WHAT MADE YOU MOVE TO SYDNEY?
We always get asked about the motivation to why we moved to the other side of the world. From a personal perspective, I think that it’s good to break free from your comfort zone. Travel somewhere where you don’t know anybody and have no one but yourself to rely on. It’s also so refreshing to be introduced to new cultures and gain new perspectives. We’re so young and there shouldn’t be any obligations or priorities that holds us back from living life.
From an educational perspective, I wanted to study International Business and found Australia to be the ideal place. The start-up scene is booming, university encourage rising entrepreneurs and you have all these career hubs that fuels your goals and ambitions. Living in Norway, I felt a bit unmotivated, a bit lost and pretty much always in the same bubble. I didn’t really felt like I was giving Norway, my home, everything I had. By living away from home I get to draw a visual map of where I want to be years from now.
Career-wise, both Tsutsumi and I feel like living in Australia has been beyond our expectations. We came here searching for opportunities and got it almost straight away. In Norway, the Asian percentage is sparse. Projects will always be leaned towards influencers who have the same features as the consumer. Norway is also a very small country, so a lot of brands don’t actually see Norway as an individual market but rather manage all countries within Scandinavia / Nordic as one unit.
In Australia, everything seems to be maximised. You have hundreds of bloggers in all categories, pr-agencies and in-house brands. The market is also incredibly diverse, which is a great advantage in regards to the Asian-Australian market. It’s only been a few months working together, but moving to Australia was definitely the right move for us. Although our time is limited, I’m certain that the experience will be beyond valuable when we’re back in Norway. With that being said, here are some insights on our life in Australia!
WORKING HOLIDAY VISA:
While I’m in Sydney to study, Tsutsumi is here on a working holiday visa. This visa lets you work in the country for one year and cost 2800 NOK. The process is done online and if you are one of the cultural exchange countries Australia partner with; then the application will most likely be accepted.
I’m not sure how it is in other countries, but there is no insurance company in Norway that offer insurance to someone who decides to move overseas on a working holiday visa. All travel insurance offerings are curated for short-term travel, students or someone who works overseas on behalf of a Norwegian company. As a student, my insurance only cost me 5200 NOK whilst Tsutsumi had to rock up 13 500 NOK for “Gouda Forsikring” to cover her ass for one year. Crazy expensive, but super important when you are out on your own! You never know what might happen.
WHAT TO PREPARE PRIOR TO ARRIVAL:
Buy your flight tickets as soon as you’ve got the documents confirmed or know the date. Flying to the other side of the earth is not cheap, so be early out. As soon as you arrive at the airport there will be two mobile companies who can assist you with setting up a sim plan. We use Optus and pay $40 for 10gb monthly. Easy! In Sydney, you travel around with an Opal card. International students do not get a discount, but it is fairly easy to use and you just top-up as you go. We also use UBER way too much for our own good, but prices are pretty decent and drivers are reliable.
Accommodation in Sydney is very expensive and the standard of each home is very different from what we are used to in Norway. It is normal to pay a deposit or bond between two to four weeks upfront in addition to normal rent. In Australia, salary and rent is calculated weekly. Apartments are rented out differently, but majority will exclude bills in rent (electricity, water, wi-fi, gas), come unfurnished and without white goods (refrigerator, microwave, washing machine and dish washer)
I spent almost two years living at the university campus at UTS:Housing. As I came to Sydney on my own I wanted to surround myself with new friends, stay safe and live near the university. My first semester was in a six-share flat at “Yura Mudang” for $280 per week. I had my own furnished room and all bills included. Later, I moved to an eight-share flat called “Gumal Ngurang” and payed $250. Simple utilities such as cooking oil, dish washing liquid and toiletries was split between the residents. I found it to be a very good experience and regularly attended campus activities that was included in rent; dance, boxing, cooking classes and academic lessons. If you’re an exchange student; living on-campus will ultimately be one of the best choices you make for your social life.
PRIVATE RENTAL APARTMENT:
Prior to moving into our apartment, I rented a private ensuite room in a shared apartment at the price of $400 per week. It was a two-bedroom apartment with three girls in bunk beds paying $225 each. Flatmates, Domain and Real Estate are good and reliable sites to find shared rental accommodation. With that being said, you can never be too careful. I got scammed during house hunting and based on the many feedbacks I know it is very important to stay cautious of anything that seems too good to be true.
I went on dozens of inspections, but ended up finding our dream apartment through a private viewing with Greencliff. I’m very happy that we chose an agency that is down the road from our home. It makes it easier for us to turn to them or our lease agent, Nathan Sitou should anything occur. It’s a small one bedroom apartment in Central Park Chippendale. Central Park is one of the finer modern buildings in Sydney and was our best option when it came to an apartment that function as both home and working area. It’s conveniently located across the street from the university and is near public transport and shopping mall. Central Park has a lot of asian residents and I think it’s because Asians are more used to live in small spaces – in comparison to Australians who lives more spaciously in outer suburbs.
It is not everyday you get to live the big city-life in Sydney together with your best friend. After two years living in a shared accommodation we decided to move to a private apartment. We pay $620 every week, which sums up to approximately $2700 monthly divided on the two of us. All appliances are included as well as bills except for wi-fi that cost us additional $70 monthly for 250GB. Included in the rent is also 24/7 concierge, gym membership and access to the swimming pool. The apartment itself is bright, modern with light timber floors and big windows with lots of natural sunlight.
Another thing that I really appreciate is the safety of the building. We have 24/7 security on the ground floor and our own concierge who collects all our parcels. I used to be so furious having to wait for deliveries that didn’t arrive on the day or walking a good 15 minutes to the nearest postal office. A little luxury!
CONDITION OF APARTMENTS:
It is normal for Australian homes to have carpet floors which I find uncomfortably odd. I think that the reason for carpet floors is because you wouldn’t be able to see all the dirt. Liquid spillings would absorb into the carpet. Other apartments have bathroom looking tiles everywhere and very few have timber floors. I’ve been living with carpet floor for too long on campus, so our criteria was to find an apartment with timber.
Several apartments come completely unfurnished meaning you have to buy expensive necessities such as washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher and cooking oven on top of your bill. In addition to that, bills are not included in the rent unless stated. Add these expenses and you get one hell of a overpriced renting market. It won’t be a problem to find more affordable accommodation outside Sydney if you have a car, but almost everywhere will be expensive.
I was so desperate to find a place that I signed a contract to live with ten girls. Not only was it more than $500 per week, but I also had to pay two months worth of rent. The place was over-crowded and was so dirty it had rat problems. Thank god the previous tenant decided to extend her stay, because I would not have been able to cancel the contract otherwise. Not only is it expensive to live in the inner suburbs, the condition can also be pretty bad. It is very important to attend all inspections in person as pictures can be manipulated or unreal.
That was a little insight into our lives here in Australia. If there is anything else that you would like to know about, please reach out and let us know. We get so happy every time we receive a comment from you. I’m also fully aware that as time has gone by, we’ve been less personal on Candid That. If you can let us know what you want more of it will help us tremendously in creating the best content for you. A travel guide to Vietnam will soon be up and something exciting is also happening very, very soon!