Making an international move is a whole new process and an experience that can turn from dream to nightmare if you don’t know what to do. Perhaps you are looking to start anew in Australia and surround yourself with positivity and hope to transition to the country, make new friends, and have authentic experiences as the locals do.
Let’s talk about some secrets to help you transition into an Aussie who knows street slang, go-to spots, and local practices. Then, you’ll be ready to start working with one of our dedicated relocation experts to be on your way to experiencing Aussie life for yourself!
1. Have A Good Sense Of Humor
Socialising is easier when you have a good sense of humour. Be prepared, as Australians are self-deprecating; they love to make fun of themselves. They love telling embarrassing stories or telling you the worst things they did. They do this to break the ice and show that everybody is on the same level.
So, go and remember those memories you’ve hidden away. Maybe you have one where you might have eaten your mom’s cake as a kid and blamed “Snuggles”, your favourite stuffed toy who also just happened to have chocolate smudged on its face.
One thing you’d notice when you make friends with an Australian is when they start throwing insults right at your face; that’s how you can tell that you are now really close.
You’d hear things like, “Did a roo give you a haircut?” or some other equally brazen thing, but don’t fret. The more “hurtful” it might seem, the closer Australian friends are. Go ahead and throw a joke back at them and tease them for something else. Australian citizens usually don’t have restraint when it comes to teasing, and will most likely take it up as a challenge to come up with something more insulting to throw back.
2. Your Speech Patterns Have A Lot In Common
Singapore and Australia actually have some things in common when it comes to speaking. You have some similar speaking patterns and tendencies that Australians can also relate to, making it easier to fit in and transition to a new environment.
We mentioned in one of our articles about Singlish, a unique shortening of words some Singaporeans use. Phrases such as “I don’t want it” turn into “dowan”. On the same note, Australians also shorten their words like how they use “brekkie” for the word “breakfast”. So, when someone says, “What did you have for brekkie?”, they are saying, “What did you have for breakfast?”.
Basically, Australians aim to reduce any word into two syllables. Barbecue becomes barbie, umbrellas become brolly, and sandwiches become sanga. You can almost turn it into a sort of game. Try to pick out clues from context and figure out what people are saying around you.
This shortening even persists on national television. You’d open your television (some Australians say “telly”), and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’d hear newscasters shorten their words.
This shortening of words even extends to names. If your name is Jonathan or John, some people might call you “Jonno” (though this seems longer than John), especially people who you’ve established rapport with. Shortening names is a form of showing affection in Australia, which means if someone shortens your name, they consider you their friend.
Figuring out the nuance of how a different country uses the same language, but putting its own personal flavour on it is fascinating. So, if all of this might escape you for now, one thing that you might want to keep in the back pocket is ‘Ta’, which is a very short way of saying “Thank You”!
3. Embrace The Affordability
The average salary in Australia differs from state or territory governments. Singapore is different as the sheer size when comparing both countries is quite different. Singapore is a whole country and a city altogether, making it unique. This unique feature also means that salaries are roughly similar throughout.
The average salary in major Australian cities is usually around AUD 78,800 per annum; which is actually quite high! In a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, in 2022 Australia has the 7th highest average salary in the world.
One of the biggest expenses you’ll have every month is housing. Depending on where you live, prices can vary greatly. Using Sydney as our reference for comparison, we can see the difference from Singapore’s housing prices. A one-bedroom apartment located in the city centre in Australia will cost 2,500 AUD, while in Singapore the same one-bedroom will be 3,650 AUD on average.
If you have a family and are looking for a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre, it’s going to cost you at least 4,900 AUD in Australia. However, a similarly sized apartment in Singapore will be 7,337 AUD in Singapore.
When it comes to everyday shopping items like eggs, it will cost an average of 5.48 AUD in Australia, compared to the 7.30 AUD in Singapore. If you are like most Asians that eat rice as a staple, you’ll be glad to know that it only costs 2.76 AUD per kilo in Australia. This is a considerable difference to Singapore’s 3.84 AUD per kilo, despite the fact that Asia as a region accounts for more than a quarter of the global rice production.
Australia’s milk costs an average of AUD 2.03 per litre in many Australian cities but you can actually find stores that offer prices as low as AUD 1.00. On the other hand, milk in Singapore costs an average of AUD 3.59 per litre.
