Yoshihiro Nakamura



"Holmesglen gave me the opportunity to learn about the real Australian work environment, but also I enjoyed studying in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere."

Erica Hsieh


"Melbourne is a fantastic place to live in. The people are all friendly and caring, and the multicultural aspect makes it a very diverse place to live and study in. I feel that every day in Melbourne is different, and some of my new friends that I’ve met here are truly fantastic."

Gail kampengele



"I would recommend anyone thinking of studying abroad to think of Australia and Holmesglen. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want Christmas in the sun!"

Renato Chagas Prieto



"I really enjoyed my time at Holmesglen. Firstly, because of the people I met, from all over the world and between some of us we developed a truthful lasting friendship."

Efrain Froilan Carasas Castillo



"The lecturers at Holmesglen are wonderful. They are friendly, approachable, supportive and willing to help. It’s such a great experience to be taught by people who are at the forefront of their filed."

Adjust to life in Australia

Culture Shock

Moving to a new country and culture different from your own can be difficult. Although a change in culture is exciting, you may experience some “culture shock”. The people, customs and language are unfamiliar and not always easy to understand and it is very common to feel homesick. Remember - it is only temporary.

What is Culture Shock? It is a feeling of nervousness, fear, unhappiness or any unpleasantness that comes to us when we live in a culture very different from our own. It happens to everyone but in different ways. For most people it is mild and doesn’t last long. 

For some it is stronger and makes them want to go straight home and miss the great opportunity to learn lots of new things about the world and develop as an individual.

Try to make friends in Australia and do as many ‘new’ activities as you can. Be positive about your new activities. Joining a local sports club or church group can help introduce you to people. Holmesglen’s Student Services can assist you with joining clubs in the local community. 

Reading this booklet about transition will help you anticipate some changes and new challenges which lie ahead of you in your new environment.

Counsellors at Holmesglen’s Student Services can help you deal with any problems you may experience. Drop in for a chat or make an appointment to speak to one of the counsellors if you wish to discuss your new experiences.

Time Difference

Most areas of Australia are 2-3 hours ahead of Asia, 4-5 hours ahead of the Indian subcontinent, 9-10 hours ahead of Europe and 16-20 hours ahead of the Americas. Daylight saving (Summer time) operates in most Australian states from late October to late March.

Social Activities & Customs

Australia is a clean and safe country that welcomes international students and visitors. There are some different customs in Australia that may seem strange. If you understand a little about the Australian lifestyle, you will find it easier to meet Australians and feel comfortable living there.

Here are a few points.

  • Most Australians are relaxed and friendly.
  • Australians relate to all levels of staff with respect and politeness whether they are receptionists, teachers or managers.
  • Men in Australia treat all women respectfully.
  • It is considered good manners to say please and thank you when you ask for anything.
  • Australians do not have servants.
  • Most Australians do their own housework - men and women share jobs in the house.
  • Australians are ‘outdoors’ people. They like going to the beach, the park, the mountains and to the country for picnics and barbecues.
  • Australians love playing and watching sport. Sport is often the topic of conversation.
  • In every city, you will also find many forms of entertainment. Australians enjoy going to the theatre, cinema, clubs, cafes and restaurants.
  • Punctuality is important. Australians may think it’s rude if you don’t keep an appointment. It is polite to telephone and let the person know if you are going to be late.
  • People stand in queues when waiting for a bank teller, to get on a train or bus or buying tickets. It is not polite to push ahead of someone else waiting in the queue.
  • Most Australians are Christian, but there are also Buddhists, Muslims and Jews. Australians are free to follow the religion they choose. Churches, mosques, synagogues and temples are located in most major cities.
Smoking is not permitted in all public places, such as restaurants, airports and shopping centres.
  • Eating with your fingers at an informal meal such as a BBQ or a picnic is fine. Meals served at home, or in a restaurant, are eaten with a knife, fork and spoon. If unsure, watch other people and follow their lead.
  • Generally you can call an Australian home up until 9.30pm. It is not usual to call after this time.

For more about Holmesglen