14 December 2016

James Delaney - Expat in Melbourne, Australia

James Delaney - Expat in Melbourne, Australia

We’ve had the chance to talk to James Delaney, 27, a British expat who has moved to Melbourne alone. Mr. Delaney who has been living there for two years, now works as a business manager.

Read more about his experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I’m originally from Essex in the UK.


Q: What made you move out of the UK?

A: The decision was purely motivated by my career aspirations. I felt that I would develop new skills that would help me in the long term.


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: I now live in Docklands in Melbourne CBD.


Q: How long have you been living in Australia?

A: I’ve lived in Australia for two years now.


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the expat lifestyle? 

A: I moved here on my own but another colleague from a different office moved at the same time. We were put in a short term flat but ended up staying there for about 12 months.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?

A: I always miss my family. The first six months were the hardest but since then, I’ve seen them every six months so I cope pretty well.


Q: What do you think about the locals?

A: Australians are great! It’s a very friendly culture here.


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Australia? How did you manage to find a social circle there?  

A: It was interesting to start with. I didn’t meet as many people as I thought I would. My colleague and I mainly socialised with people from work. When he moved to Singapore, I was forced to go out and meet new people. I now have a healthy circle of friends that I go out with regularly.


Q: How does the cost of living in Australia compare to your home? 

  • Q: How much is a cup of coffee?

A: $3.50 (I didn’t drink coffee back home but I think it’s around £3.)

  • Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A: Around $25 dollars per head which is really good compared to about £20 in the UK. You find that affordable restaurants have much better quality than back in the UK.

  • Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: Around $100 a head is a really good meal with a decent bottle of wine. This is similar to back home.

  • Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: A really nice Australian wine is about $30 in a bottle shop and about $100 in a restaurant. Similar to the UK but I think the local quality is excellent. Cigarettes are about $25 a pack. I think they’re more expensive than in the UK.


Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in the Australia?

A: I went with HSBC as that is my bank in the UK. It’s helped as I can wire money easily. It’s quite easy to open bank accounts here.


Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so?

A: The 457 process was fairly easy as I had more than enough experience to meet the criteria – however, I have seen a lot of people wanting to get a Visa but being declined. It’s very strict in Australia. The PR (permanent residence) process is also a lot of paperwork. I’ve already started this process.


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Australia is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?

A: I’ve had to go to the doctors for a few illnesses (one being a fairly serious one from a trip to Asia) and I found it to be very good.


Q: Did you secure health insurance? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?

A: You need to get Bupa cover to get your 457. I know that there are others available but I haven’t done much research into this.


Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to Australia? Which was the mover you chose and how was your experience with them?

A: I just packed a couple of suitcases and moved out here! My initial plan was to be here for two years and then move back home so I rented my place out furnished. I’m planning a bit of a longer stay now so I’m going to work out what I’ll be sending here and what I’ll be selling.


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?

A: I’d say the fact that you don’t have any of your close friends and family around you. Although I’ve coped pretty well, being 24 hours and 11 hours’ time difference away can take its toll.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Australia?

A: The positives are the culture and variety of things to do. There’s always festivals going on and different events. You can also visit different nature parks and mountains as well as beaches and vineyards! The only negative about Melbourne is the weather isn’t what you’d expect from Australia. We only get a few months of sunshine whereas other locations are the opposite!


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?

A: I’d say that visiting all the different parts of Australia will give you a good idea of what’s around!


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: I am open to staying in Australia but I think it’s likely that I’ll move on in the future. Either to America or back to the UK.


Q: What tips would you give to expats living in the country?

A: Make sure you go and visit different places in Australia. There is a lot on offer for people to do and see!