Australia is a culturally diverse country with people from many different backgrounds living and working together.


We Aussies are open, friendly people who value cultural diversity and our multicultural lifestyle. We enjoy outdoor barbeques (BBQs), going to the beach, theatre, museums and restaurants.

We also love playing and watching sport, especially cricket, soccer, football, rugby, netball, tennis, surfing and golf. Whatever sport you play, you'll find like-minded Aussies here to share with while you live in Australia.

From the moment you arrive, you'll receive a warm welcome and have many opportunities to develop lasting friendships.

Fun facts:

  • Australia is a multicultural nation
  • Since 1945, seven million people have emigrated to Australia and a quarter of the population was born overseas
  • A further 19% of the population have at least one parent who was born overseas
  • Four million Australians speak a language other than English so, as an international student, you will quickly feel at home in our multicultural communities.

Australian Slang

Aussie slang

Much common word usage or 'slang' may seem strange to people new to Australia. Slang words start from many different sources. Some words are shortened versions of longer words. Many were expressions already used by migrants who came from the north of England. If you are unsure what an expression means, it is all right to ask the person who said it to explain.

Some common expressions are:

  • Bring a plate - when you are invited to a party and asked to 'bring a plate', this means to bring a dish of food to share with your host and other guests. Take the food to the party in any type of dish, not just a plate, and it is usually ready to serve. This is common for communal gatherings such as for school, work or a club. If you are unsure what to bring, you can ask the host.
  • BYO - when an invitation to a party says 'BYO', this means 'bring your own' drink. If you do not drink alcohol, it is acceptable to bring juice, soft drink or soda, or water. Some restaurants are BYO. You can bring your own wine to these, although there is usually a charge for providing and cleaning glasses called 'corkage'.
  • Arvo - This is short for afternoon. 'Drop by this arvo,' means please come and visit this afternoon.
  • Fortnight - This term describes a period of two weeks.
  • Barbeque, BBQ, barbie - outdoor cooking, usually of meat or seafood over a grill or hotplate using gas or coals. The host serves the meat with salads and bread rolls. It is common for a guest, when invited to a BBQ, to ask if they should bring anything.
  • Snag - The raw type sausages usually cooked at a BBQ. They can be made of pork, beef or chicken.
  • Chook - The term chook means a chicken, usually a hen.
  • Cuppa - a cup of tea or coffee 'Drop by this arvo for a cuppa' means please come and visit this afternoon for a cup of tea or coffee.
  • Loo or dunny - These are slang terms for toilet. If you are a guest in someone's house for the first time, it is usually polite to ask permission to use his or her toilet. 'May I use your toilet please?' Some people ask, 'Where's the loo?'
  • Fair dinkum - honest, the truth. 'Fair dinkum?' when used as a question means, 'is it really true?'
  • To be crook - to be sick or ill.
  • Flat out - busy.
  • Shout - to buy someone a drink. At a bar or a pub when a group of friends meet, it is usual for each person to 'shout a round', meaning buy everybody a drink. Each person takes a turn at buying a 'round'. It is also acceptable to say that you do not drink (alcohol) by saying that you are a 'teetotaller'. This also means you are not obliged to shout.
  • Bloke - a man. Sometimes if you ask for help, you may get an answer to 'see that bloke over there'.
  • How ya goin? 'How are you going?' means how are you, or how do you do? It does not mean what form of transport you are taking. Sometimes it can sound like 'ow-ya-goinmate'.

For more information on Australian slang visit Wikipedia

Places of worship

In Australia, people are free to practice and follow their own beliefs and religion. Cultural and religious diversity is an important part of life in Australia. You will find many churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship in Sydney and in other cities and towns across New South Wales.

The predominant religion amongst Australians is Christianity, with the three largest denominations being Anglican, Roman Catholic and the Uniting Church. Smaller Christian denominations include Lutheran, Jehovah's Witness, Seventh Day Adventist and Baptist churches. Other religions in Australia include Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.

A number of major religions and their Australian websites are listed below:

More information

More in-depth information about Australian culture can be found on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website


Do you need help?

Ask a question online or contact
TAFE NSW International or an authorised agent for help with choosing a TAFE NSW course or enrolling.

New South Wales


NSW lies on the east coast of Australia.
Sydney is the state's capital and the largest
city in Australia.

To find a campus go to TAFE NSW Institute locations.

Helpful guides

Guides on living, studying and working in:

ESOS Framework

The Australian Government wants international students to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding study experience in Australia.

Read more about the ESOS Framework.

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