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Australian culture and community

Life in Australia

Australian culture and community

In Australia, we are known for our multiculturalism, beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife.

Our country is a great place to study, work and live. We also have amazing food, world-class sporting games and vibrant cultural calendar of events.

From Melbourne’s buzzing city life (it’s even been named Australia’s best student city) to Geelong’s relaxed atmosphere and proximity to the beach, from our regional towns like Warrnambool to the beautiful countryside beyond, we know you’ll love living in Victoria.

And at Deakin, we have an ever-growing, hugely diverse and welcoming community of students just like you.

Our four campuses are located in the state of Victoria on the south-east of the continent. Click on the links below to learn more about the location where you’ll be studying.

Australians have a unique lifestyle and we’re known for being relaxed and outdoorsy. We pride ourselves on being a friendly, diverse society where everyone deserves a ‘fair go’ (an equal chance or opportunity to be included and treated respectfully). On the weekend, we enjoy things like going out to cafes, watching the footy, exploring in nature and spending time with friends and family.

Read more about what life is like down under

Aussie greetings and behaviours

When you arrive in Australia, it will be time to practise your English and meet lots of new people. You’ll notice your language skills will continue to get stronger every day as you settle in.

Australians are famous around the world for our unique accent and slang expressions. While we are taught to maintain courteous behaviours in social and professional settings, culturally we tend to talk to each other in quite a relaxed way.

Below are some handy tips about language and etiquette to help you settle in at Deakin.

  • You may hear other people say ‘see you later’ or ‘see you’ as an informal way to say ‘goodbye’.
  • It is considered good manners to say ‘please’ when you’re asking a person to give you something (for example, when you are ordering food in a café) or requesting help (such as seeking advice on your work). Likewise, you should also say ‘thank you’ to express gratitude to someone who serves or helps you.
  • When you are ready to pay for a product or speak to an employee at the front of a store, you should wait behind any person who was there before you and who has not yet been served. This practice is called ‘queuing’ or ‘waiting your turn’ and ensures every customer receives orderly attention when a service or shop is busy. Australians consider it very disrespectful if you insist on being served first if you arrived after them.
  • In Australia, we may sometimes shake hands when we greet someone in a formal manner (for example in the workplace), but we don’t generally hug or kiss people we have just met or who we aren’t close with.
  • Many Australian schools and universities adopt a more informal (casual) tone than what you might be familiar with from attending school back home. Deakin lecturers and tutors will often request you call them by their first name, rather than insisting you address them using their formal or academic title. Listen to how your teachers introduce themselves and how other students speak to them if you’re unsure about how to greet your teachers.
  • Although we are relatively relaxed with language, Australians consider it rude to be late for classes or appointments. Make sure you arrive a few minutes before your lectures and tutorials begin so you are ready to begin on time (and make sure your mobile phone is either off or set to silent mode!).
  • If you arrive late to lectures or classes on one or two occasions, most teachers won’t be angry with you as this happens sometimes, but don’t let your lateness disrupt others. Please enter as discreetly and quietly as possible. Perhaps offer a short ‘sorry’ or apology if your lateness is acknowledged.

If you’re not sure about how you should interact with others in a certain situation, just remember to be polite and pay attention to others around you for clues as to how you should behave. People will understand you are new to Australia and many will be very happy to talk you through how things are done if you ask them questions.

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