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The article is written by Loren Howarth

Moving overseas for study can be daunting, especially if you’ve never visited the country before. And if you’re coming to Australia, you’ll soon find out that this place is full of surprises, with unique slang and foods you’ve probably never heard about (or heard about for the wrong reasons – we’re looking at you Vegemite). But don’t freak out! We’re here to put your mind at ease and help you settle in the land down under.

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Adopt the “no-worries” attitude 

If you didn’t know already, Australians are known for being laid back, and friendly people. Often when things don’t go their way, they just simply accept the situation as it is and get on with it. Although this might be hard to adapt to at first, try it out for yourself. Soon enough, you’ll also find yourself more relaxed due to the influencing energy of the people who surround you.

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Learn the lingo

As we said before, Australia is certainly home to some interesting language. Although “crikey” isn’t said as much as you might expect, there are words such as Yewy (U-Turn), Arvo (afternoon), and Esky (Ice cooler) which may leave you thinking that Australians don’t even speak English at all. So become familiar with some of the most used phrases, to make settling in that little bit easier.

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Set aside time to talk to loved ones back home 

Settling into a foreign country where you don’t know anyone can be very overwhelming and lonely at first. That’s why it’s important to set aside time each day to connect with family and friends. Although it may be difficult due to the time differences, this is an essential step for you to become more comfortable in your new home.

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Get to know where you live

Before moving to Australia, you might’ve seen the Sydney Harbour on your screen. But there’s so much more to this city and others around the country, which you probably don’t know about. Step outside and take a long walk around, and don’t be worried if you seem lost as you will probably discover some amazing places. Becoming familiar with the area will really help you to become more connected and comfortable.

Sometimes you might wish that you never moved to Australia, but just remember why you decided to in the first place! You did it for a reason, so be sure not to doubt that.

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This article is written by Alanna Tomazin

You are studying and enjoying life in Australia and with many of the new challenges you face it is quite easy to overlook your health and the environmental changes that may affect it. You’re embarking on this great adventure in an environment which may differ in culture, food, climate, and lifestyle. All of this can impact upon your physical and emotional well-being. Remember you have to balance things to result in a healthier and happier you!

It’s important to know your health rights when being an international student in Australia. Health is so important and it is vital that you know how to maintain it when you’re so far away from home. To help you out we’ve come up with some ways you can keep yourself healthy and safe while studying here in Australia.

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Health Insurance

International students undertaking studies in Australia and your dependents (if you have any e.g. partners and children) must get Overseas Student Health Cover – OSHC, for the entire duration that you are over here. OSHC is an insurance to assist international students like you when it comes to covering costs for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited medicines if you ever need it while studying here.

There are a number of insurers here in Australia who offer OSHC.

These include:

  • Australian Health Management
  • Allianz Global Assistance
  • BUPA Australia
  • NIB

Tip: Check with your host university for recommendations of who to insure with and for more information visit The Department of Health and OSHC Australia.

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Body Health

It is important that you remember to look after yourself while studying abroad. Living in a new country often means diet changes and a western diet tends to be higher in fat than diets from other regions. This can have a bit of an effect on your health and nutritional state. But not to worry there are plenty of ways to keep yourself healthy and still be able to enjoy the yummy foods Australia has to offer. You need to have the energy to exercise, socialise and study the best way to do this is to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, exercise about 30 minutes of day and maintain a healthy diet! Check out some healthy recipes at Nutrition Australia.

Tip 1: The best way to exercise is to join in on one of the local sports teams at your host university – don’t be shy, it’s also a great way to make new friends!

Tip 2: Keeping your body healthy also creates a strong immune system which is your body’s defence to fight off any infection or illness you may get.

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Mental Health

 Studying in a new country is a very rewarding experience however sometimes it may be a bit daunting. Even though you are keeping busy with your studies and making new friends, you may be faced with times where you are feeling uncertain in an unfamiliar environment. You may feel lonely away from your family and friends and the pressures of studying – this is perfectly natural to experience.

However, if it seems to be drowning you in constant negative emotions then you may be suffering from stress, depression or anxiety or other mental health problems which can lead to tiredness and other health issues. If you’re feeling down please don’t be afraid to speak up. You can talk to your host university’s counsellor or you can get some more information online from support services such as Beyond Blue and Reach Out.

