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Things To Know Before You Leave To Study Abroad

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 Things To Know Before You Leave To Study Abroad 


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Studying and living overseas can be a daunting experience, especially one that is over 15,000 kilometers away from home! Here’s a short guide of 5 things I think would be great to know before heading down under.


  1. The weatherScreen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.10.20


The first thing that comes to most of our minds when thinking about Australia is their weather- we picture a blazing sun over our heads and our feet entrenched in blazing hot sand. This may be true for half of the year, but you would be absolutely stunned by how cold it actually gets in the winter (relatively speaking, of course). While it may not drop down to the frigid -30ºC or -40ºC we get back home, the temperature during an Adelaide winter can drop uncomfortably close to 0ºC. Speaking from experience, this can feel even colder than the winter back at home if you don’t dress correctly. Toques, jackets, vests, hoodies, sweatpants, thick socks… bring them all and you will not regret it.


  1. The “language”

The official language of Australia is English- but you would never guess from listening to a conversation between two Australians. Their tendency to abbreviate any and every word possible, along with their English-style accents and vocabulary makes it seem like they speak an entirely different language! Here are a few examples of what I mean:


Rellies à relatives

Thongs à flip flops (had trouble accustoming to this one)

Dunny à toilet

A whole collection of words abbreviated by –o: smoko à smoke break; garbo à garbage man; bottle à bottle shop; arvo à afternoon; and many, many more.


Most of their terms are pretty self-explanatory but on the occasion that you don’t understand something, they are more than happy to help you out.

  1. The animals

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Before arriving in Australia, I had my own vision of what the country would be like- influenced heavily by sweeping stereotypes. I can’t be the only one who imagined kangaroos hopping along on the roads with koalas swarming the trees overhead. Sadly, that is not the case- at least not in the city streets. I have yet to see a kangaroo or koala in the city, but you’d be excited to hear that they are quite common in suburban areas. In fact, I have seen koalas in the trees and kangaroos crossing on roads just 10 minutes outside the Adelaide city center!


  1. The sports

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Forget hockey, basketball, and baseball as the Big 3, and replace them with Australian Rules Football (“Footy”), rugby, and cricket. Australians are die-hard fans in their respective sports and are extremely passionate about their teams. In Adelaide, the most popular sport is footy. In fact, it is so popular here that they have two local teams- the Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power. Although not as popular, there are local soccer, basketball, and ice hockey (yes, ice hockey in Australia) teams!



  1. The food and drinkScreen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.11.07

Australia is similar to Canada in terms of multiculturalism and this is reflected in their vast selection of culinary delights. There are many “hotspots” around the city that showcase food from various cultures, such as Chinatown, Renaissance Arcade, and central market food courts, among many others. One of the vast differences between Canadian and Australian culture is the indulgence of alcohol. Aside from the drinking age of 18, Australians absolutely love to drink. It isn’t uncommon to grab a morning drink before work or at midday on lunch break, a time where most bars back home wouldn’t even be open yet! In Adelaide, they especially love their wines due to the close proximity to the famed Barossa Valley vineyards and wineries.


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