About Australia is the essential guide for international students with Australian travel information. Read our blog about Australia.
Because Australia is situated in the southern hemisphere, celebrating New Year’s Eve on the beach or visiting the snow for a bit of skiing in July is a very popular and commonplace occurrence.
Australia’s weather, in comparison to other countries, can be quite extreme, with summer days becoming very hot and humid in the northern states and hot and dry in the southern. Winter in the southern states can become quite cold and wet with some areas experiencing extensive snowfall.
If you are visiting central Australia, expect desert conditions, with the weather becoming very hot and dry through the summer and extremely cold at night during winter with temperatures often dropping below zero degrees.
Outdoor activities, especially sport and barbeques, are a central part of the Australian lifestyle. The availability of water and sport activities makes life very appealing in Australia.
Most cities and towns offer community swimming pools, recreational parks and bike paths. A large part of Australian culture involves the beach, with most cities clustered along the Australian coastline to take advantage of the beautiful ocean views and clean sands.
There are many opportunities for you to explore life in Australia, whether you chose to travel independently or with a group. Australia hosts plenty of extraordinary natural wonders to see.
The Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park and Uluru (Ayers Rock) are only some of the amazing places you can experience. Or if it’s bright lights and big cities that excite you, the metropolitan cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth are sure to keep you entertained.
Australia and the Australians
Australia is a country many of the world fascinate about, especially after the Crocodile Dundee Movies. As Australians we are often asked amazing questions such as do students really ride kangaroos to school each day? The answer is simply no. Australia is mainly outback dessert however most Australians do actually live in large cities situated close to the coast, for the main reason that it is to hot and to remote to live in the outback. Also most of Australia's kangaroos are located in the wild or in national parks and only freely wander the streets in rural areas.
Australians are very laid back and friendly people, who enjoy the simple things in life such as family and the outdoors. It is no wonder that Australians spend so much time outdoors with some of the most stunning beaches located right on our door step. Australians lead a pretty active life style enjoying their sports including Australian Rules Football or the AFL, surfing, snow boarding, rugby, tennis, cricket, bush walking, mountain biking the list goes on.
With it's amazing temperate weather making Australia ideal for an out doors life style, most Australian's are very proud of their big back yards and proudly own a barbeque for all year round entertaining. Australians dress casually to fit in with their active life styles and save getting dressed up for work or special occasions.
Such a magical country with so much to see and enjoy, as well as having some of the most friendly locals in the world. It is a must for you to come and visit.
Arriving in Australia
It is important to have an understanding of Australia's quarantine laws, during the students flight to Australia they will be given Incoming Passenger Card to fill in. These cards need to be filled in accurately as they ask questions regarding items being carried in the passengers luggage. It is important that each passenger fills these cards in truthfully to prevent any dangerous items being brought into Australia.
It can be a frightening experience entering a new country alone, if you need assistance there are officials located throughout the terminal that can be asked for help and directions.
Clearing Immigration and Customs Check Points
After leaving the airplane have your Passport, Visa, Incoming Passenger Card and Confirmation of enrollment ready before heading to the Immigration check point. After clearing the check point head towards the baggage hall. Here travellers are required to claim their luggage and go to the customs and baggage examination area.
As mentioned earlier it is a great idea to be aware of items which need to be declared when entering Australia. There are two different coloured channels in the customs and baggage examination area, these are the green channel and the red channel. If there is nothing in need of declaring then follow the green channel, and if there is something that does need to be declared follow the red channel.
When entering the red channel, officials will x-ray travellers luggage. The official will ask the traveller to open their luggage so they can inspect the items. It will be up to the official whether or not the traveller is allowed to keep the item. If not it will be quarantined, it may be returned to the owner at a later date.
If a passenger fails to declare an item and is caught with it they will be given a $220 on the spot fine. As well as the off chance of being prosecuted and fined $60,000 and spending 10 years in prison.
There is a full list of prohibited items on the Australian Quarantine Website. The most common items brought into Australia include:
* Food products
* Plant Material
* Animal Products
* Money of more then AU $10,000 being carried with them.
