In particular, most people would be under the impression that education is taught or organized uniformly no matter where you are, this is not always the case. Every country has a unique way of teaching, grading assignments, and yearly scheduling. The United States and Australia have seasons which are opposite, because of this winter and summer breaks are opposite and this also means the semesters are not aligned. August or September are the traditional times that a school year begins in the USA and then a holiday break for winter is during the month of December. However, in Australia the school year begins in February, this is the ending of their summer and start of fall. The school year then ends in June for a semester break. Furthermore, in the United States a system of numerous homework assignments are given with quizzes, papers, tests, and exams as well. On the other hand, in Australia most classes are run by lecturing in class and the occasional assignment, this being very rare, but the exams are the majority of the grade at the end of a unit. This leaves attendance to be very important as the material is only given during class periods and tests are done at the end of the semester. Attendance is so important in fact that if a student misses 4 classes for one unit, a fail will be issued. A student is expected to take notes and be able to remember all information from the semester, and this will be used during the exam. The exam days are set up very much like the standardized testing in the United States and are done in large rooms with Scantron sheets. Additionally, grades are also done on an unalike scale. In the United States, grades are based off an A, B, C, D, and F scale. In Australia, there are not letter grades assigned, but they are broken up in a different way. Grades are as follows: a pass being 50-64%, credit is 65-74%, distinction is 75-84%, and high distinction is 85%+. According to this grading scale a 50% is passing, and similar to a C grade in the USA. In Australia, some terminology is also different than in the United States. Instead of using the word class, the term unit is used. This is helpful to understand when studying and/or studying abroad.
Essentially, communicating within another country can be a struggle when traveling between countries where different languages are spoken. Most people will overlook a slang difference in communication. Students may worry they will not be able to communicate, but putting effort in can make your experience limitless. In principle, understanding different countries language as well as the slang could be crucial in communicating. Between the United States and Australia there are many words that are different but hold the same meaning. These two countries are both known for being predominantly English speaking, but the differences between American-English and Australian-English are enough to confuse anyone. For example, a word that is completely different and through me for a loop was trolley (Australian) and cart (American). These two words refer to the container that is used in grocery stores to push items around the store before purchasing. Another term that is quite different in a fanny pack (American) and a bum bag (Australian). Fanny pack or bum bag is the items people where around their waist to hold items, which is mostly used at festivals. Understanding different countries everyday phrases is important but also easy to do. An important term to know when driving a car is a gas station (American) compared to a petrol station (Australian). Gas and or petrol is the liquid used to drive a car. With minimal effort, you can immerse yourself into the culture. Being open to learning these everyday ways of life can be incredibly beneficial in your overall study abroad experience. Although it may be uncomfortable at first, talking to locals and then trying to use the new words in daily conversation can aid in remembering. Knowing the differences can be important to everyday life.