Student Life

India culture vs Australian culture: What students can expect and how to adapt

By Guru H• Published on: Mar 21, 2024
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Australia has emerged as a leading destination for international students seeking high-quality education and diverse cultural experiences.

Thousands of students choose Australia as their study destination. The country’s education system ranks among the best in the world, and its universities are renowned for their research excellence.

Australia offers excellent work-life balance and post-graduation opportunities. International students choose to study in Australia due to its top-notch education and a wide range of cultural experiences.

While these cultural differences between India and Australia may be challenging for Indian students, knowing their differences and what to expect in the Australian culture can drastically improve your study-abroad experience.

If you are an Indian student wanting to study in Australia, read more to know the differences between the Australian and Indian cultures.

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • The differences between Indian and Australian cultures
  • What can Indian students expect from these differences
  • How to adapt to the Australian culture

Ready to study in Australia and explore the cultural differences between India and Australia? Let's get started.

India culture vs Australian culture: Key differences

Cultural differences 

  1. Language
  2. Food
  3. Lifestyle
  4. Family and social life
  5. Professional life

Adapting to the Australian culture

  1. Making new friends
  2. Dealing with homesickness
  3. Learning the language accent
  4. Exploring food options
  5. Maintaining study-life balance 
  6. Earning while learning 

Aspire to study in Australia? Here’s everything you need to know!

Cultural differences

1. Language

India and Australia have many differences in linguistic styles. India has numerous regional languages with different dialects and has various gestures to greet people with respect.

Australia's linguistic landscape is predominantly shaped by English, with Australian English being the most widely spoken language. It is characterised by its accent, vocabulary, and slang.

Formality is maintained in Indian communication, especially in academic and professional settings, with titles often used to show respect. However, in Australia, people address each other by first name and interact more casually,

2. Food

Indian cuisine includes a variety of traditional vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with many ingredients and spices. It is well known for its flavours and traditions. The staple foods include rice, lentils, and bread.

Australian cuisine is abundant with fresh seafood and barbecues. Some popular Australian dishes include Barramudi, Pavlova, and Lamington, among many others.

In India, meals are mostly shared with families and friends and have an array of dishes. Indian dining is a social event and is mostly held indoors. On the other hand, Australian dining is more of an outdoor dining experience.

3. Lifestyle

There are a lot of Indian and Australian lifestyles in clothing, hobbies, activities, and festivals.

Indian apparel differs across regions, with a mix of colours and designs. Dressing up is often tied to religious and social customs. On the other hand, Australian fashion is more casual and functional. While formal attire is worn on special occasions, jeans, T-shirts, and sneakers are used for daily wear. 

Indian lifestyle includes a blend of traditional rituals, family gatherings, and social events that are mostly indoor events. In contrast, the Australian lifestyle has varied hobbies and outdoor activities like surfing, hiking, and camping.

Indian festivals are accompanied by rituals and traditional performances. Festivals like Diwali, Holi, and Eid are celebrated for consecutive days. In Australia, festivals and celebrations like Australia Day and Anzac Day showcase the diverse cultures of native music, dance, and art.

4. Family and social life

Living together as extended families or staying close to family members is a common practice in India. Indian tradition emphasises respect for elders and family customs, with frequent family gatherings and celebrations.

Some major aspects of Indian social life include social hierarchies and maintaining a good reputation within the community.

Australian family and social life focuses more on individualism and personal preferences. Nuclear families are common, with parents and children being independent. Australians also value friendships and social networks.

Family gatherings and social activities are significant during holidays, but the frequency and scale may differ from the elaborate celebrations in India.

5. Professional life

Indian professional life is often influenced by hierarchy and respect for authority.

Corporate structures are more formal. Employees usually address their colleagues and seniors using titles. Work-life balance can vary, with some sectors prioritising long hours and professional dedication.

Compared to India, Australian professional life is more egalitarian. Colleagues typically address each other by first names regardless of their position.

Work-life balance and personal commitments are strongly emphasised, with flexible working hours.

Adapting to Australian culture

1. Making new friends

Making new friends with students from Australia is a great way to adapt to their culture! Studying in Australia allows you to meet people from around the globe and opens doors to new experiences. Studying abroad by yourself may be difficult, but your experience can be much better with a group of friends.

Friends can make you feel better mentally and even help you with your studies. Moreover, studying with friends is a great way to get work done and socialise. You get to meet people from various parts of the country and learn more about Australian culture.