A common mistake is bringing in prohibited prescription medicines, as many have restrictions in Australia. Obviously all fire arms, weapons and ammunition are prohibited from entering the country.
Leaving the Airport
Once having cleared the check points the student will arrive in the arrivals hall. Here there are currency exchange booths available. This is where the passenger will meet any one who is picking them up. If there is no one picking them up there are public transport options or taxi ranks available outside the terminal.
Many students will need to transfer to a domestic flight. There will be signs directing them to the domestic terminal. If required there are Airport Shuttle Buses outside the terminal which will take the passenger and their luggage to the domestic airport.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship handles all visa matters in Australia. It is important to be aware of all regulations concerning your student visa. If found to be not complying with the visa regulations, the visa may be cancelled meaning deportation.
Visa conditions are available on the letter of approval which would have been received by the student. Read these regulations and abide by them, as failing to do so can also mean being prohibited from entering Australia for a further 3 years. The most common mistake made by students is working longer hours then what is allowed, or over staying their visa without applying for an extension.
If the student needs to change their details, educational providers or need a visa extension they will be required to contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
- The currency used in Australia is Australian dollars, or AUD.
- Countries surrounding Australia include Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Zealand.
- Before European settlements came to Australia, Indigenous Australians, more commonly known as Australian Aboriginals, occupied the continent.
- Australia is comprised of 6 states; Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, and South Australia, and 2 territories; Australia Capital Territory, and Northern Territory.
- Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres and is situated on the Indo-Australian Tectonic Plate
- The Oceans surrounding Australia include the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
- Australia is a very dry continent, and has been affected by droughts for many years
- Australia is a large exporter of opals, coal and wool.
- Australia is the only country, which is also a whole continent. Compared to other continents, Australia is the driest, smallest and flattest.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru, The Great Barrier Reef, and The Twelve Apostles.
- In Australia, there are over 1500 species of Australian Spiders, 4000 species of ants, and 6000 species of flies.
- Within Australia there are over 150 million sheep, while the human population currently sits at 22 million.
Australia is located on the southern hemisphere and as one of the smallest continent and largest island of the world, is made of six states and two major mainland territories; including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory.
Originally a British territory in the 1900 hundreds; currently is a commonwealth continent, it give people the opportunity to enter and leave as they desire with the appropriate paper work for international individuals. Australia is the only place that is simultaneously considered a continent, a country and an island, with more than 21 million habitats is about the size of 48 contiguous United States and there is enough space for everyone to live comfortably and affordably. With low interest rates, economy is doing well, the labor market is flexible and the business sectors are very competitive.
This continent is well affordable and its low crime rate is appealing to tourist; its openness to accept people and treat everyone equally is a trait Australians takes pride in. From various religious beliefs to cultural background being diverse within the Australians you can certainly find a little bit of everything.
Australia was the second country to give women the right to vote and today it treats men and women equally, nobody is superior than someone else just because of their title and everyone gets treated as a person.
Water is precious to Australians and being one of the driest inhabited continents on earth, bush fires are common in Australia. Yet it has some of the worlds most beautiful beaches and sea life in the universe.
Is a land like no other, with more than one million different native species, there are more than 80 per cent of the country’s reptiles, over 50 types of marine mammals and frogs are only unique to Australia along with its freshwater fish, 4000 fish species, 1700 coral species and almost half of its bird, 828 species are all only seen in Australia. Along with other animals like: crocodiles, kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, dingoes, platypus, wallabies and wombats.
Where else could you climb a bridge like in Sydney Harbor? Or visit an opera house down by ocean like Sydney’s Opera House and still take a hike in the rainforest absorbing all its nature and beauty?
Australia is one of a kind, for reasons people may not even know about, is true, its beaches and sightseeing are some of the best in the world and it has been classified various of times as a destination to visit, but its unique food like seared kangaroo filet and adventurous in snorkeling, scuba diving, helicopter tours and the great Barrier Reef with thousand of species living under water, makes Australia a must see, must learn more location.
