View Full Version : Some feedback for an American citizen moving to Australia

Oct 4th, 2011, 01:57 AM
I'm an American citizen who was granted a work and holiday visa by Australian Immigration. Because I have never even been to Australia as a tourist, I admit to being full of questions.

If readers have some input for me, please reply here or via PM.

I'm arriving in Melbourne on the 10th, but I have yet to book accommodation. My visa allows me to work up to 12 months (max. 6 months with one employer), but there is no telling where I will get work or how long I want to stay in a given place outside of Melbourne. Being a huge tennis fan, I would love to be in Melbourne through the end of the Australian Open so that I can be a part of the tournament in some way- as a fan, a volunteer, a lines person, a food vendor, whatever. Even though that's the case, there's no telling if it will be financially viable to make it that long, especially if I don't find enough work. What do you suggest for accommodation? Might I find something for an "odd" amount of time like 4.5 months? Should I get a room at a youth hostel for a week and then look for something when I'm on the ground? I don't want anything pricey, just (preferably) something clean with a kitchen and bathroom.

Any tips on getting involved with the Australian Open in some capacity?

Might I be able to rely on public transit in Melbourne (perhaps with a few taxi rides thrown in) or is a car more or less a necessity? I would prefer to live car-less, but I also see the benefits of not walking 9km from your home to the nearest public transit location!

What are some effective ways of finding work? Is Craigslist a big deal in Australia or is it not used very much? I have quite a few years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (and certification), I'm certified as a Spanish teacher in my native state's public schools (and I've subbed for French/only lack certification from not having paid the money to take and pass the content area test), I am PTR certified as a tennis coach, and I play the piano for churches for mass and weddings (also have experience playing for my university orchestra and for musicians' auditions). I could write other skill sets and ideas, but those are the main ones that come to mind. I am open to different types of work- i.e. perhaps working with tourists once I know Australia better- and will also include my interest in dance and theater. If I could work even just part-time at a dance studio or theater or dance/theater school and get privileges such as free classes, I think I would be overjoyed!

I may have some more questions later, but I'll post these for now.

Many, many heartfelt thanks in advance for input.

Oct 4th, 2011, 03:06 AM
Accomodation wise, I'd suggest a youth hostel at first. They are pretty good, clean and cheap...plus you'll meet lots of people, tourists etc.

A car in Melbourne is not necessary, Melbourne probably has the best public transport in Australia...trams, buses, trains..it's great. You won't have any trouble getting around Melbourne.

You seem to have a fair a mount of experience, jobs shouldn't be an issue. Craigslist is used in Australia.

Also if you want a job at the Australian open, read this...it'll tell you what to do...http://www.australianopen.com/pdf/AO12Applicationprocess.pdf

Sorry I'm not offering a lot of detail, I'm not from Meblourne...so I'm not as informed as some others, hopefully someone from Victoria will come along that knows a lot more than me :)


Oct 4th, 2011, 09:20 AM
I'll try my best.

In terms of public transport it depends on where you live. Melbourne sprawls a ridiculous amount, but within the inner - middle suburbs the trams/light rail effectively work like a subway (except they get stuck in traffic :p). Trains run pretty extensively, but its a fairly unreliable system for global standards. Most stations have a connecting bus. Melbourne doesn't have any tourist tickets for public transport, but you can get monthly and yearly tickets. It might be worthwhile getting a myki, the tickets are supposed to be cheaper. Its easy to get on trams for free...though ofcourse I don't advocate this ;)
All info is here: http://www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au/

I don't know much of an issue money is, but I would stay a hostel/backpackers for the first week before looking for a place to stay. Obviously its always good to explore the area your looking to stay at, they usually have a one week maximum though, and we start getting a fair few tourists at this time of year. Footscray would be a cheap area considering its proximity to the city, but its an aquired taste. Run down, sort of bohemian area with a large african/asian community. I personally love it, but I know a lot of people think its dodgy.

For nightlife, look towards South Yarra, Pharan, Carlton, Brunswick, Richmond (lots of heroione though :unsure:), St.Kilda, Fitzroy, Collingwood etc. All within the outskirts of the CBD. A lot more exspensive, but if you have the money...definetely places to stay at. Try getting a backpackers around here for your first week.

Here is a good site for travellers looking for jobs in Australia. I think (http://www.australianopen.com/pdf/AO12Applicationprocess.pdf) applications for jobs at the Aussie Open has ended. Personally I think jobs at the Aussie Open are shit, you don't get to watch much tennis and you stand around in the heat all day/deal with people who have been in the heat all day. 5 day ground passes are only about $100 and well worth the money. Access to all courts except Rod Laver and Hisence Arena. I believe you can upgrade later in the day if there is someone you want to watch, though you will be stuck at the top level, which still has a pretty good view. Transport to the tennis centre is as easy as it gets, its in Richmond and has a connecting train and tram line.

Tram system - try and look for a place within these areas if you don't want to rely on a car.

Train system - you pretty much have to stay within zone 1 (yellow) if you don't want to rely on a car.

Oct 4th, 2011, 11:44 AM
PM venus_rulez
He has moved from SoCal to Melbourne ;)

Oct 4th, 2011, 11:56 AM
Just a quick advice on booking your stay. First book a stay in a hostel and when you're already in Melbourne look for a room to rent etc. I can tell you from my experience that booking a room only looking at the pics, isn't the best thing to do :lol: It's the best to see the flat with your own eyes and ask the owner questions about it ;)

Oct 5th, 2011, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the input so far. Have booked a hostel for my first week!

Oct 5th, 2011, 02:09 PM
Where abouts is the hostel your staying at?

Oct 7th, 2011, 02:15 AM
Spencer & Rosslyn Sts.