Top 6 Cultural Differences Students Experience in Australia

An international student is sitting at Manly beach in Sydney, Australia thinking about cultural differences in Australia.


Experiencing cultural changes is very common when studying overseas. The majority of international students arriving in Australia should expect to adjust to the local, academic and social culture.


It’s important to note that it may take time for you to adapt to these changes, but soon you’ll be a part of the Australian culture.  


Now let’s take a look at the cultural differences that international students may face while living in Australia.



1. Different Styles of Studies


Australian education is world-renowned because it provides an open learning environment. It has a different approach to learning and can be very different from the education you've received in your home country.


In Australia, the education system is a mix of both practical and theoretical lessons. Adjusting to this system can be difficult for some students, which can cause bad mood and stress. But the good news is that the institutions give more attention to international students in Australia.


They offer a broad range of tools and materials to make this adjustment process less stressful. You can even get help from the students who have already gone through this process.



2. Language Barrier


Language is another massive cultural change for international students as English is a second language to them. Thus, they might face difficulties with language fluency. While attending lectures, you must clearly understand what the lecturer has to say.


Breaking down the language barrier may not seem easy at first, but there are various methods to improve your English language skills.


Take all the available opportunities to speak to students in your class, discuss the issues raised in your course and try to have dialogues on the same subject outside your class. The more you practice speaking English, the more confidence you’ll gain.


Remember, you’ll learn and develop fluency only through making mistakes in pronunciation and grammar.



3. Informality


International students studying in Australia are not used to the level of informality displayed. For instance, it’s common to call teachers by their first name in Australia. It is a form of disrespect in other countries.


Australians find it totally normal because they treat their students as equal to the teachers. Australia has a laid-back culture, so don’t worry about being casual.



4. Cultural Diversity


Australia acknowledges, accepts, honours and celebrates cultural diversity. It offers the opportunity to experience something new and help you to step outside of your comfort zone. You’ll always feel a sense of belonging in the multicultural setting of Australia.


Living in a multicultural community gives you a chance to learn a different language, be a part of public international celebrations and taste a variety of foods from different parts of the world.



5. Service Hours


In Australia, mostly during weekends, cafés and restaurants close early as compared to other countries like China, Malaysia, and Singapore. International students might not be accustomed to these short service hours, particularly when they want to have a midnight snack.



6. The Application Procedure for Australian Universities


For many international students planning to study in Australia, the process of applying to a University is a major concern. But they don’t have to worry anymore as the Australian government has simplified the application procedure.


Now it’s way more convenient to get a student visa to Australia. Moreover, university staff guides you through the application process and offers the required assistance in filling the documents. Don’t be afraid to ask for any help!


Here are some tips that will help you to adjust to the Australian environment:


  • Don’t try to figure everything out during your first week in Australia. Give yourself some time to settle.

  • Eat healthy food and sleep well. You may find you need more sleep than usual.

  • Get back to your daily routine as soon as possible.

  • Try to stay active. Physical activity helps to lift up your mood.

  • Arrange your room. Create a space for yourself that’s more familiar and comfortable.

  • Involve yourself in day to day activities for international students. Even though you might be unfamiliar with certain aspects of Australian culture, over-time you’ll build confidence in your ability to respond to new situations.

  • Make connections with local students. It will help you to learn more about what is life like in Australia. You can also be a part of societies and clubs that cater to your interests.

  • Seek help and support when needed.


To deal with cultural differences, students should welcome changes with a broad mind and learn from their experiences. This way, you’ll respect other cultures and learn to develop a form of sensitivity towards them, making your time away from home more meaningful and enjoyable.



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