If you’re preparing to head off to Australia next semester, you probably have a pretty set idea of what it will be like. However when I went there for a semester I was shocked to learned that it was quite different from how I thought things would be. Here are five things that you probably should know before heading over:
1. Australia is expensive
Seriously save up before you go! Probably the most shocking part of Australia is just how expensive it is. Canberra and Sydney are both in the list of the 20 most expensive cities of the world. What does that translate to? When I was there a movie ticket was $18 (except for Mondays, they were $8 then!), there was no $1 menu at Mcdonald’s with the cheapest meal being around $6 there, a beer at just about any bar was a minimum of $4.50 and a one shot drink in the city was $8. Yikes!
2. It gets cold.
This is one thing no one ever believes me about- but yes Australia does get cold in the winter, especially if you go farther south to Melbourne. During the day it was about in the 60’s but as soon as the sun sets (which during winter is around 5:30) it gets cold. While it never got below freezing while I was there in the winter, it is still a good idea to pack warmish clothes because seriously, Australia does get cold.
3. Prepare to drink a lot of boxed wine
A small bottle of alcohol in Australia will cost you about $25. A box of wine, or goon, as they call it, will cost you between $10-$15. Believe me, over a semester of partying the cost adds up and as much as you probably hate the idea of drinking boxed wine, you’re going to end up drinking it. A lot.
4. Kiss your unlimited internet goodbye
The unlimited your probably used to getting for cheap in the good ol’ USA hasn’t quite reached Australia yet. Instead you pay by gb which translates into less aimless browsing of the internet. Downloading music and movies as well as skyping with people eats up your gb so be prepared to use your internet services less or pay up.
5. Australia is larger than you probably think it is.
Turns out that Australia is actually about as wide as the continental US. Who knew? Before getting there I knew it was a large country, but I didn’t realize how large it really was. So if you’re thinking everything’s just a short distance away, other cities might be a little farther away than you think.