1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

UK v Australia

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Buttles, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Buttles

    Buttles New commenter

    I worked as a teacher in the UK and emigrated to Australia in 2010 luckily without the need for a visa.
    I was relieved to leave the UK after the disastrous years of Blair and Brown. Like many people I felt appalled at the growing levels of violence, poverty and corruption in the UK.
    The biggest shock was the higher cost of living in Australia especially the prices in supermarkets for basic foodstuffs.
    I was also amazed at the cost of fruit and vegetables in a country famous for agriculture and dairy farming. When Cyclone Yasi destroyed the banana crop in Queensland there was no attempt by the country to import bananas to avoid sky rocketing prices.
    House prices and rents are much, much higher in Australia. When I arrived in 2010, the cost of housing in a country many times larger than the UK led me to conclude that market manipulation through the deliberate refusal to build new homes was artifically inflating prices.
    Just as with the UK, the quality of education children enjoy over here is linked to location with the poorer suburbs generating the same type of white, unemployable youth as any UK city. Pay and conditions for teachers have not kept up with medicine, law and engineering. Few teachers I know under 40 own their own home.
    The private school sector is much bigger in Australia but there is a bias towards hiring cheap, overseas (Indian mostly) teachers on short-term contracts.
    The health service over here is not as good as some NHS services and you will wait a very long time for an operation in a state hospital.
    What does the future hold for Australia? From reading the media here, most Australians now accept that the economic boom has ended and are anxiously repaying debts. House prices are falling and unemployment rising. Negative equity has now reached 6.4% in some areas of the housing market up from 4.9% in just three months, It appears that the Eastern seabord cities are experiencing rapid economic decline.
     
  2. Buttles

    Buttles New commenter

    I worked as a teacher in the UK and emigrated to Australia in 2010 luckily without the need for a visa.
    I was relieved to leave the UK after the disastrous years of Blair and Brown. Like many people I felt appalled at the growing levels of violence, poverty and corruption in the UK.
    The biggest shock was the higher cost of living in Australia especially the prices in supermarkets for basic foodstuffs.
    I was also amazed at the cost of fruit and vegetables in a country famous for agriculture and dairy farming. When Cyclone Yasi destroyed the banana crop in Queensland there was no attempt by the country to import bananas to avoid sky rocketing prices.
    House prices and rents are much, much higher in Australia. When I arrived in 2010, the cost of housing in a country many times larger than the UK led me to conclude that market manipulation through the deliberate refusal to build new homes was artifically inflating prices.
    Just as with the UK, the quality of education children enjoy over here is linked to location with the poorer suburbs generating the same type of white, unemployable youth as any UK city. Pay and conditions for teachers have not kept up with medicine, law and engineering. Few teachers I know under 40 own their own home.
    The private school sector is much bigger in Australia but there is a bias towards hiring cheap, overseas (Indian mostly) teachers on short-term contracts.
    The health service over here is not as good as some NHS services and you will wait a very long time for an operation in a state hospital.
    What does the future hold for Australia? From reading the media here, most Australians now accept that the economic boom has ended and are anxiously repaying debts. House prices are falling and unemployment rising. Negative equity has now reached 6.4% in some areas of the housing market up from 4.9% in just three months, It appears that the Eastern seabord cities are experiencing rapid economic decline.
     
  3. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    I have never quite understood the idea that a lot of Brits seem to have of Australia being the answer to their prayers. Don't get me wrong, I do love my homeland and her people but you find exactly the same problems as you do in the UK.
    The housing market is ridiculous in cities such as Sydney. I am currently looking to buy a new house and if I want to stay in the inner city, I'm looking at $800 000 for a tiny two bedroom house with an even tinier courtyard for the dogs. I have a penchant for Kirsty and Phil and am constantly amazed at how cheap property is over there (even allowing for the exchange rate). Cost of living is expensive and taxes, well the least said the better.
    You will find the same problems (maybe even more if you want to buy a house) as the UK. Only difference is you will be able to sit outside in the warmth and ponder impending bankruptcy instead of huddling inside and pondering.
     
