This article first appeared on Insider Guides 13th February 2020.
Depending on where you choose to live, Australia offers a unique lifestyle that attracts millions of visitors to its shores each year. Thanks to a combination of sunny weather, breathtaking natural landscapes and diverse cities, many Australians have adopted a laid-back, outdoorsy way of living that’s become a big drawcard for students visiting the country. Here’s a taste of what you can expect.
Australia boasts some of the best universities, colleges and training providers in the world, with many award-winning educational institutions highly rated by both the Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings. As such, Australian educational institutions are top picks when it comes to studying abroad, meaning you’ll feel welcome as an international student.
If you’re lucky enough to be studying at one of Australia’s educational institutions, you can expect world-class teaching and state-of-the-art educational facilities. Campuses are usually equipped with the latest technologies and plenty of spaces for you to study and collaborate with peers. Outside of campus, you’ll find local libraries and community learning spaces where you can continue your education and interact with others.
Australian educational institutions also have vibrant student communities. No matter where you choose to study, there’s sure to be countless social events, sports clubs and other activities you can get involved in to make the most of student life.
Australians are known for being friendly and good-natured, so you’re bound to experience their world-famous hospitality while you’re studying here. The learning atmosphere in educational institutions across Australia is generally very supportive as you’ll be surrounded by like-minded students and tutors who want to help you during your studies. You’re encouraged to interact in class and ask for assistance when you need it.
Assignments are often done in teams, which builds collaboration and communication skills. When you’re working on something solo, you’ll be expected to take initiative and come up with your own ideas – most Australian educational institutions promote independent thinking.
Arts and culture
Australia has a thriving arts and culture scene. Most cities – and even smaller towns – are home to museums, art galleries, theatres, entertainment venues and creative spaces to suit all creative types.
While Sydney and Melbourne are best-known for their arts and culture contributions, you’ll find other cities in Australia also have plenty to offer, with state and independent venues showcasing art, history, music, comedy, dance, acting, writing and more.
Due to Australia’s multicultural population and varied natural environment, the local food scene is incredibly diverse. The fertile rural and coastal regions supply healthy produce to supermarkets around the country, meaning Australians have plenty of fruit, vegetables and fresh seafood available all year long.
Australians also enjoy a rich variety of food from around the world. You can find almost every international cuisine in restaurants, cafes, takeaway eateries and pubs across the country. Don’t forget to try traditional Aussie foods like Vegemite, kangaroo, ANZAC biscuits, Tim Tams and lamingtons during your stay, too.
In Australia, everyone looks forward to the weekend. It’s an excuse to head outside and relax with friends and family. As most of Australia’s major cities are dotted along the coastline, many people head to the beach for a swim or the park for a barbeque lunch.
Cafe culture is big in Australia too, so you’ll often find a lot of people enjoying brunch (a mixture of breakfast and lunch) on Saturdays and Sundays.
Australians also often watch or play sports to unwind and socialise. Cricket and Australian Rules Football (AFL) are popular, as are rugby league (NRL), tennis, swimming, surfing, field hockey, basketball, soccer, netball and cycling.
Since Australia is full of wild landscapes, lots of people like to keep active by going hiking and exploring the national parks and nature reserves outside the city.
If you eventually end up in an Australian workplace, it pays to know how to navigate the local customs. The work/life balance in Australia is said to be pretty relaxed compared to other countries. Australians tend to value their leisure time and often arrive at the office at 9am and head home at 5pm (or shortly thereafter).
Bars and pubs are popular places to chill out in after a hard day’s work, and most Aussies love nothing better than hanging out with friends over a few drinks. If drinking’s not your thing, there are plenty of opportunities to meet up for dinner or see a live music show.