Modern Australia is truly a multicultural country. Collectively, Australians now come from over 200 other countries. With about 21% of the population speaking another language than English. It makes Australia one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse populations in the world. Today the European culture of early settlers is combined with influences from nearby neighbours in Asia and the Pacific, and migrants from around the world. The result is a country full of variety – from the food we eat to the languages we speak and the religions we follow. It means that international students are sure to feel at home, in a culture which can best be described as relaxed and welcoming.
Freedom of speech and equality are values that Australians hold dear. Equal opportunity, regardless of gender, religion, nationality, disability or sexual preference is considered a fundamental right.
There’s a highly creative and artistic side to Australia, reflected in the extensive network of art galleries, performing arts centres and theatres that can be found across the country. Although excellent, well-maintained roads connect Australia’s different regions, the vast distance between cities means people often fly to attend events or visit friends. Other popular pastimes include exploring Australia’s amazing landscape and natural wonders. Camping, boating and fishing are interests that many Australians look forward to at the weekend, with 4WD vehicles loaded with gear to go off the beaten track.
“Each city has its own characteristics and attractions but both cities are brilliant: Gold Coast with the well-known and beautiful beach and Brisbane with a hip and dynamic lifestyle.”
Doan Tuong Vi NGUYEN, Foundation Student
Over 80% of mammals and reptiles in Australia are found nowhere else on Earth. These unique animals include koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, wombats, dingoes and quokkas. So, it’s often well-worth travelling to less populated places, where these animals are more likely to be sighted. But you don’t have to travel far – places like K’gari (Fraser Island) and Stradbroke Island are just a ferry ride from Brisbane and full of incredible, native wildlife. At the right time of year, there’s a good chance you’ll see migrating whales and leaping dolphins too.
Australia’s warm climate makes outdoor activities possible throughout most of the year. Of all the regions of Australia, the climate of south-east Queensland is generally considered the most liveable, year-round. Almost perfectly midway on the eastern coast of Australia, it has the most consistent temperature, shielded from the seasonal extremes that can take place further north and south. Whether on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane, locals are able to dress comfortably in shorts and a T-shirt almost every day. A hat and sunglasses are the only other essential accessories.