up bank accounts and getting mobile phones,' says Rachel.
For Karen, getting her degree and finishing her final year of college was the last hurdle to overcome before focusing on her trip.
'It's a completely different life over there but I have to go. I have been studying for five years and nothing has changed in the country. My boyfriend and I have no chance of buying or building a house the way things are at the moment. There is nothing here for young people and while it will be really sad to leave our families it is the people that we will miss, not the lifestyle. In Australia people work so they have money to spend and there is a totally different lifestyle.'
As their departure date looms, Rachel and Karen are in the throes of final preparations and their while they will be away for Christmas they are looking forward to their adventure.
'We are going to be away for Christmas but hopefully it will also be so new to us that the excitement will help. We will be meeting up with our friends and family a few times before we leave,' said Karen.
For Rachel the packing has already started and it's full steam ahead for the big move.
'I have started packing but it's all over the place and thrown into the suitcase at the moment! I'll have to start sorting it out soon.'
Rachel and Karen are just two of the many Arklow young people who have decided to leave town and according to local Councillor Pat Fitzgerald there is no sign of a change in the situation.
'I am aware of many people who have left Ireland over the last few years. While some left of choice but the vast majority went to secure employment because of the lack of job prospects in our country and mainly due to the dearth of available positions in Wicklow. While it is difficult to capture the full extent of the emigration crisis there is no doubt we are seeing many well educated and highly skilled people leaving our shores to seek employment and I sincerely hope that we will many of them return in the years to come.'