What you need to know about Australia before starting an internship
The internship contract is secured, the tickets are booked and your things are packed. You think you know everything about Australia and are ready for the "Down Under": the land of Ayer's Rock and the Great Barrier Reef, kangaroos and koalas, and the beautiful opera house in the capital city of Sydney. Shaking your head? We strongly hope so, as the capital of Australia is Canberra. This postcard information may not be everything you need to know. If you want to score points with your future internship company, you should spend a little more time on Australian studies. We'll give you a helpful overview.
A society with dangerous ancestors
Who would have thought that convicts play an important role in the history of Australia? In order to keep the UK clear of outlaws and convicts, they were sent to the new country. However, they did not just settle their time there in prisons. They were mainly employed in the construction of the colonial infrastructure. None of them of course actually returned to Britain. After they had "worked off" their punishment, they were able to integrate into society. The search for identity of the Australian "Convict Society" is a controversial topic of discussion.
You could meet up with your friends at the beach after work in the "arvo" (afternoon). "What do you reckon?" What do you think, doesn’t sound bad does it? Don’t forget your "thongs", flip flops, and a good anti-mosquito spray to keep those pesky "mozzies” away from you for the evening.
1,2,3 National Anthems
The search for a national identity is reflected in Australia’s search of a national song. The old song "God Save the Queen" focused probably too much on the colonial past and was replaced in 1973 by a new national anthem, the politically correct fit on the new identity: "Advance Australia Fair”. "Waltzing Mathilda" succeeded in 2nd place, but is now regarded as the unofficial anthem of Australia. With your internship in Australia you will find that it is a completely different song, with which most Australians can identify. With their 90's classic "Land Down Under", the band Men at Work is the clear winner. However stereotypical and somewhat ironic the song is in regards to Australia’s history, the song seems to fill almost every Australian with a sense of pride and national spirit.
“Do you speak-a my language? He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich.”
Especially if you are traveling to Australia right after graduation your English is on a school level. This will change quickly once you've made friends with your work colleagues. Australian English is known for its extremely unique accent. So, that is how a real Aussie speaks! There is no need to be intimidated, for what can often seem aggressive for the standard English speaker is nothing more than an interesting national tick for Australians.
“I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for ya.”
All Australians go to the beach right after work, surfing or relaxing with beer and steak "Barbie" (barbecue). Not to mention that this lifestyle is of course reason for the well tanned skin. This serene life is given to us by the media so, but the reality looks different. Sure, Australians go through life with a smile, unlike many Europeans. Nevertheless, their everyday life is stressful, it is not every day at the beach and beer doesn’t flow as freely as people imagine. Because the rules are strict in Australia: on the street, one should not be seen with an open beer can and the approved alcohol level is much lower than in Germany, Switzerland or Austria. So remember to apply the same level of discipline there as you would for a national internship.