I’ve been back in the US for 10 days and I have to admit, there are a few things that I don’t miss about Australia. Even though Australia is amazing in so many ways, there are always cons to go with the pros. Future immigrants and students, these are the things that I did not like:
- Cost of living / “Australian Tax” – At least minimum wage and salaries in general are high, but paying $20 for a bottle of contact solution or $30 for less than 2 hours of parking – as well as higher prices on all electronics, cosmetics, and clothing that are the same as in America (i.e. made in China) – was incredibly infuriating. Everything seems so cheap to me now in the US, even prices in LA.
- Slow and expensive internet – DATA CAPS ARE EVIL!!! I got a whole 50GB for $73 a month. The previous year I got 150GB for $60 a month. In the US, I have unlimited internet that is twice as fast for the same price. In Europe, it’s even cheaper.
- Rental inspections – I have never been more insulted than when I learned there would be an inspection in my rental house/apartment every 4 months regardless of how clean I kept the place. Invasion of privacy, anyone?
- Current government – Disregard for the environment, lack of marriage equality, horrible treatment of refugees, Islamophobic policies, Tony Abbott, etc. It is truly embarrassing for a country that is known for being so laid-back, friendly, and progressive.
- Isolation – Flying to Europe or the eastern US takes around 24 hours and can cost more than $2,000. This is why I had to go two years without seeing my niece and nephew. It really takes a toll on you.
Some of these things will hopefully change in the future, and the Australian dollar is getting weaker which makes prices cheaper for some immigrants. The last one, however, is probably the main reason why I am ok with not living in Australia anymore.
My niece is nearly 4 and my nephew is 2. They stopped swimming this week to look at a pretty butterfly. They repeat French words I teach them. Their giggles and smiles melt my heart. I’ve already missed a lot being overseas the past few years, and Australia is just too far away from them.
My birthday present to myself in May was one last trip in Australia. I used my Qantas points to get a free flight to Darwin and booked a day tour to Kakadu National Park to see Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie and crocodiles in Yellow Water Billabong. Darwin itself is a nice tropical destination and […] Continue reading →
It doesn’t seem like it’s been nearly 4 years since I left France for Australia, but it has. And now it’s time to say goodbye to Australia, unfortunately. My student visa expires soon and I haven’t been able to find a permanent job (most likely because I do not yet have my PhD “in hand” […] Continue reading →
Listening and speaking skills can be difficult to gain for beginning language students, especially if their textbooks provide very little audio-visual resources and they are too intimidated to use authentic resources online which tend to be completely in the target language. Most of the time my students want to work on pronunciation of isolated words […] Continue reading →
You may have noticed small changes to the mp3 players on the languages and exercises pages. I have finally updated all of them to HTML5 so they should work on mobile devices. I am still adding the players to the language tutorials, but for now all of the tutorials have players on at least the […] Continue reading →
Pythagora is a French-language video platform with the slogan “Apprenez, découvrez et révisez comme vous voulez” (Learn, discover and review as you want). You can create an account and test out the beta version for free right now, but the regular subscription will be 5,99€ per month. In addition to the videos, there are also […] Continue reading →
I submitted my PhD thesis for examination this week. “Congratulations! / That’s exciting! / It must feel good to have that done.” is the normal response from everyone, but I honestly don’t feel any different. Technically I am not completely done with the thesis because Australia does not have the same system of oral defense […] Continue reading →
Today’s guest post is by Felix Polesello who lives in Montreal. He runs the excellent blog OffQc.com which features examples of authentic Québécois French from television, advertisements, signs, and even conversations he’s overheard on the street. If you’re interested in learning the spoken language of Quebec, Felix has just written an e-book about conversational Québécois French: […] Continue reading →
Looking to teach English in Europe? A few countries have official programs to bring in native English speakers to work as language assistants in the public school system. If you are currently an undergraduate student or have a BA and are under 30 years of age, then there are several programs to choose from. However, […] Continue reading →
If you would like to teach English at a university in France or the DOM-TOMs for the 2015-2016 school year, job announcements for lecteur/lectrice d’anglais and maître de langue positions are listed below. Both positions require native or near-native fluency in English but the lecteur/lectrice position requires completion of only one year of a Master’s […] Continue reading →