How Coronavirus Has Turned Some Australian Expats Lives Upside Down

Written By Alla Levin
August 21, 2020
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How Coronavirus Has Turned Some Australian Expats Lives Upside Down

The coronavirus has had a big impact on the lives of many Australian ex-pats.

From March onwards, hundreds of thousands had to urgently return to their country of origin.

Why so many returned so quickly

Many were responding to Australia (and the majority of the country’s) advice to come home.

Others realized that they could not guarantee they would be able to return home when their visas ran out. Tens of thousands suddenly lost their jobs and many international students saw their universities shut their doors.

Suddenly, they were left Googling ‘how to send money from US to Australia’ in an attempt to get their funds turned back into Australian dollars before the exchange rate plummeted.

Trying to work out which currency transfer approach offered the best deal can be difficult when time is limited, whilst scrambling to buy the few airline tickets that remained before airports and borders were closed.

The fallout

Understandably, having their life suddenly turned upside down like this has left many with challenging problems.

The fact that everything happened so fast is the main reason for this.

Not being able to plan for their return has created problems repatriates do not typically face.

Or exacerbated those that they would normally have.

Not knowing if their move is permanent

Top of the list is not being sure where their permanent home is going to be in the long-term.

Some have moved back to Australia to look after family members. Many of them will likely want to return to their former lives when the virus crisis is over.

However, of course, at this stage, whether they will be able to do so is not necessarily clear.

It is hard to know how long this situation will last. If it is just another year, then there is a good chance a lot of ex-pats will be able to pick up their lives in another country.

But the longer the crisis goes on the less likely this is. The fluidity of the situation makes it hard to know what to do for the best.

If you know your return back to Australia is a permanent one, selling your previous home and buying a new one is likely to make sense.

But if your move is only temporary, renting would be the right approach.

Australian Expats Lives: Finding a way through

In this situation, it is important to take the time to sit down and carefully consider your options.

Articles like these can help you to do that.

As can talking to other ex-pats who have recently moved back. Ideally, you need someone who has a similar set of circumstances to you.

If you have kids and they don’t they will only be able to offer you limited advice.

You can usually find people to speak to via online forums and ex-pat Facebook groups.

If you have been unlucky enough to have to return to Australia sooner than you would have liked because of coronavirus or another crisis, do your best to stay positive.

Living as an ex-pat was probably not easy at first. But you adapted, so you know that you will eventually be able to do so again.

Try and make the most of what Australia has to offer whilst you’re there – so many people come from far and wide to see the wildlife and natural beauty, so enjoy it.

If you have been unlucky enough to have to return to Australia sooner than you would have liked because of coronavirus or another crisis, do your best to stay positive.

Living as an ex-pat was probably not easy at first.

But you adapted, so you know that you will eventually be able to do so again.

Try and make the most of what Australia has to offer whilst you’re there – so many people come from far and wide to see the wildlife and natural beauty, so enjoy it.

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