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Shaun

Why The Us Over Australia

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I am somewhat curious about this as I see we have a few members who have relocated from Autralia to the US and I have been wondering what the attraction is??

 

From my understanding (As one who has never been to Autralia or NZ) the lifestyle there is closer to that of SA than anywhere else in the world and they have been relatively unaffected by the global recession. Heck the Oz $ is as strong or stronger than the US $ and that never used to be the case.

Also I believe that it is generally much harder to get into the US than into Australia or NZ.

 

 

So, help satisfy my curiosity please and tell me why the US.

 

Thanks

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Shaun, I am one of those people that moved from Australia to the US. The only reason I did this was because I won a green card in the lottery and could get into the US relatively easily as a result... and to satisfy my curiosity.

 

You're observations about Australia is accurate. The economy is doing very well and the way of life is very similar to SA.

 

So in short, for me, I don't have a good reason at all and will most likely move back to Australia.

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I'll tell you why I prefer the US over Australia.

 

Firstly, I think you can experience similar lifestyle in the US (but this depends heavily on the state). I think a state like Texas -> JHB / California -> CT can be very close to home. Obviously going to New York will be worlds apart from SA.

 

1) Property prices in Australia are crazy, forget about ever owning your own home (maybe an apartment), and this is why most people rent. In the United States, its still the American dream to be 'king of your castle' and own your own home. There are many states with affordable housing.

2) Australia, from what I hear, is a complete nanny state (not bashing it, just laying it out there). They have rules about everything and everything is enforced even if it seems completely pointless. You cant have a beer at the park where you are having a barbeque, if you go 5km/h over the speed limit you lose points on your license etc. This might be great for some, but it is too much for me. In this regard, Australia is much more like Germany or Switzerland. Watch an episode of border patrol (Australia) to see what im on about :P

3) As for as economy goes, it is true that South Africa and Australia were much more sheltered if you compare it to the United States or Europe, but the US is experiencing a great recovery (if you compare where they were 2-3 years ago). Also, the economy is very dependent on the state. For example, the economy in Texas is much more robust and diverse and its relatively easy to find a well paying job and live comfortably. A state like Florida is on the other end of the scale.

4) In the states you feel like you are part of something great, you are in 'the center of the word' so to speak. Everything new and exciting is happening there. At least that's what it felt like on my last trip - granted it was only a holiday.

 

People are queuing around the block to get into the United States. Some immigrant applications have something like a 10 year backlog, and every year 20 million people enter the GC lottery to try and get into the states. Why do you think that is? It is the most difficult and most desired country to emigrate to.

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I'll tell you why I prefer the US over Australia.

 

Firstly, I think you can experience similar lifestyle in the US (but this depends heavily on the state). I think a state like Texas -> JHB / California -> CT can be very close to home. Obviously going to New York will be worlds apart from SA.

 

1) Property prices in Australia are crazy, forget about ever owning your own home (maybe an apartment), and this is why most people rent. In the United States, its still the American dream to be 'king of your castle' and own your own home. There are many states with affordable housing.

2) Australia, from what I hear, is a complete nanny state (not bashing it, just laying it out there). They have rules about everything and everything is enforced even if it seems completely pointless. You cant have a beer at the park where you are having a barbeque, if you go 5km/h over the speed limit you lose points on your license etc. This might be great for some, but it is too much for me. In this regard, Australia is much more like Germany or Switzerland. Watch an episode of border patrol (Australia) to see what im on about :P

3) As for as economy goes, it is true that South Africa and Australia were much more sheltered if you compare it to the United States or Europe, but the US is experiencing a great recovery (if you compare where they were 2-3 years ago). Also, the economy is very dependent on the state. For example, the economy in Texas is much more robust and diverse and its relatively easy to find a well paying job and live comfortably. A state like Florida is on the other end of the scale.

4) In the states you feel like you are part of something great, you are in 'the center of the word' so to speak. Everything new and exciting is happening there. At least that's what it felt like on my last trip - granted it was only a holiday.

 

People are queuing around the block to get into the United States. Some immigrant applications have something like a 10 year backlog, and every year 20 million people enter the GC lottery to try and get into the states. Why do you think that is? It is the most difficult and most desired country to emigrate to.

 

Do you live in the USA? As far as drinking in Parks, well it is also not allowed over here, atleast not in Tennessee it isn't. Don't try exceeding the speed limit by to much also, not a very good idea.

 

I am no expert when it comes to the economy but it is NOT doing good at all the last time I checked. Finding a proper paying job will also be a little harder than you thought with companies starting to lay off again.

