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Daily life in Australia
You will probably notice some lifestyle
differences between Australia and your
home country. Here are some insights into
• Australians are quite casual and informal.
For example, most Australian students
refer to their lecturers and tutors by their
• Australians expect everyone to be
treated equally. It is customary to thank
shop assistants and other service staff
when they assist you.
• It is important to be on time in Australia
it is polite to call if you are going to
be late for an appointment.
• Smoking is not permitted in restaurants,
bars, nightclubs and many other public
covered areas, such as train stations.
• Littering is prohibited, as is drinking
alcohol in a public place.
Most Australians will be happy to help you
if you’re unsure of something.
Staying in touch with your family and
friends is easy. There are many mobile
phone providers in Australia (including
Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin
Mobile), each offering an extensive range
of mobile phones and payment options.
Phone cards offering cheap rates for
overseas calls are widely available.
Your education provider will generally have
free internet and computer services. Public
libraries also offer computer facilities, often
at no cost, and you may be able to find
free wifi in cafés and restaurants. If you
wish to have the internet connected at
home, you can organise this through one
of the many service providers (the main
ones being Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin
Mobile, iiNet and Internode).
Post offices are typically open from 9 am
to 5 pm on weekdays (although some
have extended hours and are also open
on Saturdays). Australia Post sends letters
and packages around the world, generally
in less than a week for international post
and overnight for destinations within
Australians love to shop. Major towns
and capital cities have shopping facilities
such as supermarkets, convenience stores,
markets, department stores, discount
stores, chain retailers and small luxury
boutiques. Shopping destinations include
shopping centres and malls, as well as
outdoor shopping strips. Most larger stores
and shopping centres in metropolitan areas
are open from 9 am to 5 pm seven days
a week, with some offering late-night
shopping until 9 pm or later on Thursdays
or Fridays. Other retailers may have more
limited hours or close on weekends. Some
supermarkets and convenience stores are
open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Major grocery stores in Australia include
Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA; major
department stores include Myer and David
Jones; and major discount department
stores include Target, Big W and Kmart.
The electricity current in Australia is
240/250 volts (AC 50 Hz). Australia uses a
three-pin plug, so you will need an adaptor
plug for appliances brought from home. If
your appliances do not operate at 240/250
volts, you will also need a voltage converter.
Adaptor plugs and voltage converters are
easy to find once you arrive in Australia.
When you arrive in Australia, you may find that daily life is very different to your home
country. Here are some tips to help you adjust to life in Australia.
Australians value their leisure time and take
advantage of the country’s great climate
by spending a lot of time outside having
barbeques with friends, bushwalking,
camping or going to the beach. They also
like to dine out and go to the cinemas in
their leisure time. Sport is a big passion for
many Australians — especially home-grown
Australian Rules Football (AFL), cricket,
rugby and tennis. Joining a sporting club
is a great way to make friends. Australia
also has a vibrant cultural scene, with
many art galleries, museums, theatres and
music venues around the country. Music,
fashion, arts and food festivals are also
held throughout the year. A good way to
get started is to see what kind of social
activities are organised by your education
Due to its multicultural heritage, Australia
offers a fantastic variety of food from
all over the world at restaurants, cafés
and takeaway shops. Australia is also
renowned for its high-quality fresh produce
(including meat, seafood, dairy, wine,
fruit and vegetables), which is available
at markets and supermarkets. Bakeries,
butcher’s shops, fruit and vegetable shops,
delicatessens, international food stores and
other specialty food shops are common
throughout the country, so it won’t be
difficult to find everything you need to
cook your favourite foods at home.
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