Welcome to aislinn-dowling.com! Here you will find posts about me, an Irish girl living in Sydney, who, for some reason, has decided to start sharing style ideas and other random bits and bobs in the hope that someone might find them helpful/entertaining.

Moving To Australia

Moving To Australia

So a few of my friends are thinking of making the move to Australia and they were asking me questions so I thought it would be an idea to write a detailed blog about it in case anyone else was interested or thinking about moving. While I’m only writing from my own personal experience meaning I moved over with my boyfriend (I hate saying that word it cringes me out) and only have experience working in hospitality here I’ll try to give as much general information that I have to suit people coming over in different circumstances.

Right, so firstly, after I decided that I definitely wanted to move to Australia I obviously had to apply for a visa which was the Working Holiday Visa 417. For anyone who doesn’t know, that visa will allow you a year in Oz with the option of extending it for a further year if you do farm/regional work for three months in your first year. The company I went with was Visa First just because it was recommended to me and it was all very simple. It costs roughly €280 and mine was accepted within like three weeks or less and it’s very straight forward just fill in forms and give your details and that’s it really, nothing complicated at all. I’ll leave the link below for Visa First if you want to have a look and get more info.


One thing people might not know about that visa as well, is that your working rights are limited. You are only allowed to work in one job for 6 months at a time which is the most annoying thing about it for two reasons. One being that it limits you in the jobs you can get if you are coming over with a degree because a lot of companies don’t want to hire you for just six months so they just won’t hire you at all. That’s not the case for everyone though obviously there’s ways around everything and if you keep on trying and make contacts you could be fine. I know for me I tried for a little bit to get something in my area but between the visa and lack of work experience (which is more or less essential in journalism) I gave up quicker than my boyfriend did and just went with hospitality. Micheal kept going for like three months, he did lots of interviews and all went well but the visa let him down every time. Eventually then he met a friend of a friend out one night who said they were looking for a computer guy where he works and then he ended up getting that job and it was worth waiting even though his savings were running very low at that stage. Good thing I was the bread winner putting food on the table for him every evening! Nah I’m joking obviously but yeah, so it’s different for everyone and this would only be a problem for someone coming over with a degree looking to get a job in their area because if you’re happy to do construction, hospitality or anything along those lines you’ll get a job no problem within a few weeks.

That brings me onto construction and traffic control which is what I’d say 80/90% of Irish people do over here. Obviously I don’t do traffic control myself but loads of others do and the pay for it is so good. It’s long hours and a painful job in my opinion because it just seems boring but fair play to the girls that come over and do it. If you want to make a lot of money here and the day of work dragging on doesn’t bother you then definitely do it. So many people do it so it can’t be that bad and you certainly won’t be complaining when the paycheck are coming in every week and you’re booking flights to Bali not a bother.

So, the next thing I’ll move onto is accommodation. Talking specifically about Sydney now and the most popular suburbs for Irish people and travelers in general are Bondi, Coogee, Randwick, Maroubra and Mascot. In and around those areas is where you’ll find Irish people living and depending on what kind of accommodation you’re looking for whether it be shared rooms, private rooms or a one bedroom with your boyfriend/girlfriend you’d be looking at around $200-380 a week. To give you an idea I live with Micheal in a one bedroom just outside Bondi Junction towards the city direction and we pay $260 each a week which is grand but it will work out cheaper for couples compared to if you want a private room in a shared house. To find places to stay just get added to the Irish Around Sydney page on Facebook and there’s literally rooms upon rooms being uploaded on there everyday as well as jobs too. You can also go through Real Estate and other companies like that to arrange viewings which is what we did to get a one bedroom.

People say Australia is so expensive and it is to an extent like the rent is crazy and so is going out drinking but your wages balance it out like you’ll be well able to afford things if you work five days a week doing any job. Groceries, clothes (depending on what clothes shops) and eating out aren’t that outrageous at all like I would say it’s similar enough to home. Coming over it is a requirement on your visa to have 5000aud in your account, although they never actually checked it when we went through immigration, I would recommend as much as possible just so that if you want to treat the first few weeks as a holiday before getting a job etc. Just taking into consideration when you find a room or apartment you will have to pay a bond of over $1000 plus a week or more of rent up front too.

Okay, I think that’s all the major common details and questions people have asked me about so now just about moving here and why it’s such a nice place to move to. I’ll be honest that it’s obviously not always easy like especially at the start. Coming over with my boyfriend and living together just the two of us was different to what I’ve done before when I lived abroad. When I’ve lived away before I was either living with lots of other people or studying there so that made it easier to make friends and quicker as well. I think I had it in my head that everything was going to be simple but living with people is the main way to make friends and I didn’t have that this time so I did struggle at times at the start. I’m very close with my friends from home as well and seeing them do things together at home without me definitely adds salt to the wounds when you’re having a down day as well as having a young niece and nephew and not being there when they’re small. In saying that, I’m definitely at my happiest here now that I’ve made friends and settled and everyone will miss home when you’re settling in but it’s such a nice place to live, I really love it! I would even struggle to imagine living back at home again going from having so many things to do all the time and places to see in the nice weather to going back to normal life. I love Ireland and I love home but I always think if I could just pick up everyone I love and bring them over here it would be the best thing ever! When we were first coming over here we said a year will probably be enough but I’m two months into my second year now and can’t even imagine being ready to pack up my stuff and go home in ten months time!

So I think that’s more or less everything I can say about coming over here really? I’d recommend it to anyone and I don’t think I’ve ever really met someone who says they hate it here or want to go home so I think that says a lot. If I’ve left anything out or there’s anything in particular you want to ask just comment below or send me a message and i’ll answer it.

Thank you for reading, hope it was helpful!!

Ash xx

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