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Posts Tagged ‘studying in Australia’

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

How do you deal with homesickness when you’re studying in Australia?

You’ve got your confirmation of enrolment, your short-term accommodation arranged, and you’re almost packed and ready to go.

What have you forgotten?

How do you deal with homesickness when you're studying in Australia?

You’re not alone—tips to survive homesickness

Believe it or not, one of the most frequent concerns OzTREKK students encounter is homesickness. In theory, you feel prepared for your journey to Australia, and you’re excited to begin this new stage in your life, so it may come as a surprise to you to find you are missing family members and the comforts of home more than you expected.

This is totally normal!

In general, homesickness kicks in as soon as the frenetic pace of starting your classes and familiarizing yourself with your campus has morphed into routine. What then?

Well, first, it can be very helpful to not ignore the possibility of homesickness before you leave. People think it won’t happen to them and that’s the first big mistake. If you accept the fact that you might be homesick, it will make things easier. Being prepared helps, too.

Because we love to stay in touch with our students, many have shared their tips to deal with homesickness when they’re studying in Australia, and of course we’re going to share them with you!

Bring the familiar

Sometimes just the sight of photos of your family members is enough to snap you out of the homesickness funk. If there is something small and light that can fit easily into your suitcase and you think it will help, bring it along!

Get Skype

Of course you already know this one! Skype gives you instant access to family and friends back home, and it’s cheap. Once you’ve figured out the time zone differences, you’re good to go!

Explore your surroundings

You’re in your room, staring at the wall. It’s time to get out of there! When feeling homesick, one of the worse things you can do is to mope around feeling sorry for yourself. Getting out of your place and exploring your city is a great distraction from any home-related anxieties. It also helps you become familiar with your surroundings and that in itself can be comforting. Take some time to stroll through the park or the area where you live. Actually look at the buildings. Find one near your home that will help be a beacon of familiarity.

Look after yourself

If you’re stuffing your face with junk food and forgetting to exercise, you can bet your mental health will be heading into a downward spiral. And if that happens, who will have the energy or desire to study? It sounds simple, but eating healthily and getting some exercise and regular sleep can really help to boost your well-being.

Give yourself time and praise

Okay, it’s been two weeks and you still haven’t snapped out of it. No worries. Take an evening to yourself to examine your reason for being in Australia: to study and to get that degree! That in itself is an amazing, brave thing, so be proud of yourself. Do you know how many people are too scared to do what you’ve just done? Give yourself a pat on the back and know that you have what it takes to not only get your degree, but also to have an great time doing it! Positive self-talk is healthy and will counteract the negative emotions you may be feeling.

Meet other Canadians

Know that you’re not alone. Meeting fellow Canadians is an instant pick-me-up. OzTREKK hosts orientation sessions for new students, giving them an immediate access to multiple Canadian connections on campus. We also provide you with a “Student Contact List” that lists everyone who is in your university and program. Not everyone chooses to attend our orientations or to be on this list, but we recommend that you do! If you’re interested, please be sure to contact your OzTREKK admissions officer. And guess what? This also gives you the opportunity to support others who may be feeling homesick.

One day at a time

Sometimes it’s easier to take it one day at a time. Setting mini-goals or achievements for your stay helps, too! It might be helpful to take each part of the process in steps: Made it to Vancouver, made it to Sydney, made it to the hotel. Day one done, day two done, etc. It’s a handy little trick and before you know it, you’re on day 248. Easy-peasy.

Keep a journal or a blog

Another handy-dandy OzTREKK student tip? Writing in a journal or starting an “Adventures in Australia” blog or vlog is an excellent way to keep track of your progress—and to share your experiences with everyone back home. If you can regularly keep up with an online blog (even Facebook or Twitter posts), you will receive encouraging messages from everyone! At the end of your journey, you will have an amazing record of your time in Australia. Show your grandkids. Also, we love following our students on social media!

Ask for help

Sometimes, even after attempting the above, you still may find yourself missing home a little too much, and this is where Anxiety likes to step in and reek havoc. Worrying about your studies or your finances will only make things worse, so take steps to sort any issues out or get support as soon as they arise. Your university has international student support groups, as well as student groups. Ask your university for a list of groups or student counsellors or upper-year students who may be able to help, then contact them!

Even though it may feel like it sometimes, you’re not alone. Many people have endured homesickness and have come out on the other side happier, stronger, and braver. You can do it!