Woolworths, a trusted Australian chain of supermarkets, sells their Mountain Spring Water at around AUD 1.60. It’s interesting to note that Milk in Australia is often cheaper than bottled water. In theory, you could even replace all your fluid intake with milk! Though that probably won’t be too healthy.
When it comes to affordability, one of our expert tips for international moves is to know what to bring with you and what to ditch before moving. Once you decide, our pre-move household survey can help you create an inventory of exactly what will be making the move, and our packing services will get everything boxed and loaded without you having to buy a single box or roll of packing tape!
4. Learn Their Different Road Signs
In Singapore, the sign for “pedestrian crossing ahead” is a person who is clearly crossing a pedestrian lane. On the other hand, the Australian government decided to use two feet enclosed in a circle with an arrow sign facing upward. This isn’t a secret, but it won’t be something people would talk about, as Australian citizens already have this ingrained in their brains.
Singapore has a sign for wild animals but doesn’t have one for domesticated animals like cows. If you see a sign with a joey on it, or Kangaroo for the non-local, that’s a sign for wild animals. If you see cows or other domesticated animals on it, that’s the one for farm animals.
It might seem daunting at first, and you’d find yourself guided by an Australian citizen from time to time, but once you’re used to it, you can count yourself an Aussie. And, if you decide to bring a vehicle with you, Sanelo’s ocean freight services can move your car for you!
5. Familiarise Yourself With Their Drinking Culture
They Have Unique Beer Sizes
Some say that alcohol is a social lubricant, and maybe you just appreciate alcohol and occasionally go for a drink on casual fridays. Let’s say you’re in Brisbane and you’re celebrating your move to Australia from Singapore, or you just got your Australian visa and just head to the closest pub you can find and say, “Can I have a beer?” Right after saying that, you are given a 200ml glass of beer before you can even say how much you want or what kind of glass you want. Then off into the distance, you hear people say “pony” or “pot” or words that don’t sound like they belong in a pub.
All these weird words are all names of beer glasses. A “pony” is 140ml, while a “pot” is 285ml, and a “schooner” is 425ml, and if you hear someone buying you a pint, you’re sure that they’ve grown to like you as a pint is the biggest one at 570ml. If you’re a bit confused, just remember that a “beer” is a glass of beer and a pint is for more fun times. Knowing these will help you in any Australian state, as these are the most common glasses when ordering alcohol.
Fan Favourites And How Much It’ll Cost You To Party
Spending a night partying is fun and a great way to relax and unwind. Ordering what locals consider the best is a surefire way to experience genuine Aussie life. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australians commonly consume bottled wine. Around 34% of their consumption is wine, while 19% consume regular-strength beer.
Shiraz is the wine Australians mostly prefer due to its bright and bold characteristics. Shiraz is best enjoyed after firing up the grill for a barbecue and pairing it with your favourite protein. Shiraz comes in different varieties and prices ranging from 54 AUD up to 2,953 AUD.
For beer selections, you can start with XXXX (pronounced as four ex) and Victoria Bitter. Four ex comes in Bitter with a 4.4% alcohol volume, Gold, considered a low-carb beer, Dry, and Summer Bright Lager, available in lime and mango flavour. A 375ml bottle of four ex Gold usually costs 2.1 AUD, which is cheaper than Singapore’s Tiger Beer, which costs around 3 AUD.
Victoria Bitter is considered very refreshing and can be enjoyed any time of the day. Some recommend drinking this at a pub drinking it straight from the tap. If you want to enjoy this beer in the comfort of your home, a 375 ml bottle of Victoria Bitter costs 3.33 AUD.
Beer prices are generally affordable in Australia, and drinking beer at a pub is a great social experience you should try just once. Going to pubs for a fun night out is also a great way to find like-minded people you can unwind with.
6. Check Your Points Before Applying
To be invited to apply for any visa, especially an Australian work visa, you must qualify for a set of requirements. You need to hit a minimum threshold for this point system, as they want immigrants to make an impactful contribution to Australia’s economy.
This system looks at factors such as age, work experience, English proficiency, and, if applicable, your partner’s credentials.
15 points are awarded to those who have eight years’ worth of work experience. If ever you had any experience working inside Australia, you will get 20 points for working for eight years or more.
A diploma for a trade qualification will get you 10 points, while a bachelor’s degree will net you 15 points.
