Tag Archives: advice for moving to sydney

Sydney Expat Interview Series Question 10: Advice For Moving to Sydney

Sydney Expat Interviews

If you’ve ever moved somewhere new, you know that there’s nothing like the insider knowledge of a resident to help with the adjustment. They can tell you everything from where the best restaurants are to the honest ups and downs of the lifestyle. No guide book will tell it to you like a local. 

In that spirit, I’ve asked the expats this month to give their best advice to someone moving to Sydney. Here it is, straight from the experts!

(This is the 10th in an 18 part interview series with expats living in Sydney. Please make sure to visit the fantastic websites of the participants linked below, and follow me on Facebook for much more on expat life in Sydney. )

Sydney Expat Interview Series - Advice From the Locals

Question 10: Your friend is moving to Sydney. She’s read all the guidebooks and is pretty sure she knows it all. Give her one piece of advice that she really doesn’t know, yet.


Name: Julia
Country of origin: UK
Lived in Sydney: 6 years

Make the effort and go to different suburbs – a lot of Brits head straight for the eastern suburbs but Sydney is so much more than just Bondi!! Also its all about getting out and about – the thing I love about Sydney is the outdoor lifestyle.


Name: “Bushranger”
Country of origin: Serbia
Lived in Sydney: 6.5yrs

You will not find Fosters beer anywhere…and shrimp are called prawns.


Name: Victoria
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 5 years
Victoria blogs at The Freedom Travellers

Bring an umbrella! Despite what you may think, it rains a whole lot in Sydney, especially in winter.Bring an umbrella


Name: Dido
Country of origin: India
Lived in Sydney: 1.5 years

Think thoroughly about the suburb you move into.


Name: Mollie
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 4 years

It is more expensive than anything you have read. Are you sure you have enough money, can make enough money, etc?


Name: Debbie
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 10 years

Bring more money than you’ve budgeted for – it’s really expensive here.


Name: Erin
Country of origin: Texas, USA
Lived in Sydney: 6 1/2 years
Erin blogs at TexErin-in-Sydneyland

Adjusting to the cost of living takes time. It is difficult to budget how much you truly spend on groceries, eating out, socializing, and household goods. Be patient. Be smart. Give yourself time to get used to the change of expenses.It's expensive


Name: Caitlin
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 1 year
Caitlin blogs at Where’s Wallis

It’s worth getting a bicycle out here. The roads might seem scary at first but public transport leaves a lot to be desired and you’ll get to know your way around the city quickly this way. Just brace yourself for the hill out of Bondi…


Name: Shane
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 1 year
Shane blogs at Sea Salt Secrets

Australians are big on “mateship” and treating everyone as equals, everyone getting a “fair go”


Name: Melissa
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 1 year
Melissa blogs at Leche Love

You will be going to the grocery store a lot. Get a cart and/or re-usable bags. Don’t buy more than you can carry.


Name: Ashley
Country of origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: 2 years (in Newcastle)
Visit Ashley on Instagram

It is insanely confusing to shop at a grocery store. It will give you a headache. You won’t know which bread to get. You won’t know that mayo here tastes different and you have to get the one that says “whole egg mayo”. You won’t know which chips and cookies to get. You will only have to choose between approximately 5 not so great flavours of ice cream. The good thing about this is you get to try all new things!


Name: Kirstie
Country of origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: Since September 2013
Kirstie blogs at Venga Vale Vamos

Be patient! It may feel like it’s taking forever for you to find a job, a room, or even friends, but they all come eventually. Don’t get discouraged.


Name: Rachel
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 4 years

I would pass on the best piece of advice I received not long after I arrived. I’d been in Sydney a couple of months and my flatmate and good friend Sarah offered a simple but invaluable nugget of wisdom. It was a recommendation and a friendly encouragement of ‘say yes’. It was at a time when my homesickness was at its most intense and a welcome reminder to take every opportunity. Even if I didn’t feel like going out for drinks, or joining a club to take each chance as it came and not pass anything by. This has stood me in good stead and I have passed onto a few friends since.


What’s your best “local” advice for anyone moving to Sydney?
If you’re moving to Sydney, anything you’d like to ask one of our locals?

Read Part 1: Expectations vs Reality
Read Part 2: The Most Memorable Sydney Day
Read Part 3: Your First Day in Sydney
Read Part 4: Drinking Like an Aussie
Read Part 5: The Birds of Sydney
Read Part 6: Australian Christmas
Read Part 7: Off the Beaten Path
Read Part 8: Questions About Your Home
Read Part 9: What People at Home Think of Australia