10 Reasons to Study Abroad in Australia
Looking back at old pictures from my study abroad experience, I can’t help but grin. My time spend in Sydney was a very special 6 months that I truly will never forget. From endless beaches, to a slower pace of life, Australia is a great study abroad spot. I recently connected with the blog Student Universe to write a piece about 10 reasons to study abroad in Australia and it got published here!
Or keep reading below to see why its truly the best!
When choosing a destination to study abroad, lots of students flock immediately to Europe for the quintessential study abroad experience. Filled with baguettes, wine, and city-hoping, there’s no doubt that Europe is a great place to live for a semester. But often Australia gets overlooked as a study abroad destination, but it’s never ending beaches and young history will make you think twice before deciding where to spend your semester abroad.
1. Beaches for DAYS
Having gone to school in the midwest, I was ready to trade a harsh winter for a semester filled with sun and beaches. I chose to study abroad in Sydney, Australia and it was the perfect location as there was sun and sand as far as the eye could see. The best part was heading straight from the classroom to the beach to soak up the sun! Some of my personal favorites in Sydney were Manly Beach, Bronte Beach, and Coogi Beach!
2. Explore great barrier reef and other amazing nature
Exploring the Great Barrier Reef was definitely on my bucket list, and studying abroad in Australia gave me the opportunity to travel to Cairns and see this wonder with my own eyes! It truly is a special experience to see the reef in person, but the great barrier reef isn’t the only natural beauty Australia has to offer. There are beaches, national parks, coastal hikes, pink lakes, and more to explore. So if you are an outdoorsy person, Australia has plenty to keep you busy.
3. Spend time living in your city
Since the size of Australia is similar to America, hopping on a plane every weekend wasn’t always convenient or affordable. Compared to most European study abroad destinations where weekend travel is easy and often, studying abroad in Sydney, Australia truly allowed me to immerse myself in the city. This is one of the main reasons I chose to study abroad here, because it gave me time to learn about so many parts of the city that I wouldn’t have otherwise. By the end of the semester, my friends and I all felt like Sydney locals, we knew which bars, restaurants, beaches, and neighborhoods weren’t touristy.
4. Acai Bowls and Smoothie Bowls as Far as the Eye Can See
One of my go-to dishes in Australia for every meal of the day became acai bowls. They are ever present throughout Sydney, and I swear I never had a bad one. If you ever wanted to change up your eating habits, this is the place for you, as there are tons of vegan and vegetarian cafes catering to all your dietary adventures.
5. Commit to the Time Difference
Simply going on a short vacation to Australia is quite difficult with the time difference and the amount of time it takes just to get there. However, studying abroad is truly the best time to take advantage of this and commit to the time difference. The 14/16 hour time difference makes your window of communication to the USA difficult at times, but it will truly push you to connect with friends in Australia and the city around you too.
6. Unique Cities to Explore Across the Country
When you do want a weekend getaway, there are tons of unique, modern cities to explore! Sydney is comparable to a San Francisco and Melbourne is comparable to NYC, but there are other unique cities like Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Newcastle, Adelaide, and more, each boasting their own personality and worthy of exploring! Take the time to do your research and figure out which cities interest you the most before planning an epic weekend! During my semester, I made weekend trips to Melbourne, Uluru, and Whitsundays!
7. Aboriginal culture and the history of Australia
I didn’t know anything about Australia’s history when I first arrived. But throughout my entire semester I learned so much about the country and its new history, specifically the aboriginal culture! The aboriginals are the indigenous people of Australia.
8. Uluru + The Outback is unlike anywhere you have ever been before
The Outback is a place I had only heard of in terms of the American Steakhouse chain and a mysterious place with Australian cowboys and kangaroos in the middle of the country. I was determined to experience it and it was beyond my expectations. The Outback is an arid dessert located in the Northern Territory, it is home to Ulluru, a large rock formation is of immense spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people. If you visit the rock, you can learn about all the stories, legends, and traditions centered around this spiritual place!
9. Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Oceania are easily accessible and cheap from major Australian airports!
From Australia, taking a flight to Southeast Asia or New Zealand is similar to hoping on a plane to Europe from New York City. So even though you probably won’t take many weekend trips while you study abroad, you can take spring break in Thailand, Vietnam or Bali or you can take a long weekend trip to New Zealand. It is monumentally easier to visit these corners of the world with Australia as your home base. The flights are affordable and shorter, allowing you less time with jet lag and more time exploring these beautiful countries you wouldn’t be able to otherwise!
I took my spring break in Thailand, and then three weeks to explore Vietnam and New Zealand at the end of my semester before heading home! These trips were some of the highlights of my study abroad experience.
10. You’ll leave a piece of your heart here and always want to move back
The best reason to study abroad in Australia is that you will most definitely leave a piece of your heart here, and forever will feel a pull to go back whenever you have the chance. The easy going pace of life, endless beaches, and beautiful seasons will always have you thinking about the special place down under.