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Expectations Versus Realities of International Students in Australia

By Joan

Thursday, 21 February 2019

 It is becoming a norm for most students to seek education abroad after high school or an undergraduate. Most people travel miles and miles just to find suitable places and Australia has become one of the most attractive destination for students worldwide. It is so normal to have expectations of a place prior to visiting it. A lot of digging is done, from the culture of the place, to the weather and so much more that captures an individual’s attention. Unfortunately, upon arrival, we either find out we under rated or over rated the place, hence more adjustments are to be made to survive. The following are some of the common expectations versus the realities.



It is every international student’s desire to make and have friends from different backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. It makes us rich with culture and understand diversity. So before travelling to a new country you believe you will have friends from all races and backgrounds, how exciting right?

On arrival, like any other human being, we look for people we have things in common with especially if it is an individual’s first time away from home. Most people will tend to look for people with the same geographical origin, culture and beliefs. We move in and live with people of our kind, walk with them and attend all events involving them. Which is not bad as it gives a sense of belonging comfort and reduces loneliness and sadness which may led to depression. This also enables the formation of strong bonds and easier ways of survival like finding jobs and all other things. However, it is important to step out of that comfort zone and network with people from other origins.

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I am honestly guilty of this one. Yes, I have lost weight but not as drastic as I thought. Anyway back to the topic. Some international students believe they will lose or not gain weight due to change of the environment and the difference in food they have to adjust to.

To be realistic, they are plenty of fast food joints in Australia that happen to be any easy way out for most students especially those who are not good cooks or are feeling lazy to go to the kitchen. However, most people would still go to their home restaurants to get that taste of home food which are rampantly growing in Australia. We also want to experience new food from different cultures which we would not want to miss out in the name of ‘watching the figure.’ The best idea is to enjoy the food but also check on portion sizes and being active.

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Australia with no doubt is a beautiful country with lots of places to visit. From the beaches to the zoos and museums among others. As part of going into a new country international students expect to be on top of everything with adventures and exploring. We pack our cameras, hiking and camping essentials and everything necessary for a fun life abroad.

The thing is we are coming to Australia to study and most of the time academics consume all our time so that when that free time is found, we just opt to relax or sleep. We also need funds for most of these adventures but most of us still need the funds to survive and cater for basic needs. With all these competing needs, we may not have the time and funds for exploring.

The best way to do these and tick of your bucket list is by living each day at a time and not biting more than what you can chew. Taking note of the little moments counts, like just a normal class day having fun with those, a scenic walk or a beautiful sunset. I believe those don’t need money. Do not get stressed if your expectations are not met, as with time everything can be accomplished.



The bottom-line is that it’s good to have expectations of a new place but when reality does not meet your expectations, do not be frustrated, enjoy what the world has to offer.

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