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I know South Africans who love Australia and those who couldn't wait to leave. Same with US, I guess it depends on the people, where they end up, what support/social networks they have, etc.

 

I would be careful of basing everything on what the economies are doing right now. There is a lot of excitement about the potential effects from the shale gas revolution on the US, and there are a lot of worries about the fact that the Aussie economy is so dependent on China, and more and more people talking about the housing bubble there bursting. Certainly any ranking will show you that Australian cities are among the most expensive in the world - they are regularly in the top 10-20 - and housing is a big part of this. Both these views may be extremes, but the US economy will improve at some stage, and the Aussie one will go through a hard time at some point; but long term both of them will probably be better than you know where.

 

One issue some friends of mine had with Australia (apart from the nanny state already mentioned which they HATED) was that it is so far from everywhere except Asia, so if you like travelling that may be an issue. In the US you are 6-8 hours away from Europe if you are on the East Coast, closer than SA. US still has by far many of the best universities in the world (if you have particularly bright kids this might be very important to you), some major centres for arts and culture, etc. I think Aus has one university in the global top 100, maybe 2 (SA also one btw... the US has about 50-60). Aus may have some decent arts and culture in a couple of cities but it will never match somewhere like NYC or probably even Boston, Washington etc. So it really depends on what you're looking for. Are these kind of things important to you - they are very important to some people and not very important at all to others - or do you prefer somewhere sunny where you can braai every weekend and where it's easy to watch rugby?

 

Incidentally my impression is that South Africans in Australia are far more likely to hang out in South African "groups" than those in the US who tend to find more local friends. Make of that what you will, and decide which you would prefer.

 

One more thing OP, you mentioned NZ, from Saffers I know in NZ it is very different to Australia weather wise and a lot of people seem to find that really depressing (as well as the fact that it is even further from everything than Oz).

 

 

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One issue some friends of mine had with Australia (apart from the nanny state already mentioned which they HATED) was that it is so far from everywhere except Asia
This is so true. Australia is close to NZ and that's it.... everything else is very far away. A few positives about Australia:

  • The nanny state mentality - At first it annoyed me but ultimately I realised that it the reason why society works so well. Systems/procedures are there for a reason and are followed religiously - not like in SA where you can "make a plan" to bypass the system. Aussie society is very regulated and orderly with no obvious signs of corruption.
  • Affirmative Action - Like in SA, many US employers are seemingly aware of being "Equal Opportunity Employers". As a white male this really annoys me. Australia has none of this crap.
  • Safety - Unlike in the US, where the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution, Australia has very strict gun laws making it very difficult to own a fire arm. Fewer guns results in much lower gun-related crimes like murder, robbery, hi-jacking etc. Australia's isolation, and the fact that it is effectively an island state, also makes illegal gun-smuggling into the country more difficult. This makes you feel much, much safer.
  • Economy - As other members already said, the Australian economy is doing very well and was not much affected by the global downturn. The currency has been at parity with the greenback for a while, unemployment rate is very low and salaries are very high. For most people, personal safety plus job security are the 2 most important considerations, and Australia has a plentiful supply of both.
  • High cost of real estate - There is no denying this fact. On the flip side, it provides for an opportunity to make handsome profits if you're in the market. If you take into account the high salaries, very low mortgage rates, stamp duty concessions and first home owners' grants, getting into the real estate market might be a little easier that you think.
  • South Africans already there - This helps a lot when immigrating. The Afrikaans club of Australia has branches all over the country and assists many people to settle into life in their new country and have a pretty active social calender too. Emotionally, this is a massive support structure for many people, especially the Afrikaans-speaking community. This kind of support is not as prevalent in the US.

Edited by Superkruz

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Shaun,

 

There is one problem with Australia...it is full of Aussies!!!

 

Too true!

 

I fully realize that EVERY country has it's quirks but one from Oz drives me nuts and that is a saying they apparently use a lot.....Quick-smart Arrgh! Cannot say why it just gets me in the wrong place.

 

Marc

I see you are in Charlotte and play golf.....yeh, hello!

I am west of lake Wylie close to Rock Hill in SC. So wherabouts in Charlotte are you? PM me and perhaps when it is convenient we can get together for a game (Not that I have been playing all that regularly since leaving Orlando :( so no telling how that will work)

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South Africans already there - This helps a lot when immigrating. The Afrikaans club of Australia has branches all over the country and assists many people to settle into life in their new country and have a pretty active social calender too. Emotionally, this is a massive support structure for many people, especially the Afrikaans-speaking community. This kind of support is not as prevalent in the US.

