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7 things international students should experience in Australia

Coming to Australia is more than just work and study. Here’s a list of things to do in Australia that you may not have thought of yet.

See how many you can tick off the list during your international experience. Think of all the lifelong memories you will make… and Instagram posts.

Go to Vivid light festival in Sydney

Vivid Sydney 2016 Sydney Harbour Harbour Lights CREDIT Destination NSW JH 001

Imagine the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, but lit up with projections of art. Or how about Darling Harbour with light installations set up on the water.

Well, you can see this and much more at Vivid - the annual light festival held during May and June.

For a month, the city is filled with millions of people checking out the many activities, events, and artworks that light up the city after hours.

The Sydney Opera House also hosts Vivid LIVE, which brings a tonne of artists and bands to play exclusive concerts. In the past, there have been shows from the likes of Flume, Florence + The Machine, and The Cure.

Go to an alleyway café in Melbourne and take a photo in front of a graffiti wall

Street art in Mlebourne

Have you heard, Melbourne is the coffee capital of Australia? And did you know that Australians also LOVE meeting friends and family out for brunch for some Avocado Toast?

We don’t know why, but coffee and brunch is our specialty. And, because Melbourne is a special place, you’ll find more cafes down alleyways than you will on the main city streets.

These little alleyways don’t look like much from afar, but if you walk down them you’ll see they’re bustling with people and there’s plenty to do. One of the main things you’ll notice is the amount of street art covering the walls. It’s become tradition for tourists to get a photo in front of the graffiti.

Check out the best street-art lanes in Melbourne to whet your appetite.

Surfing lessons in Byron Bay

Surfing lessons

Apparently, a lot of the world thinks that all Australians are good at surfing. While this isn’t necessarily true, most of Australia is situated along the coastline which means that surfing is super popular.

One of the most famous destinations for surf beaches is Byron Bay – a coastal town in New South Wales on Australia’s east coast. There are plenty of surf schools where you can learn how to ride a wave on an amazing beach in beautiful weather.

Scuba Dive in the Great Barrier Reef

Reef Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef

Australia is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world – the Great Barrier Reef.

From above water, you can see some of the clearest and brightest blue waters, white sand beaches, and tiny islands. But below water is even more magical.

Whether you can scuba dive or not, you can find tours that allow for all skill levels. You’ll be able to see the coral reefs and diverse marine life that the Great Barrier Reef is famous for.

And I mean Hollywood famous – you’ve seen Finding Nemo, right?

Visit a wildlife park and see Kangaroos, Koalas, Snakes and more

International student with Kangaroo

Australia is known for our beautiful and unique native animals. As an Australian, it’s very common to run into these creatures over time, but as a visitor, you’re probably desperate to see them all ASAP – and you can!

There are plenty of wildlife parks around the country where you can walk around and see some enclosed animals, some that are roaming free, and some that you can even hold.

You’ll probably get to know some animals you never even knew about, like Tasmanian Devils, Spot Tail Quolls, and Kookaburras.

Walk around the base of Uluru

Ularu

To put it simply, Uluru is the famous big red rock in the heart of Australia. However, Uluru has a very long history of 550 million years and is sacred to Indigenous Australians.

It’s a 10.6km loop walk and a great way to discover the amazing textures and colours of the rock, see the diverse plants and animals and experience the Anangu culture, the traditional owners of the area.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta is the national park Uluru is situated in and is an opportunity to see what is meant by “Outback Australia” - a term that means any part of the country that is vast, unpopulated and usually arid.

Go see an AFL game at the MCG

2017 AFL Grand Final panorama during national anthem

You’re probably thinking, what’s AFL? And why the MCG?

AFL stands for Australian Football League and it’s our nation’s beloved sport. It’s pretty unique and hard to explain – but the video below gives you a quick snapshot of how the game works. And whether you understand what’s happening on the field or not, an AFL game is a cultural experience you have to try out.

The MCG stands for Melbourne Cricket Ground and it’s the largest stadium in Australia and the 10th largest in the world. Imagine over 100,000 crazy AFL fans packed around a football field for a day of excitement, food, and fun.

Image credits: Hongsik park, nosha, Fernando de Sousa, Sarah Gangraw