Overview of Australia

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Australia is the third most popular study abroad destination in the world after the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK). It offers an unbeatable study and living experience where students have the opportunity to get a world-class education, gain meaningful employment experience during and post-study, and enjoy an excellent quality of life, all in one place.

Location and Geography

Australia is the smallest continent and one of the largest countries on Earth. It is situated in the Southern Hemisphere, south east of the Asian continent. Due to Australia’s size and location, its geography is extremely diverse, ranging from the snow-capped mountains of the Australian Alps and Tasmania, to large deserts, tropical, and temperate forests.

States and Territories

Australia is divided into six states and two territories. The states and territories, and their capital cities are:

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The capital of Australia is Canberra. Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth are some of the other popular Australian cities. All six of these cities are also amongst the Top 50 QS Best Student Cities 2019. The Economist also lists Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide among the world’s ten best cities to live in.

Climate and Weather

Australia has a relatively warm weather all year long, but the actual weather conditions typically vary greatly between regions due to the huge size of the country. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology classifies Australia into five climate zones. The northern section of Australia has a more tropical influenced climate, hot and humid in the summer, and quite warm and dry in the winter. The southern parts are cooler with mild summers and cool, sometimes rainy winters.

Since Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are the opposite of those in the north. In other words, when it is summer in Australia, it is winter in Canada, USA, India, China and other countries above the equator, and vice versa.

In Australia (except the Northern Territory), the four seasons are experienced in the following months:

Summer: December - February
Autumn/Fall: March - May
Winter: June - August
Spring: September - November

The Northern Territory experiences two distinct seasons: the “dry” (May-October) and the “wet” (November-April). The wet season is characterized by high humidity, monsoonal rains, and storms. The dry season is characterized by warm, dry, sunny days, and cool nights. You can find out more about seasonal temperatures in Australia here

Demographics and Culture

Australia has a population of approximately 25.2 million (2019 estimate). Due to Australia’s large size and small population, it is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. In other words, there are roughly 3 people in Australia for every km2 of land. In contrast, the UK and the USA have a population density of 244 people/km2 and 29 people/km2 respectively. Despite the large area, over 60% of Australians live in the capital city, and are amongst the most urbanized people in the world.

Cultural Diversity

The Australian population is highly diverse. According to the Australian Human Rights Commission (2015 report), one in every four Australians are born overseas and nearly 1 in 2 Australians have an overseas-born parent. Most Australians consider their country’s rich diversity to be their identity and strength, and live together in harmony, embracing and celebrating their differences.

Languages

English is Australia’s primary language, but more than 200 other languages are also spoken in Australian households.

Religions

Although Australia is a predominantly Christian country, there are many mosques, temples and synagogues in Australia. People have the freedom to practice any religion they want, and all religions are represented in Australia.