Tips for International Students in Australia

Torrens University

Nina Starkey is our Commercial and Residential Interior Design Lecturer, architect, and a soon-to-be lawyer. She comes all the way from Sweden and has been teaching at Torrens for 7 years now.

Are you an international student thinking of studying in Australia?

Nina Starkey is our Commercial and Residential Interior Design Lecturer, architect, and a soon-to-be lawyer. She comes all the way from Sweden and has been teaching at Torrens for 7 years now.

Having been an international student herself, she is well aware of the challenges and concerns that international students face.

Check out Nina’s tips for International students studying in Australia.


  1. Avoid hanging around students from your own country – your English will improve way faster and you’ll also get to know other cultures.
  2. Ensure you have access to health insurance.
  3. Invest in a good smartphone to download city apps to help you navigate your way around.
  4. English can be hard to grasp academically but there is plenty of support available on your campus. Don’t leave it to the eleventh hour to seek assistance with your assignments!
  5. If the home-stay or accommodation is not the right one for you make sure to change sooner rather than later.
  6. Be aware of the Australian environment – safety in the ocean, wildlife (spiders), and always be sun smart. DEET insect repellent and sunscreen is a must-item to carry in bags!
  7. Have a life outside campus – join clubs and find a part-time job to get to make more friends.
  8. 112 or 000 are emergency numbers.
  9. Drinking age is 18 and legal limit is under .05.
  10. All drinking in public is banned and Australia has stricter smoking rules than the rest of the world.
  11. Australians drive on the left-hand side- roads safety look to the right-left- then right.
  12. Carry some sort of ID card on you at all times.
  13. To get into Australian pop-culture, you must watch: Pricilla Queen of Desert, Red Dog, The Castle, Rabbit Proof Fence, Australia, Muriel’s Wedding, Gallipoli, Picnic at Hanging rock, Shine, the Dish, the Walkabout and Ned Kelly!
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