Tip: The best way to deal with feelings of depression and/or stress and anxiety, is to talk to someone about it! Bottling your feelings up is not good for your mental or physical health.

Staying safe in the Australian Environment 

Changes in the environment can have an effect on your health so it’s important to be aware of how to keep yourself safe.

Sun Safety

Australia’s sun is harsh and protection from it is pretty vital. So to save yourself from ending up like a bright red tomato and exposing yourself to the risk of skin cancer we’ve come up with some tips.

Tip 1: Avoid being in the sun directly between 10am and 3pm as this is the peak time when UV rays are out.

Tip 2: When in the sun, always remember to put on a sunscreen of at least SPF 30, you can find this at the local grocery store or a chemist.

Tip 3: Slip on a shirt, slop on the 30+ sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade or shelter and slide on some sunnies. Check out the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide campaign here.

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For more information on how to keep yourself safe visit SunSafe and if you’ve been unlucky and need to treat some nasty sunburn, check out the Sunburn and Skin Cancer section.

Surf and Water Safety

 Australia offers many beautiful coastlines, therefore it is extremely important to understand surf and water safety when visiting popular Australian beaches.

Tip 1: If you want to swim, only swim at beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards. You can locate one here.

Tip 2: It’s important that you only swim in the designated areas – between the red and yellow flags.

Tip 3: It’s best to stay out of the water if you’re unsure of the surf conditions or there are no safety flags as this usually means that the water is not safe to go in. It’s vital that you obey the instructions of life guards and signage around the beach as they are there to protect you and to prevent anything bad from happening.

For some more Surf and Beach safety tips check out Surf Lifesaving Australia.

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Up to date with Vaccinations

 There are no specific immunisations required for entry into Australia, however, your host university may recommend that all of your routine vaccinations are up to date. If you’re not sure when you are meant to receive shots, don’t stress here is a schedule.

The easiest way to check if you’ve had vaccinations is to review your medical records and make sure that you have been vaccinated against Measles, Mumps and Rubella, Hepatitis A and B and have received a tetanus shot in the last 10 years. This will minimise your risk of catching anything while studying abroad. You can check out the Immunise Australia Program for more information.

Tip: You might also want to get a flu shot while in Australia as flu season hits pretty hard between the months of May and October.

Overall, the key is to look after yourself physically and mentally while studying here in Australia. However, don’t be scared if you have to enter the Australian Health Care System. Whether it’s an emergency or routine medical care, you may do it with confidence. Doctors undergo years of medical training, using the most advanced technologies for diagnosis and treatment. Nothing to worry about! Remember to enjoy yourself while studying here in Australia, keeping your health as one of your top priorities. Safe and happy travels from us here at Study Anywhere.

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The article is written by Candice Locklee

As one of the most isolated cities in the world, visiting Perth may not be at the top of your list when you first move to Australia. But with its balmy weather, white beaches, amazing food and wine and laid back Aussie lifestyle, the capital of Western Australia is a scenic paradise just waiting to be explored.

If you’ve only got 48 hours to spare in this vibrant city, here are our top picks of things to do in a short amount of time:

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KINGS PARK

Just outside of the central business district is one of the largest city parks you’ll find in the world and it’s a must-see while visiting Perth. Stretching over 400 hectares (that’s bigger than New York’s famous Central Park!), Kings Park is a spectacular mix of bushland, flat grassy parklands and colourful botanical gardens full of native flora and fauna.

Take a picnic and enjoy a day in the park, get some exercise jogging through the bush or grab your camera and snap some Insta-worthy shots of the city skyline at one of the many lookouts available in the area. Not only is Kings Park the perfect spot for city skyline photos, you can also get some gloriously uninterrupted views of the majestic Swan River, the rolling Perth Hills and endless blue skies that make this city beautiful.

For those who love a tour, there are free guided trail tours on offer that depart daily from outside the gallery shop Aspects of Kings Park at 10 am and 12 pm (1st Sept-30th June) and 2 pm. There are also self-guided tours available for those who want to explore at their own pace – just head to the Visitor Information Centre on the site for all the helpful brochures you’ll need to get started.

