Here it is, the master list put together from a variety of reliable sources including yours truly and a few other study abroad in Australia experts. Hopefully it helps you better prepare for your arrival to the mysterious land down under.

Famous meat pie from Harry's Cafe de Wheels
Famous Tiger Pie from Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Sydney | Photo by Tomás Nocera, University of New Hampshire

1. Cars drive on the left side of the road. This may seem irrelevant to your trip, but all pedestrians need to be aware that when crossing the street you have to look right first, then left.

2. Capsicum means pepper. So, when you are using the self-checkout at grocery stores and are weighing your peppers, they will be found under the letter “c.”

3. Never listen to the weather forecast, and be prepared for anything. I think this one is self-explanatory.

4. When someone asks you what your Surname is, they mean your last name.

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5. If you want to sound Australian, all you have to do is shorten your words and add a “y’ to just about everything. Example: Brekky, Barby.

6. People do not always say “God bless you,” even though every Australian you ask claims that they do. But, when you are sitting in a silent lecture hall and you sneeze, don’t be expecting a response from anyone.

7. There aren’t kangaroos roaming the streets everywhere you go. Yes, you can find them if you travel inland toward what they call “the bush,” but finding one in a place like Brisbane would be like seeing a seagull in New York City.

Kangaroo with Joey
Photo by: Eric Kazyak, University of Maryland

8. You do not need to take your shoes off when you go through airport security, and it makes the process of traveling much more convenient.

9. Pies are not made with fruit. Instead, they have meat in them, and you can find them on every block at the chain cafe, “Pie Face.” Just look for the red signs with smiley faces on them.

10. Tim Tams are the new Oreo. If you thought beating the freshman fifteen was hard… wait until you have tried one of these cookies.

11. The sun is a lot stronger. Consider this your warning, and don’t think you can get away with SPF 8 like you can on the Jersey Shore. I learned the hard way.

12. Australian Rules Football and Rugby replace Football. Make sure to study up because the rules are much more complicated.

Australian rules football match
Brisbane AFL Match

13. The Australian version of Ketchup is called “Tomato Sauce” and has a different name for a reason. If you consider yourself a Ketchup connoisseur, I recommend bringing your own.

14. Koalas have pouches, along with pretty much every other well-known mammal in Australia besides dingoes. My roommate wanted me to include this one because she was pretty shocked when she found out this fact, even though it is something everyone should know while living in the land of marsupials.

15. Coins are much more relevant because some of them (the gold ones) are worth 1 or 2 dollars. It is easy to disregard the change in your wallet or even on the ground, but make sure to be aware of its value; you could be richer than you thought.

16. The term “sweet as” is actually not as inappropriate as it sounds. In fact, it stands for “sweet as pie,” and is often used as a general expression like “OK” or “good.”

17. Yes, uggs are cheaper and probably a better quality, but that does not mean they are more popular.

18. Worshipping Steve Irwin has not yet turned into a religion, even though it should.

19. Eggs are not refrigerated in grocery stores. Don’t worry – they are still safe to eat. If there were any health risks to this type of storage system, I would be the first to know.

Gabrielle (Gab) Cerami is a student at the University of Maryland and a TEAN Featured Blogger. Gab studied abroad with TEAN in Brisbane, Australia. Interested in studying or interning abroad in Australia? Request information here!