Why you’d be stupid not to do a year abroad in Australia
This might surprise you, but Aus shits all over Manchester
Although I’m pretty sure I arrived in Australia by plane, it could just as easily have been in Marty McFly’s DeLorean.
Skater boys are still normal, the ‘clubs’ are filled with ‘90s cheese and any chance of high speed broadband is a mere pipedream. The upside of living in this time warp (unless you actually enjoyed the early 2000s) is the smug feeling of being the most fashionable kid on campus with your edgy pocket, house mixes the locals have never heard of blaring out of your headphones whilst they bop along to Avril Lavigne’s first album and a general feeling of cutting-edge superiority.
The exception that proves this rule, however, is the prominence of the unfortunate Leonardo Di Caprio/Oliver Proudlock man bun, maybe suggesting that Australians aren’t so clueless after all (they are).
Never fear, you’ve spent two years in Manchester learning how to be an edgy individual that definitely doesn’t look like everybody else, so roll up your sleeves, throw on a suitable snap-back and enjoy being the most individual you have ever been. Apart from the ten English people you find yourself living with, of course.
Going on a gap year (despite the Tories’ best efforts)
If, like me, the tuition fees rise deprived you of that well deserved gap year that definitely wouldn’t have been spent watching Judge Judy and scratching your arse, then this seems like a fair compromise. On top of spending a year in Australia’s glorious climate (if anything it’s too hot) there’s also a three month summer holiday slap bang in the middle, and with it an opportunity to churn out all of those travelling gap yah clichés you were so cruelly denied by Cameron and his band of merry men.
From travelling trousers to Full Moon vests, from pictures outside Frodo’s Hobbiton home to chugging ominously coloured buckets on the beaches of the Costa Del Thailand, tick off as many as you can in as short a time as you can, and I guarantee you’re range of conversation with the travellers of university will be greatly expanded.
I’d suggest starting by loudly discussing what a small world it is with anyone who’ll listen before eventually moving on to comparing notes on how mental Full Moon was, but at an even greater volume.
Putting off your dissertation
What? I don’t have to write 12,000 words on a topic I know next to nothing about for another year? Cheers, see you next year personal tutor, I’ll work on it I promise.
If the first two years of uni life have left you feeling lost in the whirlwind of Manchester’s 80p Jager Bombs, £1 beers and £8 pills and you find yourself spiralling out of control into almost certain oblivion, then Australia may just be your answer.
Fancy a beer? That’ll be $9 for a schooner please mate (that’s two thirds of a pint to us poms). Ok, so going out is expensive, so why don’t you just predrink to the point of dribbling? That’ll be $30 for a bottle of vodka even Sainsbury’s Basics range would be ashamed to put their name to. Smirnoff, you ask? An absolute bargain at $55.
So for the sake of that detox you promise yourself on the first of the month, every month, Australia may just be perfect; like a year-long Lent. Couldn’t handle a whole year with a limited alcohol access? There may be one shining light at the end of the tunnel…
Just when you thought you couldn’t find an elixir of life (or death) sweeter than squodka (that’s squash and vodka, to those of you unfortunate enough not to have yet discovered it) you happen to stumble into the dark corner of the bottle-o fridge and find 4 litres of wine for the equivalent of £6. Six English pounds.
Have you actually found value for money in Australia? Sold. Admittedly the ‘wine’ of the fabled goon box tastes like it’s been filtered through a tramp’s sock and carries a warning that fish eggs may also been found lurking within, but for the equivalent of a pound for a bottle of wine, do you really care? Any vegetarians out there might want to give this staple of Australian university life a miss, or consider pescatarianism.
Rubbing in England’s great cricketing superiority first hand
Oh. Wait, what? Mitchell who? The one who couldn’t take a wicket off his own grandmother last year? The one with that god-awful moustache? Oh dear. At least we have the Lions.
We all do it, and a cheeky beach picture with a ‘#nofilter’ tagline is bound to antagonise your university friends back home as they slave away in the library as well as gather a healthy number of likes from your aunty and her friends.
But beware, time difference is a bitch, and no one’s going to like a photo you’ve uploaded at five in the morning in England, which you probably deserve for not doing the necessary clock-based calculations.
‘Experiencing another culture’
Okay, so I live with two people from Manchester and another five from Leeds. I’ve moved half way around the world to live with people 40 minutes up the M60 and can count the number of Australian friends I’ve made on less than one hand, but at least I tried.
There is the occasional barbecue though, and as far as I can tell that makes up 90% of Australian culture (the other 10% made up by Aussie Rules and mid-strength beer), so really I’m pretty assimilated. It also means I won’t pick up an accent, which really is a result.
Because, well, obviously.