The international student journey can be life-changing, so it’s only natural that it might all seem a little overwhelming at first. But don’t worry – follow these tips for adjusting to your new life in a different city, and you’ll soon feel right at home.
Learn about Australian culture
When you reach Australia, things might seem a little different to home. How do you date in Australia? What’s a ‘flat white’? How do you use Aussie public transport? Are you allowed to eat and drink on trains? What are the best ways to make local friends? You’ll probably have a lot of questions – and that’s totally okay! It’s all part of the adventure.
Still, it’s always good to be prepared. Before or on your arrival, take some time to learn about Australian culture. People will always appreciate your curiosity and willingness to learn.
Find great accommodation
Does your accommodation have working amenities? Quiet study spaces? Student lounges? Is it a safe environment? It’s really important you find a service, share house or rental property that genuinely looks after your wellbeing, because your student accommodation should always feel like home.
Dedicated student accommodation services are secure, modern and provide fantastic spaces to meet fellow students studying in your city. They often organise special weekly events like trivia nights and BBQs, offer Student Experience Programs and completely take care of your room, furnishings, amenities and internet access before you arrive. It’s little things like these that can make adjusting to a new city a much smoother process.
Explore your city
What attractions does your city offer? Which places do you want to see and explore? Do you like hiking, music, playing sports, going to cafes? As you settle in, make lists of all the places you want to go and the things you want to see during your time in Australia. Picking a location that’s in close proximity to campus, transport and major attractions is important, because you’ll want to enjoy everything your city has to offer.
Study hard, but don’t forget to have fun
Studying can mean curling up in a cosy corner for a study session by yourself, but it can also be joining fun-filled English language movie nights with your dorm-mates. If your student dorm has a study lounge, invite some fellow students along for a study session, complete with snacks! Just by having open conversations with other students, you’ll improve your English and make friends at the same time.
Hang out with students and locals
Your student accommodation might hold cultural events or activities like cooking classes, local festival excursions, or karaoke nights. If so, join! By taking this first step and getting involved with your student community, you’ll gain confidence, connect with your fellow students, and feel more at home in your new city.
If you want to escape the student bubble, volunteering is another fantastic way to make long-lasting friendships outside your usual groups. It’s also a brilliant way to practise your English, impress potential employers and give back to your local community.
Be open to new experiences
Making mistakes is all part of the international student experience. It’s how you become stronger. Yes, you’ll most likely experience some challenges along the way. But remember – this is all a part of your incredible international student journey, and your university, local friends and fellow students will be there to support you. Through learning about the culture, picking the right accommodation, exploring your city, meeting new friends and being open to new experiences, you’ll discover powerful things about yourself, and you’ll learn and grow. Soon, you’ll find yourself feeling right at home.