1. The Weather
Perhaps the greatest pull for Brits to pack up and move to Australia is the lovely blue sky so frequent to Australia. The odd rainy day does come along, but it is severely outnumbered by those of warmth and golden sun. This means most of the time you’ll head to lectures and tutorials in flip-flops (or to Aussies, “thongs”) and sundresses, which makes it all feel like a never-ending holiday. Such beautiful weather also encourages you to join in on the active outdoor lifestyle that the Aussies truly do best.
Australia is enormous, and on its own offers enough wonders to provide months of adventure! Beyond Australia’s seven states are dozens of incredible countries. Just north of Australia is Indonesia, east is New Zealand and the Melanesian islands of Fiji and Vanuatu, to name a few. These islands are nothing short of paradise, and if we’re talking in relative terms, just on your Australian doorstep! A little further afield is the rest of South-east Asia, with endless beauty and rich histories to explore on a mid-semester recess or over summer.
3. Aboriginal Culture
Indigenous Australians possess one of the oldest cultures in the world. It is a beautiful, vibrant, and thoughtful culture, built on Dreamtime and respect for the land and country. Despite the devastating impacts of colonisation, its people have fought to maintain their traditions and share Australia’s complete and ancient history. As a visitor and tourist, you are encouraged to connect with your surroundings and respect the native's process to preserve the beautiful land. Across the country you can find tours, museums and exhibitions, artwork, and Indigenous centres to reflect and learn about Australia’s complex history. It is an enriching and important element of studying abroad there, and of visiting the country as a whole.
4. The Education System
Australia is home to some of the world’s leading universities. Earning a degree, or a portion of your degree there, can provide you with excellent research and academic skills, as well as prepare you for a career beyond education. In my experience, at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, assessments are broken down into bite-sized chunks, such as regular quizzes or group presentations, avoiding the weight of several endless essays upon you at the end of the semester! Class sizes are smaller and professors make an effort to learn your name. The teachers are well-read and invested in their student's abilities to succeed.
5. The Critters
When I told my friends and family I had decided to study in Australia, a lot of them called me brave and mad. How could I go somewhere with sharp-toothed killing-machines in the water, and eight-legged monsters emerging from every crack and plughole? I am by no means fearless - I’ve actually been quite phobic about sharks and spiders growing up - but in the year I've spent living between bushes and ocean, I never encountered anything close to the stereotypes at all. Keep an eye on the cockatoos and don’t rile up the magpies, but other than that, my greatest advice on this is please don’t avoid Australia because of scary creatures. Of course, the wildlife is a little different, but it is a lot less of a threat than you think. I swam, I surfed, and hiked through the bush, and never had a problem at all.