A spirit of egalitarianism runs through out the continent that embraces tolerance, mutual respect, and compassion for those in need. Australia also holds firmly to the belief that no one should be disadvantaged or treated differently. Is the six largest continents in the world but is a location with top ranks in human dignity, well behavior towards others and taking care of their land.
Everyone who visits Australia will definitely feel at home and welcomed.
Australians are naturally out doorsy people, with the amazing outback and spectacular beaches it is know wonder most of the activities undertaken here are based out doors.
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Finding the right accommodation
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Study in Australia - Videos
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Culture and society
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Life in Australia
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Live in Australia
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From beautiful beaches, bustling cities and the magic of the red centre Australia is a country that offers one plenty to see and do. The Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Wave Rock, Sydney Opera House, Kangaroo Island and Kakadu National Park are only a few of the many attractions that Australia has to offer.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, and is home to an array of sea life and birds. At 300,000 square kilometres the Great Barrier Reef is so large that it is even visible from space. Stretching from north of Cape York to the coastal town of Bundaberg, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Every year the Great Barrier Reef, with its turquoise waters, idyllic environment and perfect diving sites, attracts visitors from all around the world.
Life in Australia - Student Life in Australia
Australia is the only country in the world that is its own continent and has a land mass of roughly the same size as the continental United States. And offers visitors some of the most diverse scenery seen anywhere in the world. Australia is a country of roughly 20 million people and will continue to grow at an extraordinary rate over the next 30 years to accommodate another 15 million by 2040. Australia is one of the largest mineral exporters in the world and has significant contracts with China, the USA, and Japan for raw material.
So there is a lot more to Australia that meets the eye.
Life in Australia happens on the east coast and over 85% of Aussies find their home there. The east coast of Australia was the region that was settled first by Europeans at the end of the 18th century and the colony of New South Wales spent its first worrying years near starvation and under the assault of some of the indigenous clans that made their home in the area that would become Sydney. It was a miracle that the new colony even got off the ground in the first place, but through plucky determination, dumb luck and the inspired leadership of Arthur Phillip and his humanity that the colony flourished and continued to grow over the next decade. Norfolk Island, Hobart, Melbourne and the colony in Redcliffe were born over the next 30 years and the country began to take shape becoming the Commonwealth of Australia at the turn of the 20th century. It is interesting to note that those first settlers thought that the country could not sustain a farming community in the European model, but over time flood plains were discovered in New South Wales and Victoria and significant farming was underway.
But people don’t come to Australia to hear stories about farming, but come to see many of the awesome sights that Australians pass by everyday and take no notice of at all. Australia has some extraordinary man-made and natural sights in the world. The greatest of the man-made sights is the Sydney Opera House that stands in Sydney Harbour welcoming the ships of the world to come and find safety in the world’s largest deep water harbour. Sydney Opera House is still relatively young though and was only completed in the 70’s after significant dispute between the parties involved in its design, development and construction. The designer of the Sydney Opera House has never seen it and most probably never will having ambiguous feelings about the other parties involved in the creation of this icon of the world.
Of the great natural sights that Australia has to offer two stand out more than many of the others, although significant in themselves. And they are Ulura (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef on the Queensland Coast. Ulura is not quite in the heart of Australia, but is pretty close to it and is a significant spiritual place for many indigenous people in the area. Ulura still remains one of the country’s significant international icons and a tourist Mecca for millions of people throughout the world. While the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s most significant reef and has many gateways to it on the Queensland coast and has been the subject of more documentary films than anything else in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is a diving wonderland and has seen significant tourist numbers make use of the reef in the past 50 years. The Great Barrier Reef is over 2000 kilometres long and is the home of still many undiscovered species of fish and sea life that has not been catalogued. So the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef is paramount for Australia.
There are four major culture myths that make up the Australian psyche and if you are going to do life in Australia then you will need to understand them a little.
