Life in Australia

Australia is a warm and welcoming country that prides itself on its history of multiculturalism. Australia is often described as a 'melting pot' of different faces, races and cultural traditions, yet all Australian, upholding a distinct set of Australian values and traditions. 

In Australia, people are free to follow their own beliefs and religion. A place of worship can be a great support for your faith, and a place to grow and be nurtured by others who share the same faith. 

When you leave home you naturally take your own personality and cultural ways with you. Understanding the language and communication differences can help ease the transition. Read more about communicating in Australia.

Australia is a multicultural society and therefore Australian customs may differ depending on the individual’s background. However, there are some common customs and characteristics of Australian people which are explained under Australian Customs. Also, learn more about things to do in Brisbane on the international students’ website.


About Queensland and Brisbane

Queensland attracts more than half of all international tourists to Australia. Its tropical coastal strip includes sandy beaches, coral islands and plenty of sunshine. 

In the far north, the Daintree Rainforest sweeps down to the sea. As the oldest rainforest on Earth, it nurtures spectacular wildlife. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the “Natural Wonders of the World”. As the largest World Heritage Area, it stretches more than 2000 kilometres alongside the coast, and is home to around 1500 species of fish and 350 types of coral.

West of Queensland’s Great Dividing Range are mine sites and huge cattle and sheep properties. The unique red and brown landscapes of Queensland’s outback span around 800,000 square kilometres. Closer to Brisbane, some of the largest sand dunes in the world attract travellers to Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser Islands.

Those who explore further afield in Southeast Queensland will enjoy many wonderful and unique experiences including: Jondaryan Woolshed, Natural Arch, Springbrook Natural Park, the Gold Coast, feeding wild dolphins at Moreton Island, and whale-watching from many vantage points.

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, Australia’s “Sunshine State”, and is widely known as the country’s most liveable city.

It is Australia’s fastest-growing capital with a population of more than 1.8 million and offers a safe, friendly, multicultural environment.

Brisbane is considered one of the major business hubs in Australia. Most major Australian and international companies have a contact office in Brisbane. Many electronics companies also take advantage of the strategic port and airports by choosing to have distribution hubs in the city.

The inner city is characterised by the Brisbane River, parklands, convention facilities, museums, art galleries, a casino, malls, shopping districts and a host of cosmopolitan restaurants and cafés.

The golden beaches and fun parks of the Gold Coast are just an hour’s drive south. The beautiful Sunshine Coast beaches lie a short drive to the north, along with National Parks, rainforests and attractions such as Australia Zoo.

Brisbane’s reputation as a friendly, modern city makes it a popular tourist destination.

Read more about the geography, transport, weather, food and shopping, communication and technology, and things to do in Brisbane on our international students website or at


Relocation and accommodation

Relocation assistance

If you need to move to join the University, the University may offer relocation assistance.

All academic staff appointed to continuing, probationary, fixed term, or other appointments of at least two years duration, required to relocate to take up appointment at The University of Queensland, are eligible for the reimbursement of reasonable re-establishment expenses, as stated in their offer of appointment. 

Professional staff appointees, HEW level 8 and above, may also be eligible for the reimbursement of relocation expenses. If relocation expenses are to be included, this will be detailed in their offer of appointment.

Reimbursement is made on the condition that the appointee serves for a minimum of at least two years before voluntary resignation. Voluntary resignation within two years requires a pro-rata repayment of relocation expenses to the University.

The University of Queensland’s Relocation assistance policy and procedure is available online.

To find a removalist, use your favourite search engine or use Yellow Pages online to search for removalists.


The University of Queensland Accommodation Service provides comprehensive advice and referrals to students regarding both on-campus and off-campus rental accommodation.

To search the Queensland property and rental markets yourself visit the website.


Immigration and work visa information


The Department of Home Affairs  website provides comprehensive information for those who are considering coming to Australia to work, either on a temporary or a permanent basis. DIAC provides a comprehensive guide to beginning a life in Australia, which clearly outlines the steps you must take once you arrive in Australia and is available in a range of languages. The DIAC website also provides useful information about settling in Australia, English Language Assessments (IELTS) , and a guide to Australian Work Rights for immigrating staff.

Work visa

If you are offered a position at the University and you are not an Australian Citizen, the University may sponsor you for the appropriate visa to work at UQ. The type of visa you will be sponsored for will depend on the length and type of your appointment. Please refer to the Immigration Procedures and Guidelines policy for more information.

For information on how to apply for a Work Visa and the costs associated, access the Visa Wizard on the DIAC website.

Please note that depending on your sponsored work visa you might need to take out private health insurance. For further information about this requirement click here.

Information for parents

Child care

Child care, kindergarten and after-school-care facilities (all independently operated) are accessible to staff and students on or near most University of Queensland campuses.

Use the links provided to find out more about the facilities provided at the St Lucia, Gatton and Ipswich campuses. Staff based at Herston may access the Lady Ramsay Child Care Centre (contact 07 3636 1844). Alternatively, you can search online using the Child Care Services search facility for a particular child care or early education service, contact details and other relevant information (Queensland Department of Communities).

The University of Queensland also provides a range of parenting facilities as well as special parking arrangements for carers with young children and for women staff during pregnancy. Please use the links provided for more information.


Queensland has a wide range of schools to choose from with almost 1700 public (Queensland Government-administered) and 540 private (independent) schools spread across the State.

Education at public schools is free, although most schools do have a voluntary annual fee to cover extra activities. Parents may also have to purchase such items as books and uniforms and pay for outings, camp etc. Most public schools are co-educational, with girls and boys encouraged to participate equally in class. More information about education in Australia is provided on the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. Please note that you may have to pay school fees if you or your children are non-Autralian citizens. Further information can be obtained from Education Queensland International.

Around one-third of Queensland's independent schools are located in the Brisbane metropolitan area. Most identify with a particular religion or religious ethos (for example, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Christian or Islam). However, many others are inter-denominational or non-denominational.

To find out more information about public education, and to search public schools in Queensland, go to the Queensland Government, Department of Education website for parents and carers. The Queensland government website also provides information on schooling for international students. To search for independent schools in Brisbane use the Non-Government Schools Directory.