My experiences with Melbourne

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My experiences with Melbourne


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Old 12th November 2010, 12:20 AM
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Default My experiences with Melbourne

Folks,

I reached Melbourne on the 6th of October 2010. I am on a 175 visa. Trying to list down my experiences with Melbourne so far. Hope it will be useful.

1. Sending the house hold goods : I had quite a lot of house hold goods that I wanted to send to Melbourne. Tried several places then finally went with a sea frieght provider in Chennai. For around 5 Cu Mts, i was charged 21000 INR. Should anyone need their contact details please let me know. Just to give an indication, 5 Cu mts will mean that one can fit it most of the white goods, tv, home theatre, kitchen items, clothes etc. In all i had around 240 kgs. The time it takes for shipment will be roughly 1 month to 45 days.

2. The flight to Melbourne : I took the Singapore airlines from Chennai, India to Melbourne. I was allowed to carry in 40 Kgs + 7 kgs of cabin baggage. However I had around 10 kgs of excess baggage for which i had to pay nearly 13000 INR...

3. The immigration formalities in Melbourne : It was pretty straight forward. One has to present the passport and the incoming passenger card. I had carried with me the visa grant letter, but it was not asked to be produced. Post this you need to collect your baggage and proceed to the quarantine where you wil have to present you passenger card and may have to open your luggage form the offiecers to inspect.

4. Airport to city transfer : Taxi is available outside the terminal or one can catch the sky bus which tend to be economical. However, if there are more than 2 people, taking a taxi would be better

5. Intial Stay : I had pre booked my initial 10 days of stay at a serviced apartment in the CBD. It was coming around 99$ a day, slightly on the higher side. There are a few hotels which can be booked at 60$ a night as well or one can opt for hostel/backpacker acomodation which will work out much cheaper (i.e 70$ for 3 days)

6. First Day :
I arrived in the morning, hence went straight to the bank. The only proof that is required to open a bank account is the passport. They will instantly open the account and will send the debit card to the address you have mentioned. Otherwise, you can also let them know that you will collect the debit card from the branch where you open the bank account. I did this.
Mobile : Again, to get a prepaid, all you need is your passport. However, for getting a phone on contract/pay as you go, you would need 100 points which is generally difficult unless you have other supporting documents like debit card/medicare card/electricity bill/rent agreement etc. It would be better to wait and understand the various plans available and then select one. I prefer a TPG or a 3/vodafone plan as it allows unlimited calls within their own networks. I also took a optus sim for international calling. You can buy lebara as well. The India rates are identical around 2.5c a min
7. House Hunt : I wanted a place on rent not very far from the city and nearer to the public transport. Generally it is difficult to get a place on rent without a job or without rental history. In such cases, one can show the bank statements or can pay 3-6 months rent in advance. Luckily i got a place to rent on my 3rd day in melbourne. Its a place 20 mins from the city by tram.

8. Public transport : Is fairly good. MyKi or Metcards are accepted on all the trains, buses or trams. Since I anticipate travel everyday, i took the monthly metcard. It costs 109$ and with that i can travel on buses/trams/trains any number of times. Depending on ones travel needs, there are plenty of choices to buy the myki pass or metcard. The city circle tram and the melbourne tourist shuttle bus is free. Home - Metlink - Your guide to public transport in Melbourne and Victoria is the site where you will get information for all public transport.

9. Broadband / Internet : Is freely available near starbucks, library, few malls. Public library membership is free and its available there too. The internet usage charges are pretty high. It will be as high as 4$ every hour in the internet centers. Once you have found a place to rent, there are lot of providers you can choose from. Look out for bundle offers (broad band + home phone). Those tend to be economical. I took a TPG ADSL2+ unlimited bundle. It costs me 60$ a month.
However, unlike in India, the average time to get broadband comissioned is 10-20 wrking days

10. Electricty/Gas : Usually the agent would help you with these. You can also use the services of directconnect. http://www.directconnect.com.au.Its free

