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I’m so excited to share another of our Reader stories to inspire your migration adventure! If you’d like to learn more about being featured, check out the Write for Us page here

Missed the last one in the series? Find out about Gemma’s move to Adelaide here. You can also find out about MY move to Brisbane here

Moving to South Australia from Kenya

This week, Becky shares her experience of immigration to Australia from Kenya. 

From Kenya to Adelaide

In this interview with Becky about her immigration to Australia from Kenya with her young son, you’ll learn:

  • Why Becky chose Australia, even though she had never visited before
  • What the experience of immigrating to Australia was like for a single mum and her son
  • What to expect from the experience of moving across the world to a new home
  • Why a positive mindset is so important to your move, especially when it comes to searching for jobs
  • How Becky was able to secure a rental after moving to Adelaide, South Australia!
  • And so much more!

Maybe you’re wondering how to migrate to Australia from Keyna? Or you’re wondering how will your primary school child settle into a new life Down Under? Or you’re wondering the best way to find a job in Australia? This interview has lots of nuggets to share about all of that and much more. Let’s dive in and learn all about Becky and her immigration to Australia from Kenya…

Immigration to Australia from Kenya | Becky’s move to Adelaide

A woman in the ocean in South Astralia after immigrating from Kenya

Welcome Becky! We can’t wait to learn all about your experience with your immigration to Australia from Kenya. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your situation – who did you move to Adelaide with, and what was your experience of moving to South Australia like?

Hi, I’m Becky and I relocated to Adelaide with my son in February 2023 from Kenya. My son was eight when we first arrived. 

I was a counsellor in Kenya, and now I’m currently working as a counsellor and an educator in South Australia.

I came on a 491 skilled visa and I used WWIC as my relocation agency. I chose to use them as they had greater knowledge of the process and I appreciated the help provided. The agents navigated my skills assessment and visa application with great ease. I only had to provide the details. They made it clear what was needed. I appreciated that the agents outlined the necessary documents and I did not have to repeat the process.

Getting a visa was a long process filled with worry and anxiety. It also had a great financial toll but all good things come to those who wait.

Did you take the English language test? If so, which test did you take?

I did the PTE English test as it was a better fit for me. Their online resources are available so you can prepare before the test. Just go through them and trust the journey. I was able to get the results I needed with my first PTE test. 

What made you want to move to Australia from Kenya?

I moved out of curiosity, as I had never visited Australia before! The research showed a great work-life balance that would allow me as a parent to work and be there for my child. That played a major role in my choice of moving to Australia.

I visited my agent and was given an outline of the counties I could choose from, but the thought that kangaroos and koala bears could be on my next drive was a sight I really wanted to see.

How did your family and friends react when you told them you were moving to Australia?

My parents were happy for me. They believed it was my chance to create my own space and experience. Friends were also excited about us moving to greener pastures.

How did your son feel about making the move and how have you both found the experience of moving to a new country together?

A boy in the water in South Australia after moving from Kenya

My son turned nine soon after we arrived. He loved the moving experience but it has taken a toll on him due to lack of friends here as he has felt lonely. Children are resilient though and he is building his own bridges. When we arrived, he played football for a while but had to stop due to the winter weather. His still adjusting but enjoys church where he gets to spend time with other kids. Making friends helps him settle. 

Having your kids here when you first arrive is stressful but it gave me the determination to work hard to ensure I created a stable environment for him. It’s important to trust the process and allow yourself the chance to try it out and get settled as it all takes time. 

It has been hard being a single-income household and having a child with me. I have not been able to do much yet but I have learnt to make do with what is available. There have been people who have come into my life and supported me so that has helped.

I think it helped that we were able to face the challenges together. The one constant that my son had was me so I had to make sure he knew that that would not change and he could rely on me being there.

How did you go about finding jobs? Did you find a job before you moved or did you move without a job?

I moved without a job but on arrival I got a few interviews. Rejections are often sad but trying also gives you a feel of what the market needs. It is all a learning experience. I used seek.com.au to look for work as well as LinkedIn. I got my first job in April so it took me two months to secure it, but there were other jobs that were more immediately available but due lack of transport I had to wait for the right one.

The one thing I learned through all this is to apply for all the jobs that have some relevance to your skills and also work on your CV to create something that outlines your skills. Don’t reduce your ability for any reason as it’s important to show off what you can do. 

Finding work wasn’t easy but confidence counts for a lot. Don’t sell yourself short, aim high and something will come along. I thought I needed to change careers in Australia before I could find something permanent but I tried and got a great job within my own career which was great. 

My tips are when you move to make sure you request a SA recognition of studies, align your CV with the local market and be sure of yourself. Also, networking is important too. 

What was the experience of finding a home in Australia like? 

I rented out my home in Kenya to come to Australia. It has not been easy to find a home in Australia. The majority of agencies were unwilling to rent out a property to me due to my lack of rental history. This slowed down my settlement. I found a forum of fellow Kenyans and found a shared house to begin establishing a rental history so that helped. It’s important to view as many houses as possible and submit lots of rental applications. It’s all about trying. The house prices are extremely high but when you find something that works it’s the best feeling.  

What is the weather like where you live? 

It’s only my first year here, but so far the winter in Adelaide is cold but it’s also a good change. Although we are in winter we still get sunny days. My tip is to be ready to keep warm and wear a raincoat for this part of the country during winter time!

What has been your experience with the wildlife in Australia? 

We haven’t had any negative experiences with wildlife. I have seen spiders but they’re not as big as I had heard. Nature is a part of this beautiful land. I may have not seen much yet but as long as we respect the environment there is a great possibility nature will work with us rather than against us. I can’t wait to see more wildlife as we begin to explore. 

What do you wish you’d known about moving to Australia before you started the process? Do you have any tips to help other people who are considering immigration to Australia from Kenya or from another country?

It’s a journey that no one can predict. Do not rush into decisions and make sure you do your research. Ask as many questions as possible! Australia is a large continent no two areas are the same so choose where to move carefully. Be willing to discover with your own eyes too as online research is good but seeing with your own eyes is important. 

I am loving the work-life balance here in Australia!

What are you most looking forward to doing over the coming weeks/months/years
I hope to start sightseeing and exploring. I am looking forward to getting through winter so we can start enoying the beautiful outdoor environment in South Australia.

Thanks for sharing your experience of immigrating to Australia from Kenya, Becky! 

Thanks so much, Becky for sharing your story about moving to Adelaide, South Australia with your son. 

If you’re keen to share your experience of relocating to Australia, make sure you check out the Write for Us page here! Published entries receive a $50AUD digital Mastercard.