When you arrive in a new country, you may experience a wide variety of feelings and reactions as you adapt to the new environment and culture. Some people may feel confused, nervous, irritable, uncertain or dependent on others. For other people, the period of time immediately after their arrival is filled with excitement and adventure – however after this wears off the challenge of adjusting to life and study in a new culture can be exhausting. This may lead to feelings of frustration and anxiety. If you do experience these things, then you are probably experiencing what is called CULTURE SHOCK
Coming to Australia from another country exposes you to many new things which may include such things as: the buildings look different and so does the landscape, the food is not what you are used to and the people look, speak and act differently from the people at home. You may not be able to speak with other people as confidently. If you feel lonely, you may miss your family and friends more than you expected. All these feelings and emotions may mean lead you to start questioning your decision to come to Australia. Was it the right decision?
Coping with CULTURE SHOCK requires a special effort, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. During the first weeks and months in a new country, it is common to experience some degree of culture shock – it is a normal response to a drastic change in your physical, social and cultural environment. The following comments will help you understand what you may be experiencing and suggest some ways of coping more effectively with your new situation. Below are some tips that may assist you in your transition to a new culture:
Smoking is banned on public transport, train platforms, tram and bus stops. It is also banned in public buildings, shopping centres, cafes and restaurants. Heavy penalties are in place for smoking in restricted areas.
Prices are generally fixed and bargaining is only available at some markets.
Chores are shared equally between males and females. In shared accommodation, you will be expected to share in the shopping, cooking and cleaning.
Do not ask people how much money they make, the price of something, their personal relationships, their politics or religion. These topics are only discussed with very close friends.
The weather, the family, what you did on the weekend, where you work, what you think of Australia or travel.
Punctuality is important in Australia. If you have an appointment you must be on time. You also need to arrive on time for your classes. If you are going to be late it is good manners to get in touch and let your appointment or the school know that you will be late.
In social situations with friends you can be a little late.
You might find that education in Australia is a lot less formal than in your country. Teachers and students dress casually in jeans and t-shirts. Teachers are often addressed by their first names.
Australians expect to maintain eye contact when speaking to each other, it is considered rude to look elsewhere.
Students are expected and encouraged to speak freely and question decisions which they feel are unfair. Student must be able to express their opinions and the reasoning behind them.
Generally, in Australia an arm length is considered personal space and people feel uncomfortable if you get too close, especially if you do not know them too well.
You always wait your turn, you do not push in. You walk on the left hand side of passageway or stair.
For an emergency, if you need an ambulance, the fire services, police attendance TELEPHONE 000 and tell the operator which service you require.
Nova Institute students in Australia typically spend about $300 to $450 a week on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport, international and domestic travel, telephone and incidental costs.
For the latest information on the cost of living and studying in Australia go online to www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
The following is only a guide to help you understand the breakdown of costs.
While this is a realistic guide, it is important to remember that individual circumstances will vary by location, course and lifestyle. Some people spend a lot more than this, and others spend less. To live cheaply, you will have to share a room and cook for yourself.
The Department of Immigration and Border protection has a financial requirement for international students of AU$18,610 for living expenses each year.
Nova Institute is located in the Melbourne Central Business District at 140 Queen Street, Melbourne, on the 5th and 10th floor. It is close to both Southern Cross and Flinders Street Railway station. Many public bus and tram services depart from Queen Street, very close to our premises. However, most people in Melbourne travel by tram. The central location of Nova Institute means that few students will be able to live in the immediate area; most students will be living in suburbs further away and will need to catch a bus, tram or train. Trains run regularly throughout peak hours and all of Melbourne’s major railway lines go through Flinders St Station and Southern Cross Stations. For more information see Public transport in Melbourne – Myki ( Arrival in Melbourne)
Most Melbourne suburbs have a shopping area or mall where students can find a variety of shops, so there is no need for them to travel to the CBD for their daily requirements.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are cheap and plentiful and most other goods can be bought in our large supermarkets, but more cheaply at markets like Preston, Prahran, Footscray, Box Hill, Springvale and Victoria Market
Australia has a multicultural population, so food and other items from many countries are readily available.
Students will need to set up an Australian bank account on their arrival in the country to avoid the necessity of carrying large amounts of cash. They will need to show their passport and evidence of residency.
Most shopping centres have Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) facilities. These machines can be used for deposits and, in many instances, withdrawals 24 hours a day. Most department stores, supermarkets and specialist shops have electronic transfer terminals (EFTPOS) where cash withdrawals can also be made in addition to purchasing goods.
Most banks open from 9.30am – 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30 am – 5 pm on Friday.
There are a number of major banks with branches close to Nova Institute where students may wish to open their accounts.
If you need legal advice from a solicitor you can go to LIV’s online Legal Referral Service. This is a free referral service, and the solicitors who you will be referred to provide the first 30 minutes consultation for free. After that you will have to pay. The website is http://www.liv.asn.au/
As this is the Law Institute of Victoria, it has a listing of all solicitors and their specialisations, so it is the most reliable place for information regarding solicitors.
If you cannot find a doctor locally you can go to Outpatients of any public hospital. In an emergency call 000 and ask for an ambulance.