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  1. Hi I am kind of new to the site. Well I have been reading what people have had to say about Aus while we were waiting for paper work and approvals to come through. So we finally have the Engineers Australia’s approval! And my boyfriend’s qualification has been approved. We are applying for a 190 visa and now need to decide on a state. So I have previously seen that Victoria and NSW were giving out the most invites for the 190 visa. This is a blessing, as we want to bring our dog along and the two quarantine stations are in Sydney and Melbourne. So I am opting for Victoria (for no real reason) and looking at a smaller town like Geelong or Ballarat. But I don’t know what the job situation is like there, especially for a mechanical engineer? I see that there are lots of jobs in the major cities but rent is just too expensive! And it seems there are fewer places which are pet friendly. Many people seem to flock to the major cities looking for work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Today is my six month anniversary in Australia! It has been a while since I have posted on this forum, but have been settling into life here and decided that I needed a bit of a break from everything to do with South Africa for a while (not forever though)...and wanted to immerse myself into Aussie life completely *Please remember that this is the perspective of a student, who came over alone I absolutely cannot believe it is six months today...to think the last time I made a post here was six WEEKS in...and how quickly the time has flown by! Some days it feels like I have lived here forever, and other days it feels like I have been here such a short while (suppose that is how it goes for everyone...not necessarily a bad thing either way, just exciting!) I have been incredibly blessed and happy in my time here, and I strongly believe that it is because I am looking at this move as a huge adventure and opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, see new places and experience new things...rather than one where I had to 'flee' from something. As I have said elsewhere, I have always wanted to live in a country other than RSA, and I grabbed this opportunity with both hands! One thing that I have to say, I am here on a student visa on a scholarship...and it is incredible to me how my quality of life is SO infinitely better than it was in RSA when I was working full-time! Things here are expensive, definitely, but your buying power allows for your money to go so much further...it is incredible to me! Won't say what my scholarship amount is...but believe me when I say it is infinitely less than a full-paying job...but I can DO so much more here with the money I do get! It still amazes me!! Granted, I do not have kids and have not bought a car or a house...but I am loving the economic (and personal) freedom that Aus has afforded me! Parents if you have any doubts that you are doing the right thing in moving here for your children I can personally attest that it is the best best best thing that you are doing for them!!! They will one day be eligible for these scholarships...and I have found that here (not sure if it is all the uni's, but I do believe so), it is the exception rather than the rule to NOT have a scholarship for post-graduate students (actually, nobody that I know is paying fees...and they all receive the scholarship stipend). What are the chances of that at RSA institutions? Best I could get there was some money off my Master's fees because I did well in my honours. The blessings in Australia just seem to keep on coming my way...and three weeks ago I started working as a sessional lecturer at the university that I am doing my PhD at. It is incredible that I am now in a country, and at an institution, that sought me out and wants to use my skills...rather than at one (in a country that you all can guess by now ) where I was told that it I was lucky that I was 'at least' female, but it would be better if I was disabled because then they could offer me a job on the spot. That comment had me crying for days! Overall, life has been fantastic for me in Australia, and I couldn't be happier! I am loving life "out in the sticks" in Ballarat, as this place has been SO good for me...but I must admit I have fallen in love with Melbourne!!! The city is the most incredible place that I have been to (and I have travelled extensively), but I absolutely love everything about Melbourne!! The culture, the coffee shops, the laneways, the international feel, the sports, the music, flinders street station...even the hipsters (although I am definitely not cool enough to fit in with that scene, haha). I absolutely love that this city is one of contrasts, and that there are soooo many surprises everywhere! Always new things to discover! The suburbs still confuse me terribly, and I am always fascinated to see the difference in culture and look as you go through different suburbs (would say do your homework carefully when choosing a suburb in Melbs). I must say that before I came here I had read a lot of less-than-flattering things about St Kilda...but wow it is one of my favourite places to go at the moment! Its so arty and edgy, with bakeries and coffee shops that are open till all hours of the night...love it! (Okay in the city this is true too...but I find there is something magical about St Kilda). Of course there are still rough areas in St Kilda...and its definitely not a family area, but I found it great! (My aussie friends say that you do not want to be walking around alone in St Kilda after all these places close at night...but then again that is true for any place in the world...shouldn't be stupid just because its a safer country, crime happens anywhere, and girls shouldn't be out alone at all hours of the night anyway). Also, I have no idea where I was (haha that sounds terrible, but just a testament to how safe I feel using public transport in Aus...as I said, still no car), but I drove from Ballarat to Melbourne with a colleague last week, and so she dropped me off at a train station at one of the outer suburbs so that I could get a train in from there to Southern Cross...was not a very nice area at all! I was shocked that such an area existed in Melbourne (and no, it was not Frankston-side). I am not sure if this is politically correct to say, but I feel like I was in an immigrant-dense area...and its sad to say but if that was my first impression of Melbourne I would have been horrified. I am not saying that I felt unsafe (although would not want to be there at night), but it was very run-down. Please do not take this as a reflection of Melbourne as a whole, but just as my advice to research suburbs properly before moving here...the vast majority are great! I have not once felt unsafe in the city, or the suburbs, or out in country Ballarat for that matter. In fact, I am strongly considering moving to Melbourne next year to experience life there for a year, and commuting to Ballarat Oh yes...before I forget: one of the funniest experiences I have had here, is trying to explain to Melbournians that in Joburg/PTA you do NOT want to be in the city centre...ever! Haha they cannot comprehend it at all...when here it is exactly where you do want to be!! Now, some other news: just thought I would share with you all the one single night in these last 6 months that I felt terribly homesick! I found out a couple of weeks ago that my sister (who is still in RSA) got engaged!! I am SO incredibly happy for her, but that night I bawled my eyes out! It is the one instance that I really felt VERY far from home...and couldn't share the experience with her. It got me thinking for a little while there that I am so far away, and that things are going so well...what if the unthinkable happens to her or my parents? I am so scared for them in RSA, especially because now I realize how rampant and sick crime is there!!! How I lived in that for so long I can never understand...and I would never be able to again!! I just pray that they are safe and look after themselves...and my sister has even spoken about moving back to NZ in the next couple of years...which would mean that my parents would move too (they are there purely because she is still there). I can only hope and pray that this happens sooner rather than later! But I came to the realization that whether I am here or there would not make a difference anyway, and we cannot live life out of fear that something will happen. Life needs to be lived while we have it, and for me right now it is having this incredible experience and being able to share it with those back in RSA. Anyway, back to my GREAT news! My sister has decided to get married this December!!! That means a totally unexpected holiday back to RSA for me this year!!! Was not planning on this at all...but I am delighted!! (And...scared out of my mind at the same time...haha nobody here understands that...but I know that you all definitely will!). My final thoughts for this post: Australia is what you make of it...for me, after all my travels, its the one country that I have been to that is very similar to RSA. If you believe with all your heart that you can make this work, and refuse to even entertain thoughts of it not working out, you can live the dream here! The vast majority of saffers that are here already are!! Immerse yourself totally, and be a citizen of the world...and life will reward you for it! "Travel is the ultimate form of rebellion" We follow our heart We free ourselves of labels We lose control willingly We trade a role for reality We love the unfamiliar We trust strangers We own only what we can carry We search for better questions, not answers We truly graduate We, sometimes, never come back ~ The Triprebel Manifesto Ps: Meeting a hot Aussie (for those singles coming over) helps too
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