Studying abroad as an international student can be a rewarding experience for personal growth and development as you study in foreign lands, learning about new cultures and meeting different kinds of people. There may also be struggles that you’ll face during your time abroad. However, there are steps that you can take to succeed in your international educational adventure. This article will address how you can excel as an international student in Australia.
1. Seek Advice When Needed
Don’t be afraid to seek advice when you need it. If you want to excel as an international student, check with the University that you’re attending in Australia to ascertain what guidance services they have available to exchange students. Each university administration wants to see students succeed. Utilize the advisory services that are available to you so that you can make an easier transition into the Australian university and culture. Some of the top universities in Australia are listed below.
- University of Melbourne
- University of Sydney
- University of Queensland
- Australia National University
Each of these four universities have received a Top 5 local ranking, 5 Star ranking and are in the Top 5 Universities in the World. The teaching style in Australian universities utilizes varying learning methods such as: assignment-based learning, collaborative learning and peer learning. As the universities have started to adopt the implementation of new technologies, the faculty and administrators have become more “aware of social context influencing student learning.”
2. Assess the Cost of Living
Another factor that directly relates to whether or not you will excel in Australia as an international student is your understanding of the current cost of living in the country. Australia is a country that is affordable and the people enjoy a very high standard of living. Be prepared to spend approximately AU $1,550 each month which averages out to AU $390 per week. If you stayed for an entire year, the average cost would be AU $18,610.
You need to compensate for the following monthly costs: housing, food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, telephone, international and domestic travel and miscellaneous expenses.
International students are only permitted to work up to 40 hours a fortnight (2 weeks) during each university session. You need to consider other ways to compensate for your expenses since the competition for part-time work is very high in the current Australian job market.
3. Make an Effort to Assimilate
Most likely you have chosen to become an exchange student in Australia because you have an affinity for the country and culture and want to spend some of your educational learning time in this unique and beautiful place. You need to realize that there will be many changes that you must adapt to, and that realization will make the process easier. Consider some of the following adjustments you’ll need to make as you try to excel as an international student in Australia.
- Accent – One big change will be adjusting to the Australian accent and trying to communicate well with others. Make an effort and start trying to speak the Australian dialects and others will see and appreciate your desire to learn about their culture.
- Time Zone – You will also need to deal with the different time zone in Australia. For a reference point, they are 14 hours ahead of New York City. To find out the time difference between your locality and Australia, check out this world clock.
- Climate – Acclimating to the different climate in Australia compared to your local weather patterns will be another adjustment for you. The climate is not only hot, but varies among the seasons and eight states and territories. Australia is located in the southern hemisphere so their seasons are opposite of the seasonal patterns in the northern hemisphere. In northern Australia, where the tropics and outback are located, it is hotter than the cooler southern part of the country. The tropical region in the north has both a wet and dry season. The southernmost state, Tasmania, has a much cooler climate and receives an icy cold Antarctic breeze.
4. Connect with Other Local Students
Begin to get familiar with the culture by associating with other local Australian students who will most likely be very welcoming in also learning about your culture. Cultivate a symbiotic relationship where you can learn about them, their culture, country and personal lives and they can also reciprocate and learn from you. Connecting with the local university community will help you to excel during your time in Australia. Don’t skip out on attending the university orientation as that will be an important time of learning about the university as well as provide you with an opportunity to meet new people. Branch out and don’t simply focus on your studies.
- Make an effort to mingle with other Australian students by joining various clubs, societies or sports teams like soccer, rugby, cricket, lacrosse, water polo or boating. Volunteering is also another way to integrate into the Australian society.
- Check out the International Volunteer Abroad Program to find volunteering opportunities in Australia.
5. Get Off Campus and Explore
One final way to excel as an international student in Australia is to get off the university campus and explore the country and various scenic landscapes and cultural spots. Remember to always prioritize your studies. However, find the time to get out and explore Australia with the new local friends that you are making. After all, that is one of the reasons that you decided to become an international student in the first place. Australia is truly a land that is magnificent with amazing places to visit.
- Learn about Australia’s history and its aboriginal people and the beauty of their culture, as well as the interesting evolutions of Australia’s colonial past.
- Take a trip to the Great Barrier Reef and go on an underwater adventure with your friends while you take a scuba diving lesson.
- Visit Adelaide, which is the capital of South Australia or Brisbane, which is the capital of the State of Queensland or check out one of the other major Australian cities.
6. Enjoy Australian Pastimes
Another way to excel as an international student in Australia is to get out and enjoy some of the local pastimes. Some suggestions for pastimes for you to participate in or observe are:
- Surfing – One of the major pastimes in Australia is surfing and the Gold Coast is an ideal location for enjoying this exciting activity during the hot climate. Surfers Paradise is a long sandy beach that inspires surfers from around the world to hit the waves.
- Barbeque – As local Aussies would call it, Barbie on the beach, is a fun and appetizing activity that you can experience while lounging on the beautiful coastline.
- Football – Another pastime is Australian Rules Football which is a sport that is influenced by rugby, American football, the Irish game Caid and the indigenous game Marn Grook.
- Caravanning – Locals also enjoy caravanning where they travel in motor homes, pop-up trailers, flat-tops, customized vans and old buses. This pastime is a favorite of all ages and one group of travelers is called the Grey Army with the slogan, Looking for adventure before dementure.
So while you’re spending your time in Australia as an international student, don’t forget the six ways that you can excel during your time in this beautiful country -seek advice, assess the costs, assimilate, connect, explore and enjoy pastimes. If you’ve spent time in Australia as an international student, what was your favorite part of the experience, as well as the most difficult adjustment?