We hope this list helps you feel more prepared for your journey to study in Australia! Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns—we’re here to help: info@oztrekk.com

Friday, December 1st, 2017

When in Australia, don’t forget to explore!

Meet OzTREKK’s other Australian medical schools admissions officer—Amanda Rollich. Amanda has actually spent four and a half years living in Northern Beaches, Sydney, so she’s fully koalafied to give you some interesting travel ideas for when you’re Down Under! Take it away, Amanda!

Studying in Australia is a giant adventure and it’s important that, aside from your textbook adventure, you also prioritize fun away from #unilife!

When in Australia, don't forget to explore!

You must visit Uluru! (Ayers Rock)

We know that escaping the library and distancing your brain from the demands of say, a medical program, can seem difficult; however, it is vital for your wellness, stress level and overall happiness to do so. Students must remember to fill their “experience buckets” while in Australia!

You don’t have to go far and it need not be expensive!

Getting out on the weekend to explore a new suburb, or taking a short flight to a new location during breaks will certainly offer invaluable experiences you’ll be able to bring home, and maybe even into your classroom!

There are quite reasonably priced day tours that depart from most central business districts (CBD), or for the non-Oz folk “downtown!” For example, Melbourne students can hop on tour from the CBD to view the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. As well, Sydneysiders should definitely head out to the Blue Mountains just a few hours west of the campus. Hit up a friend with a car and plan a Saturday away from the books! We know you’re on a budget, so pack a lunch and share the cost of gas. 🙂

Remember, you’ve travelled so far and don’t want to regret not meeting an Aussie bff, attempting to surf, seeing Steve Irwin’s legacy at the Australian Zoo or heading out on a couple of local bushwalks.

An idea may be to add a different experience goal to your calendar each month and tick them off! It could be as simple as “this month I must try a meat pie,” to visiting a new beach every few months. The ideas really are endless. Absorb it all and you’ll come home not only on your exciting new career path, but with heaps of memories that will make you smile for years to come.

Me snowboarding on Mount Perisher
Camping in Lorne, Victoria
Visit Upper Crust—yum!
See Byron Bay, New South Wales
Explore Kings Canyon, Northern Territory
Friday, August 18th, 2017

A Canadian coffee lover’s experience in Australia

“Coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup.” ~ Gertrude Stein

A Canadian coffee lover's experience in Australia

Coffee in Australia is an experience to be savoured

OzTREKK Director Chris Nolan loves coffee. In fact, every time he visits “headquarters” here in Perth, he juggles multiple cups throughout the day with grin in place, eyes crinkled, and music wafting from whichever area he’s “working” in. We’ll use the term working loosely here. Mostly he’s chatting with all of us and encouraging us to stop what we’re doing to enjoy a moment of hilarity. Always a bonus, working at OzTREKK.

So, as our coffee connoisseur, Chris has noted there are some not-so-subtle differences between Canuck coffee and Aussie coffee, and for everyone heading to Oz, you’ll need to be up on your coffee vocab. We’ll let Chris explain:

I love coffee. Appreciate a well-prepared cup, sitting and savouring it while catching up on the news of the day, or in a café chatting with a friend or people watching. I am not a fancy coffee drinker who orders a low fat, triple shot, with extra hot soy milk in a small cup kind of guy, but I appreciate good coffee.

You know who else enjoys quality coffee? Aussies!

It was one of the first things I noticed about Australia my first time there: they are fanatical about their coffee. And it is very European in that regard with a focus on espresso-based coffee, likely because of the large immigration of Italians post WWII. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to visit Australia, you will know what I am talking about. For those of you who haven’t, here is some lingo to remember when ordering coffee in Oz!

You can still get a regular latté, cappuccino, mocha in most cafés, but here are three staples in Aussie coffee culture you should know about:

1. The long black – No Tim Horton’s “double doubles” here. If you are a straight-up drip-coffee kind of person, your closest thing to that would be a long black. It’s a shot of espresso with extra hot water. As a mainly drip-coffee fella, I have fallen in love with the long black.

2. The short black – Simply a shot of espresso—go figure!

3. The flat white – This would serve those well who appreciate lattés and cappuccinos, although it’s less frothy than a cappuccino. It’s an espresso shot with steamed milk. It’s popularity in Australia has made its way to cafés in North America, and it’s a regular offering on the Starbucks chalkboards. Any Australian will tell you that the Starbucks in North America don’t know what they are doing with flat whites!

When finished ordering at most cafés, you often wait at the table with a number identifying your order, and a waiter/waitress will bring it to you. You can add sugar at the table. My first few long blacks, I ordered extra milk to take the edge off!

