establishing a social circle. It’s about connecting with locals who can give you advice, information and support.
Here are a couple of ideas if you need them:
- Introduce yourself to neighbours, colleagues and other expats as soon as possible.
- Get back into a hobby or take up a new one and join a hobby group.
- Join a sports club if you’re sporty.
- Shop at your local grocer, go to the pub on the corner, have a breakfast at a local eatery and strike up conversations.
- Look for Meetup groups in your areas.
- Join an expat club or group.
6. Make time to relax
The first few months of living in Australia won’t only be hard, it’ll be stressful too. Don’t let it get to you!
Make time in that schedule you created for downtime too. It could be a massage, going for run, painting, a day out with the kids – whatever works for you.
7. Deal with homesickness
You could do the best job possible at adjusting to your new life, but still get homesick. It usually happens to most expats at some stage. It’s a normal part of adjusting to life overseas.
Keep your heart and head happy by focusing on the positives of living in Australia. And believe that your homesickness will get better – because it will.
Don’t forget that you can always pick up the phone or switch on Skype for a chat when you’re missing home too much.
A final note on settling into living in Australia
Remember why you made the move. You did it for a reason. Just focus on getting connected, exploring, setting up a routine and making new friends. You’ll be a fully-fledged, happy Australian before you know it.