Moving to study in a new country is full of small challenges, but IEC Abroad is here to make the transition into student life in Australia as smooth and enjoyable as possible. We provide support for international students studying in Australia to help lessen the effects of culture shock, so here are some of the main aspects of life down under you need to know about.
With Aboriginal, Asian and British influences Australia’s culture has much to offer international students from any nation. Many Australians take advantage of their great weather to pursue an outdoor lifestyle, and there are plenty of opportunities to engage in all manner of sports and recreational activities on Australia’s beaches and landscapes.
Australians are relaxed and direct in their behaviour; with freedom of speech, sexuality and religion ingrained in their society. Australians enjoy mixing with people from different backgrounds and income levels, and newcomers are often welcomed with friendly curiosity. Australians are also quite sarcastic in their use of humour, and often use slang and jokes in both formal and informal conversation.
When many people think of Australia they imagine outdoor barbecues full of shrimp and sausages, but there is far more to Australian cuisine than a few slabs of charred meat. Whilst some influences from its British heritage do remain, Australia’s close proximity to Asia has had a major impact. In Australia you are just as likely to find someone eating a sausage roll or meat pie as you are a bowl of thai noodle soup.
Subsidised halls of residence are uncommon in Australia, so most students live off campus in private rentals, homestay agreements, or hostels. Homestays involve lodging with an Australian family in their private home, and typically cost AU$100-$250 per week, compared to AU$90 for hostel accommodation, AU$250 for private single rentals, and AU$140 for a shared private rental.
International students must demonstrate they possess AU$18,610 per year before being issued a visa, as this is the typical cost of student living in Australia. Expenses vary depending on which area you are living, but you can expect to pay AU$80-200 a week on groceries, AU$60-100 on utilities, and AU$10-50 on transport costs. For leisure activities you would pay around AU$18 for a restaurant meal, AU$7 for domestic beer, and AU$18 for a cinema ticket.
International students may work and study in Australia on a student visa, but there are limitations. During term time you may work 20 hours per week, increasing to 40 hours during official course vacations. You may arrive in Australia 90 days prior to your course beginning, but you must not take up any paid work before this date. These limitations do not apply to work which is mandatory as part of your studies, but some unpaid and voluntary work may count towards your weekly limits.
If you would like more specific details on what living in Australia is like for an international student, contact IEC Abroad today for expert, tailored advice.