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Posted On : 17 August 2023     |     By : Kangaroo Edu

Cultural Adjustment: Thriving as an International Student in Australia

Studying abroad can be an incredible experience. This is why hundreds of thousands of students choose to pursue higher education abroad. And they do so for a variety of reasons, to receive a better education, gain the experience of travelling to a new country, find new employment opportunities, or, most likely build a better future for themselves. However, living abroad as an international student is not always easy. Cultural Adjustment is one of the many challenges that students face while studying abroad. On the bright side, cultural adjustment becomes easy when one’s prepared for it. In this blog, we will discuss cultural adjustments as well as provide some tips on how to thrive as an international student in Australia.

An Introduction to Australian Culture for International Students

Australia is a highly developed country and the 12th largest economy in the world. With a reputation for a world-class education system, it is home to 43 universities and hundreds of colleges. Each year, it welcomes hundreds of thousands of international students from all over the world. But what’s the culture like in Australia? Because Australia is extremely diverse, there aren’t particularly “Australian Cultures” as such. However, students may encounter a wide array of customs, habits, and lifestyle differences that may be new and different from what they may have previously encountered in their home country. When it comes to religion, Australia is as diverse as they come. While half the population follows Christianity, around one-third of the population follows ‘no religion in particular ‘, followed by a few percent of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Jews.

Essential Australian Slang and Phrases for Everyday Use

While English is the official language in Australia, the country is also widely known for its quirky words and phrases that may be new to a non-native speaker. In fact, most Australian slangs are so unique that they aren’t used in other English-speaking countries. Moreover, Australia is a big country and the slang differs from one region to another. Additionally, with a rise in immigration, a hefty chunk of the population also speaks Mandarin, Hindi, Tagalog, etc. Here are some of the most used slang in Australia:
  • Yeahnah: Disagreeing politely 
  • Brekkie: Breakfast
  • Screama: Impressive or Impactful
  • Barbie: Barbeque
  • Real rip snorta: Excellent
  • Crikey!: Surprised
  • Spit the dummy: To throw a fit
  • Cake hole: Mouth
  • Fair Dinkum: Affirmation or a response to some good news
  • Ankle Biter: A child
  • Dunny: Toilet

Navigating Australian Food: Local Delicacies and Dining Etiquette

Australia is a melting pot of different cultures and the food scene there is as diverse as its people! With plenty of Asian influence as well as recipes from their English ancestors, Australia boasts a wide array of cuisines ready to take you by storm. When it comes to protein, Australia is famous for its lamb, beef and kangaroo delicacies. As an island, it also enjoys abundant seafood options waiting to tantalize your taste buds. Moreover, Australia is famous for its café culture and its love for artisanal coffees. So much so that even an international brand like Starbucks failed to shine in the Australian market owing to its small café businesses.

Tips for Making Friends and Socializing in Australia

Australia is home to hundreds of thousands of international students. With such an astounding number, there’s always someone or the other looking to make friends and socialize in this hip country. Here are some of our tips to make sure you make your time worthwhile in Australia:
  • Join a Club
  • Hang out with your classmates at University/College
  • Actively participate in local festivals
  • Travel to different cities in your spare time

Cultural Challenges and How to Overcome Them

While cultural challenges usually pass with time and familiarity, it’s important to know that there are steps you can take to mitigate some of their effects. Here, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help international students adjust to their new surroundings:
  • Understand that this is a fairly common occurrence. Anyone, regardless of their level of travel experience, can experience cultural challenges.
  • Maintain contact with your family back home.
  • Make new friends and acquaintances.
  • Seek assistance from the international student organisations at your university/college.
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