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Australia

Overview of Australia

■ Housing

International students in Australia are advised to stay for some time in a guest house or hostel, taking some time to think where they want to live and search for accommodation there. Universities might offer accommodation, so it might be easier to accept what they offer.
If you decide to get a house by yourself, you can live alone or share with friends. The cost will depend on the location, where you want to live, if the bills are included or not, and how old the building you are rending is. You’ll have to sign a lease agreement, which states how long you are staying, and pay a bond, which is about 4 weeks rent, and will be refunded when the contract is over and if the property is undamaged. Renting a house is very nice, but be aware they are probably not furnished, so you’ll have to buy everything.
Homestay is mandatory for students under 18 years and it is also an option for those who want to experience the true Aussie family life.

■ Transportation system

Public transportation in Australia is well organized and the options may vary depending on the location, but major options are trains, buses, ferries, trams, taxis and airplanes.

■ Shopping

Most major cities have a lot of options to go shopping, and at least one big shopping mall. For clothing, there are fast fashion stores where you can buy for cheap, such as Cotton On. You can pay using cash, debit card, credit card and a system called Lay-by, which allows you to pay in a determined period of time, but you can only take your purchase home after paying for it.

■ Cuisine

Australian traditional food, the one that the original inhabitants of the area used to eat, is referred as bushfood or bush tucker. This very organic cuisine is full of fruits, Australian native animals’ meat, nuts and vegetables. Although this is no longer the major cuisine in Australia, there are still some places where you can have it.
Due to the multi-cultural characteristic of the major cities in Australia, it is easy to have basically any kind of food, but the cheapest ones are Asian cuisine.

■ Culture

Australia was first inhabited by indigenous Australians, but in the late 18th century, the British colonized the land. After World War II, the country welcomed people from many nationalities, making Australia a very multi-ethnic country.
Australia is the home of AC/DC, Bee Gees, INXS and Kylie Minogue, and has also a Country Music tradition. The country is also known for its sports culture, having won many competitions in cricket, rugby union, rugby league, field hockey, netball, tennis, golf and surfing.

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