Expat Thoughts: Moving Abroad after College

Ever since moving to Sydney a couple years ago I’ve been receiving emails from students and recent grads asking about finding a job and living abroad. They show up randomly a couple times a month or so, because they found my blog or read a guest post I’ve written on moving. I love those messages, and always try to take my time writing back so I can be thoughtful with my responses.

It feels like it wasn’t that long ago I was sitting in front of my laptop searching through the same endless blog posts and articles. There is so much online in terms of advice on moving to another country, but it’s still tough to know what journey you’ll take. That’s something that I’ve observed from all my expat friends here. When it comes to landing a job and moving on the other side of the world there is no “right answer” on how to get there. We all took different paths to end up in Sydney. I’ve considered writing a short eBook guide (with the help of a few friends) for Americans who want to move to Sydney. I worry that it would become outdated quickly or perhaps too narrow focused.

So while I do hesitate to give out too much advice on certain topics (such as visas or financial advice). I will still openly share my story of how I got here. I also think one of the most important things I can give back to new grads is extra encouragement. I know for a lot of young Australians the idea of leaving the country for work or school, isn’t as much of hurdle, but the majority of us “Ohioans” don’t tend to pack up and move to another country just because we feel like it. It’s not only a lack of knowledge or role models that have travelled and gone before you but also a challenge of selling yourself on the idea (and it’s not an easy sell).

There were some really important people in my life that encouraged me to move abroad. I’m really thankful for that, especially looking back now. I think everyone needs those cheerleaders, especially when you’re a new grad. Just graduating and starting your job search is a scary enough, much less moving somewhere new.  When you make up your mind to land a job on the other side of the planet and move to a new city where you don’t know anyone – that is all on you. People can help you, but you’re still the one who has to make the effort and take action. However, it’s the people around you telling you it’s possible that helps give you that extra little push you need.

So to those recent and soon to be grads that stumble across my blog, this post is mostly for you. Please do email me and ask me questions about life in Sydney, moving to a new city and living abroad. I try to answer pretty much all emails, even if it does take me some time to get back to you. Please also know that even though you feel quite isolated, lost, and unsure in your job search – many have had this same experience and are willing to help you if you seek them out.


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