9 Things to Know Before Studying Abroad in Australia



To my fellow non-Australians out there. Let’s play a game, what is the first thing you think of when you see this word? ~Australia~


If you tell me you thought of anything besides Steve Irwin, a marsupial, a sweaty-shirtless-Hemsworth, or the “that’s not a knife, that’s a knife” scene from Crocodile Dundee, you’re LYIN’.

Before I left to study abroad on the Gold Coast, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I was flying to the literal other side of the planet to go to another English speaking country. Did that mean it was going to be similar or completely different?

All I knew about Australia was embarrassingly enough from this mermaid show on Nickelodeon that I used to watch. “H20” anyone??

Truly, it was my first time that I was Shutting Up and Going. I was just a small, naïve soul that had no idea what I was getting myself into.

That being said, here are 9 things to know before studying abroad in Australia.

1) You will attend an Aussie Rules game, have no idea what the frick is happening, but love it all at the same time. 

Welcome to Aussie Rules Football! Didn’t know Australia had their own sport? Yea neither did I.

Like rugby kinda, but with the biggest stadium you’ve ever seen. The point of the game is to kick the ball between these posts that high-key resemble Quidditch.

After watching two minutes of this, it is easy to tell why the rest of the world thinks the NFL is boring AF (sorry dad). I mean this sh!t is WILD okay? In Aussie Rules the players are not only allowed but encouraged, to jump off each other’s backs with zero padding on.

Did I mention that there are both men’s and women’s professional teams?

* cries with tears of feminism *

2) The Aussie accent is extremely charming

Get used to it. Or don’t. I never did and got a hardcore case of the swoons.

It all began on my flight from Los Angeles to Sydney when I was sitting in a very squished Delta window seat. I sat next to (and slept on) a beautiful, dark-haired Aussie. We flirted, ate together, and synchronized our movie screens; you know just your typical 16-hour-long-date.

Maybe in an alternate universe, we would’ve joined the mile-high club, but 20-year-old-me was not that bold no sir. We did become Facebook friends so if you’re reading this Beau, hi you’re still hot.

3) Heaps, Keen, Reckon

Australians’ favorite words! You will pick up on these, and then come back home, say them, and no one will know what you’re talking about!

Heaps: a lot
Keen: wanting to do something
Reckon: to think

You can be heaps excited. You can be keen. You can be heaps keen. You can reckon that you’re heaps keen. The combinations are endless, but you will hear all. of. them.

4. In short, shorten every word
  • Breakfast – brekky.
  • Chocolate biscuit – choccy biccy
  • Journalist – journo
  • Avocado – Avo.
  • Afternoon – Arvo (ya that one I couldn’t figure out for the longest time).

You get the idea.


5) Goon

You will drink it, you will love it, all the while simultaneously hating it. If you have any idea where this name originated from hmu please because psssh it beats me.

Goon is cheap boxed wine, and it will be the only type of liquor that you can afford. Unless of course you secretly won the lotto pre-study abroad, then go buy yourself an AUD 40 handle of bottom shelf liquor.

Also, in that case, my venmo is @Rose-Mikhail, and I’m always taking donations.

6. You really can’t beat the coffee

Granted, I’ve always been an avid coffee drinker, but oh Lordy was it hard to come back home after having it here.

Pro tip: if you want a very unexpected, yet pleasant surprise, order an iced coffee. You’ll thank me later while you’re sweating your soul out in the 95°F/35°C temps.

7. Everything wants to kill you

Things that I knew were dangerous: spiders, snakes, and crocodiles.
Things that I didn’t know were dangerous: paralyzing and blinding plants??????

@Aus, you’re WILD.

8. Drop Bears = Satanic koalas

There is a legend, if you will, that giant versions of koalas drop down from the trees to prey on innocent and lonely hikers in the Hinterland. An Australian will tell you that these animals exist and then further explain all the horror stories that are associated with them.

Spoiler Alert: I fell for it.

lil' guy wouldn't hurt anybody
9. Program expenses

Yes, Australia is probs gonna be your university’s most expensive study abroad program. But you know what that means?


If you read that in the rhythm of, “Shots” by LMFAO, you’re doing it right.

Also, look into directly enrolling in your university of choice to save THOUSANDS of $$$. And check out these tips.

Got any tips for visiting or studying in Australia? What’s your favorite part about Australia?

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