Blog post number two in which I want to answer all the questions I daily get about doing Work & Travel in Australia.
I already posted one that included all the questions about Travelling and Backpacking through Australia and because there are a few more topics that I want to talk about, there are more informative blog posts coming soon:
- Q&A – Backpacking Australia
- Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
- Q&A – Solo Travelling
- Q&A – AuPair in Australia
- Planning your own Work & Travel Year
So I hope I will answer as many questions in all these posts as possible and give you guys the information you may want and need for your own adventures.
If you have more questions or ideas what I should include into the following posts, please comment them down below or message me on Instagram @mind.wanderer
Are you in Australia with a Work & Travel Agency?
No. I planned everything myself and would say that it is not necessary to get help from an agency to apply for a Visa, Tax Number, get a bank account setup or a SIM card.
I decided to do everything myself because the daughters of my mom’s friend tried both and said that it’s way cheaper than with an organisation and you don’t need the help they offer you.
On the other hand, I met a German girl here that came to Australia with ‚Praktikawelten‘ and paid 2000€ which included her flight, the first week in Sydney in a hostel with everyone that travelled with the organisation and they did a lot of things together. As well as getting a Visa, Tax File Number, Bank account and SIM card and more – which I think is an amazing price.
I still liked that I did everything on my own because I learned a lot and it’s not too hard to do it yourself.
I am currently writing on a blog post on planning and organising your Work & Travel year in Australia with many tips, websites & books that helped me, as well as a checklist!
How is it going with the English language, Australian accents and have you improved?
I was never nervous about speaking English or not being able to understand/talk with people when I arrived because I already felt comfortable with it.
I would say that my English was already a bit better than average school English because I started watching English YouTube videos when I was 14 years old and improved my English at home ever since by listening and reading in English (not specifically to improve my language but because I loved American/British/Australian YouTubers more than Germans).
The Australian accent is for sure very hard to understand. But the good thing is that most Australians don’t have a very strong accent, only older people, people from the country land or so-called Bogans (not very educated people) have a very strong and hard to understand accent.
But Australians do have the tendency to shorten words: Brissie = Brisbane, Avo = Avocado, Cambra = Cambarra, Breakie = Breakfast, AC = airconditioner and phrases like “Hey, how are you doing?” (verschmilzen) to “Hai-ho-a-u-duin?” …but you get used to it.
The worst thing you can do is to be scared of talking to others in English because you think you won’t understand them or they won’t understand you. Especially when you are travelling with a friend/friends some people tend to hide behind others and let them handle things so they don’t need to talk in English or they only talk/make friends with other Germans… but that doesn’t help. Talking, practicing, trying is what makes you improve in the end and Australians/other travellers are usually so nice, take their time to listen to you and help you out if you need a word. So don’t worries mate!
My English for sure improved in the last four months. I got more confident and more fluent. Especially my Aussie and Canadian friend that I hung out with for around 2 weeks each helped me by correcting me, teaching me new words, sayings or pronunciation. For others, it might sound rude how often they corrected me, but I want to get better and learn so I was glad they took their time to help me improve.
What phone contract / SIM card can you recommend?
I have a pre-paid SIM card from Lebara that I like and recommend. Every month I get to choose how much data/minutes I want to purchase (depending on where I am and what I think I will need) which is practical. But I’ve heard that Telstra is even better because you have a better connection, I still have to say that mine is totally fine and in the middle of the Outback, there is no connection for anyone anyways.
What bank card do you have? How do you pay?
I came to Australia with 200$ of Australian cash that I already changed at home and would recommend to get some and not change at the airport. I also took two German cards with me for safety and to have a credit card to pay online. In Melbourne, I also went to the Commonwealth Bank to open an Australian Bank account which is necessary if you work here and very practical because you can do tap-paying without a code or anything up to 100$ here.
I transferred some money from my German bank account to the Australian with ‚Currency Fair‘ which is a cheaper and better way to do international transfers.
I always have a little bit of cash with me for markets or places that have cash only, but usually, I try to pay for everything with my Australian card.
I also write down every spend to have an overview for myself on what I spend the most money and also to show you what a year of Backpacking can cost and what is the most expensive part of my travels.
What do you want to do after your gap year?
My plan is to return home in August and then search for an apartment in Wernigerode and start studying International Tourism Management in October.
What do you work? How can you afford to travel?
I haven’t worked so far and been only travelling for the past four months. I saved up some money back at home with my job as a barkeeper back at home as well as my Birthday & Christmas money since I’ve been 14 years old as it has always been my dream to come to Australia.
But now it is time to settle down and work for a while. I started as an AuPair for a family on the Sunshine Coast in February and will work for them for 1,5 months. Afterwards, I am planning to find another job somewhere along the coast. My dream would be to work in a health food café selling Acai Bowls, Smoothies, Juices and (vegan) healthy snacks and meals.
I love to hear how many people are planning to travel through Australia soon and I hope my tips and suggestions can help you a bit, take your insecurities and make you even more excited for your journey! If you are ever in the same area as I am (stay up to date through my Insta stories @mind.wanderer) please message me and maybe we can meet and hang out together!