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To refer to the checklist that will help you settle in Australia within a week please refer to the Introduction post in this series.
If You Only Accept One Piece of Advise from This Series…
….then let it be this: “Get yourself someone already living in Australia to guide you and help you settle in.” Should you get the right guide, settling in will be an absolute breeze and within that first week you will easily be far ahead of 95% of your peers who land here.
What to Look for in a Guide
The ideal person to be your guide has the following characteristics:
a) Is part of a family that immigrated over: This is great because you get the benefit of wisdom from a diversity of age groups. Most importantly, there are more people to act as your guide. Everyone lives busy lives and it’s great to know that when one family member is busy, there might be another one who is free to show you around.
b) Have been in Australia for a long time: By ‘been here a long time’ it’s more a psychological state of mind than a physical one. There are people who were here for less than 2 years but know far more than people who have been here for close to a decade. So don’t necessarily assume that length of duration is a way to measure peoples’ Australian street smarts. Ideally though, aim for people who have been here for longer than 2 years just to get the benefit of seeing where you might be in a couple of years.
c) Someone from within your social circle: Ideally you want it to be a family member. If not, then a friend. If not, then an acquaintance. If not, then the friend of a friend. If not then the friend of a friend of a friend. And so on. Work from your most intimate relationships and then outwards towards less and less intimate relationships. Everyone know someone who knows another one who knows another one….and one of those people is in Australia.
d) Someone who is succeeding: Some people have been here more than seven years and are still working minimum wage jobs from Sunday to Sunday and drinking and creeping from club to club without any signs of that changing. If that’s what you define as success….cool. Some people have been in the West less than a decade and built multi-million dollar businesses. You wanna learn from them, look for them. Maybe they are a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.
How to Best Maximize on Your Guide
a) Come as early as you can and preferably during school holidays. The best time to come is around December/ early January if possible. At this time, people are out of school and a lot of businesses are closed leaving people a lot of time to show you around. Aside from that, if your guide is going to be a student, then aim for the June school holidays.
People here are very busy, going from work to school to work to school on almost a 24 hour basis. Try to catch them when they have less responsibilities to deal with when possible.
b) Come equipped with a guide such as this one plus official guides on how to settle in so as to have an agenda and direction. Don’t leave things to chance. Study this guide, the guide your University gives you and any immigration guides you’re given and come up with a dot point check list of things to do (feel free to print out any of the articles I provide including the Introduction post which has a checklist). This pre-set will mean you will achieve in a week what some haven’t achieved in years (seriously).
c) Put of the sight seeing and ‘the tours’ until you are settled in. I know you are excited to be here (welcome btw) and you want to go buck wild and see everything. Trust me on this one; spend your first week getting the boring tedious stuff done and there will be a weight lifted off your shoulders and your mind that will make any sight-seeing or fun activities all the more sweeter.
If you are being guided by individuals, they will probably be busy regardless of the season. Therefore try to find as many guides as possible. You can do this in a number of ways:
1) Go through your social circle and find more than one guide to show you around Australia.
2) Meet your guide’s friends. Assuming you like your guide, you will probably like their friends and family. We are very friendly with each other here abroad (this has it’s hilarious dark side, but that’s for another post) and so it should be easy for you to make friends (dark side number one; especially if you are female) and so mingle and make friends with people and ask them to show you around. Most people I know will be glad to help whenever they can (especially, if you’re a girl…..he he he…..dear sweetness thank God, I, a male, did not come alone, I don’t think anyone would have helped me out half as much as some women get helped out )
My mind is telling me that is enough information and so we will move on to the next section and begin talking about stuff you should do before you immigrate over.
Enjoy the flight,