‘The Australian Dream’ is the myth that developed largely out of the prosperity of the 1950’s and centres around the ownership of property, a house in particular. It is reported that the number one desire of most Australian families is to own a house in the suburbs and on the surface this seems to be true. And can be testified too because of the large urban sprawl that spread out from all Australian state capitals since the end of the Second World War when those veteran’s who survived the campaigns in North Africa and the Pacific returned home to settle down and start families. The Australian Dream is the dream of middle class Australian’s and it is a significant rite of passage for many people in that socio-economic group, up there with getting married and first communion. While the promise (opportunity) of home ownership is a significant drive for many of the recent and diverse migrants to Australia, ‘The Australian
Dream’ is the country’s most capitalistic myth and lays at the heart of economic life in the country.
The notion of ‘The Fair Go’ underpins the essential democratic nature of the country. It is ironic that, in spite of this myth and the belief that Australian’s have about themselves that they are a people who are devoid of a class system. Australia is a fierce international competitor in the sporting arena and expectations of Aussie’s winning looms large over all Australian athletes. There are also divisions within Australian society and it is still difficult for indigenous Australians to get a foothold in society. But the myth serves its purpose and it is still widely believed and all Australians can use the myth in their favour when they are moving through the different stations of life. Even international students when they come up against difficulty in Australia can appeal to people to give them a ‘Fair Go’ and find that people often will.
Many Australian’s believe that they are an ‘Underdog’ and the idea of always supporting the ‘Underdog’ is as old as the Bible where the young shepherd boy David defeated the Philistine monstrosity Goliath in a fight to the death and support for the ‘Underdog’ is an essential myth of many cultures around the world. Not just Australia. But Australian’s have turned support for the ‘Underdog’ into an art form that has made them buy swimming pools for Senegalese swimmers who came last in their Olympic heats, supporting the Japanese rugby union side when they did not have a hope in Hades of winning and becoming the cheer squad for mediocre English cricketer Phil Tufnell. Supporting the ‘Underdog’ is by far Australian’s most endearing trait and it is when Australians support someone who they believe to be an ‘Underdog’ they that are at their most ego evasive. The support of the ‘Underdog’ is a purely emotional response to a person’s plight but it has a purpose and it is good to know that people will help you if they perceive you as an ‘Underdog’.
So from here we turn to one of the negative cultural myths in Australia. And that is the idea of ‘Culture Cringe’. No element of the Australian psyche has been more satirized then Australian’s sense of shame about their place in the world. Many Australian’s are (still) ashamed about where they come from. And it can be off putting for many visitors to Australia. Bill Bryson in his book ‘Down Under’ commented about this when he met an Australian woman in a rural town who insisted on telling him how awful Australians were. He said Australian’s at their most neurotic were downright frightening and he is right. And there was the time at a comedy gala in Canada when Australian comedian Adam Hill insisted on apologizing for Steve Irwin, in spite of the fact that Irwin was a cultural icon in North America who changed the nature of documentary film making. In reality Aussies do not have a lot to be ashamed off and play themselves down by insisting that they are a second rate people who have not achieved anything. While the fact of the matter is, is that Australia is a diverse society that administers itself well, has produced some extraordinary people and is seen as quirky alternative to the United States and Britain.
English is the language most used in Australia, although it is still not an official language. 80% of Australians use English in their home and Australian English is seen as an alternative to the language of the UK and US. Australian English is the 6th largest style of English used and Australian English is the inspiration for many of the weird phrases used by other English speakers throughout the world. Australian English has its own unique accent and vocabulary and is spoken broadly, generally and culturally. There seems to be no class divisions with the use of the different accents although middle class Aussies and women tend to speak with a general accent and upper class Australian women speak with a cultured accent. While a considerable portion of 2nd generation Australian’s are bilingual and there are 70 indigenous languages been spoken today throughout the country. Chinese is the second most common language in Australia, while Italian and Greek come in third and fourth. Australia has its own sign language spoken by roughly 7000 hearing impaired people called AUSLAN.
As an international student you will need to have a good grasp on the English language and it is good to know that Australia is one of the administrators of IELTS and English language schools are common throughout the country and can be found in all major universities. Your AA Education Agent will help direct you to the best language school for you and a list of language schools can found at the AA Education Network website.
