Adelaide, Australia Report of what it's like to live there

Personal Experiences from Adelaide, Australia

Adelaide, Australia 01/06/09

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No, I have also lived in Northern Ireland, England, and New Zealand.

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2. How long have you lived here?

1 year.

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3. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Spouse of an Aussie.

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4. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:

24-30 hour flight from Europe and the U.S.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Clothes.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

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3. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Very easy.

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4. What English-language religious services are available locally?

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5. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

It is important to be fluent in English.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

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Transportation:

1. Do you drive on the right hand side of the road or the left?

Left.

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2. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

They are safe and affordable.

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3. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

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3. What is the best way to make phone calls back home?

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Pets:

1. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

At the moment, due to the economy, it can be an issue.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

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Health & Safety:

1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?

Good.

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2. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

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3. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medicare is a universal health care system here, which covers many costs, and you can buy a top-up private cover as well. Many employers partially fund the latter.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Very hot in summer and cool in winter, but never too cold. You can survive without heat or air conditioning, although I wouldn't recommend it.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

There is a large expat community here, and a group on Facebook for Expats in Adelaide which I organised that is growing by the month. We have monthly meet-ups of 30-40 people at the moment, from all over the world.

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2. Morale among expats:

This all depends on what stage they are at!

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Yes, very. Adelaide always has something on and it is easy to meet people if you make the effort.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Yes, although it is a small city so the diversity is not as profound as in other places.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

There can be, although overall, it is a fairly inclusive place.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

There is always something on in Adelaide. It is named The Festival City, and aside from that, the local scenery is amazing.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

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9. Can you save money?

Most definitely.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Yes.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

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3. But don't forget your:

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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6. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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7. Do you have any other comments?

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