Step 7: The Arrival!
Your bag is packed, tickets are booked, the visa is sorted out you are ready to leave. The flight to Australia from Canada is long. There is no way to avoid it. If you have some time you can look at layovers to spread the trip out. If you just can’t wait to get down under you will probably end up enduring an excruciatingly long flight, but it will be worth it. My advice. Wear something comfortable. Sweat pants, a t-shirt. You can change into something trendy once you arrive but for the flight down focus on function over fashion!
Once you arrive in Australia obviously you will need a place to stay. I was lucky enough to have a friend down there waiting for me at the airport. If you do not have a contact don’t worry, there are plenty of hostels and backpacker dorms that are easily accessible from most major airports in Australia. I myself tended to stick to the YHA (www.yha.com.au) line of hostels. They are consistently clean and offer kitchen facilities. Having said that they do tend to be a bit pricey compared to some others. Hostelworld.com is a great resource for reading reviews and booking hostels on line. It really comes down to personal preference. I prefer to stick to dorms of 4 beds or less as I am a light sleeper. However, many of my travel companions would opt for 16 bed dorms as they are considerably cheaper. Just be prepared to deal with a noisy roommate or a constant snoring sound! That’s not to say that you won’t run into those same problems in a 4 bed dorm but its 16x more likely that you will be with a snorer or a rowdy roomie in a 16 bed dorm. Ear plugs or noise canceling headphones are sometimes an essential tool in the backpacking experience. Other popular backpackers are:
- YHAA- Youth Hostel Association Australia – www.yha.com.au
- Base hostels - www.stayatbase.com
- Nomads – www.nomadsworld.com
- Asylum – **Budget Backpacker**
- Gilligans Cairns – Party Spot!
- The Friendly Hostel – Hervey Bay
Step 8: Preparing for your job search
Ok so you’ve found a hostel on-line and you’ve reserved a bed for a couple of nights in Sydney. Once you’ve slept off the jet lag you will probably want to explore the city. Take pictures. Take in some of the local cuisine. One of the first things you will notice is that Australia is quite expensive compared to Canada. A can of Coke is usually $2.50 AUD compared to $1.00 CAD. A small cup of coffee can be anywhere from $3.00-$5.00 AUD compared to a large Tim Hortons coffee at only $1.80 CAD. Needless to say if you are on a budget you will want to start looking for work sooner than later.
One of the requirements of working in Australia is a valid Australian TFN (Tax File Number). This is essentially the Australian Equivalent of a SIN number in Canada ( Social Insurance Number ). To receive a tax file number you must have an Australian address. There are many companies in Australia that offer the use of their address plus assistance in obtaining a TFN. You can also apply for one after you have started your employment and use your employers address. If you decide to go this route you may be taxed at a higher rate until you receive your TFN. You can apply for an Australian Tax File Number on the Australian Taxation Office website (www.ato.gov.au.)
You will also need an Australian bank account. Before you accept a position you must ensure you have opened a bank account in Australia. I personally recommend WestPac but I did not hear anything bad about any other major Australian banks. Other Australian banks include: