There is no shortage of internet articles on campus life in the USA. Greek Life, Sororities and Fraternities are usually the focus of attention as is hazing (a form of ‘ragging’). The super-studious environment in UK universities like Oxford and Cambridge has also garnered its fair share of attention, but it is the Australian Camus experience that is often underrated despite Australia having (arguably) the best campus experience.
For starters, there is no Greek Life and hazing is frowned upon. In addition, while academically serious, Australian universities do not have the academically obsessed environment present in UK universities. Then, there’s the weather. With an average of 236 sunny days in the year and extremely mild winters, Australia offers the best weather and, as a result, a great prelude to life on campus. Australian universities may not have the massive gothic architecture and the scale of university infrastructure may not compare to universities in The USA and the UK, but Aussie universities have the most chilled out atmosphere. Imagine students walking around campus in their flip-flops and even shirtless. Imagine a university campus right next to a fast-food joint or located next to vibrant streets with eateries, bookshops and the like. Imagine campuses with their own little ecosystem replete with bugs and sometimes possums. Imagine further, your campus being within walking distance from the beach. Spend some quality study time in the library and then make a beeline for the beach on Australia’s ultra-cheap public transport system. Get the picture?
Aussie DNA also makes for the friendliest people on earth. Extremely approachable, and insanely helpful, Aussies are a fry cry from the denizens of the USA and the UK. A unique outdoorsy lifestyle, Australia’s own take on the English language (which admittedly takes some time to get used to) and a vibrant outdoor culture create an atmosphere unparalleled in the world. Perhaps, the Australian people themselves constitute the biggest culture shock for international students. The laid-back attitude and the informalities combined with a unique sense of humor result in a unique social experience.
Another thing going for the Aussie campus experience is the rich variety of campus activities. Australian universities have student organizations and clubs that are far more accessible than Greek Life Organizations in the USA. A cornerstone of university life, these clubs organize regular events that are easily accessible to international students. There’s always something happening on campus.
Finally, there’s safety. While campus crime (not to mention campus and school shootings) is a real issue in the USA and, to a lesser degree, making its presence felt in the UK over the past several decades, it is virtually non-existent in Australia. Australian campuses are safe and crime-free and students can rest assured that no untoward incident will occur during their tenures at university.
All in all, the Aussie campus life experience has a lot going for it and offers a unique experience to international students. Casual, informal and friendly, the overall atmosphere at campuses in Australia, combined with the natural beauty of most campuses, has endeared itself to most international students who swear by it and recommend it to peers and juniors.