As a teenager moving to Australia, it can be such a scary thing, especially when you may be going through exams, school, or college. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now and finally got round to doing it. As a teenager, moving to Australia is intimidating. It’s scary, and so different. In this post, I will be sharing with you mine and my family’s experience.
I’ve had a few questions about moving to Australia to help me out with this post, so thank you if you asked a few things! Through this blog, I’ll be talking about 6 different sections, so please feel free to scroll through until you find the section you’re most interested in.
2. Things to Think About & Consider
3. Making New Friends & Meeting People
6. Settling Down
If you’ve never read my blog before, then hello! My name is Abi and I have now been living in Australia for exactly 10 months on the day I am writing this. I officially landed as a permanent resident in Australia on August 12th, 2017 with my family in Brisbane Airport.
We first visited Australia in August 2015 for a 2 week holiday. We stayed with our friends for a week, and then adventured down to the Gold Coast
After arriving back home in the UK, my parents started gradually talking about moving to Australia. I was 15 at the time and in year 10, so the thought of moving to a completely different country so young freaked me out good style. Everything was going really well for me; friends, family, exams were rolling in and my parents were talking about moving away.
I Was Terrified…
At first, this was absolutely terrifying for me. Of course, it would be at 15 years old but the process was such a gradual thing and my parents began to speak less of it, that I simply thought nothing of it. I had told my friends in high school that I genuinely might be moving to Australia in the next year or so; and they laughed at me and said: “Yeah, sure you are.” They weren’t convinced at all.
Anyway, as time went on the process began to feel more and more real by the day. I finished high school and my exams, and my dad was the main applicant for the visa so he had to go and do these tests for points to get the visa, and again I was pretty much oblivious to it. The point where this whole process hit me and was an “Oh, this is really happening” moment was when we had to have our police checks and our medicals done. Everything was actually happening.
2. Things to Think About & Consider
I feel like this might be a popular section of this blog, especially for parents who might be asking questions. I have a few things for you to think about. Here we go:
- Pack wisely. Oh my gosh if someone had told me I needed the bare minimum I wouldn’t have believed them. Are you absolutely sure you need that? As our friends told us – they have shops in Australia too! Kmart and Target are your best friend. I tried to pack practically my whole wardrobe when we all flew over, and then stupidly brought everything back with me to the UK when my mum and I flew back – meaning my suitcase weighed a ton second time around and I left so much in the UK that it is now in a box at my Nan’s house. Only pack the clothes you need and leave all your winter clothes for when your container arrives.
- 10,000 miles is a long distance for anyone of any age, but I can assure you the internet is your best friend for staying in touch with your friends and family. My parents organise a Skype chat with both sets of my grandparents on Sundays for about 7/8pm AEST and 10/11am GMT, and so far its worked out really well.
As well as keeping in touch with family, it’s been tricky for me to organise calls with my best friends in the UK. Because of the time difference, but also because they all have jobs and attend extracurricular groups outside of college. It is a tricky thing but I can still manage to talk to them.
- Your container arriving from the UK is a flipping busy day. Depending on when they arrive, (lots of containers arrive in the mornings) your day will probably be fueled by coffee. It is also a mix of nostalgia, happiness and stress, but it’s such an exciting day
A Pool Isn’t Really A Necessity…
- I told my parents this as well as my siblings when we moved here. To start with, a house with a pool is not a necessity. Of course, it would have been lovely. From what we found when we were searching for a house, they were tricky to find with a pool for a reasonable price. What I’ve also found as well as my parents are that there are actually lots of houses without pools, which you don’t really expect in Australia!
There are so many more different things to think about, but these are just some of the points I’ve thought of.
3. Making New Friends & Meeting People
This was possibly the scariest thing for me moving to a new country. Don’t get me wrong it is such a scary thing when you have to meet and associate yourself with new people in a completely different country, but thankfully my family and I have had such a breeze.
Before we moved here, my parents found a couple of Facebook groups – including Move to Australia and Poms in Oz. Through both groups, we’ve made quite a few friends, and I’ve met my best friend and her family through Poms in Oz. I’m so thankful that we’ve got friends here because I honestly feel that we possibly couldn’t have managed living here.
I’ve had a few questions about the education here. For me, I was too late in the year to go back to school, so my immediate option was either work or college. For my siblings, however, they went straight back into primary and high school.
Finding a job as a now 18-year-old has been so difficult and I unfortunately still haven’t come across anything. In October 2017, I signed up to study a Certificate IV (4) in Photography and Photo Imaging with Open Colleges.
The ride on the course has been bumpy and difficult, but it gives me the opportunity to study at my own pace without feeling too pressured into finishing assessments.
My sister, however, struggled at first to settle into her new school, and get to grips with a completely different education system. It’s safe to say we’ve all had a rocky start in new schools and me studying online, but we’ve all pulled through and there are hardly any problems at all.
5. Settling Down
At first, being away from friends and family was the strangest thing ever. Only being able to see them through a screen was difficult to deal with. Especially for my mum and dad only being able to see their parents through a screen and them not being 5 minutes down the road.
At the end of August in 2017, my mum and I flew back to the UK to pack up our house and make the move to Australia official. We spent a month away from my dad, brother and sister to prepare everything, and this was possibly the hardest month we had been through. Mum and I finally landed back in Brisbane on October 5th 2017!
Buying new furniture, appliances and just generic essentials, our house finally began to feel like home. I can absolutely guarantee you will spend most of your time in furniture stores or Ikea for your first few months. We were hardly out of there!
It’s crazy to think we’ve now been here 10 months and by my 5th month, we’d already found friends for life.
I have to emphasise to you that everything in your move here takes time, no matter where you may end up living in this beautiful country.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions.
I hope this post has been helpful to someone or a family. Thank you for reading!
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