Australia culture is diverse enough from former immigration and influence that, as a retiree and expatriate, you should have no problem blending in with ease and grace. Since 1945, more than 6,000 migrants have entered the country from over 200 countries worldwide, blending with the indigenous people to create a cultural melting pot into which all are accepted as part of Australia’s own. What should you know about the ways of life in Australia prior to retiring and moving to the country?
First, you should realize that Australia is an up and coming power in terms of economic success; their economy has grown and prospered exponentially in recent decades, and the country is rich, achieving first-world status in most parts of the country. Therefore, there is a bit of an evolution going on in Australia culture, with the nation adjusting to greater prosperity. However, overall, the residents are much the same as they always have been friendly, welcoming of expatriates and retirees, and easy going.
While the nation is a democracy, there are some aspects of large government that are more reminiscent of a socialist economy, such as government sanctioned healthcare for all through Medicare Australia. That includes retirees like you who apply for and/or receive a permanent visa. This can replace your private health insurance or take precedence over it, leaving your private carrier to fill in where Medicare doesn’t cover.
There are perhaps some things about Australia culture that may initially come as a bit of a shock but will take root in time. You may find it difficult at first to adjust to the eating schedule in this country because it is a combination of several customary schedules throughout the world that seems to have become confused and gone awry. Breakfast is often late in the morning, like you would expect in many parts of Europe. Sometimes, lunch is skipped, though often people will choose to have a very light snack in the early afternoon. Tea is the major meal of the day and would correspond with what you are probably used to as dinner served between 6-8 p.m. Supper is considered to be a late snack.
The culture in Australia is also different in that people are not as willing to invite you into their homes as they are in the United States. Should you receive an invitation, you should bring chocolates, flowers, wine, or folk crafts as a thank you. Also, Australians are very blunt and not afraid to say no, so don’t wear a chip on your shoulder. They love to argue and are usually quite into sports, so this could be a great topic of conversation for meeting people when you first move to the area. Overall, be reading for colorful expressions, fabulous food, and good camaraderie as a part of Australia culture.
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