Fast Facts Australia
Study and life in Australia
One will experience a different culture and life style from what he has been used to. If you don’t get good information and awareness about the country, you may undergo a “Culture Shock” of the “blues of new place”. It is important to observe the habits, reactions and customs of people. Learn as much as you can, get info-rich but never ever change your traditional values and your real self.
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- Australia is one of the most multi-cultural societies in the world. Over 20% of Australian citizens were born overseas and they are drawn over from 200 different nations. Around 20% of Australians speak a language other than English in their home.
- Although it is predominantly a Christian society, all forms of religion are represented in Australia and they are freely practised.
- Australians are generally friendly, direct and informal in their dealings with each other. Australian’s believe in equality and a “fair go”. People who work in non-professional or “blue collar” jobs such as cleaners, bus driver etc receive the same respect as those who work in professional jobs. Also it is illegal to discriminate against others on grounds of race, gender, religion etc.
- Punctuality is important, therefore if you are running late, you should always inform whom you are meeting.
- People in Australia form queues to buy food, wait for service from a bank teller, to board a bus or train and it is impolite to push ahead of someone already in the queue.
- People often use the first name, even with respected elders.
There is a lot more you will learn about Australian people but be positive, be flexible and try to adapt. listen, observe and ask whenever you are in doubt.
The method of studying in Australia may be very different to what you have experienced so far. Therefore it is important to give yourself a head start. Keep up to date with Australian news and current affairs and become familiar with Australia’s education system and learning culture. When you arrive, practice listening to the Australian accent – it is different but you will soon understand the local terms and way of speaking.
In Australia, students are expected to conduct independent research, collect and analyze data by themselves or in-groups, to raise questions, to participate in discussions and debates with other students and teachers. Rote learning does not exist and students take an active part in the learning process. Students spend a great deal of time in libraries and laboratories conducting their own research. To be a successful student you will need to adapt to these new methods of learning and assessment. Students are assessed continuously through essays, presentations, tests, assignments etc. One thing that may surprise you is the amount of access that you will be able to obtain with your tutors and lecturers. If you are having an academic problem, discuss it with them – don’t let it develop from a minor issue into a major problem for you.
Australia is Situated between, and isolated by, the Indian and Pacific oceans. It has many plants and animals, which unique in the planet. The surface geology is typically old and flat.
In land area, Australia is the sixth largest nation and it has, however, a relatively small population. Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands and also is the driest inhabited continent on earth.
Nearly a third of Australia is in the tropics and the rest is in the temperate zone : Summer is from December to February; autumn from March to May; winter from June to August; and spring from September to November.
Although English is the official language, a host of other languages like French, Spanish and Hindi are spoken in Australia.
Australia is a safe, friendly, sophisticated and harmonious multi-cultural society in which students can learn, travel and live harmoniously. Australia is a safe country compared to almost any other country in the world. Crime and political unrest are rarely seen in Australia. Your study plans and progress are not likely to be upset by political turmoil.
People from about 200 countries have migrated to Australia, making Australia one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. The multicultural nature of Australian society means international students are readily accepted by other students and teachers.
Australia is rich in arts and music. In music, Australia has developed a fertile environment that supports a great range of musical tastes ranging from the most avant-garde experimental to folk, from the youthful sounds of chart-busting pop to the unique music of the aboriginal people.
Painting in Australia has a history that can not only be traced back to forty thousand years of Aboriginal culture but is also represented in the major museums and galleries of modern and avant-garde art, worldwide.
Australians are open, warm and friendly people and you will find a welcoming embrace in Australia. Many students living in home stay situations experience Australian family life in a natural, friendly way and often find they are treated like a family member. Wherever you live?; home stay, boarding school or campus accommodation – you will discover many opportunities to make lasting friendships.
Australia is predominantly a Christian country; however, all religions are represented in the community. Devotees will find churches, mosques, temples and synagogues located in most major cities.
Sports and recreation
Australians are very keen to sport and outdoor activities and has a world wide reputation for sports and outdoor activities. This is endorsed by the Olympic Committee’s selection of Sydney to host the Olympic Games in the year 2000.
Australia has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, tramways, ferries, two major national airlines and a number of regional airlines. Metropolitan areas are divided into zones and your ticket type and cost depends on which zone you are going to travel in and for how long.
Tourist students may drive in Australia on a valid overseas driver’s license but if the document is not in the English language the visitor must carry a translation with the permit. An international driving license is not sufficient by itself.
Metered taxicabs operate in all major towns and cities . There is a minimum charge on hiring and then a charge per kilometer travelled. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped.