Most Challenging Experience

Homesickness is always the biggest challenge (we’ve got a whole section on it), but there are other things too that people find hard

Missing family, friends and home

Missing occasions at home - birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and accepting that life at home is going on without you.

Being very homesick after not seeing my family for 15 months.

Not having the support of family or friends.

Being so alone.

Homesickness, so far away from family was hard.

Coping with feeling so lonely.

Preparing to have my baby in Australia without my family.

Missing family and seeing nieces and nephews grow up on Facebook.

Missing the things back home I took for granted and family. The fear of something happening to a loved one and the regret of not being there and missing out their lives having been away.

One of the most difficult things to deal with is a bereavement back home.

Missing the first Christmas at home.

Missing the birth of my first niece.

Being away for my grandfather’s death. Away from my Dad is a daily struggle also I miss him always.

Dealing with a family loss from abroad has been difficult. Missing big family events also.

I have had a break up of a serious long term relationship and the death of a family member whose funeral I could not attend. Not having your family and friends in easy reach during these times can me be very stressful and isolating.

Employment related difficulties

Getting work that’s relevant to your career, or even getting a job at all, can be difficult for some:

Finding a job that suits me.

Getting a job – it took 2 months and money was tight.

Having patience to take jobs I was overqualified for and uninterested in. Also reassessing and reframing my career aspirations to meet the market here and therefore to finally feel content for once.

To get long term employment.

My job here, due to long hours and poor pay.

Difficulty in making friends

Meeting new people and making friends is not always easy:

Making friends and finding people to rely on.

Trying to create and extended social network for my kids.

Meeting new people was not easy in the beginning.

Making friends outside the expat community has been difficult.

Making friends was the biggest challenge.

Culture, language and climate

New cultures, languages or climates can be hard to cope with as well:

Adapting to Australian culture and although we speak English, feeling very foreign.

Long cold winters

Learning a new language.

I think that interacting with people who don’t understand my accent has been very frustrating and embarrassing at times, as well as just feeling isolated.

Learning about cultural differences and not worrying quite so much that I’d put my foot in my mouth all the time.

Dealing with a totally different way of living. A new standard of living and being in a non-English speaking country.


Extending work visas or having restrictions on what you can do is also something to be aware of.

Trying to get sponsorship sorted.

Dealing with the legal costs of changing visas.

Trying to sort visas.

Visas, trying to stay after my second year.

Obtaining a 457 visa.


Racism can be a problem – not everyone is welcoming of Irish people:

Dealing with racism and ignorance.

The most challenging is dealing with sexist racist Australians. I work in construction and feel like I am living in the 1920s. It is a constant struggle to be taken seriously.

Being treated as dirt, had some racism come my way.

Racist stereotypes particularly in social settings.