Anonymous asked in TravelAustraliaSydney · 9 years ago

What is it like living in Australia?

Im an American looking to go to grad school in Australia. Let's get the usuals out of the way first. I know it depends on who you are and what you want to do, and all that stuff. I'm a flexible guy, so I'm not worried about a change in lifestyle. What I would like to know is, what is everyday Australian life like? Is it more like Europe, where people are very social every night of the week, and people are always about town and grabbing a drink after work? Or is it more like the states, where everyone is overworked, and stays indoors and watch tv every night? Obviously this is stereotyping a bit, but for anyone who's been to the states and Europe, you know what I mean. I have this picture that Australians are much more like Europeans, and that the lifestyle is much more social, and friendlier, and folks are always up for getting out of the house. I'd love to hear from anyone who's lived or grown up there, thanks for any help. Cheers!

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, it really DOES depend on who you are etc.............people who work in the big cities have an hour or more to commute home, so they tend to go home. Younger people living close to their work/education are out ALL THE TIME.

    There is a big pub culture (pub = bar to Americans, but its more English style pubs, most with live music at least on weekends, and all with excellent affordable food).

    There are heaps and heaps of cheap restaurants and cafes, representing ethnic cuisines from 50 or more countries in the world. If you want/need cook for yourself, there are markets and shops for every ingredient (cheaper if you go to suburbs inhabited mostly by newer immigrants, as they tend to home-cook more, to get their preferred meals).

    About 50% of the population is first or second generation immigrants (from everywhere) so expect to see a lot of diversity. Students even more so, as many students come to universities here, mostly from all parts of Asia. But, partly because there are so many different "minorities" there is very little racism. The older generation of immigrants often keep to their own kind (probably for language reasons) but the ones who went to school here will mix happily with anybody.

    Cost of living is high, especially for rent, as Caroline says. Forget about an apartment to yourself unless you're rich. Students and younger working people ALL SHARE. There are agencies for this but a common way is to see hand-written ads on lamp-posts near colleges etc. The rents may seem high but usually include electricity and high-speed broadband, and are in near-new buildings. Mixed-gender sharing is quite common (platonic!!!) and so is mixed-ethnicity, so it could be a whole adventure in itself.

    There's a reasonably good and affordable bus and train network in the major cities. Get an excursion ticket if you want to just ride around to see the place. A car you don't need, as the cities are sprawling and huge, you'd get lost anyway. If you really need one for one trip, there are "share" cars parked around the place that you rent via internet & credit card, get into with GPS unlocking, and park back in any other designated parking spot. (We drive on the left side of the road).

    Keep out of the city centre for shopping, everything is double because of the high shop rents. . Get food and clothing in the cheaper/poorer suburbs, and look at factory outlets. Get your study books second hand at the university Student's Union (we don't call them college).

    We do speak English. TV shows are partly US and partly UK, as well as local ones of course. Movies are expensive, DVD rental dirt cheap. Big-name concerts cost the earth; there are free open air ones from time to time. Pre-paid cell phones are very cheap.

    Electricity is 240 volts, so don't bring anything electric with you, except maybe your laptop (about $80 for local voltage power supply or bring an adjustable voltage one with you). $60 will buy you a computer printer. Small appliances, music players etc start from $10 on special or in "dollar shop" bargain stores in every suburb, if you don't insist on big brand names.

    In short, you will survive here and have a great time doing it. Good luck with your studies.

    Source(s): many decades of being here
  • 9 years ago

    Hey there,

    Basically I see Australian culture as being half way between American and European, which is a great mix I reckon. Also it will depend where abouts you live. If you live in the suburbs like most of the families, then it's not incredibly social. Most people work and then come straight home. However if you live in or near the cities, then it's pretty common for people to go for a drink after work, especially if you don't have kids! But yeah there's a great mix really, and you won't have any trouble finding people to go have a drink with. And it's also generally a friendly atmosphere, people are usually happy to talk. Good luck :)