When it comes to age, if you’re between 18 and 25 years old, you will get 25 points. For those who are a bit older, between 25 and 33 years old, you will get 30 points.
Passing or getting a band score of 7 on an English proficiency test like IELTS (International English Language Testing System) nets you 10 points, but you get 20 points for a band score of 8 to 9, where 9 is IELTS’ highest band score.
If you want to see how you fare, you can take advantage of a point calculator. Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has a point calculator where you just pick the visa you’ll be applying for and add in the required information. After that, it does all the calculations for you and gives you how many points you have!
7. Ask About Hard Rubbish Collection In Your State
Most Singapore citizens don’t experience hard rubbish collection as Singapore’s waste management process is different. Because Singapore’s area or land mass is limited, the government employs space-saving techniques. Waste is accumulated from garbage bins and trash bags and is then sent to an incineration plant for burning. Almost all of the trash is then burned, the smoke is filtered, and the ash is transported to a water body. This is the reason for the existence of trash islands from ash deposits. All this process is clean and safe.
Why are we talking about this, and what’s the secret, you might ask? Well, the Australian government has something called a hard rubbish collection. Though different Australian cities have different rules, it is a system where they collect rubbish free of charge once a year. This is for items like sofas, tables, chairs, and other furniture that you’ll have a hard time throwing away.
Australian cities have different rules, like how much you can throw per year; some cities allow you to throw up to 3 cubic metres twice per financial year. Instead of garage sales from other countries, the hard rubbish collection has also developed a culture of repurposing and recycling. You can repurpose items other people put out on sidewalks, which is pretty common practice. This helps you, especially if you’re starting and you don’t want to buy new furniture yet.
8. Constantly Remind Yourself That Australia Is Big
This is no secret; Australia is a big country. We can’t even compare Singapore’s 728.6 square kilometres to Australia’s 7.688 million square kilometres, as Australia is the world’s sixth-largest country. You might have difficulty adjusting to the size in the beginning.
One common mistake most people make when they are new to Australia is underestimating the sheer size of it. Although reading about the different states might have given you an idea, it’s one thing to look at maps and read the numbers, and a whole other thing being there and experiencing the long drives yourself.
So, if you’re driving from one city to another, always bring extra tires and fuel, and you should note that there are areas with intermittent mobile phone connectivity. Land travel across Australia can last for hours to days, and you might not be used to that in Singapore.
9. Build A Relationship With A Mover
One simple trick to making moving easy is to get acquainted with moving services. Find a moving service like Sanelo and create a relationship with them, as you probably would need their services more than once. Before heading to Australia, you can use international moving services to free yourself of moving worries.
As previously mentioned, land travel across Australia can take hours to days. Just imagine travelling with all your furniture and belongings. Sanelo offers best-in-class shipment protection for your belongings on their journey, to reassure you that your items won’t incur damage along the way (and protect you if one of them does).
Conclusion On Moving From Singapore To Australia
Australians are fun-loving, and they have their own slang via shortening their words just like Singaporeans do. Culturally, there are some differences, but you’d probably also find a lot of things in common with their day-to-day goings on. Another thing that you’d need a little getting used to is the land mass, but it also has the potential for the makings of wonderful new adventures and road trips.
There’s so many things to enjoy and learn, as you make your way across the land down under.
So, getting acquainted with a mover you can trust and contact anytime will be a huge plus. We hope this will help you settle in Australia and create lasting relationships and beautiful experiences in the country.
Frequently Asked Questions About Moving From Singapore To Australia
Why Do People Move To Australia From Singapore?
Some account for Australia’s affordable healthcare system as one of the main reasons for immigration, aside from common occupation-related reasons. Australia has one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems that provide public and private hybrid systems.
Which City Is The Best To Live In Australia?
Melbourne is considered by most people as the best city as it is ranked as the world’s most livable city. It has a great music scene where laneways are populated with great cafes and coffee shops.
Which City Is Warmest In Australia?
Darwin in the Northern Territory is considered the warmest as the average annual temperature reaches 27.4 degrees Celsius. This city has the highest average temperature and average monthly maximum temperature.
When Is The Best Time To Acquaint Me With Sanelo?
You can contact them as early as you can through their website. The best time is a few days before your move so Sanelo can help you plan what to pack for the whole process.