Moon Living Abroad in Australia by James M. Lane
Paperback, Avalon Travel
Reviewed by Volker Poelzl
“Living Abroad in Australia” is the latest installment in the Moon Living Abroad series published by Avalon Publishing. It is part of a growing number of country guides aimed at readers who are planning a move overseas. Author Jameis an American who grew up in Australia, and his book “Living Abroad in Australia” reveals his insights and thorough knowledge of a vast and diverse country he now calls home.
The author not only helps readers navigate through all the logistic and bureaucratic hurdles of moving to Australia, but he also sheds light on the uniquely Australian characteristics that distinguish it from other English-speaking countries around the world. He points out the subtle differences in culture, attitudes, ways of life, and governance, as well as the unique Australian slang, which all take some time to get used to for newly arrived foreigners. As the author writes in the introduction: “Eventually we gained something more powerful than a new vocabulary. We gained the most precious of Australian gifts, the Australian ethic. We learned about the importance of loyalty in a society where cooperation has always been crucial to survival, though we called it mateship. We learned about giving the underdog a chance, although we called him a ‘battler’, and we gave him a ‘fair go’. We learned about the vital importance of honesty, but we called it the ‘dinky die’. We learned to empathize with others and reassure them when they were down, though we said, ‘Not to worry, mate, she’ll be right.”
After a brief introduction to Australia’s history, government, and economy, the book covers important topics that need to be addressed before settling abroad, such as “Planning Your Fact-finding Trip,” and “Making the Move.” These chapters provide important information about the logistics of moving to Australia. The author explains in detail the rather complicated immigration laws (based on a point system) and he makes it clear that moving to Australia requires much more than just a 1-way plane ticket. The section on “Daily Life” covers some of the most important practical aspects of living in Australia, such as visas, housing, education, health, employment, finance and taxes, communications, internet access, transportation, and the media.
The section on “Prime Living Locations” is a great introduction to the culture, climate, resources, and amenities of the most popular destinations for expatriates, such as Sidney, Melbourne, and several other cities and regions. What I find especially useful is the detailed description of neighborhoods and suburbs, which is helpful for newcomers in order to make an educated and well-informed choice about where to live. The “Resources” section at the end of the book includes useful contact information for government offices, embassies, education, moving companies, banks, communications, employment, transportation, etc. There is also a glossary and a list of suggested reading and films.
For anyone planning to move to Australia, Living Abroad in Australia” is a well-researched and practical companion that provides all the information and resources you need to make a successful transition to the “land down under.”
For more information visit Moon’s “Living Abroad in Australia” webpage for more information on the book.