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Moving from Europe to Australia

Swapping European winters for the sun, surf and sand of Australia can be an exciting move. But there’s also plenty to think about as you get ready to relocate to your new home. Here are some ways to help make your transition as smooth as possible.

Finding a home

Whether you’re looking for a beachside family bungalow or a stylish high-rise apartment, Australia has real estate options for every lifestyle. But housing types and prices vary enormously between states and cities—and even from one neighbourhood to another—so it makes sense to start researching as soon as possible.

Fortunately, homes for sale and rent in Australia are routinely listed online making it easy to do your research before you leave. Depending on your needs, make sure you investigate which schools, public transport and amenities are available nearby.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a suburb or a single property,we can help you further with a complimentary Property Report customised to your needs.


Australia is a nation of car owners. Many people choose to drive for their daily commute, so congestion can be heavy in the big cities.

If you’re planning to drive in Australia, you’ll generally need to transfer to an Australian licence after three months or when your overseas licence expires, depending on the rules in the Australian state in which you settle. See driving with an overseas licence for more info.

Starting a business

Special regulations apply to foreign business owners in Australia, so make sure you understand the rules if you’re planning to set up a company. The Australian Government’s online business guide is a great place to start.

Wages and living costs


Wages in Australia are higher than in many other countries, which can be part of the appeal of moving here. But you should be prepared for a cost of living that may also be higher than your home country.


Whether you want to hire an au pair in your home or place your child in day care, costs can vary between locations and providers. As a guide, childcare centres in major cities may charge about AU$120 per child, per day,while an au pair can be paid between AU$30,000 and AU$53,000 a year, depending on their hours and duties.2  

School fees

State schools in Australia are free to permanent residents. However, if you hold a temporary visa, such as a Temporary Skilled Work (457) visa, you may need to pay an annual fee to send your kids to a state school. Contact the school or education department in your state to find out more.

Alternatively, you can expect to pay anywhere between AU$5,000 up to AU$35,000 a year or more for a private school (excluding additional costs such as uniforms, textbooks etc), with the cost of tuition steadily rising in recent years.3

You can find out more about the schools available in each area on the government’s My School website.


Australia’s government healthcare system, Medicare, is high quality and largely free or subsidised. You can apply for a Medicare card if you have a permanent visa or permission to work in Australia.

Many Australians also choose to take our private health insurance, which can provide greater choice when you need treatment, while covering some extra costs that may not be covered by Medicare. You can search for and compare private health insurance policies on the government’s Private Health website.

Balancing your budget

Setting a budget in a new country can be challenging when you’re working with an unfamiliar currency. Our handy foreign exchange calculator can help you translate costs into more familiar terms, while our budget planner can help you add up all the costs of living in Australia.

Fortunately, our International Premier Banking Team can help you move your banking to Australia and answer any questions you might have. You can also open an Australian bank account online up to three months before you travel to Australia, so you can have funds ready and waiting for when you arrive. 

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Things you should know

1 Victorian Government, Childcare in Victoria, 2016

2 PayScale, 2016

3 Australian Scholarship Group, 2016.

The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, please consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Financial Services Guide.