Keep these tips in mind when you head to Australia. The Aussies love their coffee, and it’s one of the many things I enjoy about Aussie culture!


Thinking of studying in Australia? Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, August 4th, 2017

OzTREKK office closed August 7

Are you ready for the long weekend? Don’t forget that Monday, Aug. 7 is the Civic Holiday. What is that? Seriously, what is it? A short explanation is, “a day to celebrate your province!”

OzTREKK office closed August 7

Enjoy the holiday!

The Civic Holiday is celebrated on the first Monday of August and it’s a public holiday in some provinces and territories. The civic holiday is not a statutory holiday.

The Civic Holiday is commonly referred to as the August long weekend. It is probably the busiest day on highways as tens of thousands of families go camping, to cottages etc. this weekend, so drive carefully!

In honour of Ontario, the OzTREKK office will be closed Monday, Aug. 7 for the Civic Holiday but will reopen Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 8:30!

Enjoy your long weekend!


Are you interested in studying in Australia? We are here to help! For more information, please contact OzTREKK at 1-866-698-7355 or email info@oztrekk.com.

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Study in Australia Fair at McGill University

We’ve got great news for everyone living in the Montreal area!

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, OzTREKK and our Australian universities will be hosting the Fall Study in Australia Fair at McGill University. If you’ve ever wondered about studying at another university—in another country—don’t miss this event!

Study in Australia at Australian universities

Join us for the OzTREKK Study in Australia Fair

Our Australian representatives fly to Canada to participate in these OzTREKK events in order to give you the most information possible. Come visit with Australian university representatives to find out about what it’s like to study your program of interest at an Australian university. This is a free event, and everyone is welcome.

McGill University

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015
Time: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Venue: Madeleine Parent Room (TBC), SSMU Building, McGill University, Montreal
Map: http://tiny.cc/SSMU

At this Study in Australia Fair, you will be able to find out more information about the following study opportunities in Australia:

…and many more programs!

Chat with Australian university representatives to find out more about the programs that interest you. Find out more about accommodation, scholarships, and accreditation processes.

See you at the fair, McGill!


If you have any questions about this upcoming OzTREKK Study in Australia Fair, please contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

See you tomorrow, Dalhousie!

Just a reminder that Chris Nolan of OzTREKK will be at Dalhousie University tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 24! Stop by the Student Union Building between and 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. to learn more about the following graduate study opportunities in Australia:

Study in Australia

See you soon, Dalhousie University!

and many more programs!

Everyone is welcome to stop by to find out more about studying in Australia!

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Dalhousie University – Student Union Building (SUB), Main Foyer

If you would like more information about about studying medicine, dentistry, law, or physiotherapy at an Australian university, come talk to OzTREKK tomorrow at Dalhousie University!


For more information about this event or about Australian universities, contact OzTREKK toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 or email info@oztrekk.com. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

OzTREKK will be at Dalhousie University Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015

Hey, Halifax! We’d love to offer you respite from the winter storms that have been hammering the east coast the last couple of weeks. While we can’t control the weather, we can bring you news about Australia!

Study in Australia

See you soon, Dalhousie University!

OzTREKK will be visiting Dalhousie University on Tuesday, February 24. If you’re in the Halifax area and have been wondering about furthering your education at an Australian university, come see us! Everyone is welcome to stop by to find out more about studying in Australia.

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Dalhousie University – Student Union Building (SUB), Main Foyer

Come and meet Chris Nolan of OzTREKK at Dalhousie University, and you will be able to find out more about the following graduate study opportunities in Australia:

and many more programs!

Are you curious about studying medicine, dentistry, law, or physiotherapy at an Australian university? What about their entry requirements and the accreditation process for your program of interest? Come see us Feb. 24 and get all your questions answered!

See you soon, Dal!


For more information about this event or about Australian universities, contact OzTREKK toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 or email info@oztrekk.com. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

OzTREKK Study in Australia Fair in Montreal

On Wednesday, October 8, OzTREKK will be hosting a Study in Australia Fair for everyone living in the Montreal area!


Hope to see you at the Study in Australia Fair!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to study in Australia? Would you like more information about studying medicine, dentistry, law, pharmacy, and physiotherapy in Australia?

Please join us for this upcoming OzTREKK Study in Australia Fair! This is a free event and everyone is welcome to attend. Come meet our Australian university representatives and ask as many questions as you wish about the program that interests you. All eight of OzTREKK’s Australian universities will be there to help!

