Studying abroad is a wonderful experience but for international students in Australia, particularly those from countries where English is not the dominant language, it can be tough initially. To help make the process a little easier, we’ve put together a guide that covers food, religion, cultural support and language.
There is a stack of quality Indian food in Melbourne, ranging from local family restaurants that produce the classics (butter chicken, rogan josh) to high-end eateries like Tonka, which are more expensive but offer a refined take on the cuisine (think duck korma with blood plums). There is also a spattering of Indian grocers where you can stock up on staples so you can cook at home.
Most Indian Australians are affiliated with the Hindu religion. At the 2016 census, Hinduism was the fifth most practiced faith (behind Christianity, No Religion, Islam and Buddhism) in Australia with 440,300 people.
With record numbers of Indian students (there are now 62,000 in higher education in Australia) choosing to study Down Under, there are plenty of support networks available. These include the Federation of Indian Student Associations in Australia (FISA), as well as institution-specific groups such as University of New South Wales’ Indian Culture Association and the Indian Students’ Association at the Australian National University.
There are a variety of Indian dialects spoken by people in Australia, including two that featured in the top 10 languages spoken in the country. Hindi leads the way with 159,652 speakers, followed by Punjabi with 132,496. Other languages to feature on the list included Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Gujarati, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Konkani, Kashmiri, Oriya and Sindhi.