So, what are the benefits of studying in Australia?
Australia is a multicultural society where roughly 25% of Australian citizens were born overseas. Australia has over 100 different ethnic groups that make their home in Australia and Australia has some of the best weather, beaches, night clubs, pubs, parks, rainforests, lagoons, waterfalls, and wildlife on the planet. The people are friendly and relatively good natured a lot of the time and will give you a ‘Fair Go’. Australian education qualifications are accepted throughout the world and you will have an opportunity to study at some of the finest and most respected institutions that the country has to offer. There are also a range of sporting clubs, cultural organizations and art forums that you can join. Australian educational institutions offer high quality outcomes and par well with North America and Britain in cost. Australian educational institutions are very democratic in they way they are administered and laid back in style. But the
credentials that they offer are second to none.
Australia also has many of the amenities of Europe and has one of the best communication systems in the world. And it is easy to access money in Australia and there are banks in Australia that you can get accounts with that have ATM’s, on line banking and face to face customer service. The Australian banking system survived the last recession relatively unscathed and all accounts are insured by the Federal Government. An international student can also bring $10 000 into Australia undeclared and much more if they declare it. Money orders, promissory notes and other financial documentation can be brought into the country as well. As an international student who holds a visa with the subclass designation of 8105 you will only be allowed to work 20 hours per week during the semester, so you will need to have funds of $400 per week to live in Australia without hardship. But work for international students in Australia is common, if not glamorous and you can pick up part-time work relatively easy.
Life in Australia is good, the country has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and the weather is temperate most of the year round. So consider Australia as a study and travel destination.
Best Places in Australia
Deciding which city would be the best place to live in Australia takes time and a lot of research. It does not only depend on the features of every city, but it also requires taking into consideration personal needs and interests. Putting this information together can help students making more assertive selections and will prevent unexpected surprises once settled in Australia.
First of all, you will need to identify what you require as a student. Is entertainment a priority? Or would you rather go for a quiet, slow- paced environment? Australia can cater for both, and you will find that the bigger the city, the more nightlife, economic activity and enjoyment options you will have, although the cost of living and the population levels rise. Sydney and Melbourne, for instance, are busy and populous, which drives high prices due to higher demand and development.
If having a restricted budget is not your case, then you might go to any of the largest cities without worrying about high accommodation prices, tuition fees, transport and living expenses. However you can also base your decision on other factors such as lifestyle, which is highly influenced by climate and location. A research on weather conditions would give and idea of the activities and social interaction in every community.
As a reference, cities with hot summers and easy access to the coast will attract those who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle and other summer activities. But once the season is over and cold temperatures take place, many would regret not choosing a destination with a less variable climate. Fortunately, Brisbane offers attractive weather conditions all year round: hot summers that involve some rain and warm winters that will not stop you from enjoying the beach, the backyard and multiple outdoors activities. This convenient climate remains almost the same across Queensland, which allows visitors and residents to enjoy popular destinations such as the major theme parks in Australia and the coast line.
Besides affordability and lifestyle, students should also take into account the salary levels offered by Australia’s capital cities. Big centres of economic activity like Sydney, Melbourne and even Perth have the highest salaries rates, but they are also known for the high cost of living whereas places with a lower average income are more affordable due to isolation or demographic features like population or development levels. In this case, Brisbane, fallowed by Adelaide, seems to find a balance offering a relatively lower income (compared to Sydney) against a cheaper cost of living, but without the isolation of Perth, Canberra or Hobart.
Finally, is worth mentioning that whether you choose moving to a busy and expensive city or a quiet and affordable area, the best place for a student is that one providing a good balance between economic opportunities and cost/quality of living, compromising personal well-being, environment and social conditions. An extensive research on these elements will give you solid arguments to base your final resolution.
Welcome to Australia! Australia Experts help you to get prepared for your stay in Australia.
Find out more about Australia's general facts, its history, demographics as well as economy. Have a closer look at Australia's beautiful nature and learn some basics about immigration to Australia. Apply now and receive benefits via the AA Education Network. Enjoy your virtual trip through Australia!