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Australia: Ten Things To Do

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Chosen to study in one of the world-leading universities down under? Here are 10 things we think you ought do if studying abroad in Australia.

After all, when it comes to reasons to study abroad in Australia, the renown of the nation’s top universities is only the tip of the iceberg - as you may just have realized when applying. Whether you’re looking for a way to keep fit and make friends, amazing beaches, a close encounter with nature, a cultural awakening or just a seriously good place to party, Australia has it all.

1. Learn to surf

Location: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia

Nearest universities: University of Sydney, University of Queensland, Monash University, University of New South Wales, University of Wollongong, University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia, Curtin University of Technology

Australian beaches are famed throughout the world, so any visitor to the country should make sure they set aside some time for a bit of sand and surf. It may take some serious time and perseverance to get your board skills up to those of the locals.

But with many of Australia’s top universities all within reach of internationally renowned surf and sunbathing spots, you’ll never have a better chance to don the wetsuit and master the waves. Or, if getting wet doesn’t appeal, you can always swap the library for a sun-lounger and top up your tan while writing that essay.

2. Go wine-tasting

Location: Australia’s most famous vineyards are in Victoria and New South Wales, though other wine-producing regions include parts of South and Western Australia.

Nearest universities: University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University,La Trobe University, Australian National University,University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Wollongong, University of Western Australia, Curtin University of Technology

Australians consume over 400 million litres of wine every year – and there’s still enough left over to make them the fourth biggest exporters of wine in the world. The nation’s major grape varieties – Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling – were all originally imported from Europe.

But with the help of a sun-kissed climate and an abundance of unspoiled natural space for vineyards, Australian wines have since developed a character and reputation that is very much their own. Major vineyards are dotted around Southern Australia, most within range of the country’s top universities – and many of these vineyards offer tasting courses to help you refine your palate and return home a connoisseur.

3. Explore the outback (or just the zoo)

Location: Australia Zoo is on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Nearest universities: University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology

The sprawling, arid and remote expanse of land known as the Australian Outback offers an unparalleled opportunity for nature-lovers, or those of an intrepid nature, to experience the great outdoors. With world-famous beauty spots including Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, as well as a myriad of unique and exotic species – from kangaroos, wallabies and koala bears to emus, humming birds and kookaburras – there is perhaps no country on earth that can compare with what Australia offers to budding naturalists, first-timers and rugged explorers alike.

For those that don’t fancy encountering nature without retaining at least some of civilization’s barriers, Australia Zoo, founded by the late Steve Irwin, will give you an introduction to Australia’s wildlife from a safe distance.

4. Learn about aboriginal culture

Aborigines have inhabited Australia for between 40,000 and 60,000 years, and share a fascinating, unique and ancient oral culture - with music, art and belief systems spanning back to the dawn of human civilization.

Didgeridoos, boomerangs and going ‘walkabout’ may have made it into mainstream culture, but as a student studying abroad in Australia you will have the chance to see many more of the customs and artefacts of this age-old culture first hand.  

5. Go to the Mardi Gras Carnival in Sydney

Location: Sydney

Nearest universities: Australian National University, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Wollongong

Mardi Gras is the ultimate party held in cities worldwide every year, and the Mardi Gras gay pride parade held annually in the streets of Sydney is legendary. Bringing hundreds of thousands of extravagantly attired revellers, and various weird and wonderful displays, the Mardi Gras parade is colourful in every sense of the word. Whether you’re partying or just taking it all in from a distance, this annual parade will give you a glimpse of a city letting its hair down in style.

6. Go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef

Location: Queensland
Nearest universities: University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology

Lining the sun-drenched Queensland coastline and big enough to be visible from the moon, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A popular tourist destination, there are many companies offering you the chance to go snorkelling and discover a treasure trove of marine life just beneath the surface of the sea.

7. Discover the art of the barbecue

In Australia the barbecue (BBQ) is not just a way of cooking a meal, but a way of life. And as your stay goes on and long, sunny afternoon follows long, sunny afternoon, there is little doubt that going to communal BBQs will be one way of getting to know your classmates.

Now, BBQ food may have a reputation for being a little on the primitive side and offering little to vegetarians, but in Australia you will encounter a nation that has elevated the barbecue to a high art form. Whether you’re a red-blooded carnivore, a connoisseur of haute cuisine, a vegan or an omnivore, this most quintessential of Australian social rituals has something to offer all.

8. Try your hand – and feet – at Aussie Rules (AFL)

Location: Everywhere – though AFL is especially big in Victoria

Nearest universities: University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, La Trobe University

The prowess of Australia’s sports teams is world-renowned, and whether it’s swimming, rugby union, rugby league, cricket, hockey, athletics or the unique ‘Aussie Rules’ (AFL) all of the nation’s top universities offer first-class sports facilities.

Sports are also a great way to make friends, with many university sports teams putting on social events and outings. As a student in Australia you will never be short of a chance to keep fit, whilst settling in by taking part in a national obsession.

9. See the NYE fireworks at Sydney harbour

Location: Sydney

Nearest universities: Australian National University,University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Wollongong

As anyone who has ever been to the Mardi Gras festival will tell you, Sydney is a city that knows how to throw a party. Set against the stunning backdrop of the famous Sydney opera house and the harbour bay, Sydney’s annual New Year fireworks extravaganza is both a memorable spectacle and a great distraction from the various academic resolutions you will probably have made.

10. Explore the Melbourne cultural scene

Location: Melbourne

Nearest universities: University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, La Trobe University

Found three times to be the world’s most liveable city according to an annual survey by The Economist, a UNESCO city of literature, and home to the world’s first ever feature film, Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and the country’s cultural hub. Of late, Melbourne is becoming especially famous for its street art and independent music scene.

Whether you want to see the outstanding collection at the Victoria Museum of the Arts, start a band, learn to paint or just take in the thriving cultural scene, Melbourne is gathering a growing reputation as one of the best places around in which to live and study.

Once you’ve finished those:

- Take a punt on the Melbourne Cup

- Cuddle a koala

- Visit Tasmania

- Watch the Hobart to Melbourne yacht race

- Drive the Great Ocean Road

Australia’s top universities by region

1) Queensland: University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology

2) New South Wales: Australian National University, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Wollongong

3) Victoria: University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, La Trobe University

4) South Australia: University of Adelaide

5) Western Australia: University of Western Australia, Curtin University of Technology

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1 Comment

Thanks for this post! These 10 things to do will sure ease stress especially for students who are studying abroad in Australia.