Moving To Sydney: A Checklist

  • Accommodation 
    • AirBNB can be affordable and more comfortable than a hostel or hotel
    • If you’re looking for long-term rental, check Flatmates.com.au or FlatmateFinders.com.au.
      • Note that most move-in dates are immediate, so it isn’t worth checking it out until you’re about ready to move
  • Money
    • Order a bit of local currency when the US dollar is strong
    • Call your home credit card companies to make sure they know you’ll be traveling and to expect international charges
      • Check the foreign exchange fees – they can be a killer
    • Set up a checking account and credit card with a local bank when you arrive
      • There are four major national banks (NAB, ANZ, Westpac, CBA) and they’re comparable with rates
  • Coverage
    • If you require health coverage, you can pay fortnightly or monthly upon arrival – don’t bother setting it up ahead of time, since you’ll pay before you can use it
      • Health insurance isn’t reciprocal if you’re a US resident, aka you won’t be able to get automatic health coverage
    • Phone plans can be expensive but you can begin with a pay-as-you-go plan
      • When you arrive at the airport, there will likely be a Vodaphone or Telstra kiosk where you can get a plan
      • If your phone is unlocked, you can get an Australian SIM card with a new number
        • This is what I did and it was worth it to get a plan with a great deal for unlimited international calls
      • If you phone is not unlocked, you can likely get a plan to pay off a new phone in installments
  • Misc.
    • Entry requirements for different visas vary, so make sure you know what your stipulations are before you apply
      • For example, on my Work & Holiday Visa, I had a year to enter the country from when the visa was granted; for others, it’s more immediate
    • Staying in touch can be a game when you have a +16 hour time difference (shout out to NYC!), but thanks to social media and #TheresAnAppForThat life, it’s not too hard
      • I kept my American number on WhatsApp and use the free call and text with wifi
      • Facebook Messenger is a great way to send longer messages with data – again, better with wifi
      • Google Hangout is a great way to video chat for free on desktop if you don’t have international calls for free and are able to use FaceTime
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