In Australia, the majority of tertiary students enjoy a long summer break. So, after the stress of exams and assignments are over, you might be left wondering what to do. Here we list our ultimate tips for an enjoyable and productive summer break.
- Relax: In those first days after you finish studying for the year, there is nothing better than sleeping in, catching up on your favourite television programs, reading a good book or magazine, and enjoying some free time at home. After a hard year of study, taking some time to relax will restore your state of wellbeing. If you find that after a few days of relaxation you begin to get bored, try some of the ideas below!
- Visit home: The summer holidays give you a great opportunity to return home to spend some time with your family and friends. Your Australian student visa permits multiple entries, so you can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you like while it is valid. Contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for more details.
- Work (as much as you like!): If you already have a job and have been working throughout the year, you’ll be happy to know that you are permitted to work unlimited hours over the break. You can use this time to save up money to support you throughout the next study year. If you don’t have a job, now is a great time to start searching, with many retail businesses taking on extra staff and ‘Christmas casuals’ for the summer period. Don’t work too hard though — you deserve a break after a year of study!
- Explore Australia: Over the year you will have spent a lot of time in your local area, so now that you have some free time why not explore the rest of Australia? From the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there are countless destinations to choose from that will allow you to make the most of your time in Australia, while also giving you the opportunity to see another part of this large and unique country. See How to explore your state and Australia’s regions for travel ideas.
- Local summer activities: The Australian summer is a time for celebration. Outdoor concerts and movie screenings, night markets, street festivals, sporting events (including cricket and tennis), barbeques, music festivals, fairs, firework displays and parties for Christmas and New Year are all great activities that Australians enjoy over summer. You will find that, no matter what your budget, these activities and many others will be taking place in your local area or in your nearest capital city. The international student office at your institution, local papers and tourism websites should all be able to help you plan out a range of summer activities to enjoy with your friends.
- Find new accommodation: Are you growing a bit tired of your accommodation? Are you ready for a change? Whether you would like to move to a different suburb or simply change to a different type of accommodation (from student apartments to a share house with friends, for example), summer is a great time to move. Not only will you have the spare time needed to organise new accommodation, shift your belongings and set up a new home, but you will also find that a lot of accommodation will become available as students who have graduated begin to move away. Your institution’s accommodation service or international office should be able to provide assistance.
- Complete an internship: Whether you work for a company in Australia or in your home country, the summer break is a great opportunity to gain some work experience (and boost your résumé) at a time that doesn’t interfere with your studies. A number of organisations hold summer internships, but they can be very competitive, so apply early. Your institution’s careers service is a great place to start. See Finding work experience in Australia for more information.
- More study: Your institution may operate on a trimester system or offer summer semesters for particular subjects, in which case you might like to use your summer break to complete extra subjects and possibly finish your course earlier. You could also use the time to complete classes outside of your usual course, such as taking a cooking class, language class or short course in an industry-related area to enhance your job opportunities, such as a Responsible Service of Alcohol course to improve your skills in hospitality.