Also read: How to make new friends when studying abroad

2. Dealing with homesickness

Adapting to Australian culture not only eases homesickness for Indian students but also enhances personal growth. 

Learning about the local lifestyle brings comfort and familiarity to their new surroundings, and becomes a crucial support system during moments of homesickness.

Connecting with fellow students, engaging in extracurricular activities, and participating in community events can help Indian students feel better. 

3. Learning the language accent

The English accents vary across Australia depending on location and are quite different from each other. Understanding lectures, participating in discussions, and engaging with peers become easier.

Whether engaging in casual conversations with students and native people, participating in social events, or networking for future opportunities, learning the Australian language accent makes adapting to Australian culture smoother for Indian students.

4. Exploring food options

Food is an integral part of socialising in Australia, and adapting to local cuisine helps to get into Australian social circles. Whether joining students or colleagues for lunch or participating in dining events, Indian students can get to know Australian culture better.

Shared meals create a relaxed environment for conversation, helping students to initiate conversations and build connections. Exploring markets, trying regional dishes, and engaging in conversations about food become opportunities for cultural exchange.

5. Maintaining study-life balance

A healthy study-life balance is crucial for Indian students to adapt to Australian culture. 

Engaging in extracurricular activities or joining university student clubs and sports teams is a great way to adapt to Australian culture and have a healthy balance between study and personal life.

Many universities have international student societies and clubs to welcome all students. This balance contributes to a better academic journey for Indian students.

Spending time with people and engaging in social activities helps Indian students to get along well with Australian culture.

6. Earning while learning

By actively participating in internships and part-time jobs, Indian students not only gain practical skills and work experience but also become familiar with the Australian work culture.

Internships and part-time jobs also help in earning money and saving the costs of living, thus reducing financial stress. Part-time jobs and internships also serve as networking platforms, enabling Indian students to interact with professionals and peers.

By adapting to the Australian work culture, Indian students will have a better overall experience in their study abroad journey.

Also read: Your step-by-step guide to finding an internship abroad

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Get ready to study in Australia

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  • Finding the ideal study abroad program in Australia
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  • Overcoming challenges like visa requirements and language barriers
  • Maximising the learning, cultural immersion, and long-term career benefits

Explore the culture and education of Australia with our platform.

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Start your study abroad journey with Edvoy. Get in touch with a friendly Edvoy Counsellor and download the app today.

India culture vs Australia culture: Your questions answered!

We've collated answers to commonly asked questions to assist you in your study abroad journey. Find your answers below!

How is Australia different from India?

Australia differs from India culture-wise in food, language, lifestyle (clothing, hobbies/activities, festivals), family and social life, and professional life.

Everything you need to study abroad
Get step-by-step guidance all through your study-abroad journey

How is life in Australia for Indians?

Australia offers many benefits in terms of lifestyle for Indians. These include high salaries and employee benefits like paid leave or vacation time, health insurance, etc. Australia also offers multicultural diversity for Indians in terms of food, and language.

Is it worth moving to Australia from India?

Yes. Australia has emerged as a leading destination for international students seeking high-quality education and diverse cultural experiences.

The country’s education system is among the best in the world, and its universities are renowned for their research excellence. Australia also provides multiple job opportunities for Indian students post-graduation.

Why do most Indians move to Australia?

Indian students often prefer studying and moving to Australia for several reasons:

  • World-class education - Australia is home to many top-ranked universities renowned for their academic excellence, cutting-edge research, and innovative teaching methods. 
  • Diverse range of programs - Australian universities offer a wide variety of programs and majors, allowing students to choose fields that align with their interests and career goals. 
  • International exposure - Living and studying in a culturally diverse environment exposes Indian students to different perspectives, lifestyles, and cultures, fostering personal growth and adaptability.
  • Quality of life - Australia offers a high standard of living with modern amenities, healthcare facilities, and a safe environment, making it an attractive destination for Indian students seeking a comfortable and secure lifestyle.
  • Career opportunities - A degree from an Australian university often opens doors to global career opportunities. Many Indian students aspire to work in multinational companies or pursue further studies or research on an international scale after completing their education in Australia.
  • Post-graduation work opportunities - Australia provides graduate visas for students, allowing them to gain work experience after completing their studies.
Related tags:
Indian culture
Australian culture
Cultural differences between Australia and India
Difference between India and Australian culture
Indian student life in Australia
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