Australians speak English, the same English as spoken in the United States and the United Kingdom. The only difference is the accent. Australians speak with an Australian drawl. You will also find different accents depending on a person’s country of origin. For example a person of Italian origin may speak English with an Italian accent. The best way to understand all Australians is to ask them to speak clearly and slowly.

One expression you are sure to hear is “G’day” – a friendly way of saying hello. Australians include quite a lot of slang expressions in their every day speech.

It is considered good manners to use the following expressions:

  • “Hello” – used any time of the day or night to greet someone

  • “Good night” – when going to bed

  • “Thank you” – after receiving something or if someone does something for you

  • “Please” – when asking for something

  • “Yes please” – when accepting something that has been offered

  • “Goodbye” – when leaving the house or classroom

  • “No thank you” – when you do not wish to receive something such as more to eat

  • “Could you please say that again” – if you did not hear or understand what was said to you

  • “Excuse me” – when walking in front of someone, needing to interrupt, getting up from the meal table

  • “Sorry” – to apologise, such as when bumping into someone.


Expressing emotions

Many Australians express their emotions openly. They are usually not embarrassed about showing others that they are angry, happy, sad, etc. Many people find it acceptable to openly disagree with another person’s opinion, as long as this is done in a non-aggressive manner.
In most cases, it is also considered acceptable to discuss personal problems with other people, especially friends, family and trained professionals (e.g. guidance officers in schools).
Australian parents encourage their children to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when they ask for something and to apologise (say ‘I am sorry’) when they upset someone.

What do I do if I have a problem?

Your School Coordinator will assist you with all aspects of your study program.
If you have a small problem, such as a dislike for a particular food or allergy, you should discuss this with your host family first. Australian people prefer that you discuss the problem honestly and openly with them first, and many problems can be resolved very easily this way. Please make sure you indicate these details on your application form.

If you do not feel that you can discuss the problem with your host family you should talk with your teacher, the school coordinator or English teacher.
Remember that it is very important to your host family and your school that you have an enjoyable stay and there is support available to help you.
Most people when traveling to another country need to take time to adjust to the changes associated with being in the unfamiliar surroundings of another country.

You may experience minor illness or some bad feelings, for example:

  • Stress and feelings of anxiety

  • Stomach upsets

  • Crying

  • Inability to sleep

  • Lack of appetite

  • Homesickness

If you feel like this at any time during your stay you should discuss it with your school coordinator and host family.

Here are some ideas to help with the feeling of homesickness.

  • Talk about your feelings to the other students, they are probably feeling the same as you

  • Talk to your host family about it

  • Keep active and be involved in school and family activities

  • Do not ring home as this can make you feel even worse.

  • Do not feel that you have to manage it on your own.

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Last reviewed 21 July 2016
Last updated 02 September 2016