    Source(s): Melbourne resident
  • 9 years ago

    I've been living here 3 years (sydney) and im from Canada...I'd say it's somewhere in the middle. People here are really nice, laid back, and always up for a drink, but I wouldn't go as far as saying like in Europe. The main difference I can tell you right now....the COST OF LIVING. Outrageous. I'm fighting off 10 other people for apartment rentals and my budget is $550 a WEEK. Groceries, clothes, and going out is all double too (IMHO). People will say it's reflective of income but I would say only marginally....on what I make here, I could have a house, car, and savings back home. Here I have to live with roomates for tripple the rent, forget a car and savings. But again, that's Sydney. I still woulldn't trade it for the world, came here on exchange and never left :)

  • C.M. C
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Cjonespu, I lived over there for work for a total of 5 years in two periods, Australia is awesome, and nothing like Europe. The people I found a lot better, and you want to go out to have fun, you will be very well accommodated to do that. Don't forget where Australia is situated, the holiday destinations like the South Pacific, and Asia, is on their door step.

    If your looking for adventure, they have that, you want to lounge about and chill out, you can absolutely do that.

    Australia is a fun place to go to, and that is my opinion, and nobody will change that.

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  • It's weird. They have strange animals in Australia, or 'Oz' as it is also called. The king is called the 'wizard'. They have flying monkeys and lions and tigers and bears. I know, cos I saw the tourism film "The Wizard of Oz". Also, they don't have the accent one might expect. They actually sound more American than anything. Not sure why Paul Hogan talks so funny. He might be from a different part of Australia than the lot what done the tourism film.

    Also, they have very bad tornadoes. In the tourism film, a tornado picked up this sheila's HOUSE and set it down miles away. When it landed, it landed ON someone, and a bunch of midgets...."little people" if you prefer....came round and practically gave her the key to the city. The fact that someone had DIED was glossed over. Australia was originally where thieves and murderers and such from Britain were sent. Considering the reaction when the house landed on the person and KILLED them, apparently lawlessness is still the rule of the land.

    For SOME strange reason not explained in the tourism film, some of the roads are brick roads....YELLOW bricks, yet. Technically, I think the tornado STARTED in Kansas...but it carried the house all the way to Australia. Also, for some reason not explained, the girl what lived in the house was concerned about lions and tigers and bears yet she had a lion WITH her as she went to find the King of Australia. (Personally, I thought the lion with her was some guy in a bad lion suit.)

    Also, apparently robots are common in Australia. She came across a robot called "the tin woodsman" what accompanied her to find the King. So, based on the tourism film I saw, people in Australia are with American sounding accents...and go begging to the King (or "wizard" as he apparently prefers to be called) to help them with whatever they need.

    Interestingly, after the house landed on the woman that the populace seemed to be glad to have seen killed, the girl STOLE HER SHOES!!!! No one even batted an eye at the theft. So, based on the film, Australia is great if one wishes to do as one wishes...but also dangerous should the person whom you've offended seek revenge. The person what was killed in the film had a sister who vowed to get revenge on the girl and her DOG as well. Granted, the girl didn't INTENTIONALLY kill the woman...but there was no mention of an inquest, as is the case in civilised countries. Actually, it turned out that the girl was dreaming and didn't actually GO to Oz, but I found the glossed-over manslaughter and theft to be quite interesting.

    I'm also unclear on how viewing the film would make a normal person decide to VISIT Oz. As far as the Americans accents go, as I understand it, the film was originally shown in the United the Aussie tourism board may have used American actors so as Americans would have no trouble understanding. As far as drinks go, none of them went anywhere NEAR a pub. Nor did any of them seem to HAVE a job. They all may have been lay abouts.

    Overall, I didn't find the film persuading ME to visit Australia. But then again, just cos a tourism board don't make a decent tourism film, don't let that dissuade you. The film was made back in the 30's so values may have been different...or perhaps the board was merely inexperienced in the making of promotional films. Perhaps a more recent one would be more persuasive. Actually, the ones with Paul Hogan make Australia seem nicer than the bizarre depictions in this early effort. Then again, someone may have pointed out to the board that the FIRST tourism film might DISSUADE tourism.

    Oddly enough....the house that the tornado carried to Oz seemed to be about the only house IN the film. And if you've ever seen "Crocodile Dundee" you might note a suspicious lack of housing THERE as well. Perhaps you'd better try England or Ireland. We have houses.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    put yourself in a fanforced oven with nothing to do and huge bills to pay, thats whats its like ...

    I hate it , i would rather be in the usa canada or new zealand if i had it my way

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