Before you move to Australia for your studies, it is important to know few things and prepare in advance so that you have at least some hassle free settlement. One thing everybody knows is Australia is different than Nepal, however there are few things which will come as a cultural shock no matter how much you prepare.
As a Nepalese student travelling to Australia for your higher education, you must take many things in account as you will be transitioning from a third world country to a first world country which is much more organised and the population is multicultural. Unless you get used to it, the first few months is an exploration of the culture, norms and the way you deal with people in and outside the classroom.
Since Australia is an English speaking country, it does not have to be the same like other English speaking countries. Each country has its own local flavour, television, music and so does Australia. Australia has a different history than other English speaking nations like USA and UK. It was colonised by Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and gained independence in the twentieth century. Most early settlers came from England, Scotland and Ireland, with later waves of Europeans, Middle Easterners and Asians. Contemporary Australia is a mix of all of these cultures, but with a dominant Anglo-Irish culture.
Australian society is generally very informal, compared to many Asian cultures as well as other Western ones. It’s common to call everyone by their first names, including people who you may consider your ‘superiors’ (such as your boss or your professors). Not doing so may be mistaken for awkwardness or discomfort with Australian habits. Take your cues from what Australian students do.
Similarly, dress codes tend to be quite casual, unless you are told otherwise. You’d only be expected to dress up smart for events like job interviews, graduation ceremonies or weddings. The rest of the time, clean smart casual clothing is generally acceptable in all social and work life.
Australian students are generally not shy in the classroom. They are quick to share their opinions on a topic, even if they aren’t confident that they are ‘correct’. Being outspoken and assertive is considered a positive quality in Australia, as is politely questioning authority.
Being on time is very important, and being late for class or work is considered not just rude, but reason for dismissal or poor grades. If you’re waiting in line at a shop, bank, doctor’s surgery etc., you must wait for your turn. People who jump the queue will be told off. Also, spitting in public is not acceptable and Australians don’t do it—it could even get you in trouble with the authorities. Australian public spaces tend to be very tidy, and everyone plays their part in keeping them this way.
Australia generally has a warm and sunny climate, and is blessed with beautiful nature—beaches, bush, and city parks. Australian cities are designed to make the most of this. In the summer, you may find outdoor concerts, markets and festivals in the cities. Australians like to cycle, swim and jog in public, so why not join in?
There is no single Australian cuisine, but rather a delicious mixture of the best of international cultures. Although in rural areas you may find that people prefer a ‘traditional’ Anglo-Irish diet of meat and vegetables, in the cities you will be spoilt for choice. The large numbers of Greek, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese and Lebanese migrants over the years means that these cuisines are well represented. As well as international restaurants, in most cities you will also find international grocery stores, meaning that you can find special ingredients from back home to cook for yourself.
English is the official language spoken in Australian and you will have no problem communicating or conducting business when moving to Australia if you speak English. The population consists mostly of Caucasian (92%) and Asian (7%) with Aboriginal and other cultures accounting for just 1%.
Australia is so large that it actually experiences an extremely varied climate; different parts of the country experience different weather patterns. Northern Australia is tropical, with hot and humid weather and seasonal monsoons. In contrast, Southern Australia experiences a temperate climate with distinct seasons. Summers are long and hot while winters are cool and occasionally wet.
Western Australia is hot and dry in the summer and cool in the winter with temperatures often falling as low as 7 or 8°C. Rainfall is low throughout the country which is why there is often danger of bushfires. Because of the diversity in climates, there will be a weather pattern to suit virtually everyone; another reason why Australia is so popular. However, because the climate does differ so much, it is crucial that you research any city that you are considering relocating carefully in order to ensure that you find a climate that suits you.
The cost of living in Australia will be relatively high when compared with their home country and this has continued to rise at a breakneck pace. Australia is a friendly and affordable country which enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world. As a general guide, the average international student in Australia spends about AUD $ 1,550 per month (approximately AUD$390 per week) on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport, international and domestic travel, telephone, and incidental costs.
In addition to this amount, you will need to budget for your return trip home and international phone calls. International students are permitted to work up to 40 hours a fortnight during each session, however, there is significant competition for part-time work. You should not expect that money earned from a part-time job will cover your tuition fees or living expenses.
Students must meet the financial requirements of the Department of Home Affairs in order to receive a student visa for which students must provide evidence for the funds required to cover the study, living and travel expenses in course of the visa application. The costs below are estimated by DHA and there may be slight variations on the amount of money required by an individual to cover his/her living cost during his study in Australia.
As of October 2019 the 12-month living costs are:
For students or guardians- AUD 21,041
For partners coming with you- AUD 7,362
For a child coming with you - AUD 3,152
The Insider Guides 'Cost of Living Calculator' is also a useful, practical tool to help estimate your cost of living in Australia