What It’s Like To Be An American Living In Australia

When comparing Australia and America, many people relate them to practically be equivalent places.  While in many ways they are extremely similar, there are so many little things that make living in Australia as an American quite different than one would imagine.


Your Voice is a Dead Give-Away

You may think that you can fit right in with the Aussies as an American, but you are quite wrong. If you sound anything like I do, then the second you open your mouth an Australian will know you are from the states. When people initially asked me where I was from I would respond “the states,” but after enough “I know that. Where in the states?” responses I learned to simply say, Indiana. There’s no hiding the Midwest accent that I didn’t know I had.


Trump is HUGE here

Everyone and I do mean everyone, talks about Trump here as if they were Americans themselves. Most people will be dying to know who you voted for and how you feel about good ole Trump. Surprisingly though, you will be met by an array of opinions about him both for and against. Sometimes I think most Australians know more about America than most Americans do.


What even is coffee?

Coffee in Australia is nothing like coffee in the states. Nobody orders a black cup of coffee or even offers it on their menu for that matter. Iced coffee is almost always served with ice cream and pretty much every drink is espresso-based. Don’t expect to find any diners serving a cup of coffee with pancakes, but rather prepare for avo toast with a cappuccino. I’m not complaining, the coffee here is great, but I do miss my gigantic mugs filled with boiling hot black coffee.


To the Left, To the Left!

Something as simple as walking along a street is different down under.  They drive on the left side of the road here, so people walk to the left as well. However, just like America, there are still plenty of people who entirely disregard societal rules like walking on the correct side to make everyone else’s lives harder. This rule is especially important to remember when crossing the street, so you actually see if a car is coming.


Tap It

Pretty much every Australian has a credit or debit card that you simply tap and go. This makes buying just about anything slightly difficult because American cards aren’t quite there yet. Everything I buy I have to explain that I have a chip and get them to hand the machine over for me to insert my card. Then it requires my signature because it’s so confused as to why the heck someone is using a chip. If they didn’t already know I was American, they do now.


Drink Up!

One of the best parts of being a twenty year old American living in Australia is that you are LEGAL! Don’t get me wrong, drinking isn’t everything but when you aren’t legal in the states it’s definitely an added perk. If you’re already twenty-one or older, then nothing's new for you, except maybe seeing people younger than you’re used to at bars and clubs.


Wait… this isn’t Target

Target, along with plenty of other brands are significantly different in Australia from what they are in the states. If you are an avid target-goer in America, don’t expect it to be the same here. This goes for most brands you love, as they will either be slightly different or non-existent here. It especially applies to fast food such as Maccas (McDonald's) and KFC, which are both huge here but not quite the same as what they would be in the states.



At the end of the day, the differences between Australia and America are pretty small, however, sometimes the little things can really add up to make a big difference. Living here hasn’t been exactly what I imagined it would be, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.


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