A Guide to Studying Abroad in Australia
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area.
Australia is both a country and a continent and is closest to Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands. It is located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and is considered by some to be the “world’s largest island.”
People living in Australia generally speak English but add to it a wonderful accent and distinct vernacular. Indigenous languages, of which there are close to seventy, are still spoken but quickly disappearing. If preserving indigenous languages is of interest to you, a study broad in Australia program might be a wonderful opportunity to help save native languages.
Climate of Australia
The climate of Australia is significantly influenced by ocean currents, including the Indian Ocean Dipole and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, which is correlated with periodic drought, and the seasonal tropical low-pressure system that produces cyclones in northern Australia. These factors cause rainfall to vary markedly from year to year. Much of the northern part of the country has a tropical, predominantly summer-rainfall (monsoon). The south-west corner of the country has a Mediterranean climate. The south-east ranges from oceanic (Tasmania and coastal Victoria) to humid subtropical (upper half of New South Wales), with the highlands featuring alpine and subpolar oceanic climates. The interior is arid to semi-arid.
The currency in Australia is the dollar but not the green one. Be sure to trade your green dollars for colorful Australian ones once you’ve arrived. Australia makes most of its money through an open-market economy that operates much like that in the United States. Its economy is broad and diverse but distinguishes itself by utilizing an abundance of natural resources and being one of the world’s largest exporters of wine. If you’ve ever had an interest in tending to vineyards, turning grapes into wine, bottling products or selling an in-demand product, Australia might be the perfect place for you. Be sure to contact the Australian consulate or embassy prior to your visit if you want to live, study, and work in Australia; you’ll need to secure a passport, study visa and work visa.
If studying history, promoting peace and serving justice are elements of interest to you in your studies; a study abroad in Australia program might be the perfect fit for you. The country’s political and social dynamics will add to the intrigue of your visit, and if you aren’t fluent in a foreign language, this could be a great study abroad destination for you to explore.
Top Five Reasons to Study Abroad in Australia
Studying abroad in Australia doesn’t require you to learn a new language, but there are still many new phrases and meanings for you to discover during your adventure.
Australia boasts natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef. Study abroad in Australia and you could become a certified scuba diver and explore the amazing beauty the Reef has to offer.
Performance arts in Australia are a beloved tradition and well funded by the federal government. Enrich your appreciation for the arts and attend any one of the several operas offered throughout each region.
Australia is abundant in cultural dynamics derived from Aboriginal, Dutch and English influences. Studying the conjoining of these cultures will surely be an interesting and eye-opening experience.
Australian society is generally laid-back, friendly and full of opportunities for new adventures, unexpected friendships and inspiring activities.
Life in Australia
Study abroad in Australia programs introduce you to the fabulous life of an Aussie. Australia is home to the world-famous outback (which means Australia consists mostly of deserts) but has one of the world’s most diverse eco-systems. Tropical rainforests, deserts and alpine regions provide homes to spectacular animals like koalas, kangaroos, wombats, platypuses and kookaburras while plains and lowlands provide homes to grove after grove of delightfully smelling eucalyptus trees. The climate in Australia is suitable for taking a traditional Australian walk-about or participating in traditional sports like surfing, boating, diving, cricket, field hockey, rugby and netball.
Famous destinations like the Sydney Opera House, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Darwin Festival of the Northern Territory join a collection of others to display the arts, histories and music of the regions. Natural beauties like the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Augustus and Kakadu National Park conspire to make one lose track of time; while cultural activities, like government-supported performance arts, aboriginal dances and singing and paintings on rocks, barks and caves, conjoin to bring Australia’s history to life. When you study abroad in Australia you’ll be witness to a plethora of cultural offerings.
You’ll also be eating wonderful food during your time as a study abroad student. Traditional Australian cuisine is inspired by its British and Aboriginal roots. Local vegetables, meats and grains combine with the seasonings and sauces of England to create well-loved Australian fare. Traditional roasts and wines are summoned to celebrate Sundays and meat pies, Billy tea and smoked meltwurst give visitors a taste of various regions. If eating emu eggs, mincing your meat, and smothering your toast with vegemite and chutney sound like intriguing options, then consider studying abroad in Australia. Your taste buds will thank you!
History and Culture in Australia
Australia’s roots are steeped in a reverence for the land and a belief in the dreamtime. These indigenous cultural beliefs blended with the influences of western Anglo-Celtic culture create an environment unique to Australia. The eventual gold rush and ensuing Eureka Rebellion led to the transformation of governance in Australia and eventually enabled each of its Aboriginal, Dutch and English populations to live in relative peace. Causing enduring peace between the indigenous and immigrant cultures of Australia is an ongoing challenge but serves to enrich the bold and dynamic culture of the region.