Travis asked in TravelAustraliaSydney · 1 decade ago

What's Australia like compared to America?

I'm thinking about moving there after I graduate. How is it there? Tell me as much real world stuff as you can

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I lived in Brisbane for 8 months. Here are some of my observations (specific to SE Queensland):

    It's more expensive cuz everything is imported, but it's WAY less crowded. It's the size of the US with 10% of the population.

    It's more laid back. It's less religious. It's safer. The animals are more dangerous but the weather is less so. Immigration can be a pain.

    Obviously, they drive on the other side of the road. And good luck finding an automatic transmission car.

    Shops will mostly close between 5-6pm. Thursdays they'll stay open "late" (until 9pm). I hated this part of the culture while I was there. What do you do when you get a craving for ice cream at 10pm?

    On the plus side, it's totally cool to go barefoot. I went barefoot everywhere--on the train, in McDonald's, in the mall ("shopping centre")...

    They're a much less "time oriented" culture, which means that it's not a big deal to be late to things, and breaks at work tend to stretch beyond the allotted time. Relationships take precidence over schedule, but not to the chaotic, unpredictable extreme of the third world.

    The divorce rate is higher. Child abuse rate is higher.

    The coffee's not as good, but coffee drinks (you know, fancy flavored stuff) is better.

    The steak is leaner. The grass sparce.

    Sunshine Coast beats Gold Coast. No crowds.

    If you drive, DON"T speed at ALL. There are cameras everywhere and very particular cops. And don't put your arm (even your elbow) out the car window. Automatic ticket. And if a camera catches you, you'll get the ticket in the mail. It sucks.

    Success and self-confidence is seen as arrogance. Everyone's so insecure that they'll lash out at the successful. They call it the "tall poppy syndrome." So, beware that if you're honest about your accomplishments, you'll be seen as prideful (which isn't true. Pretending and playing along that you suck is called lying and false humility... but I'm still a little touchy on that subject as you can see... Moving on...)

    It's basically summer all year round. And the flowers are AMAZING. And they grow there like weeds.

    Jobs pay better. Minimum wage is higher. It's easy to get money from the gov't for aid (some people con the system, just like in America). Friends are extremely loyal. They've got your back. Basically, Australians rock. I met few crabby Aussies.

    And their TV shows are better.

    Oh, and houses aren't as well insulated.

    Electronics are pricier.

    It's soo laid back there compared to here. I know I said that, but it's one of the best things about Australia. When you go grocery shopping, watch the difference between the lines and the cashiers there versus here. People aren't impatient in line, no one's tense about it. They're just...there. "Hey, now I'm grocery shopping." No freakin' out looking at your watch and thinking about what's next. Live in the moment a little more. Breathe. The cashier's take the time to actually talk with you, not just rush through your groceries and hand you your receipt with a forced smile.

    I had to write a bunch of papers on cultural observances while I was there (I was there for college. My major was cross-cultural studies). If you want, I can pass them on. Just shoot me an email.

    Source(s): Personal experience
  • ian
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    First thing I noticed was more hustle and bussel in the states compared to Australia just more people I guess and with this comes more pollution i seen it everywhere I went, there pollution is in Australia but on a less of a scale.More people also means more traffic,I mean I've seen trucks from horizon to horizon on the interstates 24/7 nothing like that in Australia we do have traffic problems from time to time but nothing like it there ( thank goodness ) the road system isn't as good either once out of the main cities ,much needed work there and it's a bit tricky at first to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road but hey if they can do it so can I.Transport systems are good in the cities and better in Australia out from them than the states (train services and bus services).Similar it's like just about anywhere ,country people are more relaxed more laid back and have the time for you.Personally I could live in either country but being Australian I guess home is where the heart is.

  • 1 decade ago

    Its a little quieter, a tad slower; great place to bring up kids; no terrororism thus far (although that could change); a big mac is $3.50, but I prefer Hungry Jacks and Oporto; the beaches are amazing; the chicks are very friendly; there is a huge skills shortage so graduates are in short supply. Sport is different to the USA but there is a lot of it. Taxes are a little high; we have 10% VAT.

    The public transport works well.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just got back from visiting Sydney and I wouldn't mind living their myself! The city of Sydney was very much like any big city in the US. It was beautiful enough...some what over priced, but (just like in any city) if you can find good deals if you know where to look. The city of Sydney itself didn't really offer me anything I couldn't find in the States (so you would have some place to go if you were to get homesick).

