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Living As An LLM Student In Australia

Living in AustraliaChoosing to study abroad is a big deal and not a decision to be taken lightly. However it is not a decision
that you'll regret as it has plenty of benefits academically, personally and professionally.

Choosing Australia as your study destination is a great idea, with world renowned universities, a wonderful climate, great outdoors lifestyle and plenty to see and do, students in Australia are guaranteed to have a an experience of a lifetime.

However, deciding to study an LLM abroad is not for the faint-hearted. It is an intense and challenging postgraduate course, and this coupled together with the challenges of living overseas could be overwhelming if you are unprepared.

So, what should you prepare yourself for when setting off for a life in a new country, city or town? And what should you prepare yourself for if that new city or town is in Australia?

Here's a rundown of what to expect.

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Doubt & Fear

You've spent months or even years researching and deciding where to study your LLM program, but now you're climbing up those aircraft steps and putting your tray table into its upright position and about to embark on your new adventure. The time has gone by quickly and you're beginning to wonder if you've made the right choice or if you've done everything you could to prepare. When you're heading off to Australia remind yourself that it's totally normal to suddenly think you've made a bad decision. Be confident you made the right choice as you did all your research before you applied. 

Exhilaration & Excitement

Now you've made it to your accommodation and you're waking up for the first morning of your new life in Australia. Wow. You just moved all the way to Australia to study an LLM program. Exciting isn't it? Find out if you need to do any administration or paperwork for your university and get it out of the way. Then you're off to start exploring. The academic year in Australia starts in February so it's going to be hot. You'll need to prepare for that and have some suitable clothing and a hat. Make sure you pick up some sunscreen once you get to Australia, as the UV levels are different to the UK and Europe. 

Home Sickness

After a couple of weeks or even months, you think you're settling in really well and all of a sudden you miss home. Another normal feeling and acknowledge that you feel a little down by talking to those new friends you've made. Try not to spend hours chatting with friends and family back home, instead focus on the people immediately around you. You've got to do everything you can to keep yourself mentally well and focused on your course. After a couple of days or maybe a week you'll find you don't feel so homesick. 

Culture Differences

They might speak English in Australia but that doesn't mean you'll always be understood and taking the time to understand what local words mean will help you settle in. Other aspects of your day-to-day life may be different too. Banking, for example, is a little different in that when you're using a debit card you will get different options about where you want your money to come out of. Watch out when you're shopping, for example fresh food can be expensive so keep an eye on your shopping bill as you walk around the supermarket. 

Lifestyle Changes

After you've prepared for the heat remember that it will get cold in the winter, no snow, but cold enough to want to bring jumpers. It's probably a good idea to plan to buy clothes when you get there as then you'll get what is most appropriate rather than guessing and bringing everything you own in a suitcase. People very much live outdoors lives in Australia and TV shows aren't the national institutions they are in other countries so don't bother using last night’s TV as small talk when you're networking. A lot of Australians get up early and spend time exercising outdoors before they begin their day, so you might find that a night in the pub will end earlier than you'd expect as everyone is thinking about getting up the next day.

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