Discover why Australia is much more than kangaroos and the iconic Opera House. Australia’s indigenous population has a profound impact on culture and visual art. The interior of the country is very dry and arid so most people live in the narrow, fertile coastal plains and on the south-eastern coast. Outdoor life rules: swimming at stunning beaches, playing cricket or having barbecues in the park.
Australian teen life also includes sports, hiking, camping, and yes, going to the beach. Many young people also work part-time after school and on weekends to earn spending money. Youth clubs are popular: Scouts, religious groups, athletic teams, and volunteer activities.
Host family and community
You can live anywhere in Australia: major cities, rural farms, and somewhere in between. Everyone shares in the housework. Families usually get together for dinner and it’s pretty common to get take-out for a quick meal. Although Australians tend to be informal and laid back, “please“ and “thank you” are used abundantly.
You will attend either a private or public school. Education is taken seriously in Australia and its schools are rated highly on an international level. The school day runs from 8:45 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. You’ll likely choose your electives but some classes are required, such as English and physical education. School uniforms are required.
English, in its Aussie variant, is the official language of Australia. Chinese, Italian and Greek are the most commonly spoken second languages. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. You will participate in language lessons provided by AFS, and local volunteers may help arrange independent language study for you during the first months.
Australians generally eat three meals a day and do not eat snacks between meals. A lot of Australian food is similar to food from the United Kingdom, such as meat pies and fish and chips. But there is also a heavy Asian influence and recently there has been a renewed interest in “bushfoods,” or foods traditionally eaten by the Aboriginal community. Other popular dishes include steak, lamb chops, sausages, seafood, and pasta.