Event Details
Date: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Time: 4 – 7 p.m.
Venue: Room 302, Shatner Building, McGill University
Map: http://tiny.cc/McGillShatnerBldg

Since Australian universities only visit a few times a year, this is a must-not-miss event. At the fair, you will be able to meet all Australian university staff and learn more about their

  • universities
  • programs available
  • program entry requirements
  • campus lifestyles
  • accommodation options
  • student loans and financing options
  • accreditation process—coming back to Canada or staying on in Australia

For information about all your program options and about studying in Australia, please visit OzTREKK’s Australian University Programs page.


For more information about this OzTREKK Study in Australia Fair, contact OzTREKK toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355 or e-mail info@oztrekk.com. Find out more about Australian universities and how you can study in Australia!

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Win your Future Unlimited finalists at Bond University

Seven international finalists in the Win your Future Unlimited competition, an international competition for students to win a year’s study in Australia, arrived on the Gold Coast recently to visit Bond University as part of their two-week study tour.

Study in Australia

Future Unlimited poster

“This competition is a wonderful opportunity for the finalists to visit Australia and experience the excellent, unparalleled facilities we have to offer here at Bond,” John McPartland, Director International at Bond University said.

”One of the seven is set to win a major prize of a year of study in Australia and we are excited to be involved as one of the campaign partners and participating universities.”

The Win your Future Unlimited competition, an Australian Government initiative led by Austrade, asked prospective international students to design digital postcards about their future, explaining how an Australian education could take them there. The competition asked them to describe their educational and career aspirations in 50 words or less.

The seven finalists were selected from a pool of 31,000 entries from more than 180 countries. They were Abigail Engleman from the USA, Mark Gil Caparros from the Philippines, Minh Nguyen from Vietnam, Yaroslava Vasina from Russia, Uttam Kumar from India, Juliana Soares dos Reis from Brazil, and Aditya Nur Patria from Indonesia. Uttam Kumar, 22, from India, won the Win your Future Unlimited competition, including flights, tuition, accommodation, a stipend, an internship and more.

During their two-week, coast-to-coast study tour, they visited Australian universities across the country, giving presentations and undergoing further assessment. The judges then selected the major prize winner, Uttam Kumar of India.

Bond University Director International commented that the study tour gave the finalists an opportunity to decide which institution they want to attend and he’s hoping it will be Bond University as the university is Australia’s highest rating university for educational experience.

“Our small class numbers enabling personalized attention, combined with the quality of our teaching staff, international student base and  world-class facilities here on the beautiful Gold Coast make Bond a very attractive proposition for our international student guests.”

The competition is supported by five major sponsors: Educational Testing Services (ETS), National Australia Bank, Qantas, Telstra and The University of New South Wales, as well as 21 of Australia’s tertiary education and training providers.


Would you like more information about how OzTREKK helps you to study in Australia? Find out more about the following Australian universities represented by OzTREKK:

Email info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355.

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Just two weeks left to Win Your Future Unlimited!

Four finalists have been announced in the global Win Your Future Unlimited competition thus far—congratulations to Abigail Engleman from the USA, Mark Gil Caparros from the Philippines, Minh Nguyen from Vietnam, and Yaroslava Vasina from Russia. As finalists, they will be flown to Australia for a two-week study tour in December and have a chance at winning the grand prize: a year of study in Australia!

Australian universities

Sydney Opera House

Create an online postcard now and you could win life-changing prizes. Seven finalists will be flown to Australia for a study tour. And one finalist will win the major prize—a year of study in Australia, including flights, tuition, accommodation, and much more.

There are still 3 more finalists yet to be chosen and 2 more weeks left to enter. To enter, create an online postcard that shows how studying in Australia will help you achieve your future ambitions. Submit your postcard today!

Tips for creating a winning entry

The judges will be looking for entries that best display the following:

    1. Genuineness of the sentiments expressed.
    2. Creativity of the words and pictures used.
    3. A compelling reason for why studying in Australia is essential to your future.

Check out the current finalists’ postcards: http://futureunlimited.com.au/finalists/

  • Week 6: 12.01am AEDT Tuesday 5 November – midnight AEDT Monday 11 November 2013
  • Week 7: 12.01am AEDT Tuesday 12 November – midnight AEDT Monday 18 November 2013


If you have any questions about this contest, please contact OzTREKK! Find out how OzTREKK helps you to study in Australia! Email info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355. Learn more about Australian universities!