When you decide to study abroad, you need to be prepared to live with people who may have very different habits from what you are used to. Especially if the chosen destination is very far from where you live, the culture and what is considered “normal” can cause you to feel strange at the beginning of your trip.
To fully experience the overseas study, you need to close your bags and open your mind to things you’ve never seen in your own country. With that in mind, in this post, we will introduce you to 5 main Australian customs that internationals students in Australia may be at least curious. Keep reading to check it out!
- Withdraw money while shopping
This is one of the Australian customs that would be very interesting, as it can often be dangerous to use ATMs or an emergency outside of opening hours for cash withdrawals can be dangerous.
When paying for purchases with a debit or credit card, Australians can request extra cash at the cashier. For example, if the purchase was 30 dollars, you can ask them to spend 50 dollars on the card and return 20 dollars in cash to you, as if it were “change”. Practical enough to have that little money in your hand for coffee after shopping, isn’t it?
- Make water available for free in restaurants
Everywhere in Australia – and not just in bars, water is free. In a restaurant, for example, you can order water with your meal and it will be served in pitchers. The water is from the tap, but it is fully treated and suitable for consumption.
There are also many establishments that practice BYO (Bring Your Own), that is, they allow the customer to take the drinks they will consume from home. Of course, it is good practice to inform yourself at the restaurant in advance, as some may charge a corkage fee, which is rarely more than 5 dollars. It is a custom that can make a big difference in your pocket, since, generally, buying drinks in specialized stores is cheaper than in restaurants.
In addition, there are a significant number of wineries in the country that offer tasting of their wines at little or no cost. Invite your new Aussie friends on a trip like this, as drinking with the crowd is also a typically Australian custom, especially at happy hours.
- Reuse water
Water is a scarce resource in Australia, so policies on its use are quite restrictive. Car washes and cleaning companies, for example, reuse water to avoid waste.
At home, it couldn’t be different: the showers are short – around 5 minutes, even when you wash your hair – and only once a day, and the natives usually brush their teeth only in the morning and at night, before going to bed. So, if you are sharing a house with someone or staying in an Australian family home, it is good to keep an eye on and respect moderation in water use. Don’t even think about washing sidewalks, you might get a bad scolding!
And what might be more curious to us is that when they wash the dishes, they dip the pieces in water, wash them with soap and rinse them in the same water. Weird is not it? Therefore, some Brazilians end up buying a dishwasher during the exchange.
- Not caring too much about appearance
In Brazil, body care and concern for appearance are very common. There are hours at the gym, attention to food, and it is not difficult to find those who spend small fortunes buying clothes from famous and expensive brands. In Australia, people are not only more relaxed about their physical shape, but they also don’t notice themselves on the streets or beaches, for example.
A proof of this is the habit they have of walking without shoes on the most diverse occasions. It is very common to see in supermarkets, malls, cinemas etc, barefoot people walking, as we see here in coastal cities and beaches, without this being seen as a sign of sloppiness or anything like that.
In addition, it is also cultural for children to walk around the streets in their socks after school (imagine what it must be like to wash them afterwards!).
- Do not kill insects
Australia is a country well known for its diversity of fauna and for harboring a large number of insect species, from the most poisonous to the harmless. Therefore, it is quite common for you to find immense insects in your daily life.
But don’t fall for the bullshit of killing any of them, as you will be quite reprimanded by the Australians. In addition to the preservation of insects being established by environmental codes, it is the local culture that they are not eliminated. That is, you can even catch them and throw them out of the house or scare them away, but never kill them!
It seems difficult if you’re terrified of them, but you have to get used to this practice, even if it’s calling your neighbor to collect that gigantic spider from your living room wall.