Australia - “the land of the Aussies”
In Australia there is something for
everybody. Exchange students who choose Australia can expect a relaxed and
friendly way of life full of new exciting opportunities. Both the cities
and the countryside offer unique experiences. On STS chaparoned tours you
can explore the great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Ayers rock, the koalas,
kangaroos and much more.
The Australians, the “Assuies”,
are open, friendly and candid. Their lifestyle is relaxed and they very
much enjoy talking to newcomers about their country. Regardless of which
part of the country you visit the Australians guarantee you a friendly
The country is also full of
fascinating animals and mysterious wilderness. Australia has many
different sides to offer; from famous Ayers Rock in the desert to the
magnificent tropic northern parts. You can wander in the wilderness in the
many national parks. Orienteering and camping are also very popular.
Australian High School
Australian high school begins in the
8th grade and finishes in the 12th. This means that Australians study five
years of high school. The last year (12th grade) is completed with a final
certificate, which is necessary in order to become accepted at the
university. Australian high school students have a number of subjects to
choose from, for instance Art, Sport, Computer Science, Drama or Languages.
You may even study Japanese, Indonesian or Chinese!
The school year consists of four
semesters with the longest break, six weeks, from December to the end of
January. Other school breaks are during Easter, in July, and in September.
The study results during the last two years of Australian High School are
added to make up the final certificate. In order to be able to apply to
the university you have to study hard during the last eight semesters (since
there are four semesters to a school year).
The students wear school uniforms in
Australia. The school day usually begins at 9 am and ends around 3 pm. The
students have lunch in school, and food is often brought from home but
lunch can also be bought at school.
School start: End of January.
Australian Spare Time Activities
Most Australians devote their spare
time to some kind of sport activity. The climate and all the beautiful
beaches encourage outdoor sports during most part of the year and in many
parts of Australia the weather is warm all year round.
Since most Australians live on the
coast, they mainly take an interest in water sports, for instance sailing,
surfing, swimming and water skiing. Many people compete in swimming or
sailing and there are plenty of surfing competitions. The new trendy sport
wakeboarding has become very popular among young Australians and
competitions in this sport are now being arranged.
Ball sports are also immensely popular.
Sports such as cricket, Australian Rules rugby, soccer and tennis are some
of Australia’s landlubber sports. Much time is spent supporting your
favorite team. There are plenty of sport arenas and sport establishments.
You can find tennis courts and indoor pools in every city.
Mountains cover a small part of
southern Australia. Here you may ski, snowboard or enjoy other winter
sport activities. Thousands of people visit the snow fields every year and
the interest in all kinds of winter sports is growing rapidly among the
Australian Family Life
Most Australians live in their own
house in a residential neighbourhood. Most homes consist of three of four
bedrooms and many have a swimming pool. Central heating is not common,
instead open fires, electrical heaters or gas fires are used in the
kitchen and living room. Usually bedrooms are not heated. Most Australian
families have one or several pets.
Australian parents take a great
interest in their children and are much involved in their daily
activities. They are often called on to assist at their children's schools
in a voluntary capacity either with fund raising or helping out in the
lunch "canteen". They take a great interest in their children's
sporting or social activities. The Australian parents usually have strict
"house rules" which all family members have to obey,
particularly in regards to helping with home duties and to respect the
"curfew" times. Parents want to know what their children are
doing and with whom. It is very important to them that you are home on
The Australians are known for their
outgoing personalities, generosity and sense of humour. The atmosphere in
an "Aussie" home is usually open, warm and sprinkled with a good
sense of humour, friendly teasing and laughter. Australian teenagers are
expected to clean their rooms, help with the dishes and do general
The Australians are active people who
enjoy spending their spare time with their families, either playing sports
together, going to the beach or having picnics. Most mothers are in the
workforce, either full time or part time. Many teenagers also work in the
evenings or during the weekend, often at McDonalds or at the local
supermarkets to earn extra money for clothing and amusements.
Basic Facts About Australia
Location: A continent in the Southern
Hemisphere surrounded by the Tasmanian Sea in the south and the Pacific
Ocean in the north.
Area: 7,682.300 square kilometers
Population: Appr. 18 million
National Holiday: January 26
Celebrity: The kangaroo
Australia is a federal monarchy and an
independent part of the British Commonwealth. The national holiday, called
Australia Day is celebrated on January 26 in memory of the first British
convicts who arrived in New South Wales in 1788.
Australia is the smallest and driest of the seven continents and it is
divided into eight different states/provinces: The Northern Territory, New
South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Canberra,
Victoria and Tasmania.
All states/provinces have their own capitals and are totally different
concerning style and population. Sydney, which has one of the world’s
most beautiful harbours, is the biggest city in Australia.Here you may see
the famous Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Other cities in
Australia also have many exciting things to see and experience. Australia
is a multi-cultural country and this fact has become an important element
in the development of the nation.