Monday, 16 May 2016

The Newcomer’s Guide to Australia: Innovative Ways to Spend Your Time

Oftentimes, when you move somewhere new you have a grace period before starting your new job. In the meantime, you’re trying to settle in and acclimate to your new surroundings.

I’m dealing with this now; I arrived in Melbourne three months ago and I’m looking for my next job, so I totally understand your dilemma! The worst thing is to sit in your room and stress about all the things you have to do, or that you don’t have anything to do. The best remedy for this anxiety is to get moving and involved in interesting events and classes in your area as well as finding positive creative outlets for yourself.

Here are some ideas, for newcomers of all ages, on keeping busy and finding your grounding during the first few weeks in your new home!  

Finding a job:
This task can feel most overwhelming of all, especially when you move somewhere with no personal connections. Fear no more! There are a number of very helpful websites to get you started on a clear and active job search. You can do a highly specific search on jobs in your area, in your field of expertise and the type of contract or hours you prefer. Here’s a list of great job-finding websites:

1.      www.Spotjob.com
2.      www.Gumtree.com
3.      www.Meetup.com
4.      www.Airtasker.com
5.      www.Freelancer.com

Ps. Here are two more ways to make an income before work starts:

Uber:  becoming an Uber driver is a great way to make some money until your new job is settled. For more details visit www.uber.com

Grants: Have an amazing new business idea? You can now apply for grants for innovative business ideas. Check out this article for more information: http://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/roy/media-releases/46m-aussie-companies-storm-new-markets

What to do until work begins:
You have so many options! Read on…

Activities:
If you choose so, you will never be bored in Australia. No matter where you live, there are countless activities for kids, teens and adults. I live in Melbourne, and I haven’t had one quiet weekend since I moved in! Here are some ideas to keep you busy no matter where you’re living, then I’ll give you a list of some adventures and events throughout Australia.

Volunteer work: great for all ages; a way to give back and connect to your new community and make friends  https://govolunteer.com.au/

Babysitting: teens! this is a great way for you to make some money and keep busy when you first arrive. It could also be a good way to meet people and new friends in your neighbourhood

Tutoring: this is a great job opportunity for teens and allows them to give back to the community and make new connections

Blogs: writing a blog about your experiences is a great creative outlet and allows you to connect with friends back home. You can include photos, cafes and bars you enjoyed and stories about your first impressions of your new home.

Social groups/Meetup.com:  joining meetup.com and other local social groups is a fantastic way to make friends and connections. Events in practically every category are available (arts, sports, hiking, film, writing, etc.) http://www.meetup.com/

Workshops: Signing up for a workshop is a great creative outlet and a perfect way to meet other likeminded people. You can easily find workshops in writing, art, and more. http://www.work-shop.com.au/

Short courses: Your little pocket of free time could be the perfect time to take a course in something you’ve always wanted to learn more about.  Many of the universities throughout Australia offer short or single courses in a wide variety of subjects. Here are just a few options:
  
Arts and crafts: Another fun activity is to get involved with arts and crafts. You can find local classes, art groups and great art stores. Check out meetup.com for art groups and workshops

Shopping: for your new home (and maybe a little something for yourself...)
You just moved into your new place, so I’m assuming you’ll need to pick up a few things to make your new home feel like home. And perhaps you need to do a little bit of shopping before you start your new job. Here are some great sites for incredible deals:

1.      Trade Secret – you can find this store all throughout Australia. It offers incredible deals on clothing, home d├ęcor and more. http://www.tradesecret.com.au/category/blog/

2.      50 Best Online Shopping Sites – perfect for when you’re too busy (or exhausted!) to leave your couch to go shopping. Tons of brands just a click away. http://www.finder.com.au/online-shopping

3.      Mydeal.com.au – shop for everything from furniture to clothing to electronics. Its all here and you can be sure you’ll find some great deals. http://www.mydeal.com.au/

4.      IKEA – you can pretty much never go wrong with IKEA. I’ve furnished full apartments with IKEA furniture and it looks great. Affordable and beautiful. Plus, you can buy lovely wine glasses for under $10...  Relax and browse: http://www.ikea.com/au/en/

5.      My Furniture Store – great discount prices on every type of furniture. http://www.myfurniturestore.com.au/

6.      Buy furniture online – 17 places to buy furniture online: http://www.finder.com.au/furniture-homewares

7.      Sell Buy Swap – this is a great site to sell, buy and swap furniture and more. Definitely worth a look! http://www.sellbuyswap.com.au/

Events for you… and the Kids!
Don’t forget about the kids while you’re enjoying your online shopping and catching up on long forgotten art courses! There are tons of activities you can do with your kids before starting work. Here are some awesome events and activities for everyone: 


Melbourne: 
Events:

Kids Activities and Classes:
Trampoline Park:
200 Things for Kids and Families to do in Melbourne:  http://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/melbourneplaygrounds-info.php?id=24192
20 Things to do in Melbourne with Kids:

Sydney:
Events:
·         http://www.sydney.com/events

Daily Ideas for Sydney Mums:
·         http://www.ellaslist.com.au/
Kids events and classes:

Brisbane:
Events:
Kids Events and Classes:

Perth:
Events:

Kids Events and Classes:

Adelaide:  
Events:

Kids Events and Classes:
·       http://playandgo.com.au/

Darwin:
Events:

Kids Events and Classes:

Canberra:
Events:

Kids Events and Classes:

Hobart:
Events:
Kids Events and Classes:
· http://www.exitleft.com.au/ -- Drama classes

I hope these tips help you fill your newfound free time, keep you thinking positive and allow you to enjoy your new home. I wish you the best of luck on settling in, exploring the city, and of course, finding the perfect furniture. Adventure on!

Elite Cultural Discovery assists you with every aspect of your move to a different country where you will live like a local with all the support or as little support as you need to fit right in. www.eliteculturaldiscovery.com


As a world traveler from birth, Rahel has been sharing her experiences through photography, creative writing, poetry and film. Originally from Vancouver, BC, Rahel has moved to three countries on her own and hopes to inspire others to travel and learn about themselves and others in the process. Rahel currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.