From warm and sandy beaches to bustling metropolitan cities and remote yet beautiful natural spaces, Australia is associated with a landscape that is as captivating as it is mysterious, yet there is another landscape present in the country which has more to do with the social and the psychological than with the physical world. Immigration is a major topic of discussion in Australia, as the country’s high standards of living and meaningful social programs create a strong attraction for people who are looking for a better way of life, and the country’s academic and professional institutions draw still more interested immigrants each year. Though migrating to Australia in search of a new personal or family story may be one of the most exciting points in a person’s life, there are also challenges associated with the process, some of which may be more easily overcome than others.
Taking the citizenship test is often thought of when considering the difficulties of immigration in Australia, and while the test may indeed present a challenge, it often cannot compare with the emotional aspects of considering a new identity and leaving a previous country and its many familiar aspects behind. Many immigrants hope to become Australian citizens at least in part to benefit their families, who may receive state benefits or who may be sent a portion of earnings won by an Australian worker. Yet it can feel alienating to become an Australian citizen when family members are a frequent reminder of a life left behind, and this can be a challenging topic for many newcomers.
Making new friends and professional contacts along with finding new social events, clubs, and religious institutions can be distinctly challenging for immigrants, as well. Though people hailing from a wide range of countries are likely to find established immigrant communities upon their arrival, the sense of newness, from different languages or slang to new customs and values can be disorienting. Immigrants are likely to find the support they need, however, through getting to know other newcomers as well as connecting with established residents who can help demystify life in Australia. Becoming an Australian citizen through taking the citizenship test, filling out applications, and performing other necessary steps often contributes greatly to a sense of belonging and social understanding, as new citizens learn about the history and operation of the country during this process.
Feeling homesick is another issue faced by some immigrants, though working towards Australian citizenship is typically able to help soothe this concern. Through creating a comfortable, meaningful, and proud home and lifestyle in Australia, new citizens can overcome many of the challenges associated with immigration in down under, and may even wish to lend their support and resources to others who are struggling with the new transition. In a land marked by world-renowned natural beauty and urban modernization, immigrants face unique difficulties, but can triumph through the commitment and perseverance of becoming a true Australian.