There’s more to Australia than hopping kangaroos and eucalyptus-eating koalas. And contrary to popular belief, not everything here is plotting to kill you. Yes, we have sharks and crocodiles and spiders and dingos and God knows what else we have here, but hey, if you watch where you’re going, you’ll be safe (we hope). In fact, the continent’s safe enough that thousands of international students flock there every year to study. If you are among these globe-trotting seekers of knowledge, be informed that it’s a rather different world here in OZ.
It’s best that you fly here prepared and ready for anything. Below are a few nuggets of information that you need to know about how things roll here in the Land Down Under.
If Americans have credit and debit cards, we have the funny-sounding EFTPOS. That stands for Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS). It’s a convenient way of paying for stuff, so you better avail for one.
Fitness and health guys, rejoice! Major supermarkets there like Coles and Woolworths (Here in OZ we call it Woolies) have what we call health food aisles. Such aisles carry stuff from snack foods like veggie chips to organic fruits and vegetables. So if you are a health and fitness nut, that’s another reason for you to pursue your education here.
Aussies love to attach nicknames to everything. If you’re American, don’t be shocked if someone here calls you a Seppo. And we called McDonald’s Maccas. So, deal with it!
Aussie parents tend to go weird (spelling-wise) when naming their girls. Jackie would be Jacki and Ricky would be Ricki. You’d think that we hate the letter “y”.
Be careful when ordering chips or crisps because you might receive something totally different. Let’s just say chips are thicker and crisps are your regular potato fries.
Winter here is not in December. Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere so its seasons are opposite that of the Northern Hemisphere. Winter is during June, July and August.
Girls (and guys), be ready to sob. Fashion here is always last season (tough they say it’s a season forward, but in reality we’re always a season late), ‘cos we receive the products late. Online shopping FTW!
When you go shopping, you will have to empty your shopping baskets on your own. Extra work, you say, but that’s how it works there.
You don’t have to tip the waitress whenever you dine out. Unlike in America, tipping is not a common practice in Australia. Being the student that you are, you can actually save a lot of money from unused tips.
If you are one who uses a lot of electronic gadgets, the Australian power board can be a bit frustrating. It makes you wonder why they had to create its shape like that.
Before you fly to Australia, you must practice right-hand driving (if your country is right-hand driving, you’re all set then). Cars here have their steering wheels in the right side.
Here in Australia, we have our own rules in playing our brand of football. We call it Footy. It’s pretty similar to Rugby, but with absolutely no rules. It’s pretty barbaric, if you ask me.
When you are in dire need of an emergency assistance, you don’t call 911! Instead, you should call 000.
Like driving in Australia, we stay on the left when we hop on the escalator. Don’t be annoyed when people are pushing and shoving behind you trying to get through, because you’re probably standing on the wrong side.
As a bonus, here’s a picture of our current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
So there you have it. Thirteen nuggets of wisdom you need to know in order to survive as a student in Australia.