American expat details the things she wishes she knew before she moved to Australia

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An American expat living in Australia has shared some of the things she wishes she knew before leaving her home country, including expensive avocados, men with long hair and the fact that magpies are ‘hellbound’ creatures.  

Lara Fourie, 18, moved Down Under three years ago, settling in Melbourne with her family to attend school, and she soon learned that life is very different in Oz.

While Lara said she enjoys the adding of ‘o’ to the end of words – like ‘arvo’ – and that she feels ‘safer’ at her high school without the threat of gun violence, she was still shocked to discover a number of things about Australia she hadn’t considered pre-departure.

Lara detailed these things on her popular TikTok account, which has 80,000 followers. 

Lara Fourie (pictured) moved Down Under three years ago, settling in Melbourne with her family to attend school and learning pretty quickly that life is very different in Oz

Lara Fourie (pictured) moved Down Under three years ago, settling in Melbourne with her family to attend school and learning pretty quickly that life is very different in Oz

Magpies are the most dangerous animal

Poll

What’s something you wish you knew about Australia before coming to the country?

  • Magpies are dangerous creatures 0 votes
  • Groceries are expensive 0 votes
  • There are different phrases for common terms 0 votes
  • Netball is a sport 0 votes
  • Men have long hair 0 votes

Now share your opinion

In spring the dreaded male magpie is known for ‘swooping’ on innocent Australians.

Late August to late October is mating season for the breed and they experience a huge increase in the hormone testosterone that encourages them to protect their young.  

‘In Australia we have these hellbound creatures called magpies, and there has always been an ongoing joke that the animals here will attack you but these will literally swoop down from trees and peck at your head,’ Lara said in a video.

With the country now entering the spring season, Lara is terrified of coming across them while she lives in the country.

In spring the dreaded male magpie bird is known for 'swooping' on innocent Australians (stock image)

In spring the dreaded male magpie bird is known for ‘swooping’ on innocent Australians (stock image)

'In Australia we have these hellbound creatures called magpies, and there has always been an ongoing joke that the animals here will attack you but these will literally swoop down from trees and peck at your head,' Lara said in a video

‘In Australia we have these hellbound creatures called magpies, and there has always been an ongoing joke that the animals here will attack you but these will literally swoop down from trees and peck at your head,’ Lara said in a video

Men have long hair

Australian men prefer to grow their hair to shoulder length, Lara has noticed since moving to Melbourne.

‘One thing I first noticed is that a lot of the guys have long hair. In America you don’t see that,’ the 18-year-old said.

‘You very rarely see a guy with hair past his chin but it’s very common here.’ 

While there are no statistics for how many men choose to grow their hair in Australia, surfers can be known to sport ‘man buns’.

Australian men prefer to grow their hair to shoulder length, Lara has noticed since moving to Melbourne (stock image)

Australian men prefer to grow their hair to shoulder length, Lara has noticed since moving to Melbourne (stock image)

There are different phrases used for common things

Lara said that in America an ice block is called a ‘popsicle’, whereas some Australians refer to them as ‘icy poles’.  

‘In America we say swimsuits whereas they say cossies, togs or bathers. And we have four square whereas in Australia it’s called hand ball,’ she said.

Before she moved Lara had never heard or used the word ‘bogan’ before; something that was embarrassing to note when it came up in conversation.

‘The equivalent in America would probably be a redneck,’ she said.

Also, in the United States students get into college with a GPA whereas in Australia it’s called an ATAR. 

‘Everyone in your state is ranked against each other and that’s how you get into university,’ she said.

Lara said that in America an ice block is called a 'popsicle', whereas some Australians refer to them as 'icey poles'

Lara said that in America an ice block is called a ‘popsicle’, whereas some Australians refer to them as ‘icey poles’

Avocados are really expensive

While the food options – like takeaway sushi – were remarkably ‘better’ Down Under, Lara acknowledged that groceries were extremely expensive.

‘Avocados are cheaper in the States, like in Texas they are 60c, whereas in Australia they can be $2 or $3 each,’ she said. 

Eating out for most is a ‘special treat’ because of how much money can be spent on a single outing. 

While the food options - like takeaway sushi - were remarkably 'better' Down Under, Lara acknowledged, that groceries were extremely expensive (stock image)

While the food options – like takeaway sushi – were remarkably ‘better’ Down Under, Lara acknowledged, that groceries were extremely expensive (stock image)

Netball is a sport       

Lara didn’t know netball even ‘existed’ before she moved to Australia. 

‘It’s a sport they play here in Australia and it’s kind of like basketball… although I don’t really know the rules,’ she said.

While she did say it was made for women, mixed netball teams are extremely popular in the country, particularly as an extra-curricular activity at university.  

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