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    What is so wonderful about "the Wonder Downunder"? What indeed?
    I am so glad that Mrs Hippo and I have purchased property in Bulgaria, where house prices have gone down significantly. Prices for everything in Bulgaria have remained very low. Petrol is a bit expensive and that's why Bulgarians use autogaz instead, at half the price.The Bulgarian equivalent of Council Tax for our house is still about ten pounds a year. The only thing that makes me a little bit sad is the thought that our five-bedroomed house, bought for twenty thousand pounds six years ago, would probably sell for only ten or fifteen thousand today.
     
  5. Agree with you on somecomments but completly disagree on others.
    My Dutch partner is still amazed when I tell him how much I was paying per week in a share house in Australia, it turns out to me more per month than what we are paying for a small one bedroom flat in the Netherlands. Yes supermarket prices can be more expensive, but no matter what country you live in you havw to know the places where you can find cheap food.
    I do disagee with some of the comments about hiring cheap labour what state did you work in? I come from Victoria and as someone that has worked in the private sector this never happens here and they are usually quite strict with who can come in and teach from my experience.
    But I have also lived and worked in the UK and I do prefer the quality of life that you have in Australia and I am pretty sure I will end up back there with my partner in a couple of years
     
  6. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Well I guess it is the lifestyle if you are reasonably comfortable. It is a great lifestyle made possible by the weather (although you wouldn't think that if you had just experienced the summer just gone). Although I adore England and would love to spend half a year there and half here, I would never choose to bring my children up there because ofthe indoors lifestyle that predominates due to the weather.
    Granted it has the same problems the developed world throughout has but if you like being outdoors and the beach it is a great place to live. I also love the people who are far more laid back than most countries I have been to, Just don't think that it is the land of milk and honey where all your problems will magically disappear.
    Having been to Bulgaria, I would choose Australia hands down over living there although I'm sure it is very beautiful in places. I'm grumbling about having to pay an arm and a leg for a property here but the flip side of the coin is that it is going to cost whoever buys our place their entire body plus organs so it all evens out in the wash.
     
  7. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    I must say that I have never seen this in any of the independent school in the greater Sydney area I have visited over the last few years of prac supervision. The fees incurred in privately educating your child here would be enough for a large deposit on a house and parents are VERY vocal about the quality of the teaching staff.

     
  8. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    PS: My daughter goes to a, delightful, but very low fee paying school and the boss there (one of the most amazing women I have ever come across, please don't retire yet Loretto!!) would never engage in hiringoverseas trained teachers on short contracts to save money.
     
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If the house prices (and the prices for just about everything else) are ridiculously high in Australia, how are ordinary teachers from the UK going to afford to live there? Especially if they are still trying to pay off student debts? No one seems to have bothered to ask or to answer this question.
     
  10. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Well Hippo, if for example I was going to up sticks and settle in England, I know that there would be no way I could afford a house in London if that is where I wanted to live. I would head North where I could more comfortably afford to live and the same thing would apply here. There are much more affordable housing option available in regional area. I believe those areas are even giving a grant for people wishing to buy a house there.
    I am very tempted when I see what my money could buy elsewhere but my life and my daughter's life is here. I have lived in the country and it just isn't for me but I'm sure many people would love to live there and fit in well.

     
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    For most international teachers, "life" is a rather portable thing, yasimum. Having lived (and taught) in the UK, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, the UAE and now Qatar, I think that most of us who are teaching in international schools do understand that there are other countries where it might be possible for one to live quite happily. In my own case, I was very much looking forward to buying a property in France, but alas now Frogland is way beyond the financial reach of mere teachers.
    At break-time today I was talking to an antipodean colleague (yes, there are still a few left in the Middle East) and she was explaining to me the horrors of the Australian housing market and how the Ozzie (or is that Aussie?) dollar has strengthened so much against the feeble British pound. When I asked her how most teachers from the UK would manage to buy a property Downunder, her reply was, "Well, in most cases that you just couldn't do it."
    In the UK, most young teachers have some things that are called student loans. For some strange reason, yasimum, your post does not appear to explain how young teachers can possibly afford to buy a property in Australia and pay off their student loans at the same time. In other words, yasimum, your post is really just worthless pie in the sky for the majority of teachers in the UK.
     
