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6 Lesser-Known Differences Between Australia and the United States

by AIFS Study Abroad
6 Lesser-Known Differences Between Australia and the United States | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad in Perth, Australia

AIFS Study Abroad Alumni Ambassador, Sara, shares some less obvious cultural differences between Australia and the United States:

While Australia and the United States share a language, there are many differences between the two countries. You might think you have a grip on the differences, such as using the Australian-famous term “mate” or the fact that Australians drive on the opposite side of the road, but the things that you might not think of right away will catch your eye.

Here are a few differences you will definitely notice about Australian culture.

1. Football is not football

While America has the NFL, Australia has the AFL, or the Australian Football League. Australian “footy” consists of two teams of 18 players playing on an oval-shaped field trying to score between two posts on opposite ends of the field for six points. There is no padding, although players can get rough on the field. Plus, they can use their hands and feet!

2. College or high school?

While Americans refer to higher education as “college,” regardless if it is a university or college, Australians refer to it strictly as “university” or “uni.” In fact, some Australians refer to high school as “college,” which can get confusing when two people from each country are talking about education.

3. Tipping

While people in America are obligated to tip people in many professions (hair dresser, server, etc.), it is not a common practice in Australia.

4. Name games

Something some people may not realize is that even basic names for items are different in Australia than America. For example, a rock melon is a cantaloupe and a boot is a trunk.

5. No shoes, no problem

While most people in America would receive weird looks for walking into a food store without wearing shoes, people do this in Australia with no problem. It is still definitely much more popular to wear shoes than to not, but do not question if you see a person strolling into the store barefoot.

6. Monday is first

If you live by your calendar, make sure you double check your entries if you are using one from Australia. Unlike America where the week starts on a Sunday, Australian schedules begin on a Monday. Be careful to not let this confuse your days!

If you are interested in learning about more differences, then try studying abroad with AIFS in Perth or Wollongong!

6 Lesser-Known Differences Between Australia and the United States | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad in Perth, Australia

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