DIRECTIONS

KINGS PARK:

Just 1.5km outside of the CBD, Kings Park is easily accessible by public transport. From Perth’s main street St Georges Terrace, catch the 935 bus route to Fraser Avenue Precinct (stop Number 17501). From here, it’s an approximately short 429m walk to Kings Park.

Note: This bus travels within the Free Transit Zone so you can hop on and off for free.

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THE BEACHES

Western Australia’s world famous beaches boast miles of pure white sand and clear blue water that is perfect for swimming, surfing, snorkelling or just lazing around any time of the year.

Perth is within easy reach of some of the best beaches. Cottesloe Beach is a popular tourist beach halfway between Perth and Fremantle that has been a favourite holiday spot for generations. With over a kilometre of white sand, there’s plenty of time to have a swim and a snorkel before finding a spot to watch the sun go down over the Indian Ocean – sunsets are famous in WA and a must-see any time of the year!

Scarborough Beach is another popular spot. Located on the Sunset Coast, Scarborough Beach is a fantastic idea for those who want to soak up the sun and surf before heading off to one of the many cafés along the beachfront for something to eat. Hotels, hostels and shopping are also just a step away.

For something a little more adventurous, take a day trip out to Rottnest Island – a dazzling paradise of bright white sands and crystal waters that’s perfect for whale watching, bird spotting, snorkelling, swimming and surfing. There’s also plenty of hidden beaches if you want something a little more private, such as Strickland Bay, Mary Cove and Catherine Bay which are favourites for surfers.

DIRECTIONS

COTTESLOE BEACH:

There are two main ways to get to Cottesloe from Perth. You can hop on a train by catching the Fremantle line and getting off at Cottesloe. Trains leave every 15 minutes and the ride will take less than 20 minutes. Once there, just follow the signs to the beach just a short walk away.

Alternatively, you can take the bus line 102 from Elizabeth Quay Bus Station to Cottesloe Station. The ride should be about 40 minutes and cost less than $5. Check the link for a detailed timetable of all the stops, click here.

SCARBOROUGH BEACH:

Get to Scarborough Beach by catching one of the bus routes 410, 421, 422 and 990 that run past Scarborough beachfront.

ROTTNEST ISLAND:

Rottnest Island can be reached by ferry. You can book your ticket online through one of the ferry companies that leave from Perth, Fremantle and Hillary’s Boat Harbour in Perth’s North. Click on the company links for deals and tickets – Rottness Express or Rottnest Fast Ferries.

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THE WINERIES

If you want to indulge a little, why not head out to Swan Valley and visit one of the many wineries that make this region so famous? Only 25 minutes from Perth’s CBD, Swan Valley is a sweeping landscape rich in art, history, gourmet food and a thriving viticulture that can all be sampled along the famous Food and Wine Trail – a 32km scenic drive that will take you through the heart of the region for you to experience all that it has to offer.

While you’re there, take some time to visit the Caversham Wildlife Park. With over 2000 animals to see, including koalas, dingoes, reptiles, wombats and the super-cute Quokka, it’s a great way to spend the day with friends and take some memorable photos of your time in WA.

DIRECTIONS

SWAN VALLEY:

There is no regular public transport through this region, so it’s best to pre-arrange your transport. Guided tours are a great way to discover the Swan Valley and can take you from Perth city and along the Food and Wine Trail.

Check the link for details.

CAVERSHAM WILDLIFE PARK:

Caversham Wildlife Park is located in Whiteman Park and is open 9am-5:30 pm every day of the year (minus Xmas) – entry is $28 for one adult. From the Bassendean Station in Perth, catch bus number 955 or 956 to Ellenbrook and get off at the Whiteman Park stop on Lord St.

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FREMANTLE

No trip to Perth is complete without a visit to the nearby port city of Fremantle – a place that is pretty as a picture and rich with Western Australia history. Once there, check out one of the many popular things to do in town. Visit the foreboding Fremantle Prison that stands as Australia’s largest convict prison still intact, explore the Western Australian Maritime Museum to get an understanding of Fremantle’s interesting history (including its history of surf boards and marine creatures), head down to South Terrace where you’ll find an abundance of tasty cafés, restaurants and craft breweries and visit the popular Fremantle Markets open every Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday for an eclectic mix of great food, drink, Indigenous art and local music.