    The main difference between the two is Australia's countryside. Nothing like it compared to the US. There are approximately 20 million people living in whole country of Australia and approximately 20 million people living in New York City alone. If you don't like the overcrowding in the US then Australia just might be the place for you.

    The beaches are amazing!!! Bondi, Manly, Palm...I couldn't decide which I liked best because they each have something different to offer. Sydney has something like 35 beach alone and Surfer's paradise is somewhere in Queensland I think. Surfer's paradise! Not in Hawaii but in Australia!

    Housing in Sydney and the suburds outside of Sydney can be expensive but you can find reasonable housing pretty much everywhere else. And Australia is all about preserving nature and keeping things they way mother nature intended. I loved that!

    The unemployment rate is like 1% and I'm told everyone gets healthcare. Taxes are higher but people also get paid much higher wages. I was told the average salary in Australia is 55K. The average in the US is more like 30K. And did I mention people get 4 weeks vacation time? 4 weeks!!! I have what most people consider a good job and I'd have to work where I work for 15 year before I qualify for 4 weeks vacation.

    90% of the population live on the coast so you're never that far from a large body of water. And Ioved that Aussies were so active, unlike many of my TV watching coach potato friends and family. We Americans really are an over weight country. Most people don't have AC so they have no choice but to get out there and in enjoy their beautiful beaches to stay cool.

    But the best thing about Australia is the people. They are so awesome! Everywhere I went I was treated extremely well. I don't know if it was my accent...and I loved actually having an accent by the way...but I felt like a queen the whole time I was there. People were just so friendly. And I hear people from Queensland, Melbourne, Perth, and other areas are even nicer, if that's at all possible.

    Not sure what your gender is but Aussie women seem to LOVE American men. I was told Aussie men treat women terrible, but I didn't have that problem. The men are a lot shorter than guys in the States, but they are also a lot funnier. I was also told Aussies hate to dance, but didn't find that true either...after a few drinks.

    Some of the down sides: These are all things I mostly just heard of so I don't really know if all true but I did hear them from Sydney siders.

    The summers are brutal. New Year's day in Sydney was a scorching 104 degrees (and good luck converting the miles/kilometes, celisus/farenhit, pounds/kilos). Most Aussies I talked to never venturned to the outback because it is so hot. Fires is a major concern because there's currently a 90% drought, and water is very expensive, not too mention the petrol/gas. There a serious drinking, gambling, and drug problem. And there seems to be fines for all most everything. But, like I said, these are mostly things people there told me so I didn't actually experience any of them.

    I almost wish I never visited Australia because I really won't mind living there, as much as I do love the States. Think I would just miss my friends and family too much if I moved to another hemisphere (most of my people hate to fly), but I am seriously considering it. It would be so ideal if I could live there for 6 months and live in the US for 6 months.

    Anyway, this is about you not me!

    You're still young so why not get a working visa. Work there for a year and see for yourself. Be careful though. You might not want to come back!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Australia have different climate,good economy,people depenbds are good and bad.

    Both these countries have one in common:Australian social and welfare in some year will look like the American system of living,which means that you must work so you can get money.These effects will be from 2008,however fruits,and petrol are expected to rise and rise.

  • 1 decade ago

    Australia is cleaner,


    slimmer (not for much longer i think),

    there is much less poverty (Don't come across many street beggers ... if you do they atleast play instruments and music for ya!),

    safer, less killings, no school shootings,

    easier for the average family to buy their own house,

    beautiful scenery. Closer to Asia and all the beautiful tropical islands, great beaches,

    scary poisenous animals, many more deadly spiders and snakes.

    America is great for a holiday to visit, but I choose Australia hands down.

  • 1 decade ago

    America with cool accents and slang words

  • YR1947
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    nothing like the US



    very less crime

    more multicultural

    lot less racism


    less populated

    not dangerous at all

    we dont have guns in schools

    gang wars

  • 1 decade ago

    More Friendly, Clean, more outdoor things to do + see.

    Less crime.

    Alot of sport.

    Great beaches.

  • 1 decade ago

    Friendlier, cleaner, nicer, cheaper, better looking girls, better looking blokes too (I'm one) Less traffic, guns, racism, idiots and pollution. all in all, a much nicer place to live. Hope that helps

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