Alexia McDonald

About me

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New Blog Incoming

Down the Rabbit Hole

Debugging the slow way.

Future Plans in Self Development.

A Home Away from Home.

Announcing in Swedish

How to Move Overseas From Australia

Awesome Tools for Windows

How to find a Job in Tech

Emoji Game Station

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How to move overseas from Australia

woman being free

Get rid of everything

When moving overseas it's best to get rid of as much as you possibly can. Really love that awesome bicycle you own? Sorry, it has to go. If there are small things you want to keep you can always post them to your new address overseas but if you can do without it then get rid of it.

Ways to rid yourself of crap:

If you plan on selling your crap remember to give yourself a few weeks to do it. A lot of people who buy things off the internet are useless at turning up or even following through with their purchases.

Disconnecting utilities


Very simple to do. Just call them up a few days before you leave to disconnect the services.

Health insurance

I'm currently with AHM and if you call them up they can put your health insurance on hold for a year. Very practical. If you come back for a holiday (to Australia) you can just restart and you don't have to do the waiting periods again. You can also put it back on hold any time. Very handy indeed.

If you can find health insurance that includes travel insurance that's also a bonus. Lucky for me I found a credit card that throw it in compliments of your spending.


This one was actually a kicker for me. I ended up having to pay extra because I forgot to read the fine print for cancellation. Some internet companies cough TPG cough want you to cancel at least 30 days before. If you are leaving before 30 days you might have to pay a cancellation fee unless you find some kind soul to take over your services.

This person's website was very helpful when cancelling my TPG account

Mobile services

If you know you are going to leave sometime in the future make sure you call your mobile provider every couple of months to complain about the shitty service of your postpaid contract account. If you do this it will provide a very easy way for you to cancel the contract without incurring expensive costs that are usually associated with contracts.

When it's time to leave just explain that you wish to cancel your contract due to extremely awful service and you'll usually have your service either heavily discounted or waived completely.

I picked up a super expensive travel SIM as I was travelling to a bunch of different countries on the way. It seemed like the best option. I changed my Australian number to ALDI because it was on $5 to park my number there for a year better than some of the other telecommunications companies. My travel SIM ended up costing me more than $70 for the month because Israel got very expensive. It would have been ok if I hadn't gone to Israel. I've now switched to a SIM card in the country I am in now for practical reasons. But it's still temp at the moment due to the lack of personal number at the beginning of my arrival in Sweden.


It's a good idea to pay your finances ahead of time. Exchange rates are terrible and you don't want to be that person who's traveller cheques aren't accepted. No one does cheques anymore coz they are super lame!

You have some alternatives.

XE Money Transfer is a great way to easily transfer money between your Australian account and your new overseas bank account. It's a little bit of a hassle to setup and they might randomly call you in the middle of the night from some foreign country to confirm you're a legit person.

There is also Transfer Wise as well. It's a much nicer web experience and verification takes less time too! You can easily set it up with Facebook or your Google account. Either way I'll end up using one of the two to transfer money to myself.

Getting stuff done in Sweden

As soon as you have found out if your visa has been approved your next step should be to set up an appointment date to have your fingerprints and photo to be taken at the immigration office.

As soon as you get this card from the immigration office you need to go to the Tax office and ask for a personal number. If at all possible try and get a Tax ID card from them on the same day. They may not be able to do it in which case you will probably have to wait a week and then come back to get the ID card. You can also hand in your forms for Försäkringskassan which you will have to fill in if you are staying in Sweden longer than a year.

All these processes may take more than 2 weeks.

After you have a personal number and an ID card you can apply for a bank account. Bank accounts in Sweden seem to be very difficult to get if you are not a Swede. They don't seem to care if you earn money or that you need to pay people. If you aren't Swedish you can't have a bank account. So make sure you have a personal number and an ID card and you should be able to get one.

If you aren't staying for a year then a organisation number should be ok to get a bank account at some banks. They might give you a maestro bank card (which can be pretty useless) to access your account but they probably won't give you internet banking. Swedbank and Nordea are known for being really difficult when it comes to this. I've had success at SEB in the past so if you find yourself not being able to have financial independence at other banks then try SEB.

Packing your suitcase

As I was travelling to other countries on the way to Sweden. I needed to make sure that my suitcase was going to be compliant with all the airlines weight limits. I had a goal of making my suitcase 20kg even though with my first flight I was allowed 32kg. I looked up the weight limits for all the different airlines that I was flying with. Some ranged from 32kg to 20kg and I decided that it was probably best to aim for 20kg.

** Turns out I still had to pay for extra baggage on my way to Prague because it wasn't specified very clearly on the website. Thank you Air Berlin! **

I donated a lot of clothes to charities so that I could reach my weight limit and with some things I really wanted to keep but didn't need straight away I chucked into a box for shipping at a later date. I still haven't the box sent but I plan on sending it through Pack and Send as they seemed the cheapest when I looked up shipping under 30kg.

I had the unfortunate scenario of travelling to different countries with different weather. I was really hoping that I would be able to pull of the 'no winter clothes' but it fucking started snowing in Sweden before I left Australia so I had to prepare. I had to pack sandals, winter shoes and my normal shoes. I had to pack a jacket for winter and of course my jacket in Australia is really shit because Australia.