Nobody said that moving to the other side of the world was easy; in fact most people told me that it was going to be ridiculously difficult. But, being me, I had accepted this as a challenge.
There were only two things I knew for certain as I boarded my flight and they were that; A: I had booked two weeks at YHA Melbourne Central (a hostel) and B: my interview for working as a Casual Relief Teacher (which I had via skype the night before my flight) was successful. So with that information and a list of things to do in order to settle in Australia for a year, I boarded my flight.
Get a Tax File Number (TFN)
Organise my Medicare
Sign my contract for work
Get a Month by Month sim card and phone
Find a house
Set up my superannuation (pension that you can claim back when you leave the country)
Pick up my bank card so that I can access the money that I had transferred
Now, in order to get this list completed within a week it is important to utilise that well known irritant called “Jetlag”. Oh yes, it will hit you and you will need to use it.
Day 1: Fill out TFN application online and then wait 28 days. The government will give you 28 days leeway before they start over taxing you.
Go to the bank with your welcome letter and your passport to get your bank card.
Go to a phone company and buy a phone if you need one and a month by month sim. Now, they will need to see a bank statement in order to do this. So if you don’t have one yet just purchase a ‘Prepaid combo’ which will give you 30 days to organise yourself.
Do a small food shop just to get you by; bread, butter, jam and bananas will be ample for breakfast. You can always eat out for lunch and dinner whilst at the hostel.
… And then go and explore the city using the map that you’ve picked up from the hostel. After all, you are on your ‘working holiday’
Day 2: Check out a map and look at the areas that you would like to live in. Check out what’s close, if there is parking, if bills are included etc and then go onto Gumtree and enquire about the houses that you like.
Then go and explore the city some more, drink some coffee and enjoy.
Day 3: Go and view the properties and don’t settle on the first one that you see. As a tip only sign a 3 month lease until you really feel settled.
Head to Queen Victoria Market and check out the cheap but wonderful produce. The cost of food in Australia is expensive, so you need to be aware of where to shop. The markets are awesome and they also have an ALDI here.
Day 4: View some more properties, hang out with some hostel friends, walk around, and take the free city tram. (That’s right; there is a free tram that will take you around the inner city in Melbourne)
Day 6: Sign a contract to a house that you love! And then go out with your friends… you deserve it!
Day 7: Print out a Medicare form and fill it out.
Go to work to sign your contract (If you need to. I needed to) and organise your superannuation there.
Go to a Medicare centre and wait for that to be sorted.
Hire a car for a month (just until you know what you would like to buy whilst you’re here).
Day 8: start work!
If anybody tells you that it’s difficult to just pick up and move to the other side of the world with little certainty… it is. But as long as you’re organised, motivated and driven enough to succeed… you’ll be ok.