Moving to Melbourne was one of the biggest milestones of my life. I always thought “yeah maybe next year,” because truthfully I was worried about taking the big dive “down unda.” We always dream about destinations and big moves, but it just takes that first step and all of your dreams could come true. According to US News, Melbourne has been deemed the most “livable city” in the whole world for 7 years in a row, until it was beat out in 2018. Its no wonder, as it has incredible beaches, great public transportation, and is a safe place to reside. As an American I was granted one year, and my partner being English was also granted one year under a work and holiday visa, however he could do farm work for 3 months in order to gain another year. It’s a very easy process to apply especially if you are under 30!
My top fear of moving to Melbourne, was the SPIDERS, however this fear is quickly debunked. Although the most venomous spiders inhabit Australia, it’s not something that should be a major concern as the last death by a spider in Australia was in 1979. When I lived in Melbourne, we hadn’t seen a single spider in any of our apartments if that’s any more convincing for you! On the plus side there are various species of birds, and animals that you can only see in Australia, and it’s worth a visit for that reason alone.
If you are looking to take the plunge to this beautiful country, here are 7 tips for moving to Melbourne, Australia:
1.)Save up at least $6,000 -US Dollars
Currency is always changing but $6000 US dollars is around $8400 AUD at the moment. Moving to Australia is not challenging as long as you save up sufficient amount. I saved about $5000 US Dollars, but at the time my partner had an apartment so I could stay with him for free for about a month. I suggest the extra thousand for your temporary stay until you have found an apartment.
2.) Apply for your Visa
Next step is the most important, you can go through an organization, or if your cheap like me you can always do it your self through the Australian Government website. Work & Holiday Visas are currently $485 AUD dollars (you will receive one year). My partner who is English had applied through STA Travel, which although he spent a bit extra they went through the trouble of helping him set up a bank account and his TFN (a temporary work number). Processing time for this visa is about 2-3 months, but I heard back within a month! See below for the direct link for the Work and Holiday visa:
3.)Plan your temporary stay
Planning your temprary stay can be a great way to check out an area and see if it’s a good fit for you. You can check out flats on Airbnb, or if you want a cheap stay check out hostelworld (which is also a great way to connect with other travelers). I would suggest choosing somewhere for 3 weeks which gives you time to settle in and do some research on your future living space.
4.)Looking for an apartment
Looking for an apartment is the challanging bit, so make sure to ask yourself these three questions:
Where do you want to live, do you want roomates, and how much can you afford in rent? Some great sights to search on are flatmates.au, gumtree, and rentberry.com. If you are looking for cheap furniture be sure to hit up an OP shop near by, or shop on gumtree for used furniture. If you want to buy cheap supplies there’s always a BIG W nearby. See number 6 for suggestions on places to live.
5.)Sign up for a Bank Account & Apply for TFN
There are multiple banks throughout Australia, but we found the top one to be Commonwealth, as they have several locations throughout the country. It’s a very easy process to sign up, and they will even help you with your TFN (Tax File Number). You can also register using the link below:
6.)Applying for a Job
I didn’t start applying for a job until I got to Australia, however that shouldn’t stop you from applying beforehand. I worked as an administrative assistant and it was fairly easy to find temp work through an agency, which made my working hours more flexible. My partner is a teacher and wasn’t looking for a long term commitment, so he went through ANZUK to find temporary teaching jobs. It’s great but keep in mind you won’t be working for the summer months of December & January. The pay in Australia is great anyway if you are looking to be a waitress, or cashier for quick money. To search for jobs definitely use Seek.au and, indeed.au!
7.)Where to look for an apartment (affordable areas)
Melbourne has several diverse neighborhoods that have a great art, music or fun beach scene. If you are looking for an affordable yet charming neighborhood head to Fitzroy or Brunswick, both have access to trams that can go right into the city within a short period. Both areas also have a great night life, charming boutiques, and cute little coffee shops! Check out Balaclava or St. Kilda if you want to live near the beach and have a buzzing night life filled with great food. I can also suggest South Yarra or Richmond which is a calmer fun neighborhood that’s still super close to CBD, however, these areas tend to be more on the pricy side.
As always, thanks for reading, and for more Travel Tips you can follow me on the blog or on my socials below :).