Australian society is generally very informal, compared to many Asian cultures as well as other Western ones. It’s common to call everyone by their first names, including people who you may consider your ‘superiors’ (such as your boss or your professors). Not doing so may be mistaken for awkwardness or discomfort with Australian habits. Take your cues from what Australian students do.
Similarly, dress codes tend to be quite casual, unless you are told otherwise. You’d only be expected to dress up smart for events like job interviews, graduation ceremonies or weddings. The rest of the time, clean smart casual clothing is generally acceptable in all social and work life.
The cost of living in Australia will be relatively high when compared with their home country and this has continued to rise at a breakneck pace. The 2012 Mercer Cost of Living Australian cities continue to rank high on the list in the Asia Pacific region and, following the strengthening of the Australian dollar, have all experienced further jumps up the global list since last year. Sydney and Melbourne experienced relatively moderate jumps of three and six places respectively, but Perth and Canberra both jumped 11 places. Brisbane rose by seven places, and Adelaide shot up 19 places.
In addition to facing high living costs in Australian cities, expatriates may also find that they are paid less and face higher tax bills here. In terms of purchasing power parity, Australia provides its residents with a similar level as that available in Japan and a higher purchase parity than the United Kingdom and Singapore. For full details of all the costs you can expect when living in Sydney please see our guide to living in Sydney. It contains full sample costing details for all goods and services and compliments this with useful insights into how much you can expect to pay to achieve the standard of living you're looking for.
Australia is a friendly and affordable country which enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world. As a general guide, the average international student in Australia spends about AUD $ 1,550 per month (approximately AUD$390 per week) on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport, international and domestic travel, telephone, and incidental costs. In addition to this amount, you will need to budget for your return trip home and international phone calls. International students are permitted to work up to 40 hours a fortnight during each session, however, there is significant competition for part-time work. You should not expect that money earned from a part-time job will cover your tuition fees or living expenses.
Even in today’s economic crisis, unemployment is low. There are plenty of jobs of all levels available to those who want them. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain work permits and residency if you are moving to Australia from overseas. Immigration policies have become a lot tighter over the last decade and most people looking to move and work need to be able to offer a skill in order to gain a work permit.
If you have yet to secure work it is useful to consult with a career adviser. Australian based advisors will be in a position to advise you of your job prospects in the region and whether or not your own skills and experiences will be in demand in this country.
It is advisable that, if you do choose to conduct your job search in Australia itself, that you ensure that you have sufficient funds to survive at least six months without a paid income. Once in Australia you should visit Centerlink, a government approved job search network: http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/individuals/work_index.htm.
For full details of the necessary visa requirements and application procedures for moving to Australia for your studies, you also need to make sure you know how to find jobs online and do some research about networking which will make your life much easier in Australia.