Please enter a keyword/s to search for courses, institutions or site content.

An International Student Guide to Studying in Australia

While Australia has some of the best universities in the world, with a climate that’s as warm and friendly as the locals, living there can still be a daunting prospect for those moving from overseas. Getting used to the lifestyle and culture isn’t that difficult though and, with a little hard work and courage, you can start your new life there without any trouble.

Use Your Support Network

One of the easiest ways to acclimatise to your new life is to make use of your university’s international student services. These can provide assistance through the following means:

    A group of International Students at the University of New England
  • Orientation programs
  • Local advice and info
  • Visa assistance
  • Insurance consultations
  • Language/learning advice
  • Career counselling

All major educational institutions in Australia have these services available so you should find out what’s on offer within the first few days of settling into your dorm room.

Learn the Lingo

While almost everyone speaks English in Australia, the slang can provide problems to those new to the land. The sooner you learn these new words, the sooner you can start chatting with the locals and understand everything they’re saying! For the new learner, there are plenty of language websites about Australian slang so you can broaden your vocabulary and get yourself prepared to converse fluently with people once you’ve arrived. From arvo to yobbo, there are plenty of words you’ll need to remember to make it easier for you to live your day-to-day life.

Make New Friends

This is one of the most important steps to getting used to living in a new country. As a new student, you’ll have plenty of chances to meet people and make some new friends including:

  • Talking to people at registration
  • Socialising in your dormitory
  • Chatting with those in your class

Australians are generally friendly people and are quite easy to befriend. Just be brave and you should have a host of friends, both local and foreign, to go and hang out with after class and on weekends. This will also be a great way to get advice on how to get around, where to eat, where to shop, etc. from those who have lived in the area for longer than you.

Join a Club

Life simply isn’t as fun without some sort of hobby to take up your time. So that you don’t mope around on days off, why not see what types of clubs are on offer and find something amazing to do? Top Australian universities usually have a wide selection of societies to join up with, some free and some with yearly charges. A small selection of these can be found for your information below.

  • Soccer
  • Rugby
  • Fencing
  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • Anime
  • Gaming

Whatever your interests, you should be able to find a university club which gives you something to do during your spare time. There’s also no better way to make friends as you socialise on a regular basis with those who have the same passion as you.

Volunteer Your Time

A group of Universaity Students in If you’re looking for something more meaningful, you can also volunteer at one of the many charity organisations around the country. If you are interested, you’ll be happy to find Australian Volunteers International has a range of local and overseas options. In this way, you can gain some valuable experience and get a decent chance to improve the lives of others while socialising at the same time.

This is a great way for international students to improve their resumes, give something back to the community, and meet new people. Volunteers can take care of an old person’s garden, look after homeless cats, drive sick people to the hospital and so much more.

Attend Events

Lastly, integrating into the Australian culture is easily done by checking out some of the local festivals, fairs and concerts that are being held. Since you have time as a university student, this is an excellent chance to experience some of the biggest events the country has to offer.

Then there are days like New Year’s Eve, Anzac Day and Australia Day when there are festivities all over the country. During your time as an international student, you should definitely attend these occasions and witness how the locals enjoy and celebrate life.

This guide should give you the basics of how to enjoy your new life in Australia. Whether you’re studying here for four months or four years, we are sure you’ll have an absolutely amazing time experiencing the Land Down Under and everything that it can offer. From its warm, friendly locals to its beautiful natural scenery, this is one of the most memorable nations on Earth and you are very lucky to be able to study here.

About the author

Eliza Devereux is a freelance writer working with DEC International, a gateway to one of the biggest training and education providers across the globe, including Australian universities.

Image Credits

International Students at the University of New England

Image credit: UNE Photos, License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Image source:

A group of University Students

Image credit:, License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Image source:

See all news stories

Last updated: Monday, 21 July 2014 9:28:17 AM

Rate this page

  • Rate as Helpful9 Helpful votes
  • Rate as Not helpful2 Not helpful votes