I recently accepted a job in Melbourne with a private hospital. They are organising my visa (457) through a law firm so that should come through handy enough. I guess at this stage I will be moving in 2-3 months (hopefuly) so I was looking for some advice on a few things.
Where would you recommend I live? A bit of background. I am a 31 year old single male. I have been living in London for the past 3 years. I will be based between St Vincents Hospital in the city and Frankston which is 40km or so south. I initially thought about St Kilda/Elwood because I wanted to be close to the beach but I heard the beach around the bay isn't great. Is this true? It would also be difficult to commute to Frankston without having a car. I might get a car after a while though. So then I read a good bit about Richmond and I liked the sound of it. I am looking for somewhere that has a lot going on (bars/restaurants). I only know one person in Melbourne so I will want to get out and meet new people but also handy enough to get to work (<45mins would be ideal) and good public transport links.
Would people recommend moving into a house share or living on my own? A house share is a good way to meet new people I know but it's always a lottery. The hospital said they will pay for the first couple of weeks accommodation while I search for a permanent place. Is there anywhere nice to spend the first couple of weeks? Also my salary will be around AUD124K so what would be the right amount to spend on rent? I know its relative to what I want etc. but any rough idea would be good.
What agency have people used to move stuff to Australia? The hospital said they would pay and I don't have that much. I don't think I will be bringing much apart from clothes and golf clubs. Maybe a tv and a hi fi.
Weird question but as I will be probably be flying home once a year or two is it more advantageous to fly with the same airline or airline alliances? Rather than always looking for the cheapest flights is it better to build up air miles with someone and avail of perks like free upgrades etc? The hospital also said they would pay for my flights over.
Is there much truth to the rumour that Australians are very reluctant to integrate new people into their friendship groups? As I said I will only know one person living over there.
I know there's a lot in this but any advice/help would be great.
I can help with advice on a few of the things you've asked.
To get an idea how your budget might look, I recommended viewing our page on Cost of Living in Melbourne. There's a table at the bottom of the page with some estimates of how much certain things may cost. You can also have a look at two other websites, Numbeo and Expatistan, for more of this kind of information.
Without having been to Melbourne myself, it's difficult to say which areas are best, but our page on Areas and Suburbs in Melbourne gives a pretty good overview. It might also be ideal to ask your friend who lives there for their advice, as well as the hospital you'll be working for. If they have experience hiring expats they'll likely have some ideas/suggestions. Even if it's their first time hiring an expat, they should be able to speak from their own experience of living there.
There's also some advice on Accommodation in Melbourne (very useful for how to find places to rent) and Renting Property in Melbourne (more info on the renting process itself).
We also have a page on Culture Shock in Australia which may help better prepare you for integrating socially into the culture. There is a large expat community in Melbourne so being around other expats might help you feel more at home.
Hopefully this answers some of your question. Otherwise feel free to browse other parts of our guides to Australia and Melbourne. You can navigate through the guides by using the menu bar on the left hand side of your screen.
Best of luck.