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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 welcome.

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 Australians.



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 time.

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 household chores.

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
Capital: Canberra
Language: English
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.





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