People socialising on a beach

From foreigner to local: tips for adjusting to your new life in Australia


Test Takers

Date Published

15 November 2023

Have you decided to move to Australia but you’re wondering how you’ll be able to adjust to your new life there?

You’re reading the right article then.

In the next 5 minutes, you’ll discover more about Australians, the Australian lifestyle and the way Australians speak English, so you can start your new life in this amazing country without feeling overwhelmed.


Let’s get started.

Australians and how to become an Aussie

People from all over the world have made Australia their home, bringing with them their own traditions, beliefs, and customs.

It’s not uncommon to walk the streets of an Australian city and see people from India, Vietnam, China, New Zealand, Greece, Italy, the Philippines and many other countries.

No wonder Australians are such welcoming people.

Isn’t this great news for you?

Because Australia is a true melting pot of cultures, people are less likely to see you as a foreigner who doesn’t belong. Instead, Australians are more likely to consider you as a new friend.

One of the best things you can do to integrate with the community is to socialise.

Want to know how you can do it?

Here are 3 ways:

1. Visit or hang out in hostels

Both foreigners and locals travel in Australia all year round so hostels are often full of people from all over the world.

Many of these hostels also have a bar or café where locals like to have drinks and make international friends.

This makes hostels ideal places to connect with others.

And if you ask hostel staff, you can get recommendations for nearby attractions and activities that will help you connect with the local community.

2. Take classes

Australians are very active people who like doing sports and other activities, so it’s easy to join in.

If you’re in an Australian city like Sydney or Melbourne, you'll find classes of all kinds, from cooking to yoga, surfing to pottery.

Classes and courses can be an opportunity to socialise with Australians who have the same interests as you while learning and having fun at the same time.

3. Join events

Would you like to be a true Australian? Well, then keep in mind that Australians love living outdoors and like to organise festivals and events in parks, on the beach and in the streets. Join these events and actively take part. Australians have a reputation for being friendly and laid-back, so it’ll be very easy for you to make new friends and participate in activities.

So, which of these 3 ways of socialising would appeal to you the most?

You may be thinking “But I don’t speak Australian English and I know that Australians are difficult to understand.”

Okay, let’s talk about this.

Communicating with Australians

Yes, Australians accents can be difficult to understand at first.

But don’t let that discourage you.

As we said, Australian society is very inclusive so no one will expect you to have a perfect Australian accent or use a wide variety of slang expressions.

Instead, focus on communicating with the English you already have.

This will help you get used to an Australian accent and how it sounds.

You may often hear the words “mate” (an informal term that means “friend”) and “no worries” when you’re having informal conversations with Australians.

What does this tell us? Once again, it shows that Australians are very laid-back and have a carefree attitude to life, which is reflected in the language and communication too.

If you’d like to become part of the Australian community, don’t stay home studying long lists of slang terms that you might never need to use. Go out instead. Meet people and explore traditions.

You’ve been studying English to communicate, right? In Australia, you’ll have a great number of opportunities to make this happen and, if you do make this happen, your “Australian English” will slowly improve as you go.

There’s one thing you should be careful about though: hanging out with your fellow nationals.

Let’s have a look at this last point.

Be open to the new culture

Because Australia is known for its friendly people and diverse cultures, it’s likely that you’ll find a community of people that come from your own country and speak your first language.

These people might even have been living in Australia for a long time.

Isn’t this another advantage for you? You can hang out with them and feel less homesick.

But there’s a risk: it’s easy to fall into the trap of only making friends with those who speak your language and come from the same cultural background. If you only hang out with your fellow nationals, you may find it increasingly hard to adjust to the new lifestyle.

Does this mean you should avoid “your people”? Of course not.

The country where you were born and the language you speak are a part of your identity. You’re free to maintain and preserve this and no one should ever tell you to give up who you are.

But try to get to know the locals too. This might require you to push yourself a little and get out of your comfort zone.

It might be hard at first. But it will pay off in the long run.

So, are you excited about moving to Australia? We hope this article has helped you understand more about what an amazing change you’re about to experience and we wish you luck with your new life Down Under.

Go to IDP’s website to hear from other IELTS test takers who have already moved to Australia. And find out from the British Council how IELTS can help you move to Australia.

Take it easy and don’t overwhelm yourself.

As Australians would say, “No worries, mate!”