banner image
30 | 07 | 18
07 | 18

Top five cultural changes international students experience in Australia

OSHC Students – For the majority of international students arriving in Australia, adjusting to the local culture is something that they should fully expect.

From major changes such as their command of the English language to smaller changes that they might not have given much thought about, we take a look at five things that some students experience as part of their adjustment to Australian education.

1. Learning styles

Photo: yohey1028

Arguably, the most significant cultural change is the different approach to learning. Koko, an international student from Japanese, admits that she is expected to voice her opinion more in Australian class than in back home with the Japanese education system.

2. Food

Photos: Sarah Lim

Australia also offers a lot of cultural differences around food. For example, there are many more variants of fried food in Melbourne than in Asian countries, where most food is either steamed or stewed. Additionally, Chinese student Skylar said the food in Melbourne is too sweet compared to food back in his hometown.

3. Language

Many international students speak English as their second language, and thus some of them might face difficulties with language fluency. For this reason, it should come as no surprise that language is another massive cultural change for these students.

4. Service hours

In Melbourne, usually during weekdays, shops and cafés tend to close quite early compared to those in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and China. Students might not be used to these shorter service hours, especially when the urge for a midnight snack kicks in.

5. Informality

Many international students are not used to calling their teachers by the first name. This is because in their home countries, there can be a very high level of authority displayed by teachers to students, whereas in Trinity, students are treated as equal to their teachers. Malaysian student Hui Min said calling a teacher by their first name is seen as a form of disrespect back home.

To deal with such changes, students should welcome differences with an open mind and learn from their experiences. This way, they will learn to develop a form of sensitivity and respect for other cultures, in turn making their time away from home more enjoyable and meaningful.

What are some significant cultural changes you have been through? Share with us in the comments below!

Emma (OSHCstudents) – According to meldmagazine.com.au 

News related

Baek Ah Yeon

I trust Allianz Care since it is one of the largest insurance companies in Australia, with the medical centres where I only have to pay for what is left from insurance support. (no need to claim later). Besides, those centres are located at the centre of the city, close to schools. Very convenient, right? Credits to Allianz Care for providing reliable medical centres for health check and treatments.

Baek Ah Yeon | University of Queensland

Ariella Pei

I’ve been living with homestay family for 2 years. I’m now 19, I can move out but I don’t want to leave my host, who has become my family. It feels like I’ve met my second family. Thanks OSHCstudents for sending me to this homestay!

Ariella Pei | University of Canberra

Chatchawat Paton

I realised how important insurance was when I started living in Australia. There I switched to using Allianz Care instead of the previous service. Allianz Care is extraordinarily good in its consulting service and customer care. I’ve learned a lot about Australian health care, also I was consulted with mental issues and how to live a healthy lifestyle. I am very happy now.

Chatchawat Paton | Torrent University

Xiaoyu Cheng

Thanks to Allianz Care, every time I claimed my medical receipts it processed much more quickly and easily than I expected. I was initially a bit concerned since Allianz Care is more expensive than other insurance companies, but now I can ensure that it is totally worth the money.

Xiaoyu Cheng | Monash University

OSHCstudents Services


  • PTE Platform
  • Inus
  • Flywire
  • Imagine Education Australia
  • Shorelight
  • Opera City English College


  • King Education
  • North Sydney College English
  • NIB
  • HCC
  • Global Experience
  • Bupa
  • Vodafone
  • OVHC Iman
  • Allianz
  • Medibank
  • AHM