Cultural exchange in Australia: get to know the local customs better!

Studying abroad in Australia goes far beyond learning and mastering the language and visiting the infinite natural wonders. Being an international student is having a unique opportunity to learn new habits and customs in the best possible way: experiencing and practicing other customs and a new lifestyle.

Get to know some local customs that may seem very different to your country, but that will certainly become an unprecedented and unforgettable experience during your study in Australia, one of the countries with the highest quality of life indicators in the world!

Outdoors

Get used to all kinds of outdoor events, including weddings, birthdays and get-togethers. More than 80% of Australians live close to the coast, at distances of less than 50 kilometers, and in addition, their cities have many parks and green areas. Get used to sports, walks and local celebrations on the beaches, picnics and barbecues in squares and parks, and almost never stop walking and socializing outdoors. But don’t forget: in Australia you don’t eat or drink in the paradises. And alcoholic beverages are not consumed outdoors or on the streets, only in bars or homes.

Wild life

Australians live in perfect harmony with the animals. And it’s not just about the iconic wild animals, but also the animals that can enter homes, including insects and arachnids. You will never see an Aussie kill a cockroach or spider inside their house, no matter their size. They will, at most, gently remove them with a sheet of paper and place them in the yard. Don’t be alarmed when you come across this fauna living peacefully on the walls of the residences.

Laws

Australia has many laws that we would consider unusual. In Melbourne, for example, it is illegal for you to change the light bulbs in your home yourself unless you are a licensed professional electrician. There, horses are forced to walk around town wearing diapers.

Obey the schedules

In Australia, parties have a time to start and end. Arriving late or staying longer than the agreed time is extremely inelegant. Another time limit that may be different from yours is that practically all shops close promptly at 5:00 pm. Even the malls and some cafes close at this time, so I always look at the clock! It may be that you arrive at 4:50 pm at a store and the vendors usually bar you politely at the door saying “Sorry, we are closing”.

5 minute baths

That’s right: baths last a maximum of 5 minutes. Water is a very scarce resource in Australia, which has experienced periods of severe drought. Never waste water in Australia, including bathing.

Domestic services

In Australia there are almost no maids or domestic servants, except in large mansions. In general, everyone takes care of cleaning and organizing their own home, regardless of the economic situation.

Clothes

Australians tend to dress casually. The second-hand clothing culture is quite common as well. People dress for comfort and don’t stare at each other on the street to check what they’re wearing. In fact, it is very common to see people optionally walking barefoot through the streets, markets, shops and the like. Also, wrinkled clothes are quite common and no one seems to mind.

These are just some of the broader nuances of Australian customs and culture. Many habits vary according to the region, and these were some examples that can cause embarrassment for those who are not yet used to it, but which are valid for practically the entire country.

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