Life as an international student in Australia

We all know that in recent years, more and more international students choose to study in Australia. Many international students even fell in love with this land during their studies and finally chose to immigrate to Australia. So, what is the life of an international student in Australia like?


While Australians certainly speak English, the unique native language of Australians may confuse some foreign students: what is a ‘bottle-o’? Why do they always add an ‘a’ to my name? (BTW , bottle-o is slang for a store that sells alcohol. And in Australia it’s very common to add an “a” or “o” to the end of people’s names as the end of their name.)

Australians often like to use sarcasm and irony in their conversations about studying life in Australia. Australian social customs more depend on its open and direct national values, so this may seem like a challenge to those who are not used to it. Don’t be discouraged by these. It’s not that Australians are being rude, excluding you or being deliberately rude; they’re just using language in their unique way, probably just to make you laugh.

Once you have a few Aussie friends, you’ll quickly pick up the slang and may even find yourself using irony to make jokes about studying in Australia.

University culture

Unlike many other countries, most university students in Australia do not live in school and study in Australia. In fact, unless they need to study in another state, most local students don’t live in residence halls at all: they live at home. The whole concept of student life in Australia is different and to accept it you need to forget your expectations of what you are used to.

Whether you choose to sit quietly or make an effort to get to know your peers, everyone will assume you know what you’re doing and that your university experience is entirely determined by your own choices. This also applies to your academic level: if you don’t turn in an assignment, you will lose a percentage of your grades until the deadline has passed, after which you will face failing classes. At Australian universities, you are treated as an adult with full responsibility for your social and academic activities. This may sound intimidating, even aloof, but it’s actually out of respect for personal space and maturity.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask: Australian universities protect the interests and needs of international students to the highest standard in the world. Australians are friendly and will always help you, but they won’t take the initiative to offend you if you don’t seem to need it.

School life

Most students do not live on campus does not mean that there is no campus life to study in Australia. Every Australian university, especially the larger ones in urban areas, has clubs and societies that are almost entirely student-run. These clubs receive a small budget from the university to host events and services for their members, such as barbecues, concerts and day picnics. Many clubs are open to local and international students for trips and activities, and often charge a subsidized fee for weekends, including accommodation, some activities, and sometimes meals.

For example, each college at the University of Melbourne has its own society, and at the beginning of each academic year there is an orientation camp to study life in Australia. These events are student-run and usually aimed at freshmen, but are popular with local students looking to make new friends. These events are a great way to immerse yourself in the strong cultural atmosphere of an Australian university and meet many new people who are in a similar situation to you. Remember: local students new to university are just as nervous about making new friends.

Coffee culture

Eating out is an important part of Australian culture, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to lose your fortune studying in Australia. Australian cafe culture, especially in Melbourne and Sydney, has spread overseas and has spawned a plethora of new cafes in big cities such as New York, London and Paris. Australians take great pride in the quality of their coffee and enjoy their daily coffee without scruples, and the food culture that comes with it is just as rewarding. A mix of rich flavours and fresh local produce, Australian brunch culture is hugely important. As well as homemade cakes and pastries, any trendy, fun-filled Australian cafe will have some kind of egg-based snack special on the lunch menu. In addition to the innovations of avocado, chorizo, feta, thick mushrooms and fresh tomatoes, you can also taste something interesting.

Like the locals

While Australia’s stunning scenery is a must-see for any international student, 89% of Australians live in urban areas, so don’t have to traverse unruly deserts or jungles on the way to class. Aside from a few specific landmarks and odd tourist traps, most people don’t understand the local hotspots and hidden attractions of Australia’s metropolis. Like the pop-up restaurant in the newly remodeled warehouse space, you never know what you might find in a slender city alley.

As we all know, the cost of living in cities in Australia is relatively expensive. So many people find it difficult to imagine how students can afford the rich and colorful social life studying in Australia. While it’s true that the sights you see on guidebooks are expensive. They tend to overshadow the many more modest places to eat and drink. All Australian cities have a plethora of student bars and restaurants where most Australians congregate for a beer on a Friday afternoon or dancing on a Thursday night. Similarly, every city will have some cheap restaurants. That don’t advertise and appear inconspicuous under the cover of more famous, sophisticated restaurants. These places do exist, but you need to know people to take you there.

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