Sydney Harbour

Sydney is one of the most popular cities in the world and it’s no surprise why. Culturally diverse and cosmopolitan, Sydney is a melting pot of populations and nationalities. But the decision to move abroad isn’t an easy one so we’ve weighed up the pros and cons of moving to Sydney.

Pros

A cosmopolitan hub
Sydneysiders are a diverse bunch of people from different ethnic backgrounds and nationalities making globalisation a reality in everyday life and business. The city is a hub for globalised and international businesses, making themselves at home in the city centre. The sprawling city also makes room for businesses to locate themselves outside of the CBD in suburban hubs like Parramatta and Campbelltown.

Healthcare
Australia’s national healthcare system offers high quality affordable care for those who are eligible under the Medicare scheme. If you’re not a national of one of the included countries listed on the Australian Department of Human Services website, you will not have access to Medicare and will need to have private health care before you can be granted a working visa.

Education
Sydney provides access to high quality education with a mix of state funded public schools and private schools to choose from. There are also a number of universities located across the city which offer a range of degrees.

Climate
Sydney has one of the most sought after climates in the world. Described as temperate or Mediterranean, the weather is warm with relatively high humidity in summer and mild winter temperatures. Sydney enjoys an average of 340 sunny days a year and there are more than 100 beaches in Sydney and plenty of playgrounds, parks and sporting grounds to encourage Sydneysiders to get outdoors and bask in the sunshine.

Vibrant lifestyle
Sydney is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and is always buzzing with activity. One of the most notable events on the city’s calendar is Mardi Gras, an annual celebration of the LGBT community. Other events include Vivid Sydney when art installations light up the city at night, and Chinese New Year.

Wildlife
Australia is home to a unique environment and diverse wildlife and, contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to leave the city to enjoy them. Native birds perch in gum trees and sing at the first rays of sunshine in the morning while native fish fill the water of the harbour.

Cons

Expenses
The cost of living in Sydney is often rated among the most expensive in the world with housing being one of the most expensive factors to consider when making the move. The mining boom, increased wages and strong exchange rates have had a dramatic effect on the city’s expenses, making it one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in.

Remote location
Although Sydney is a city serviced by multiple international airlines and has domestic connections to the rest of the country, the city is still relatively far from other major global cities around the world. It takes much longer to fly from Sydney to Europe or the United States than many visitors and expats are used to. The Australian state and territory capital cities are also relatively far from each other, a surprise for many visiting from smaller countries.

Getting around
Many Sydneysiders complain about the hassle of getting around the city. Sydney relies heavily on cars and buses, making traffic congestion a daily drama right across the city. Gridlock is frequent and is worsened by rain, public holidays and road accidents. The train system is sometimes inefficient as lines are inflexible, especially compared to major cities such as New York, London and Tokyo.

Shopping
Not only is the cost of living quite high in Sydney, but shopping is too. Imported items are subject to higher prices, making clothing and food expensive. If you’re trying to purchase food from your home country, you’ll have to pay quite a lot for it. You might find there is also less selection when it comes to the retail market as Sydney is a smaller city compared to larger metropolitan hubs around the world.

Television
There isn’t as much choice on television in Australia compared to the US and UK markets, unless you’re willing to pay for it. Although there are many more free-to-air television channels now, those with a keen interest in keeping up to date with their favourite shows will find themselves paying for it through services like Foxtel or Netflix.

Sydney is a popular city for expats and business relocations, driven by a booming commercial culture. With sunshine for the majority of the year and access to affordable healthcare and education, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. The question now is, is it the right choice for you?