A big concern for many of our students is whether they will ‘survive’ the Australian culture and miss their traditional foods. Rest assured that Australia is a very diverse country and you are bound to find restaurants that cater for your local cuisine and/or get together with others from your countries and cook together. However a big part of studying in Australia is all about learning the culture and joining into the Australian way of life.
Australians have a growing interest in multicultural foods and drinks from across Asia, The Middle East, Europe and Africa and there is a growing awareness of cultural and religious food requirements, such as Halal and Kosher practices. Vegetarianism has gained broader acceptance due to the important role vegetables and vegetable products such as tofu play in Asian, Indian and other international cuisines.
Australian native bush tucker foods remain a novelty. Game meats such as kangaroo, wallaby, emu and crocodile are available as specialty items.
Christmas in Australia, in mid-summer, is likely to involve ‘barbie’ (barbecue), full of seafood and quality steak.
Most students learn to get together and cook in their years at university. This is by far the cheapest and most economical way to get through your studies. The universities we work with have a diverse range of nationalities and as such you are bound to find others from your country or region that you can get together with. Most large cities like Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbaneetc have a good selection of Kenyan, Nigeria, Ghanaian and Pakistani food outlet
Australian cities have excellent public (and private) transport systems, making travelling around them simple.
In Australia, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state. Some states require you to carry an International License with your current foreign license. Other states require you to carry your current foreign driver's license together with a formal translation of your license into English if you want to own your car in Australia.
There are many transport options available for getting around:
Bikes are a cheap means of transportation and healthy too! But wear a helmet and buy a good lock for your bike. Many cities have bike lanes. These are designated lanes just for bikes. Melbourne offers a bike share scheme. Take a bike when you need it and then return it to one of the 50 bike stations throughout the city. For further details checkout the following website www.melbournebikeshare.com.au for more information
Coaches offer more efficient travel between major cities. Further information can be found at: www.austwidecoaches.com.au or www.greyhound.com.au
Buses are also another very convenient way of getting around. Public transport can be inexpensive if used with student discount on offer. Melbourne has a Nightrider service that operates on Friday and Saturday nights. The cost of travelling on Melbourne’s buses is A$9 for a student ticket. Melbourne bus information can be found at: http://ptv.vic.gov.au/fares/tickets/concessions/students. Outside of Melbourne check your local town government website for details of buses in your area.
Australia’s train networks are vast and fairly inexpensive. If you are able to plan your journey in advance and book online it is generally cheaper than buying a ticket at the station. For details of tickets, train times, and journey planners contact National Rail www.railpage.org.au
There are many airlines that fly to Australia, try a comparison website like Expedia www.expedia.co.uk/Flights or Sky Scanner www.skyscanner.net. These will search many providers for the flight you are looking for. Australia has a few domestic airlines offering internal flights within the country, JetStar www.jetstar.com and Tiger Airways www.tigerairways.com being just two. There also many international airlines that fly to Australia:
British Airways: www.britishairways.com
Taxis in Melbourne costs a minimum of A$3.20 then $1.62 per kilometer. Generally using a taxi around can be fairly expensive. The fare is based on time of day, distance travelled and time taken. Fares elsewhere will vary from place to place and are more expensive in the evenings, at weekends and during public holidays.
The majority of Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year.
The northern states of Australia are typically warm all the time, with the southern states experiencing cool winters but rarely sub-zero temperatures.
Snow falls on the higher mountains during the winter months, enabling skiing in southern New South Wales and Victorian ski resorts, as well as the smaller resorts in Australia's island state, Tasmania.
This means that the Australian Christmas takes place at the height of summer. It also means that the mid-year break for students happens in winter. The end of year break for students is commonly known as the 'summer holidays', or the 'Christmas holidays' students are thereby advised to shop in Australia so they can get the appropriate clothing for the seasons.
Accommodation in Australia can include homestays, halls of residence/dormitories, house share or private lodgings depending on the student’s preference or choice and the budget the said student has. Homestays involve staying with a host family who provide room and board as well as feeding and companionship during your schooling. These host families are registered with the school and staying with them can help students adapt faster to the Australian system
Halls of residence/ dormitories are provided by the school. Many universities have accommodation located on or near their campus. Room sizes vary in size and quality. Many have shared facilities (kitchens, toilets, showers, laundry). Some universities can offer shared or private rooms. There may be the option for meals plans that can be included in the cost of the room.
House share involves getting an apartment independently and this gives students privacy. If you prefer a more independent living environment the many universities can assist with arrangements. Private accommodation options have kitchen facilities, are often shared with other students. You would prepare your own meals as the cost of feeding is not included.
It is advisable that accommodation arrangements are made before travelling so as not to get stranded or pay extra fees concerning where to stay on arrival.
Why study in Australia
Studying in Australia promotes innovative, creative and independent thinking. You’ll learn to work as part of a team, to communicate effectively with others and to develop the practical skills and intellectual abilities you need for global success.
The Australian education system has a strong international reputation and is known for its effective structure and innovative policy developments. Many other countries, eager to improve their own education systems, turn to Australia for advice.
Australia offers an attractive lifestyle that is safe, stable and friendly. It has a very diverse multicultural society which helps international students quickly feel at home. You will benefit from a quality education and a good standard of living.
Upon graduating with a degree from Australia students are now allowed to work on the Post Study Work Visa scheme.
In certain cases there may be the opportunity for you to work in Australia if you have studied in a field in which you intend to work once you graduate. This is dependent on if the related occupation is on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). The SOL is a list of skilled occupations that are in need in Australia. In general terms employment opportunities are good for international students graduating with qualifications in skill shortage subjects.
Tuition fees are internationally competitive which, combined with a reasonable cost of living compared to other Western economies, represents good value for money.