Wanna cuddle a koala or spot a wallaby on the side of your hiking path? You can, if you study abroad in Australia! We all know the about the sun and sand, but what about the diverse cuisine, 40,000+ year old indigenous culture, and the exotic wildlife of Australia? You won’t see anyone riding a wombat to work, but you could certainly go white water rafting down the Tully, home to freshwater crocs and some other rad reptiles. There’s a lot of perks to studying in “Straya,” but it’s the quality of academics and local people which takes the cake.
Australia’s most active cities are located along the coastlines, and each city has something special to offer. It can be surprising how different the climates vary throughout the country, so don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s “summer” year-round in Australia. Pack your gumboots if you head south.
Melbourne is a true arts and culture hub, full of world-renowned restaurants, kitschy bars, and concert venues. St. Kilda offers serene bay waters and prime real estate for kite-surfing, while the “north-side” of town is active with gallery shows, pub-trivia nights, market days, and local artisan workshops. Some of the best brunch spots in the world are found in Australia; be sure to order a healthy serving of Vegemite and toast, if you wanna pass as a local.
Be sure to search for P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way while studying in Sydney. This world-class urban center juxtaposes it’s infamous cityscapes with the nearby Blue Mountains. Sydney’s sophistication and nearby coastlines attract international students of all varieties to sample it’s chilled, laid-back grandeur.
To soak up the natural wonders of Western Australia (such as the Horizontal Waterfalls or Wolfe Creek Crater), consider study abroad in Perth. It is rumored that this is the sunniest capital city in the world, so you’ll have plenty of time to fully appreciate all of its wonders. If that doesn’t cut it, adventure to Adelaide, and spend a weekend spotting wild kookaburras on Kangaroo Island. Another option is to backpack it to modern Brisbane, where you can enjoy the sweetest moments, slurping up fresh passionfruit pulp and watching grand sunrises.
Remember that Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, which means that seasons and semesters are reversed, as compared to North America. Semesters run February to June, and August to November, with long winter and summer breaks.
Study Abroad Programs in Australia
With a country as large and diverse as Australia, there are opportunities to study anything that your outback-destined heart desires. From past traditions to modern innovations and Eastern to Western cultural influences, Australia has got you covered.
Vance Joy, Hugh Jackman, and Cate Blanchett are all impressive Australian alumni, but subjects of study in Australia are certainly not limited to the arts. Science and innovative technologies are massive for Australians and have been a central focus to their educational institutions for years. Local resources and high-tech facilities place Australian universities at the top of global rankings too.
Other popular courses of study in Australia include geology and agriculture. With a land so vast, there are plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty for a good cause. If you prefer to spend time with animals, rather than seeds and rocks, check out all of the animal science and marine biology study abroad programs in Australia. Whether you’re interested in splashing around in the ocean or riding around ranches, there’s is a study abroad program in Australia just for you.
Scholarships & Costs
Australia didn’t earn its reputation as a top international destination because everyone (and their granny) could afford to be there. Maybe it has to do with its relative remoteness, maybe the Tazmanian Devil is up to his wiley ways, or maybe it’s just a platypus tax. Who can say, but studying in Australia isn’t necessarily cheap..
All jokes aside, you are going to have to prepare well in advance to finance study abroad in Australia. Whether you’re enrolled at a university or study in Australia through a provider, you cannot escape its relatively high cost of living. Past international students claim dependency on meat pies and kebabs, student accommodations, public transport, and creative exploits for “free fun” to be essential to survival. If you do find yourself with some money to spare, don’t be afraid to book weekend trips to other beautiful corners of this continent.
The Australian government is very supportive of international students when it comes to funding, so it doesn’t hurt to do some research and ask around. You can also find scholarships for study abroad in Australia to give your pocket book some extra breathing room.
Accommodation & Visas
Aussie accommodation options are as widespread as the Red Center. On campus, dorms are actually quite nice and often offer single rooms, along with linens and cleaning services. Living off campus, a student apartment with local mates can be fun too. Wherever you study in Australia, your host university will be able to provide advice on your housing choices.
Most universities in Australia suggest on-campus housing for international students, which offer a room with shared bathrooms, common areas, and utilities. You can also seek out alternative options, which may be more economical, particularly if your university is located in the city proper. Since education is one of Australia’s largest export services, most of the major cities are built up around student living. There are always additional choices like flatshares, hostels, group housing, and even homestays. It’s important to do your research and make sure you identify which housing option is best for you.
Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality and the length of your study abroad program in Australia. If you decide to study in Australia for longer than three months, you’ll need a student visa. If a short term program is being pursued, then there are some other options, like the work and holiday visa. Both of these visas usually allow students to work up to 20 hours a week to help supplement their cost of living while studying in Australia. Ask a program advisor for help and check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for all of the pesky details.
Benefits & Challenges
Australian institutions foster independent learning, which can be a challenge at first, but will ultimately set you up for success. Small quizzes and regular assignments are not given frequently; the education system favors term papers and “hurdle exams” instead. It is up to international students to keep themselves on track with their studies and coursework, while simultaneously balancing the excitement of an active social life in a new country.
Study abroad in Australia can get to be a little overwhelming if not approached with the right balance of priorities in mind. Australia offers so much to do, with its vast landscapes and outgoing people. It’s good to have a very long list of places to see and things to do, but don’t feel obligated to see every nook of the country (especially if you’ve only got a few weeks or a summer to do it!). Leave some adventures for your next visit; each will be an excellent reason to come back.
Pop open a Bundaberg and get cozy for a sundowner. Studying abroad in Australia is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reach the other side of the globe and open yourself up to a new (more relaxed and sun-soaked) way of living. Follow in the footsteps of a kangaroo and hop on this chance to broaden your horizons through study abroad in Australia!