I am originally from India where I completed my education and worked for a few years. I moved to Australia in 2015 after getting my Permanent Residency. Since then a common question that people often ask me “do I regret moving to Australia?”
Back in 2013 (when I applied for Australian residency) it was very easy to obtain Permanent Residence owing lesser restrictions, lesser applicants and in general due to lower awareness among people about this option. When I arrived in Australia, I convinced myself that was moving here for good, and had prepared accordingly. Looking back, I can only say that settling down in Australia has been the best decision of my life!
Each country has its pros and cons. And when I am asked such a question, I feel compelled to get into comparisons to show one country as superior to another. I will try not to do that in my answer. I have been living in Perth since 2015. Although it’s really far far away from most of the rest of the world, it’s still a little paradise in itself. I’ll list down the main reasons why I don’t regret coming to Australia:
- Low Population and Clean Air – Owing to a low population and very low pollution, people in Australia enjoy a very enviable and healthy outdoor lifestyle.
- Friendly Locals – Never once in my 3-year stay in Australia so far have I ever felt like an outsider. Aussies in general are friendly, easy-going, encouraging and welcoming. If you come to Australia with the right mindset, have a willingness to learn and make efforts to mingle with the community, you will fall in love with the culture very quickly.
- Freedom – If you want to experience true freedom, come to Australia. Right from personal choices to personal beliefs to career choices – you have absolute freedom to do what you wish without fear.
- Weather – Perth in particular enjoys a classic Mediterranean climate with abundant sunshine and predictable seasons throughout the year. You can’t help but feel happy and energized by the weather and sunshine all around. I can never ever stop chirping about what amazing weather Perth has.
- Quality of Life – The biggest reason why I love Australia. If you bring together all the points mentioned above – freedom of choice, great atmosphere, friendly and supportive yet competitive workforce and great conditions for living and thriving – what you get out of it is great work-life balance. It surely is something you have to experience to understand my point.
However no country is perfect and Australia too has a few shortcomings.
I am listing a few here:
- Australia is expensive! – As a new migrant from India I would often convert expenses into Indian Rupees and would be horrified at how much I was spending. Yes, Australia Is expensive. As compared to the rest of the world housing in Australia is expensive. But once you become a part of the local workforce, you slowly get used to the high expenses.
- Australia is really far away from the rest of the world – Owing to its location Australia is a bit “detached” from the rest of the world in many ways. Technological trends reach Australia long after they come to the rest of the world. Yes it’s true! For instance, large areas across Australia are still connected by ADSL internet!
- Concentration of population – Area-wise Australia is massive – only slightly smaller than America and almost as large as the whole of Europe! However 98% of the total population is concentrated in 7 major cities and regional areas along the eastern, south-eastern and south-western coast. The rest of the land mass is simply barren desert land! Moreover a whopping 32% of the population of Australia lives in 2 cities – Sydney and Melbourne. This in turn puts immense pressure on housing, public transport public transport and other civic systems.
- The “Local Experience” conundrum – However much you are told about abundance of jobs in Australia and the “shortage of skills” all around, people, particularly new migrants find themselves in a bit of a spot when they are questioned about “local Australian experience”. Yes, it’s crazy. You might have all the qualifications in the world but if you don’t have local experience in Australia sometimes your candidature might be turned down. More often than not, the reason for turning down job applicants citing lack of local experience is more because of how candidates present themselves rather than anything else. And there are definite ways to get around it!
You may read more here:
However, I am also aware that not everyone has had similar experiences after migrating to Australia – this country can be lucky for some, and brutal on others. And I am sensitive towards this fact.
For those of you whose Australia story hasn’t gone as planned, please don’t lose heart. Stay positive and focused, be honest in your methods, and stay away from negative thoughts and influence(r)s as much as you can.
If you are hesitant or unsure about migrating to Australia and need someone to talk to,
All the best!