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Study in Australia

Australia is a developed country, with a prosperous multicultural society and excellent results in many international comparisons of national performance such as human development, quality of life, health care, life expectancy, public education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australian cities rank among the worlds highest in terms of cultural offerings and quality of life. The Australian population stands at 22,078,724.

Australia has 6 states:

  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria, and
  • Western Australia

Australia has two major mainland territories, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). In most respects these two territories function as states, but the Commonwealth Parliament can override any legislation of their parliaments.

Economy:
Australia has a prosperous Western-style capitalist economy, with a per capita GDP on par with the four dominant West European economies.

Services – tourism, education, financial services. The service industry accounts for the majority of the Australian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – about 69%. Within the service sector, tourism is one of the most important industries in Australia, as it provides employment, contributes $73 billion to the economy each year and accounts for at least 11% of total exports. Agriculture is yet another significant part of the Australian economy, accounting for about 3% of the GDP.

Language:
English is the national language. Australian English is a major variety of the language, with its own distinctive accent and vocabulary, but less internal dialectal variation than either British or American English. English is the only language spoken in the home for around 80% of the population.

Weather / Climate:
As a large continent a wide variation of climates are found across Australia. Seasons in Australia are the opposite of the northern hemisphere. Climatic conditions in Australia are unique and enable you to enjoy your trip to the hilt. Summers are warm and sunny and begins in December, and winter in June. However, winters tend to be pleasantly warm and as Australia are one of the driest countries on the planet whatever your pastimes; they can generally be enjoyed all year round.  Winters are spread from June to August with snowfall on the Southern mountains. The Northern states are temperate at 24° C generally.

Transport:
Australia is very well connected. Depending on how far you are travelling and on your preferences, there will be an option to suit you. Domestic airlines cover most routes between cities, and due to the distances and size of the country, this may often be the best option. However, the road and rail networks are comprehensive, and with some of the most spectacular drives in the world ' the Great Ocean Road is a must ' a road trip can prove exciting and rewarding.

Public transport is efficient and affordable, from the ferries and monorails in Sydney to the trams of Melbourne. Bus and trains are commonplace in most cities.

Dialing Code:
The country code for international calls to Australia is +61. When dialing from overseas, omit any leading '0' in the area code.

Currency:
Australian currency is known as the dollar, and the currency symbol is $. There are 100 cents in every dollar. The dollar is called 'the Australian dollar' usually written as 'AUD' when it is necessary to distinguish it from the currencies of other countries that call their currency 'the dollar'.

Tipping:
Tipping is never compulsory and is usually not expected in Australia. Staffs are seen to be paid an appropriate wage and will certainly not chase you down for a tip.

It is acceptable to pay the amount stated on the bill. When Australians do tip, it will often be in the form of leaving the change from a cash payment (usually as a convenience so the change does not hang around loose on someone's person - not as a gratuity), rather than a fixed percentage.

Time:
Australia has three time zones: Eastern Standard Time (EST) for the eastern states, Central Standard Time (CST) for the Northern Territory and South Australia and Western Standard Time (WST) for Western Australia. CST is half an hour behind EST and WST is two hours behind EST.

Time zone: GMT/UTC +10 (Eastern Standard Time), GMT/UTC +9.5 (Central Time), GMT/UTC +8 (Western Time)

Sports:
Weekend sport is an integral part of the Australian culture from the capital cities to country towns. The vast majority of games are played over the Weekend, with the most important games generally played on Friday night. Every professional league is televised, with every match to be viewed on either Free to Air or Pay television. Major sports of Australia are Australian Football and Cricket.

Travel Insurance:
To avoid unpleasant situations arising out of sickness, injury, theft or accident, it is relatively safe to be adequately insured before traveling to a foreign destination. Travel Insurance provides a person with protection cover in case of cancellation of travel plans arising due to accident, injury or illness.

Medical and General Insurance for Studying Abroad:
Medical insurance covers both, domestic medical and international medical insurances. An international medical insurance may suit one's short or long-term international medical concerns, depending upon your need (such as the extent of single/multiple plan trips for individuals or families). Generally, international medical insurance covers emergency medical expenses, hospital stays and major surgeries.

For select foreign universities, it is mandatory for students to buy medical and health insurance. Maximum insurance covers for Indian students abroad come from accident and health ailments, followed by pregnancy.

Tax:
Australia has a sales tax known as the Goods and Services Tax or GST that applies all goods and services except unprocessed foods, education and medical services. GST is always included in the price of any item you purchase rather than added at the time of payment.

Receipts (tax invoices) will contain the GST amount, which is one eleventh of the total value of taxable supplies.

Emergencies:
The number 000 (called 'triple zero' or 'triple oh') can be dialed from any telephone in Australia free of charge. This number will connect you with emergency operators for the police, fire brigade, and ambulance service. The first question that the operator will ask is which service you need. If you are in need of assistance, but cannot speak, press 55 after you have called triple zero. This confirms that you are in need of assistance and have not called by accident.

Holidays:
The national holidays in Australia are:

  • January 1: New Years' Day
  • January 26: Australia Day, marking the anniversary of the First Fleet's landing in Sydney Cove in 1788.
  • Easter weekend ("Good Friday", "Easter Saturday", "Easter Sunday" and "Easter Monday"): a four day long weekend in March or April set according to the Western Christian dates.
  • April 25: ANZAC Day, honoring military veterans
  • Second Monday in June: Queen's birthday holiday
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day

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