Here is a list of five things that I learned while studying abroad in Australia. I must inform you before reading this article, that these are not the five most important things or even five things that will get you into an Australian study abroad program. These are random things that I had on my mind and wanted to share with you. Yes, Ash is keeping it real and random with 5 Really Random Things I Learned in Australia.
- The cute cuddly koalas that we have grown to love on the nature channel are becoming extinct due to a very serious disease shared by humans. Chlamydia! Please don’t ask me how this has happened (even though I do have my own theories) but it is true. So next time your in the outback don’t try to take one home and make it a pet you may regret doing so. http://www.aolnews.com/2010/09/17/koala-population-ravaged-by-chlamydia/
- There are more Kangaroos then there are people. The current kangaroo population sits around 25 million, Australians only total 22 million. The good thing about this for a foreigner is that you don’t have to travel too far out of the city to see a kangaroo. As a matter of fact, once you go outside the city you will notice signs stating “Beware of kangaroos crossing”. Now for the bad part : they are bigger, stronger and faster then you, so try not to get to close – they tend to pack one mean uppercut.
- I guess there is a common belief each airport in Australia has a team of ex-rugby players that guard the airport runways from invading kangaroos. Wrong! It is not true. I did not believe people thought this to be true, but after speaking with some locals, it seems to be a reacquiring question most foreigners have.
- On the lingo tip, a common term that Australians use to define a large quantity of something is HEAP (you must put extra emphasis on this word in a sentence). For example: “There are HEAPS of people at this concert” or “This is HEAPS of fun”. I thought this was a funny word that should be mentioned. A few other words that you may want to beware of before you get off the plane in Sydney are westy and duro. Westies are people from the western part of Sydney. If someone is calling you westy then it is not a compliment. They usually use the term westy to define someone who looks or behaves very sketchy. Duro is used to describe someone who behaves in an unusual manner. It is comparable to calling some a retard or weirdo.
- “Fosters” is not Australian for “beer” as a matter of fact, “beer” is Australian for “beer”. If you are under the impression that Fosters is the brand of choice for Australians then you are in for a rude awaking. Not only is Fosters not Australian for beer but you will have to search high and low to even find Fosters. So save yourself the trouble and humiliation and don’t ask for a Fosters.
Make sure you print this list out as you may find it very usefully for your future travels to Australia. I know this list may seem a little strange but I did warn you that these are 5 Really Random Things I Learned in Australia. So hopefully my randomness has given you some new insight into Australia and what to expect before landing.