We asked an American (Erin) and a Canadian (Anita) working in Australia a few questions. Here is their perspective on living in Australia.
Why Did You Come to Australia?
Erin: I was looking for a change when I made the decision to travel to Australia. I have traveled in the past and had only been to the Austral-Asia once in my life when I visited India. I went to school in Georgia, where we received many study abroad students. During my first year, I meet a student who was studying abroad from Melbourne. We became best friends and he even taught me how to play basketball and stayed with my family for a couple weeks before returning to his hometown Melbourne, Australia. He told me everything about the city, country and people, which was later built upon by other Aussies I met on the road throughout my travels. We kept in touch and I told him that one day I would meet him over in Australia and then I would go visit what I called “The Big Rock in the Middle”, actually named Ayers rock. (This I will be doing in October!) We hadn’t seen each other since he left in June 2009, until I decided to make my move to Melbourne after finding an amazing opportunity to work with Alliance Abroad International! I left a month after accepting the position and headed over to “The Most Livable City in the World’.
Anita: Adventure, exploration and more sun!! I’ve been wanting to come to Australia for the last 5 years and finally decided that a visit, a short stint nor a long backpacking trip, wouldn’t cut it. After learning about the amazing possibilities of a working holiday visa, I jumped at the chance and moved to Melbourne with the excitement of finding a job, place to live and friends! It’s been an unbelievable experience so far.
FAVORITE THING ABOUT AUSTRALIA?
Erin: There are so many amazing things about this country and they all differ from region to region. The thing I enjoy the most, and seems to be relevant to all parts of Australia, is the Breakfast culture. Or in Aussie slang “Brekkie”. Aussies have a wonderful tradition of taking time to catch up with friends, drink an Australian coffee (or two), and eat some creative dishes at unique cafes for brunch.
Coming from a family where breakfast has remained a staple in our daily lives, I appreciate this tradition. Even within this there are small differences that I think any traveler would notice.
Australian’s always order poached eggs. This will always be the norm, so if you want your eggs scrambled, fried, or boiled make sure you tell you waitress!
Every breakfast joint has a vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free options…. In Melbourne I think its safe to say that half the menu will normally reflect this cultural difference!
For all you non-vegetarians: Bacon becomes a real piece of meat. They serve it thicker than in my country!
Avocado Smash will always and forever be one of my favorite Australian dishes! (Avocado, goats cheese, and lemon juice mashed together and spread over toast) Scrumptious!
Anita: The friendly people and delicious food culture. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to meet many people from diverse backgrounds over many scrumptious meals all over Australia!!
Most surprising thing about Australia?
Erin: The Ultimate Frisbee Network! My co-worker Anita and I both came over from countries where Ultimate Frisbee is a popular sport. I never imagined that it would be just as big, if not bigger here in Australia. My Ultimate Frisbee seasons have become one of my favorite and most surprising experiences in Australia. I have accumulated memories and friendships that will last forever. I was invited one morning to a pick up game by a roommate of mine and ended up later playing for two separate teams in the division and also participating in 4 tournaments while in Melbourne. I am even going off to volunteer for Australian University Games in September while staying with my Frisbee team from Melbourne, RMIT Red Backs! It seems as though Australians really appreciate sports and getting outdoors!
Anita: I’m still surprised at how so many words are shortened or has a nickname/slang equivalent in Australia!! The slang is so fun – Like how biscuits (2 syllables) are “shortened” to bikkies (still 2 syllables)….
One thing you would recommend doing to any visitor?
Erin: I would definitely recommend not only going to an Australian Rules Football match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), but also picking a team to support! Our Director here in Australia recruited me early to his favorite team, the good ole Carlton Blues. I went to a few games with his family and then got really into the sport after moving to Richmond, where the MCG is located. In Melbourne, the teams are based off of different suburbs around the city and have historical and traditional fan bases. They all have different rivalries and each family has a history connected to AFL. It’s exciting to follow the sport throughout the season and makes a trip to the stadium even more memorable! If you can’t decide on a team to support, go ahead and pick the best, GOOO CARLTON!!
Anita: Eat your heart out
You know you’re an Aussie when…
- You check the AFL app on the reg.
- Begin nicknaming all of your friends without realizing it.
- Say “Yewwwww” after anything you agree with!
- Meet three friends in a day for coffee at different cafes
- Your drink of choice is 4xxxx Gold, VB, or Carlton Draft.
- A kangaroo hops by and you don’t even think twice.
- You start giving directions about public transportation to confused travelers on the street.
- You start eating like an Iron Man and a having a Golden Gay Time means something to you!
- You lick an Ants Butt!
- There’s a nickname for everything
- You’re not afraid of spiders
- You like snow and cold
Best looking Aussie
Erin: Liam Hemsworth…was that even a question?
Anita: Julia Gillard (just joking!) Eric Bana!