11. Job hunt : My wife had got a transfer to Melbourne. Hence I could search for jobs in a much more relaxed frame of mind. The most important point to keep in mind is that one has to be persistant and optimistic. Like many posts before, I too had found out that not all the job ad's in seek are genuine. Lot of them are just to adhere to come compliance requirements while lot others are just to fish out resume's. However, the fact is, Jobs are there always. Its a matter of time before we get. Depending on what one's skills are, the number of responses would vary. Mine's a very niche skilset. Hence I was not expecting too many call's for intereviews. To give a perspective, the number of jobs advertised in seek for lets say J2EE would be like 2000+ where as for my skil set it will be less than 10% of it.
Anyways, I did apply to all the job ad's that were in seek. I was surprised to get a call on the 3rd day from a consultant. They wanted to meet me before forwarding it to their client. Usually, for jobs advertised by consultants, they would interview you before then put you on to the clients. After i met them, a week had gone by and I did not receive any responses. Meanwhile I met with couple of other consultants. What one important piece of advice they gave me was not to apply till you are in Australia. The reason being, before you are in australia, you would have applied for several jobs and the attitude of the consultant will be like, this person is overseas and applies for lots of jobs. Let me not look into this. I felt this was a valid point. The other thing they said was that its perhaps easier to get a job as a contractor rather than a full time employee. Again it depends on one's skill set. I didnt want to take up a contract role and hence i was prepared to wait for a few weeks.
That was about consultants. Now, the other way to get a job is through employee referrals. This is where networking comes in handy. Post my interview with the consultant, i received 2 interview calls from 2 professional services organisations. Both of them were through referrals from my friends. I cleared the first round of both the interviews and before i could attend the second interview in the second company, i received the offer from the first (i had attended another interview there). Hence I decided not to attend the second interview and take the offer from the first organisation. Prior to giving me the offer, they did my reference checks. I had worked in Melbourne 3 yrs before and that was one of the factors that helped me get the job. Local experience is very handy, else getting a job may be delayed.
Without local experience and without employee referrals, getting a job is DIFFICULT but not impossible. Be prepared to wait for weeks/months before you get a job and be persistant. Also, the resume MUST be tailored to suit the way its written here. It must not be too long and it MUST emphasise on what you did rather than what you know.


12. Shopping for Groceries/Veggies : Victoria Market is the cheapest to the best of my knowledge. Far cheaper than Coles/Woolworths. Although it will be a bit far for people living away from the city. Aldi supermarket is chep, IGA is a rip off. Try not to buy stuff from 7/11 and other convenience stores as they tend to be more expensive. Try a take a membership in COSTCO. Its best if you want to buy stuff in bulk. I dont think you can get rice for 25$ for 25 kgs anywhere else in Melbourne.

13. General Shopping : Big W is cheap . Target is decent and reasonable. You can get good deals while shopping in DFOs. Gumtree.com is good for a lot many things. Try ebay and graysonline.com as well before you buy anything. Shopping for other items have already been so wonderfuly covered in the sticky.


I've hope this was useful. Lot many more things to write. Perhaps at a later time.

Maddy

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Old 12th November 2010, 12:32 AM
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Very good post, look forward to your future posts once you start working and get used to MEL a bit. Be sure to write about MEL after you've visited Dandenong or other ethnic areas so you can provide a comparison point for those looking for local foods and things like that.

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Old 12th November 2010, 01:15 AM
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Thanks for the overview, It seems you took a while writting this post . Thanks for sharing your experiences...

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Old 12th November 2010, 01:53 AM
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Thanks Maddy. It's so great when members come back and post updates like this for the newer members.

Congratulations on your job offer too!

Regards,
Karen

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Old 12th November 2010, 06:50 AM
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Thanks Maddy... going through each line in your post was like reliving our validation trip in Melbourne.. Good Luck and god bless to you two.

Regards,
Randhir Singh

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Old 12th November 2010, 07:30 AM
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REMEMBER : Every MacD has free Wi-Fi

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Old 12th November 2010, 10:53 AM
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outstanding, thank you.

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Old 12th November 2010, 11:29 AM
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Except those prohibited by restrictive shopping centres and airports. Sydney airport takes the cake. Maccas in the airport (no Wi-Fi), Maccas 200 meters outside the airport (Free Wi-Fi).

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REMEMBER : Every MacD has free Wi-Fi

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Old 12th November 2010, 08:42 PM
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Sadly you may be tempted to eat something

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Old 13th November 2010, 01:46 AM
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Very good.Will surely Help

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