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Why do expats love (and hate) Australia?

Here are five things expats love about living in Australia (and five things they hate).

Like any place in the world, there are things to love and things to dislike about Australia. Expats tend to feel this more strongly and it often comes in waves of succession. Expats often feel mixed emotions when coming to Australia.

They experience happiness while everything is new and exciting but then it’s followed by homesickness, culture shock and frustration.

So here are five things that expats love about living in Australia.

Aussie slang

Aussie slang is massive amounts of fun. It might take a little while to pick up on the unique slang of Australian lifestyle. Once you catch onto the slang, you’ll find it’s a lot of fun. One of the types of slang involves shortening words. For example, instead of saying service station, it’s called a “servo”. Or afternoon is shortened to “arvo”.

Unless you’re uptight about “proper English”, you’ll find it’s very fun to play around with Aussie slang. It reflects a very casual, friendly and welcoming culture of the country.

The coffee

Australia has an awesome coffee culture. The coffee culture is so good that international coffee chains have a small market share and struggle to compete with Australian coffee shops. The Aussie coffee market is dominated by local shops serving coffee that is better than most expats have tasted back home.

The beer

Beer - drinking in general - is an essential part of the Australian culture. The Australian craft beer scene is booming and although macro beers are still popular, there remains a sizable percentage of the population that’s more interested in the kick than the taste of their drink.

SInce beer is widely consumed in Australia, it’s fair to say there’s a huge range to choose from. So when expats come to the Land Down Under, they certainly won’t be disappointed. Arguably, Australia is a beer haven.

Landscape

While the world has some amazing places to visit, Australia has been graced with incredible landscapes and countryside. It has diversity, scale and beauty. You’ll be able to see skies, waters, deserts, mountains and natural phenomena you didn’t even know existed.

One of the biggest reasons expats love Australia is the great landscape that accompanies the excitement of the city life.

The beaches

Although this could be mentioned under landscapes, we feel it deserves its own space because the beaches in Australia are on the next level.

The Aussie beaches are essential to the Australian culture. Swimming, sunbathing, surfing, scuba diving, beach sports and beach cafes are integral to the way of life here in Australia. It’s hard to find a beach culture as rich as Australia’s.

Now, while there are many positives to living in Australia, there are several drawbacks too that some expats dislike.

Here are some of the drawbacks of Australian life.

The prices

Australia is expensive. Obviously if you’re an expat or a tourist, you might get a favourable exchange rate and the prices won’t be too much of an issue.

Most things in Australia, however, are pricy. Houses, transport, alcohol, eating out, movie tickets and Internet are all very expensive. So if you’re an expat in Australia, you may need to prepare for the fact that these simple things may cost more in Australia than back home.

The racism

Although Australia is a very multicultural country, there is still a lot of racism, both in personal interactions and in politics, and occasionally this racism has manifested into violence. While most Australians are extremely welcoming and accepting of people from other races and cultures, there are still incidents that show there is still a serious problem.

Christmas in summer

Most expats are used to Christmas in the winter. When they come to Australia and realise that the Aussie idea of Christmas involves a BBQ outside and going down to a sunny beach, it can be a bit of a culture shock.

Even if the expats aren’t particularly fond of the cold weather back home, that doesn't mean they’ll love the Aussie sun. It won’t feel like Christmas time for them.

The drinking culture

Now this was mentioned in the things that expats love about Australia but most Aussie drinking involves getting “bombed out” or “wasted”. Due to this mentality, there is a lot of violence associated with alcohol in Australia which can deter expats.

Thankfully the drinking culture is changing slightly, with a shift to focus on the taste and ingredients. However, the drink-to-get-drunk culture is still very much a problem in Australia.

The size of the country

Australia is a huge country. If you want to see the country, be prepared to do a lot of travelling. If you want to see those fantastic landscapes and beaches, you may have to go out of your way to find the best of the best.


Those are some of the things you need to weigh up if you’re thinking of moving to Australia as an expat.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She has completed a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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