Thinking about moving to Sydney? Here's what you need to know

Sydney is stunning, a big city that's bursting with life, boasting a vibrant art and music scene, great shopping, fine dining, varied night life and beautiful beaches.

The weather in Sydney is a big attraction - it's generally quite mild, it doesn’t get extremely hot or extremely cold and most days you can comfortably sit in one of the cities many relaxing green spaces, or enjoy the view from a nice little café in Sydney harbour.

There are many reasons people consider moving to Sydney,and many aspects to consider before you do.

What Visa Should you Apply for? 

There are a variety of visa types you can apply for to enter Sydney to work and live. Australia does have a skills shortage list, for skilled migrants which you can check here to see if your current occupation is included. 

You can also go there on a working holiday visa  (if you are 18-30yrs old and up to 35 for Irish and Canadian passport holders), which is valid for one year but can be extended for another year and during that time you can work on a more permanent visa if you choose to. The working holiday visa is for countries with a reciprocal agreement with Australia like New Zealand, the UK, and the US, you can check if your country is included in the list here

Finding a Job in Sydney

When looking for a job, the best place to start is online before you get there. Workable.com has put together a list of the top 15 job seeker sites in Australia which you’ll find helpful. 

You will find a very wide variety of jobs available to you in Sydney, with varying levels of skills, qualifications or experience needed. It would be wise to ensure that any qualification you have would meet Australian standards, and allow you to hold the same position in Australia as you did in your home country. It is possible that for certain jobs you would need to undertake some level of extra study to meet Australian standards and expectations for your profession.

What is Transport like?

Sydney does have sufficient public transport to get you where you need to go, but it isn’t quite comparable yet to the likes of London or Singapore. There are mostly overground trains and buses, and you will sometimes have to wait a little while for one, or walk more than a few minutes to a stop. It’s wise to leave a bit of extra time to get to where you need to go when using public transport. 

Many Sydney residents do prefer to have a car, however if you work in the central city you will then have to weigh up the convenience of a car with the cost of car parking in the CBD, and you will no doubt run into traffic still, whether you are in a bus or a car. To avoid traffic, the best way is by train, if you are able to find train services that run from your accomodation to work. The government will shortly be opening a new ‘light rail’ network, which is basically a tram which will run through central Sydney and may make your trip to and from work somewhat faster and easier.

When you are choosing your accomodation, transport to work is a major factor to consider, whether you are close to public transport, particularly a train, or how long it will take by car with the usual traffic times. 

The Cost of Living

It’s not cheap, but you have to weigh that up against the many benefits and opportunities that come with living in Sydney. The price of rent is the main reason for the higher cost of living, the average rent even for a studio apartment is around AU$400 per week, with flat mates you can find a cheaper price at around AU$200-250. Those prices don’t generally include bills like internet and electricity either. 

You can get slightly cheaper prices by travelling further outside of the CBD however you will then need to factor in transport costs and the extra time it will take you. The cheapest option, which may work well for those on working holiday visas, is staying in a hostel, and most do have long term rates. Have a look at Numbeo’s average cost of living prices  in Sydney to get a more detailed idea of the cost of eating out, grocery shopping and utilities and more.

Safety in Sydney 

We have saved the best for last, Australia in general is safer than many other countries.

The most common crime statistics are alcohol related, and they are improving steadily since the government implemented strict alcohol bans in public places a few years ago. 

Australia is not the kind of place you will see people carrying any type of weapon in public, as it is illegal to do so. You are extremely unlikely to encounter any gun violence there, or any kind of armed mugging in the streets. You should feel safe walking the streets in Sydney, and in your apartment or home there. 

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