Australia is so much more than kangaroos and cuddly koalas.
It’s home to some of the best beaches and nature in the world. It’s a country made up of dozens of nationalities and cultures. It’s home to some of the best restaurants and entertainment. It’s a country with loads of opportunity and education.
Did we mention the generally easy-going, friendly people who live there?
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a new culture while getting an education, Australia could be your best bet. All of these reasons are why over 645,000 international students study there, many coming from China, Korea, Brazil, Canada and India.
Of course, those students certainly don’t spend their entire week in a classroom or studying in the library; they go out and explore the best of what Australia has to offer. When classes are over for the day or during the weekend, students studying abroad in Australia have a ton of options for enjoying and exploring their new country.
Hitting the beach
Photo Credit: Kaboompics.com
Australia is a beachgoer’s paradise and it might be the first thing you think of when you hear “Australia”. With thousands of miles of coastline, you’re sure to find a beach you’ll love where you can soak up the sun, meet new people and swim for hours. Beaches are a popular destination and a wonderful way to experience one part of sunny Australian culture.
Australian beaches are the perfect place to pick up a new hobby: surfing. Although surfing didn’t originate in Australia, proximity to incredible beaches and waves has made it a coastal Australian tradition and you’ll have no trouble finding a brilliant teacher to teach you how. It’ll take some patience and practice, but it’s tough to think of many hobbies that are cooler than surfing.
Another perk of a beach day? There are loads of tasty beachside restaurants, food trucks and cafes when you’ve surfed or swum your way into a big appetite. Whether you choose to eat your lunch in the restaurant or on the beach is up to you.
So where do you go when you’re craving a beach day? Burleigh Heads is the beach to visit to hang out like a local and surf. Tallebudgera Creek is where you’ll want to go if you’re in the mood for some laidback paddle boarding and a more chilled out scene. Rainbow Bay is one of our favorites, especially for beginning surfers, but there are so many other beaches that are worth a visit. Try as many as you can!
Photo Credit: Andrew Robles
Where to go when you’re not at the beach
If beaches aren’t quite your scene-- or you’ve spent the last three weekends getting thoroughly tanned and need a break from the sand, there’s so much more to do.
Anyone who likes to be active and out in nature won’t have any trouble finding ways to spend their free time. Cyclists can find amazing trails surrounded by unbelievable natural beauty along hundreds of kilometers that suit all experience levels and riding styles.
Photo Credit: Paul Hansa
Anyone with a pair of shoes can spend their Saturdays “bushwalking”-- or hiking-- in areas that are often accessible by public transportation. A long hike with a few friends and a picnic might end up as one of your best Australian memories.
Photographers and casual Instagrammers can find hours of entertainment taking photos of stunning waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries and really massive avocados. If #koala and #avocado aren’t trending after your Instagram posts, we’ll be shocked.
Our recommendation? Chat with some locals and find where they hang out. Visit the beaches, trails and parks they recommend. Chance are they’ve explored the area well, so you’ll end up at the best places.
Feed your Australian food curiosity
Photo Credit: Brooke Lark
If you’ve had a long day of classes but still want to take in your new surroundings, experiencing Australia by food is never a bad idea. You’ll find cuisine from England and Ireland, a result of British colonialism, but the food scene is seriously multicultural with influences from East Asia and the Mediterranean. On a single block, you might find fish and chips, Vietnamese pho, Greek gyros and other foods you’ve never tried before.
Sampling a bit of each is encouraged.
New Australian cuisine incorporates these traditional and ethnic flavors, combining them with fresh coastal seafood, crisp veggies and even celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver have their own restaurants, expanding the local food options further. On a student budget, great food is well within reach with plenty of affordable restaurant options.
Again, asking your new local friends, coworkers and neighbors will often point you to some of the area’s best spots to indulge. With new restaurants and bars opening up every week, you’ll never have a shortage of fresh menus to sample.
It’s bigger than beaches, hikes and food
Studying abroad in Australia is your opportunity to experience a new and interesting country with its own nature, scenery, culture and cuisine.
Indulging in its beaches, meeting its people, sampling its food and living life as if you’re a local is its own education-- even if it doesn’t involve a teacher.
What you’ll take from the experience will follow you throughout your life and, even if a beach day or a night out doesn’t sound so important, you’ll find that opening yourself to new experiences and adventures will influence who you are and how you view the world forever.
Want to know any more about coming to Australia? Click on the link below to download everything you need to know about arriving in Australia.