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American expat who lived in Sydney and Brisbane shared the pros and cons of living in Australia

An American who spent five months living in Australia has blasted Aussies for being ‘super racist’.

Jessie Wang, from San Francisco, shared the six best and worst parts of her time in Brisbane and Sydney in a series of videos last week.

Ms Wang described Australia as ‘super racist’ and said it was the most ‘major con’ when it comes it living Down Under.

‘I have never been humbled so hard in my life because I have been warned Australia is extremely racist for years,’ she said.

American expat Jessie Wang (above) shared her six ‘pros and cons’ of living in Australia after spending five months in Brisbane and Sydney

‘Keep in mind I was pretty much in Brisbane and Sydney the whole time, in major cities.

‘I’m not saying all Australians are racist, most white Australians I met were really nice people, but this does not deflect from the fact that out of the 31 countries I’ve been to I have never dealt with as much racist disrespect as I have in Australia.

‘I never thought about how easy I had it growing up Asian in California, until I went to Australia. I remember my first day of university our chancellor was giving a speech and two white boys were laughing because of his accent.

‘You simply do not see people of colour represented in positions of prominence and  power in Australia at all, and this is incredibly harmful to the way people of colour are viewed in society. 

‘The worst part is that anti-racism is pretty much non-existent. People really want to be like “oh, it’s not that bad in Australia”. It’s not “that bad” because you’re white!’

She highlighted statistics showing 76 per cent of Australians from non-European ancestry had faced some kind of discrimination, while over 80 per cent of Asian people faced racism during Covid.

‘It was literally illegal to go to Australia as a person of colour before 1966. Please stop saying that was a long time ago,’ she said.

She said she struggled to find regular work to get her hours up for her working holiday visa.

Ms Wang (above) compared living in Australia to her home in San Francisco and said Australia is safer but more racist

Ms Wang (above) compared living in Australia to her home in San Francisco and said Australia is safer but more racist

‘Jobs and opportunities in Australia aren’t great,’ she said.

Ms Wang added she was shocked by the state of Australia’s economy and employment situation because she’d grown up hearing Australia is ‘recession-proof’.

‘This idea that Australia has this superb economy is really dated information,’ she said.

‘Ultimately this the number one reason I had to leave Australia early, there wasn’t really any opportunities for me.

‘Even with the typical working holiday visa jobs it was very hard to find 40 hours of stable and consistent work.

‘When it comes to skilled occupations, most places aren’t hiring anyone who does not have permanent residency or citizenship. Even the huge names aren’t sponsoring right now.’

She then said the lack of jobs meant there was no reason for her to stay in Australia longer than five months.

‘Yes the minimum wage is high and you can easily find a job that pays you $30 an hour however, keep in mind 30 Australian Dollars is 20 US Dollars,’ she said.

‘Cost of living in Australian cities is high so it’s really hard to save any money.

‘Why I left is because it did not make sense for me to stay in Australia and do these jobs that I’m completely not interested in, not beneficial for my career.’

She also called out Australia’s location at the bottom of the world, that made it hard to travel overseas.

‘Australia is just so far from everywhere and back when I was in Australia I would always joke that we’re on this floating rock in the middle of nowhere,’ she said.

‘Travelling from Australia to anywhere is so incredibly expensive and inconvenient.

Ms Wang (above) also called out Australia's location, which made it hard to travel elsewhere internationally

Ms Wang (above) also called out Australia’s location, which made it hard to travel elsewhere internationally

‘Back when I lived in New York City I would travel four times a year internationally, I would travel multiple times back to California.

‘I would not have been able to do that if I lived in Australia.’

She said the biggest pitfalls of Australia’s location is the cost and time it takes to takes to even reach neighbouring countries.

‘Even flights within Australia are incredibly expensive. The closest country is New Zealand and that is neither super close or super cheap,’ she said.

‘When I lived in New York I could just hop on an overnight bus and wake up in Montreal for like, $60.

‘Before the pandemic it was pretty common to find round trip flights to Europe for less than $300.

‘Flying from Australia to anywhere is such a long journey.’

However, she declared her love for Australia’s wildlife and scenery.

‘If you don’t get excited about wildlife and nature, I think you can cross Australia off your list,’ she said.

‘Culturally Australia is so not up there but in terms of natural beauty, it is definitely one of the most beautiful places on earth.

‘There was so many times when I was living in Aus that I’d be so frustrated with all the bulls*** I was dealing with and then I’d see a koala and it would make up for it.’

She added he felt very safe while travelling in Australia. 

‘Wildlife in Australia will probably kill you but in general, crime is low,’ she said.

‘Coming back to San Francisco, I totally forgot how unsafe this place is in comparison.’

Ms Wang (above) highlighted Australia's wildlife and good lifestyle but said lack of job opportunities and expensive travel sent her home early

Ms Wang (above) highlighted Australia’s wildlife and good lifestyle but said lack of job opportunities and expensive travel sent her home early

Her last high point for living in Australia was the quality of life.

‘This encompasses so many things, for example food quality. You can go to pretty much any supermarket and buy good quality food and that is not true in California,’ she said.

‘In California, if you don’t know where to shop a lot of the food can poison your body.

‘A lot of the fast food is actually edible. I don’t eat fast food when I’m in California, not because I’m super healthy but because I don’t want an IBS attack for a week.’

She then explained the other aspects that better Australian lifestyle.

‘Another thing is when you compare Australia to other countries that have good quality of life, Australia has way better weather,’ she said.

‘When you compare Australia to northern European countries that also have great quality of life, those countries don’t have sun for the entire winter.

‘Another thing is because of the Asian population in Australia you can find really good Asian food, which you can’t really find in Europe.

‘Obviously no country is perfect and I was surprised to see that poverty is an issue in Australian cities as well.’


  • PROS 
  • Australia has beautiful wildlife
  • Good quality of life
  • It’s safe
  • CONS
  • Australia’s ‘super racist’ 
  • It’s ‘inconvenient’ and too expensive to travel
  • There’s no jobs – especially for working holidaymakers 



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