Living in Australia as a Volunteer

Question

While you may not pack up everything and move to Australia permanently, you will indeed be living there should you volunteer abroad in Australia, even if only for a summer or semester. While you’re doing so, you can submerse yourself in Australian culture.

Australian culture is mostly westernized with an infusion of aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and British influences. It’s a culture that very much organizes itself around its natural beauty, its sense of adventure and humor, and its diverse roots. Any given day in Australia, you might enjoy an adventure in the rugged Outback, a classy evening at the Sydney Opera House, or a thought-provoking evening exploring aboriginal contexts. You may surf, peruse an art gallery, or attend a concert of indigenous music. You might laugh with friends or explore a city on your own. The cultural experience in Australia is rich and diverse.

Australian food is not to be missed either. Whether you summon the courage to try some of the country’s more unique cuisine—think grilled emu, Vegemite on toast, or nutty-flavored grubs—or stick to its tried-and-true favorites (such as deer-meat pies, pea and ham soup, and damper), you’re likely to have a culinary adventure.

Add to Australia’s culture and food its people, and you’ve got yourself a unique experience. When you volunteer abroad in Australia, you may meet some great people and submerse yourself in Australian communities. As you meet your mates, you’re likely to learn about the Australian’s everyday life—how they interact with one another, what they do with their spare time, how they relate to work and life, and much more. For many, connecting with people and seeing how others live is one of the greatest gifts of international travel.

While you’re in Australia, consider using your free time to explore the country. If you do so, be sure to:

  • Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Hike and picnic in the picturesque Blue Mountains
  • Attend a show at the Sydney Opera House
  • Visit with wild penguins along the Great Ocean Road
  • Hold Koala Bears and behold wild kangaroos
  • Partake in New Zealand’s Cave of Wonders (complete with a glowworm cave!)
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