I thought I would take a bit of time to write about how we have foundd our first 6 months. i used to love reading these types of posts before we left the uk (still do actually!) and found them really useful in knowing what to expect etc. i have tried to be honest about how we have found the whole journey - but this is just our experience and opinions!
we were in the relatively fortunate position of being sponsored to come over by my OH's work. we are only on a temp visa so everything happened very quickly and after receiving the job offer in May, we arrived at the end of August. We had about three weeks to sort everything out as the furniture got packed up and shipped out at the beginning of july! We stayed in short term accommodation (Donna Jacob - fabulous!) which was right beside Brighton beach and made us realise that we wanted to stick as close to the beach as possible. We arrived on Friday and OH started work on Tuesday...barely time to get over the jetlag!
We then found a great rental in Glenelg. During this time we hit more than a few problems. The biggest one was the amount of money that we had to pay out initially - for everything!! The biggest expenses were the car, the rental bond and the massive amount of shopping! Even if you have your furniture shipped over, there will inevitably be things that you need to replace. In our case we had two weeks in our rental before our things arrived! So we needed a bed, fridge, washing machine and tv...and hadnt budgeted for any of it! Thankfully there were a lot of very helpful people who were selling things off on this site so we jsut about managed!
When we first arrived I started the EPIC journey of getting my teachers reg through. Massive amounts of red tape were waded through, problems arose (some small and one pretty big one which was having a completely wrong police check!) and in the end it took me 4 months (and time spent in the worst job ever!!) to sort it out! The reality for teachers here is pretty grim (and this is based on both my own experiences and those of many other teachers that I know here). In the UK I had a great job and was moving steadily through the ranks. Here I went straight back to the bottom of the chain. there are very few jobs and unless you have an Aussie reference then you have a very slim chance of getting an interview, let alone an actual job. Im doing relief teaching, which is ok (and a lot better than the other job i had here!) but it is hard to come by and the days are by no means guaranteed. I have some friends who have had lots of work and some who have had 4 days in the whole term. Im kinda in the middle but still only averaging 2 days per week. It is hard and there is no denying that career wise I have probably made a huge mistake in coming here.
However, for my hubby, this was the best move we could have made for his career as there was nothing for him in his field (biomedical engineer). He had basically spent 9 years at uni getting all sorts of masters and phds to work in job that he could have done stright from school. Here his skills are recognised and valued. Most importantly, for us personally it was probably the best move we ever made. We have more time together, are much less stressed out, and enjoy the beach/parks/festivals/weather/life far more than we did in Glasgow. It is much safer here and it took us a while to get used to that! (while Glasgow is nowhere near as bad as its made out to be, you would be pretty daft to think it was safe!) The beaches are amazing, the people are friendly and we find that we dont just live for the weekend anymore. We have made some brilliant friends (some from this site, some locals, some other migrants from all over the globe!) and consider ourselves really lucky.
There are def lots of things I miss about Glasgow - great night life being at the top of that list! While there are many things to do here, a decent club seems to be missing I also hate that bands will play all over oz but miss out adelaide. These things are pretty small and when you weigh them against all the good things they dont seem all that important! My OH misses the football and all the footy shows that go with it (watching it at 6am is apparantly not the same!) Homesickness is pretty common, especially when there are family issues going on and you cant be there to support them. My best friend got engaged and another had her first baby and I missed it all...that can be hard. Skype and facebook make all the difference and it really is amazing how involved you can still be in lives that are 10000 miles away! Not the same but it does help. The thing that I have found hardest to deal with is that im different here. Back home i sounded the same as everyone else, but here my accent immediately makes it obvious that im foreign! I miss sounding like everyone else and not having to constantly explain how i have ended up in the country! Oh yeah and the OH cant stand the way people drink lager when they are driving - just a little dangerous....!
Overall we have had a pretty positive experience. It has been hard but it's been fun! We still have some things that need to get better, but some things that we like just as they are. We came here for two years and now we have decided that we want to stay and will be applying for permanent residency. We love it and def think that the positives far outweigh any negatives. It really is strange to think that this time last year we were freezing in -2 temperatures in spring, taking the dog along St Andrew's beach....and now we are strolling in a very pleasant 29 degrees, along immaculate adelaide coastline....what a difference a year makes!