Italian Expat Living in Australia - Interview with Mrs Bingles

Published: 24 Jul at 2 PM
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Filed: Interviews,Australia
Mrs. Bingles is a wife, a mother of three children under 7 and an expat since 2004. She has lived in the UK for 6 years where she taught MFL in a secondary school; she then moved to the Netherlands where she became a stay at home mom (SAHM) looking after her beautiful two daughters. After two years she moved with her family and their newborn to Germany where she lived for 1 year. She arrived in Melbourne nearly one year ago. That was her very first big move, outside Europe. She is now living there, she is still a SAHM but looking forward to start teaching again in the near future before the next move. Mrs Bingles's expat blog is called Moving around mum (see listing here)

gum tree and coffee
gum tree and coffee

Here's the interview with Mrs Bingles...

Where are you originally from?
I'm Italian, I was born in a small place near Milan, where I grew up with my family.

In which country and city are you living now?
I'm living down under, in Australia, Melbourne.

How long have you lived in Australia and how long are you planning to stay?
I've been living here for almost one year and the plan is to stay for two more years.

Australian Grand prix
Australian Grand prix
Why did you move to Australia and what do you do?
I simply followed my husband. He was offered a job here and we moved together. At the moment I'm a stay at home mother.

Did you bring family with you?
Yes, I moved with my husband and our three children.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I've been living abroad for the last 10 years, so the transition happened mostly at that time. Now I'm used to live the expat life.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
Making friends it's always the most difficult part for me. It takes time and lots of effort of course. I usually put the needs of my children before mine, I try to make them feel at home finding new friends and schools for them. I guess I get along better with other expats because we share the same life style.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Melbourne is not a very big city but offers lots of entertainment for each member of the family. There are always events going on in the city centre, there are lovely beaches and the mountains not too far away.

What do you enjoy most about living in Australia?
Being able to go to the beach in 10 minutes drive whenever I want to.

How does the cost of living in Australia compare to home?
I find it pretty expensive here compared to Europe. Renting a house can be very expensive but it depends also from where you decide to live. The grocery shopping is not cheap either but what I find most frustrating is the price of a coffee $3.50 and a child ice-cream $5!!!

our daily walk to school
our daily walk to school
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Australia?
I find it difficult to communicate with my family and friends in Europe. Because of the time zone I can never pick up the phone and ring them whenever I like.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Australia, what would it be?
Make sure you're 100% sure of what you're doing. Living the expat life can be exciting but also stressing and tiring.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
I haven't been able to find Australian friends so far, maybe because of our cultural differences?! I'm not sure but I'll keep on trying.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I'm not sure I'll return home. I'll probably move to another Country as Italy has no jobs to offer to my family at the moment.

a view from the Parliament
a view from the Parliament
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Make sure you understand and speak English.
  2. Find out as much as possible about the place where you want to live. Each suburb in Melbourne has its own characteristics.
  3. If you have kids find out everything about the schools they are going to. There are lots of info on the web. Make sure you find a house near the school.
  4. When you move bring some books, DVDs, music of your Country; they'll keep you good company
  5. To make friends use social networks like MeetUP, internations or Facebook. There you can find lots of different groups you can join and hopefully you'll find friends too.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My blog was born to make me feel more connected with other expats like me. I write about my everyday life, what I do with my family in this part of the world. Sometimes life is not that different from any other places in the world, other times I give an insight of what you can see and do in Melbourne.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Visit my blog and send me an e-mail.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingMrs Bingles is an Italian expat living in Australia. Blog description: see the world through my expat lens (by Mrs. Bingles)
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