CHEAT SHEET: Student Life in Australia

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You’ve decided to study abroad and, of course, Australia caught your attention with its stunning nature, breathtaking sights and rich culture. However, student life doesn’t consist of mere sightseeing and adventures in the open. Here’s everything you need to know about being a student in Australia.

Communication

While the official language in Australia is English, they have an uncommon approach to it, which might appear somewhat weird to foreigners. First of all, they have their own slang, one that differs greatly from American or British English. So, for instance, if somebody asks you for a pineapple, they’re actually asking you to lend them 50 dollars, a note which is as yellow as the mentioned fruit. Another unique characteristic of Australian language is adding an ‘a’ or an ‘o’ at the end of your name to give you a nickname, or simply to shorten any word. That’s how you get words like bowlo (a bowling alley), servo (gas station), or ta (it means thank you). These shortened words combined with their sense of humor, relying mostly on sarcasm and irony, can sometimes leave you confused. Add to it the fact that the Australians are very open and direct, and you might even think that they are too coarse or rude, or that they’re trying to exclude you from the conversation. In reality, they’re probably trying to make you laugh, so give yourself some time to get used to them and their way of communicating. You’ll probably love it in the end.

Housing

Although many Australian students choose not to live on campus, and simply travel from home every day, the situation is definitely not the same for international students. Choosing to live on or near campus can prove to be useful since it gives students easy access to various academic resources and student clubs. So, if you want to attend your classes, you should opt for housing close to campus, so that you don’t waste too much time on commuting. Another thing to consider is getting a roommate. This is a good way to make a connection in a new environment and make a friend that will share your student life experience with you. Luckily, there are some great options for international students. For instance, you can find amazing student accommodation in Brisbane, one which allows students to choose whether to share an apartment, or live in a studio on their own. Not only is it close to all the major campuses, but it has everything a student might need – from WI-FI, study and communal rooms to gym and even terraces where students can bond over a barbecue.

University activities

Each Australian university offers a wide range of clubs, societies and organizations that are run by students. This can be a very practical way of meeting new people and making friends that share your interests. Plus, if there’s an activity or sport that you used to practice and enjoy at home, it’s very likely that you’ll find it on your Australian campus as well. You might just be looking for a study group, or want to spend time outdoors, surfing, hiking or cycling. Whatever your preferences are, you won’t be disappointed. When it comes to sports, not only will you be presented with a variety of choices, but you can even choose the level, from amateur to competitive. Religious, political, gaming or book clubs, you just name it and it exists. Australian universities take pride in nurturing different points of view and interests of their students.

Off-campus experience

Yes, the universities offer so much to their students, but Australia can offer more. Some of the best things you’ll see and experience in Australia will probably happen off campus. The big Australian cities are a real abundance of awe-inspiring buildings, parks and beaches, which means that there’ll always be something new for you to explore and learn. You can visit one of many restaurants or cafes, and try some of the local cuisine or some of the new coffee blends the Australians are so proud of. Although tourists usually get sent to most expensive places, students can easily find some great ones underneath the radar, where they can have lunch and a hot or cold beverage for a reasonable price. Most university towns also have an exciting nightlife, with many clubs and bars you can visit with your newly-made student friends.

Events like concerts or sports games aren’t rare, either, nor are the museums, theatres, cinemas and other cultural attractions students might be interested in. However, if you are more of an outdoorsy person, you are free to travel beyond the city limits and get familiar with the landscape like no other in the world. Visit the Great Barrier Reef, tour the Outback, feast your eyes on one of the Australia’s pink lakes or explore one of many national parks there. Even if you stay inside the city limits, you can always find beautiful patches of green and the turquoise of the ocean, and enjoy activities such as scuba diving, rowing, or simply cycling around. A lifetime wouldn’t be enough for a student to get bored of what Australia has to offer.

So, if persuasion is what you needed, you got some and more. You still have doubts about studying in Australia? We didn’t think so.

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