• 2021.04.09
  • Pros and Cons of living in OZ
Many of my friends back home in Italy envy me – in a good way – because I live in Australia.
They are righteously jealous that, being an island, the Covid situation is much better here than back home where they are starting a new lockdown one year after the first one in a long series and it is true that life here in Australia is very good.
I moved with my job but it is true that getting a working visa without having a sponsor (the name of such visa is skilled visa) is very complicated and during these years many people have contacted me to ask me for advice but also just to receive some encouragement because it is really a tough challenge to move here and Australia is very selective when it comes to immigration.
Many foreigners, especially Europeans, first move here with a working-holiday visa (or so they did pre-Covid). This visa allowed them to work for one year in the country and then have the option to renew the visa to stay for another year if they spent some months working on a farm.
Australia encourages foreigners to work on the farms because there is much to do in agriculture here and there are very few Australians who want to do such jobs.
I know many people who did such an experience and they enjoyed it and so they got to stay for two consecutive years in Australia.
Some even ended up getting married or landing a better job and were able to move here permanently.
The Italian community is quite numerous here in OZ, and the eastern coast one around Sydney and Brisbane is certainly the prevailing one. There are neighbourhoods in Sydney in the Inner West area where many Italians traditionally live.
I used to live in the North Shore and I knew many Italian families there and it was good to have a chat in my language every now and then.
The children, however, when they play with each other speak in English although they are all bilingual.
There are no Italian schools so they are taught Italian at home.
Meeting Italians is a pleasure and can give us comfort especially in the first months in a new country, but it is important to get to know people of all nationalities to be able to integrate quickly and so I did.
It is obviously very important to get friends who are locals too.
Australians are amongst the friendliest and most informal people in the world so it isn’t uncommon to see them walking around without shoes or shirts. Compared to Italy, they pay much less attention to their look and appearance and, even in the workplace, everything is much more informal.
In Australia a lot of attention is given to incentivize local production and trade and, for this reason, you will often find bakers, farmers, farmers’ markets, fish markets and delicatessens offering better quality products than supermarkets.
There are pros and cons living in Australia too of course and depending on your country of origin it is normal to make comparisons and find differences and have preferences. There is no perfect place in the world after all!
And to be fairer and more precise, to each his own, right? It’s normal to find things you’ll like best in one country versus another without necessarily naming a country better than the other.
An important difference between living in Italy and Australia is the distances: Italy is a very small country and even Europe is much smaller than Australia so moving to OZ I had to embrace the idea to drive long hours to get anywhere or take a flight to get to the next closest big city!
I also had to consider the climate: if perhaps you are a lover of mountains and high altitudes, know that here you will find quite the opposite, except for Tasmania. Australia is kind of flat and it is very dry for the most part – aside for lush Queensland.
I also had to adapt to the fact that the most dangerous animals in the world all live in Australia. Unless you live in the city centre of Sydney and never set foot outside the metropolitan area, you will surely find some spiders, snakes and other critters at some point. And I did.
If you are particularly sensitive to these unwanted encounters, you can either get used to it or get past Australia.
Moving to another country or continent is a big choice and it is a choice that will affect future life chances, a choice that must be made with a good dose of conviction.
You can't even think about moving to Australia just because you want a better job. It may be that you will have luck and you will find it, but this is not the only reason that should push someone to take such a big step.
There are a thousand reasons to come and live in Australia and just as many to stay in Italy. It is wrong to make a purely mathematical balance on the advantages and disadvantages because I think in the end it is a gut feeling.


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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