Whether you come to Australia as an exchange/study abroad student, a backpacker, or as an intern, Australia will instantly make you fall in love with its warm hospitality and unique beauty. Here are some tips that will make you feel at home while you’re staying in the country.
Pack less and travel more
You must pack light. Not only will this avoid hassle with multiple airlines, but you’ll also find it easier to settle into your accommodation, travel on the go, and find more space for souvenirs to take back home. This can also help you to grow personally as you leave all your unnecessary luggage behind! Declutter, grab your backpack and explore the city with a map, or ask locals for their favourite spots.
Remember to document everything, from special hot spots (check out Australia’s ‘Big Things’), to your favourite desk in a library.
Access resources through your education provider and city
If you’re studying in Australia, make use of the facilities available to you. Most education providers offer counselling, health services, disability support, and tutoring resources so you can easily tackle potential culture shock, excel at your studies, and build confidence to venture out to new places. Also, many state governments provide relief for short-term students. For example, you may be eligible for a concession card if you are travelling within some states and if you need legal advice, you might be able to access it through your local study body (such as Study Melbourne, for example).
Try Australian activities
As you are living in one of the most diverse nations in terms of its population, geography, plants, and animals, you should consider participating in Australia-specific activities. There are many options to choose from. For instance, you can learn historical facts about the First Australians, dive into the beautiful Great Barrier Reef, or even brew your own unique beer. Your to-do list should definitely include something unique to Australia.
Give yourself time
While it’s true that you have so many places to go and so many things to do in a really short amount of time, you should remember to rest and explore at your own pace. It is also ok if you don’t have time to travel everywhere or try everything. Found a hidden gem on the way to your destination? Stay for a bit and don’t rush. Is your day tour group moving too fast? Find a comfy window seat in a café and have a good coffee. If you want, any place in Australia can become your home away from home.
Speak to a mentor/alum
If you came to Australia via the help of an organisation or university, reach out to other exchange students from your home country so you can learn about their experiences in Australia. Talking to someone who’s visited your destination country will help you understand the country before you’ve even visited. Finally, if you want to meet locals, you should sign up for mentoring programs or join clubs/societies to participate in trivia nights and other social events.
YES! You made it here after all those visa appointments, long airport layovers, and painful waits for university acceptance letters. So, say yes to every challenge, risk, campus activity, or even a dance battle if the opportunity arises! Everyone loves a good story as a conversation starter, and you get to take home memories of all the unique things you did in Australia. If you don’t like something, change it! If you feel like you messed up, that’s fine too! Studying abroad can transform you. Although you may initially feel like a tourist, be patient and one day you will eventually realise that you live here. This is your home and when you pack your bags to leave, remember that Australia will always be waiting to welcome you back.