If you need to burn some extra calories, why not hire a bike for free from the Fremantle Visitor Centre and cycle to all of the places you want to see? Fremantle is very bicycle-friendly and there are bike lanes all over the city that can easily take you to all of the popular tourist destinations within the area.

DIRECTIONS

FREMANTLE:

Transperth, Perth’s public transport system, makes it easy to reach Fremantle. Catch the train on the Fremantle line from Perth Station and get off at the final stop, Fremantle Station. If paying for a cash ticket, it should cost you around $7.40 for a return, or $6.00 if using a SmartRider card. Buses are also available outside of train stations in order to easily meet up with train times and get you between Perth and Fremantle as well as anywhere you need to go in the city.

For details and to plan your journey click here.

NOTE:

Similar to Perth’s CBD, Fremantle offers a free shuttle service called CAT (Central Area Transit) meaning that you don’t have to pay anything to travel around the city. Watch out for the blue CAT that runs every 10 minutes and the red CAT that runs every 15 minutes. Check this link for bus stops and timetables.

 

 

 

 

 

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The article is written by Pamela Choo

Making friends can be a hard task for some, especially when you’re in a foreign country. You’re focused on settling in and getting used to the new environment that socialising may not be your first priority. However, making good friends in a new place that you’ll be living in for a while can be pretty vital. It can make your experience living abroad a more positive and memorable one. So here are some tips on how to instantly make friends.

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Be nice

Yes, just be nice. I’m not saying go ahead and be a pushover, but simply be a nice person when you encounter a new human being. Say hi, or compliment them on something you noticed. When you set the intention to be a nice person, you’ll naturally be a magnet to other people.

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Smile. And do it often.

This, I find, is simple yet really effective. If you’re not the smiling type, I suggest trying to practice smiling more often. When you’re at a social event and you meet new people, start with a smile. You’ll find that most times people will smile back and feel more at ease around you. This could also lead to an engaging conversation—you never know! But a smile can be all it takes to make a new friend.

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Be genuine

All these tips won’t really make a difference if you don’t appear genuine. In anything that you do, let your words and actions come from a real place. If you’re going to compliment someone, mean it. If you’re asking someone, ‘how are you?’ genuinely take the time to be interested. Make eye contact with the other person. If you’re looking to make new friends, it’s important to be open to random encounters and to be truly present in them.

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Be helpful

If you see someone who is lost around campus or if someone appears to be ill, take the initiative to help him or her out. It doesn’t have to be a big move. The first step can be asking if he or she needs help with anything. It can be difficult for a person to ask for help, especially if it’s with someone he or she doesn’t know too well. So let them know it’s no trouble and that you’re willing to help!

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Be lighthearted—don’t take yourself too seriously

In the initial stages of getting to know someone new, it can be good to keep things light and to even have some silliness or jokes in the conversation. When you appear lighthearted, it will help the other person to feel more comfortable around you. We all want to be around people who are positive and easy to be around.

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Skip the small talk

At the same time, though, your conversations with someone new doesn’t necessarily have to be revolved around small talk about the weather or how your day went. If you feel comfortable enough, sometimes skipping the small talk can enable you to make new, and possibly more lasting, friends. You can ask them about their backgrounds, their interests and hobbies. You might find that the other person is willing to share simply because you asked.

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Listen

With that, it brings us to the next and final tip, which is the importance of being a good listener. Most of my closest friends are amazing listeners, and I think this is a quality that you can’t find in just anyone. Everyone likes to be heard. And it’s easy to tell when someone isn’t really listening (we’re all guilty of that, am I right?). So being more conscious of listening whenever you’re speaking to a new acquaintance can attract new friendships into your life.

 

If following all these tips seems a bit daunting, just go with the flow when you meet someone new. The most important thing of all is to be yourself. The kind of person you are attracts the kind of people you become friends with, so just be you. You’ll meet the right people in due time and you might just surprise yourself with the new friendships that you make in a foreign place. They may just be your ‘home’ away from home.

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