  12. Bit Harsh Hippo and I do think you need to get off your high horse about all of this. It is called budgeting and if you realise that you are unable to afford it then don't buy a bloody house.
    Times have changed, is the long and short of it, many people whether they are teachers or not have lived in Australia their whole lives or have only migrated in the past couple of years have to save up to buy a house in Australia, and I am assuming that it would also be the same in the UK or majority of western countries, the problem occurs when people are that naive to think that you can get a house straight away with minimal savings and no understanding of the property market. As yasimum has explained you go regional or further out in the suburbs that is what most 'Aussies" themselves are doing.
    But you have quoted and found out your information from just one person. It is possible to buy a house in Australia on wages that lower than teachers and still pay off loans I have got a couple of friends who are doing this at the moment. Or you simply do what lots of other Australians are doing and that is rent until you can afford, yes it is expensive to live in Australia but the quality of life is a lot better than what you get in Europe.
    By the way it is "Aussie"
     
  13. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    That is a presumption on your part. Having never been to Australia, I cannot comment on your comparison, but I do find it rather hard to believe.
    One presumes that it is rather like living in the UK but with noticeably less Australians. And slightly warmer weather. And a lot more dodgy insects.
     


  14. Sorry I was typing quickly while preparing dinner. I should have said I personally feel like the quality of life is better, and so do many of my Australian friends that have lived all over the world, and also friends that have moved to Australia for various reasons
     
  15. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    That is perfectly reasonable, although not without its inherent bias. Pretty much as my answer would be if I said that I find life in Europe infinitely preferable to life in the Middle East or Asia.
     
  16. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    How rude. My raison d'etre isnot to explain to young teachers from the UK how they can afford to live in Australia. Believe it or not, Australian students also exit university with quite a hefty loan as well unless their parents can afford to pay their fees.
    As I said in my previous post. There are far more affordable housing options if you avoid the Eastern seaboard. Otherwise it would be very difficult to buy property.
    How someone affords it is up to their own financial nouse. If you don't like the answers, perhaps a solution would be not to ask the bloody question.
     
  17. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Actually, it seems to me that some people (no names no pack drill) are just Antipodeanphobes. No matter if you make the place sound wonderful or you try to give a warts and all account, one gets attacked and quite frankly, at this point in my life I have had enough of bullies!
    Either come or don't come, if you come then do what most young Aussies do (as Sarah said) and save up to pay for your debt and a place to live. If the price of housing here puts off enough pompous asses from coming - so much the better.
     
  18. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    PS: Beginning teachers make more than most other professionals when they start out. The other professions may catch up and overtake but at the top of the scale now (with no added resposibility), they are on nearly $87 000 which is hardly chicken feed. If you budget correctly on that, you can afford a mortgage if you buy sensibly!
     
  19. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, yes, perhaps I was a little harsh. If yasimum and anyone else enjoys living in Australia, then that is great and I hope that she is very happpy there. I have had some wonderful Australian colleagues and usually they reply in kind when teased by those awful whingeing poms.
    I am now quite an old hippotamus and therefore I need to start thinking about my retirement. This means putting aside some savings. Buying a very expensive property in Australia and paying Australian taxes and high prices for everything else as well just does not seem to be a sensible move to me, but perhaps I do not know very much about this and maybe I am mistaken.
     
  20. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    There is a difference between teasing and rudeness. You fall into the latter category and then when called on it resort to the, 'I was only teasing' cop out. I shan't bother again.
     

Share This Page