Australians are generally down to earth, laid-back, open and direct

They express their opinions freely and are typically more individual and outgoing than many other cultures.

What are Australians like?


We generally call each other by our first names. Your friends may give you a nickname which is a form of endearment


There are no laws or regulations about clothing though some venues, workplaces and restaurants have dress codes. Many people will dress to suit their style, climate or situation


Men and women are treated equally and people are free to live where they like, and follow whichever religion and occupation they choose


Almost everyone speaks English and more than 15% speak languages other than English at home


24 million people with 28% born overseas


We shake a person’s right hand when meeting someone for the first time


Sports are a favourite pastime and a great way to socialise with friends


Our multicultural society is reflected in food, art, sport, film, culture, fashion and music

Making friends

Australians place high value on friendships and are usually relaxed, casual and informal when greeting someone. There are no laws regarding friendships or dating. Friendships and social events with both sexes are common.

The Aussie students have all been kind and welcoming in all of my classes. Getting to know my professors on a one-on-one basis has been really nice as well. I don’t feel afraid to ask questions and for extra help as they are all friendly.

Stephanie Ostrowski, Bachelor of Laws

Severino Murze, Master of Marketing talks about his experience studying on the Gold Coast.


Student community

Griffith Mates will help you adjust to university life in Australia through a range of community events and activities. Practice your English, make new friends, find your way around campus and become acquainted with the Australian environment.

Griffith Mates

The Griffith Mates are now delivering activities online including virtual coffee catch ups, live webinars, competitions and more.

Virtual events

Talk to our students

Do you want to speak to someone about their experiences at Griffith University and in Australia?


Australia's stable political system, low crime rate, well-maintained roads and high standard of health care make it a safe and pleasant country.

Health and safety

Our homes

Although there is a strong perception that most Australians live in remote or rural areas, more than three quarters of Australians live in cities and urban centres, mainly along the coastline.

It is common for couples to live together before they are married or for men and women to live in share-house accommodation together. People in Australia generally do not have servants or maids and both men and women equally share the cooking and domestic duties in the home.


Women make up nearly 50% of the workforce and many remain in the workplace even after they have married or had children.

Students are able to work while studying. Most international student visas allow you to work 40 hours per fortnight.

Celebrations and holidays

Australians celebrate a number of key public holidays and special events throughout the year. Some hold national significance or commemorate a past event and are remembered with a public holiday. Some businesses, banks and shops may close on these days.

Australian slang

While almost everyone in Australia speaks English, the slang may be a little confusing and difficult to understand at first, but if you are unsure, just ask. Here are some examples.

  • arvo: afternoon
  • Aussie: Australian
  • barbie: BBQ/barbeque
  • bloke: man/guy
  • boardies: board shorts
  • brekkie: breakfast
  • g'day: good day/hello
  • mozzie: mosquito
  • roo: kangaroo
  • snags: sausages
  • sunnies: sunglasses

For more read Emilie’s guide to Aussie slang.

Explore our student's stories

Get that 'on campus' feeling online

How to make the most of your studies online.

Online study tips

What to bring to a BBQ

Current student Hayley helps you prepare for the Australian institution know as the BBQ.

BBQ tips

Finding hope through study

Attending university and undertaking study can be so much more than just a degree.

Pram's story of hope

Contact us

Do you have a question? Get in touch with us