Discover why Australia is much more than kangaroos and the iconic Opera House. Australia’s indigenous population has a profound impact on culture and visual art. The interior of the country is very dry and arid so most people live in the narrow, fertile coastal plains and on the southeastern coast. Outdoor life rules: swimming at stunning beaches, playing cricket or having a barbecues in the park.

Australian teen life also includes sports, hiking, camping, and yes, going to the beach. Many young people also work part time after school and on weekends to earn spending money. Youth clubs are popular: Scouts, religious groups, athletic teams, and volunteer activities.

AFS Youth exchange in Australia

People and community

You can live anywhere in Australia: major cities, rural farms, and somewhere in between. Everyone shares in the housework. Families usually get together for dinner and it’s pretty common to get take-out for a quick meal. Although Australians tend to be informal and laid back, “please“ and “thank you” are used abundantly.


You will attend either a private or public school. Education is taken seriously in Australia and its schools are rated highly on an international level. The school day runs from 8:45 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. You’ll likely choose your electives but some classes are required, such as English and physical education. School uniforms are required.


English, in its Aussie variant, is the official language of Australia. Chinese, Italian and Greek are the most commonly spoken second languages. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. You will participate in language lessons provided by AFS, and local volunteers may help arrange independent language study for you during the first months.


The Australian cuisine has its roots in the English cuisine of the early settlers.Especially the dishes of the Southeast Asian neighbors, as well as the Greeks, Italians and Lebanese influenced Australian cuisine. Nowadays, seafood and fish are an important part of the food; in the case of family activities, the barbecue is very popular.
Nowadays, the plants and the methods of preparation of the traditional Aboriginal cuisine are re-discovered. In gourmet restaurants and hotels, dishes, spices and sauces can be found on menus based on Aboriginal traditions.

Explore the Programs Available in Australia