Australian culture: lifestyle, higher education, food and tradition
Australia is one of the largest countries in the world, with so much to see and do. Considered a ‘megadiverse country’, Australia is home to a range of varying climates and beautiful landscapes. And even more varied than its geography, is its culture. Whether its rural, coastal, suburban, or in a city, there is so much to explore in Australia.
Immerse yourself in Australian culture
There is no better way to get to experience local culture than seeing it for yourself. A great place to start is Sydney, a city with five million people waiting to share their culture. With 39% of the total population of Greater Sydney being born overseas (NYU 2021), you’ll be among diverse company as you get to know your new home.
A coastal city filled with activities for all tastes – enjoy culture at the many art galleries, theatres, live music venues and festivals throughout the city. Known as Sydneysiders, the people of Sydney take coffee and food seriously and produce some of the best coffee, cafes, farmers markets and restaurants in the world. And finally, you cannot come to Sydney without taking in some of its world famous sites such as the Opera House, Taronga Zoo and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Australia is famous for its warm days and sunny beaches – and Sydney is no different. Whether you’re sunbathing on the beach, exploring the city centre, or hanging out on your university campus, the weather will be great. The average temperatures in Sydney are:
- Summer: 18.6 to 25.8°C (65.5 to 78.4°F)
- Winter: 8.8 to 16°C (47.8 to 57°F)
With warm summers and mild winters, you can keep exploring your new home all year around. As Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, summer is from December to February and winter lasts from June to August.
For something a little different, make sure you visit one of the country’s many festivals. You’ll be able to find festivals based around many interests – including art, music, food. Festivals ensure you get to discover your new home alongside likeminded people. Some festivals you could visit include:
- Vivid Sydney: an annual festival of light, music and ideas. Vivid Sydney features light installations across the city, as well as music performances and talks and debates.
- Splendour in the Grass: one of Australia’s biggest music festivals, Splendour in the Grass takes place each year up the coast from Sydney in Byron Bay.
- Ultra Festival: Ultra Festivals take place all over the world, and Australia is home to two of these festivals in both Sydney and Melbourne.
- Lost Paradise: experience music, camping, art and yoga at this three-day festival located just over an hour away from Sydney.
- Sydney Festival: Get creative with Sydney Festival. Taking place each January in venues all over Sydney, this is a great way to get to explore more of the city.
Higher education system in Australia
How does the Australian education system work?
The Australian education system is respected throughout the world. As an English-speaking country, degrees from Australian universities are globally recognised – creating career opportunities worldwide. The Australian higher education system ranks 9th in the world in the Ranking of National Higher Education Systems 2020 (Universitas 21).
Degrees are both theoretical and practical, ensuring that graduates enter the job market with the skills they need to succeed. Degrees are offered at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level.
Student life in Australian universities
As a student at an Australian university, you will be a part of a multicultural student community made up of students from across the globe. This means that as well as becoming involved in Australian culture, you will get the added benefit of learning about the cultures of all your many classmates.
Your studies in Australia will be focussed on preparing you for your future career and life as a graduate. For example, the University of Sydney is ranked #1 in Australia and #4 in the world for student employability (2022 QS Graduate Employability Rankings) – meaning you’ll have a great future by choosing to study in Sydney.
Food and tradition
Whilst you’re studying here, you can use the opportunity to experience some of Australia’s delicious traditional food options. Don’t forget to try:
- Cherry Ripe: one of Australia’s oldest chocolate bars with a coconut and cherry filling.
- Fairy Bread: beloved by Australian children, this snack of white bread, margarine and sprinkles is perfect if you’re in the mood for something sweet.
- Vegemite on toast: a famous Australian breakfast.
- Flat white: Australia’s favourite coffee, the flat white, is one or two shots of espresso topped with a thin layer of steamed milk.
- BBQ: take advantage of the great weather and experience the famous Australian BBQ.
Religion and beliefs
Australia is a large country with a varied population, meaning many different religions and beliefs are observed. In the 2021 census, the most common religions were listed as:
- Christianity (43.9%)
- No religion (38.9%)
- Islam (3.2%)
- Hinduism (2.7%)
- Buddhism (2.4%)
Australia has a strong economy. Some facts about the Australian economy in 2022 include:
- Australia is the 14th-largest national economy by nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
- Australia is the 22nd-largest goods exporter.
- Australia is the 24th-largest goods importer.
Frequently asked questions
How do Australians say hello?
The official language of Australia is English, so you can say hello by just saying ‘hello’, ‘hi’ or ‘hey’. Around the world, there is a stereotype of using “G’day mate” as a greeting in Australia, but this isn’t commonly used among Australians.
How do Australians dress?
Stereotypically, Australians are viewed as wearing casual and practical clothing. But most importantly, Australia is a welcoming and friendly country where you should be able to wear what you feel most comfortable in. Additionally, as the weather in Australia is warm, you should dress accordingly to these temperatures.
What food is popular in Australia?
Various Australian foods are famous around the world. If you want to try some stereotypically Australian food, some famous foods include vegemite, Tim Tams and avocado toast.