A Guide to Settlement in Australia for Migrants
Australia is a popular destination for migrants entering the country on a partner visa or to be with family due to its friendly people, high living standards, and diverse culture. However, relocating and settling into any new country can be a challenging experience, especially if you are not sure of the local customs and practices. Here is a handy guide for migrants coming to Australia to join family or partner, to help adjust to a new life ‘Down Under’.
Research the culture and customs
Before you arrive in Australia, research the culture and customs of our country. This includes learning about the local language, food, and customs. Australians are known for their laid-back and friendly nature, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the local customs to avoid any misunderstandings.
Learn the language
While English is the official language of Australia, it can differ slightly from other English-speaking countries and Australians have been known to have their own special slang terminology (or an informal nonstandard vocabulary composed of invented English words). By enrolled in the free Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), you can improve your English language skills and communicate better with the locals in everyday life. You have 5 years to study, and the program includes both social and workplace English, as well as specific short courses for things like driving, citizenship, IELTS and small business. It will also help you to understand the Australian accent, which can be challenging for some non-native English speakers. Learn English with Navitas Skilled Futures English classes either online or in one of our colleges, where you could also benefit from free childcare.
Understand the job market
Australia has a strong economy and there are plenty of job opportunities available for migrants. Navitas Skilled Futures offer a number of courses and programmes to help you gain employment in Australia. You may consider joining a free Pathways to Work program designed to help you find and secure a job, through intensive training in employability skills such as resume writing and interviewing, as well as work experience and English that’s specifically tailored to the sector you are looking to enter. Some examples of industries that you can train to enter, that are experiencing high growth include aged care, beauty and transport. There are other ways to navigate the job market in Australia, like searching employment sites such as LinkedIn and Seek, attending job fairs and networking events to meet potential employers.
Familiarise yourself with the healthcare system
Australia has a public healthcare system called Medicare, and it’s important to familiarise yourself with how it works. You may be eligible for free or subsidised healthcare as a permanent resident or citizen. If you have a valid visa, you may be able to use Medicare services to get lower cost health care. For help with Medicare, you can call the Medicare program line. If you’ve had vaccinations overseas, a health professional can record them in the Australian Immunisation Register. This includes a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination. It can feel overwhelming trying to communicate with your doctor, and that’s why the Adult Migrant English Programe (AMEP) has specific units included around communicating with your healthcare provider, as well as parts of the body, common conditions and pharmacy medicines.
Sort out your finances
It’s important to have a plan for your finances before you arrive in Australia. You may need to provide evidence of financial support to be granted a visa, and you should also consider setting up a bank account and applying for a tax file number (TFN) to work legally in Australia. You may be able to get an income support payment depending on your situation. Most of the Australian Government payments have waiting periods and residency rules. Check what you can get. Again, it can feel daunting communicating with your bank, but there are modules in the AMEP that can help to explain these terms, to help you feel comfortable with things like opening a bank account and getting a home loan.
Get involved in the community
Australia is a diverse country with many different communities, and getting involved in local groups and organisations can be a great way to meet new people and learn more about the country. Joining a local sports team, volunteering, or attending cultural events are all excellent ways to get involved in the community. The community at Navitas Skilled Futures is wide ranging and can help you to find friends with common backgrounds or interests.
Migrating to Australia can be a life-changing yet rewarding experience, and Navitas Skilled Futures is here to help you along the way.
Get in touch if you are interested in connecting to any of our services or studying with us to help you settle into Australia.