Living in Sydney

The stunning importance of well-being and sports

Sydney is a very special city. It is located along two winding estuaries, and a few islands. If you wish to drive from one part of the city to the other, you will need to cross many inlets. As you may have understood, driving a car is the most complicated thing, and it is often simpler and faster to travel by ferry or your own boat moored in one of the many harbours of the city. Sydney is also characterized by a quite anarchic urbanism, with a very limited inclination to save old buildings. Luckily enough, demonstrations in the ‘70s avoided a project of bulldozing the docks built at the beginning of the XXth century. Totally renovated, this lively and trendy area is absolutely successful.

Well-being, fitness and sports are extremely well considered. On Manly Beach, located 10 km North from Sydney, activity begins before sunrise: no later than 6:00 am, young as well as older people are jogging on the beach, swimming in the waves, attending fitness courses… before going to the university or office. The classical schedule would be: sport from 6:00 to 7:00 am, office from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and then, sport again! Teenagers follow their parents habits: 14 years old youths can wake up at 5:30, go surfing, and be at school at 8:00 am.

This inclination towards sports is also acknowledged by companies: they authorize their appointees to be at the fitness center at noon, and may pay the annual fees.

Relationships at the office are simple, direct, and hierarchy is not really visible

However, this seeming laid-back attitude is not contradictory with professionalism and strict demands at the office. No matter how many hours you work, results are the key-word. You can be called into the boss’ office and leave the office with you box before noon: “would you use the front door or do you wish your box to be brought to your car?. Anglo-Saxon culture of individual result is real, nevertheless, lifestyle is more encouraged than individual social success. Hélène, a French woman who has been living in Sydney for a year, is employed in a rental car company. She says that the atmosphere at work is totally different from France: “in Paris, I was part of a team standing together, showing solidarity. Here, there is no team, it’s every man for himself. It’s not a competition to be the best one, just indifference, you stand alone and do your job as well as possible!”

Christopher is british and has been living in Sydney for over 10 years. He is absolutely enthusiastic,  and does not want to go back home in the UK: “Life is simpler here, people are more cheerful and positive than in the UK. They just go forwards, and keep a strong appetite for their quality of life”.

A city of immigrates and expatriates

You will find a large number of French in Sydney, especially young people who came here to find a job and improve their English. Australia gives generously working permits to under 30 and attracts many Europeans. However, life is expensive and many of them are tempted by the outback adventure: they buy a second-hand camper and discover this country as big as a continent. Expatriates enjoy the Australian quality of life and benefit from the various international schools: German International Shool, Sydney Chinese School, Japanese School, International Grammar School, and the French Lycée Condorcet, from nursery school to high school). Everyone, either expatriate or Australian, wants to live in a detached house. This explains why the city is so sprawled, as well as the huge traffic jams. Most expatriates live in Manly Beach, a residential center, but far away from the office areas.

In Sydney, like everywhere, choosing where you live is quite puzzling!