 

I thought that this may be something to look into when we first got here as it would certainly help ease the stress of getting accustomed to a different culture but it proved to be a double edged sword.

 

I grew up in Rhodesia and an old joke from there still rings true to this day.....What is the difference between a jumbo jet and a when-we? Eventually a jumbo stops whining!!!

 

Unhappily I have seen the truth of this a few times with SA'ns and, as a consquence, have become a bit more careful about gravitating naturally towards fellow countrymen although we have indeed met some gems.

 

Having said that I had cause to visit Grand Rapids, MI a few weeks ago and the receptionist at the company I was visiting was not only a very nice lady but also an ex Rhodie, from my home town and her father was the Chaplain General of the Army at one time and I had met him :blink: What a small world we live in!!!

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Regarding the drinking of alcohol, no you cannot have an open container in public. But many people who do go on a picnic weather it's in Washington, D.C. is to pour your beer into a red disposable cup and throw the bottles away in the refuse bin before drinking. (This is standard practice) just don't let anyone see you while doing the transfer.

 

But, say you are living in an apartment complex and you are doing a braai in your driveway. If you are drinking a beer turning your meat or just sitting on a chair you could land yourself in trouble with the law. And if you have your car keys in your pocket you can be arrested for a DUI or open container violation even if you had no intention to get in your car and drive. That's just how strict the laws are. Also if you own property you cannot walk around your front garden with a beer in hand.

 

What I found interesting is how minor traffic violations can increase your car insurance premiums by about 15 to 20% is speeding tickets, driving without your license even if you accidentally left it at home .( touch wood I do not have a ticket yet)

 

http://www.dmv.org/insurance/how-driving-record-points-affect-auto-insurance-rates.php

http://www.insurancehotline.com/demerit-points-and-your-insurance-rate/

 

A friend of mine is going to work in Boston and they were shocked to find out how much more expensive car insurance is compared to Washington D.C. the premium is 3 x higher.

 

Superkrutz... why are you thinking of going back to Auzzie ?

Edited by oscar

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Superkrutz... why are you thinking of going back to Auzzie

  1. My son lives there
  2. My girlfriend lives there
  3. I have been in the US 4 months now and still haven't found a job - I think my chances of finding one in Aus are much better.

 

 

 

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my apologies for getting your name incorrect.

Well, you certainly have some of the best reasons to go back to Australia. I think people work too hard in the USA with very little vacation time.

Aussie was my first choice way back in 2000 almost got a sheep station near Yarrawonga (north of Melbourne) Actually going to visit friends in Perth in November. I was advised that restaurants are more expensive in AU than in the US how do you find comparisons now that you have been here for a while ?

 

 

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  1. My son lives there
  2. My girlfriend lives there
  3. I have been in the US 4 months now and still haven't found a job - I think my chances of finding one in Aus are much better.

 

From comments posted one can follow a pattern with the relocation process. When one arrives there is great excitement and expectations, after a few months negativity and depression sets in, it seems to take about 18 months to pop out of the storm cloud. Some stick it out and make the US their home, I guess you are caught up in the process. Hang in there and good luck.

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From comments posted one can follow a pattern with the relocation process. When one arrives there is great excitement and expectations, after a few months negativity and depression sets in, it seems to take about 18 months to pop out of the storm cloud. Some stick it out and make the US their home, I guess you are caught up in the process. Hang in there and good luck.

 

That is true gmdbn the first couple of months are really hard. Superkruz have you looked at other states?there are opportunities around. Because I found my job when I hit the 5 month mark and the 6 month mark I found a full time job not making what I made in SA but it was a start. So your income goes down by 25-45% which is a big cut. And don't forget to apply for state, and local government jobs they dont pay as much as private sector but there are opportunities.

 

Having no family can be hard, it takes about 18 months to get settled and create social circle. Two years is good way to judge whether the US is for you or not, so dont give up yet you went through the whole process. Another couple of months wont hurt.

 

 

Good luck! Something will turn up.

 

Eli :)

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I was advised that restaurants are more expensive in AU than in the US

Restaurants are definitely more expensive - most things are, but then again in Australia there is no tipping and salaries are higher which kind of evens things out a bit. Two things I encountered that are more expensive in the US is medical insurance and car insurance.

 

 

... how do you find comparisons now that you have been here for a while ?

Keep in mind that I have only been here 4 months - so far there is no comparison. For me, Australia is way more enjoyable and generally a better place to live, and raise your children. Having said that I am sure there are great places in the US and people who are extremely happy here - I just haven't experienced it yet.

 

 

 

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