Here’s a sample of the best blog posts that I wrote between January and April for the Australian Government’s Education Sector:
How are Australian States and American States Different?
Australia and the USA are almost the same size. Their climates are even similar. They’re quite comparable if you flip the map over eachother (opposite hemispheres). If America glanced in the mirror they’d probably see Australia. Albeit, a more laidback self with a cooler accent. The states (and territories) Down Under aren’t too far off select American states. Let’s match ’em up!
Canberra is a planned city chosen as a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne. Much in the same way Washington, DC was chosen over New York and Philadelphia.
Universities: Australian National University, Australian Catholic University and the University of Canberra.
The Do’s (and Don’ts) of Australia
Be adventurous – In some areas of study it is possible to take an exam, surf and ski all in the same day. Be spontaneous. Say “yes” to everything. The eastern coast is chock full of amazing sights. If the finances are there, an even more amazing time can be had venturing over to Perth, Adelaide or Darwin. You can’t truly say you saw Australia if you’ve only seen what was in your backyard.
Heed warning signs – You’re not being cute by swimming next to a crocodile sign. Wild animal signs are a recurring theme in Australia. If you see a ”stingers” sign then be wary. If you’re at the Top End of Australia, just go ahead and stay 100 metres from any body of water.
7 Misconceptions About Australia
Despite Australia and North America sharing a similar culture, there are hundreds of misconceptions people have of Australia. We chose some of our favourites that may actually be believable.
1. The animals are dangerous
While Australia has its fair share of danger, the fame (or should I say infamy?) of the wildlife is exaggerated. About four people die a year by dangerous animals. To put this into perspective, 300 people die a year of drowning. Skipping Australia because of dangerous wildlife is like skipping Disney World because of the alligators. The popularity of equating Australia with danger spawned the made up ”Drop Bear“. A large, carnivorous koala that inhabits treetops and drops on prey below. They are said to target tourists. You can sense the amusement local Aussies got making that up. If your interested in REAL zoology the University of New England and Deakin University offer highly touted courses.
Driving Across the Outback… Without Gas!?
If you had to describe Australia in one word what would it be? Sunny. Australia is the sunniest continent on the planet. Go figure, Australia is also the sunniest country in the continent of Australia. The sun may be the culprit of skin cancer but it is also the likely solution to sustainable energy. Solar power has advanced far beyond those solar calculators you used in Calculus. Vehicles running entirely off of the sun’s energy are winding their way across continents. Who is at the forefront of this solar vehicle revolution? Why Australian universities, of course!
The World Solar Challenge occurs is held every two years. The biennial event runs from Darwin to Adelaide, trekking through the harsh Red Centre. The world’s first (and still largest) solar race attracts top engineers and environmental advocates from around the world. The grueling race was famously depicted in the 90′s blockbuster hit Race the Sun.
Flinders University, Murdoch University… Steve Irwin University?
Australia has 39 public and 2 private universities. Most are very modern universities with a surprisingly short history. This means many universities are named after important historical figures. Let’s go through and see what gives them their namesakes.
University of Melbourne – I’m really dissapointed that this never became the University of Batmania. The city of Melbourne was founded by John Batman. Batmania was one such nickname that Melbourne had before it was officially named Melbourne.
Kangaroo Burgers and Five More Things You Only Get Down Under
When it comes to places abroad many don’t even consider Australia. The land is isolated and the people talk funny. But advantages come with studying in an isolated landscape with such a distinct culture. Check out some things you can only do by studying in Australia:
1. Observe the animals you’ve only seen in Zoo Books.
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Not quite, but Australia has some incredibly exotic wildlife. Your most exciting encounter with nature is probably that black bear you once saw cross the road. Environmental Science is particular popular with students Down Under. Here are some of the top ranked schools in Australia according to the 2010 ERA Report for Schools of Environmental Science: Macquarie University, James Cook University, University of Adelaide, and University of Queensland.
Who Studied Abroad in Australia?
Many say the greatest movie ever made is Rocky IV. The real star of the movie was Dolph Lundgren’s own Ivan Drago, the superhuman boxer from Soviet Russia. He may be synonymous with his superhuman strength but he also possesses superhuman intellect. After serving in the Swedish Marine Corps, he completed his Master’s in Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney. He graduated from the QS 38th World Ranked School with the highest results in his class. While studying in Sydney, he preoccupied his time by winning Australian karate tournaments andbounced nightclubs. After completing his master’s, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at MIT in Boston before dropping out to take up acting. Tell me why we make Chuck Norris and not Dolph Lundgren jokes, again?
The Capital in the Bush: Canberra
France has Paris. Japan has Tokyo. Britain has London. Australia has… The Bush Capital?Ask any foreigner what Australia’s capital is. It’s not Sydney. It’s not Melbourne. Many have never even heard of Canberra. The inland Capital Territory is located roughly between Sydney and Melbourne. Chosen as a compromise between the two major cities.
This planned government city centre is affluent and young. The unemployment rate is miniscule and the education level is high. But what gives Canberra it’s charm also has it’s detractions. Due to being inland, the weather is colder. As much disdain Australians have for “pollies” (politicians) they dislike the cold even more. Temperatures can hit below freezing overnight.
Perth: The Remotest City in the World
If Australia is “Down Under” then Perth is “Way Over”. Perth comprises about 1.7 million people. That is the roughly the size of Canada’s capital Ottawa and the USA’s capital Washington combined. Perth is often referred to as the most isolated major city on earth. Don’t make this stop you from visiting. A metropolis that seemingly sprang out of the lonely west coast of Australia has to have a story behind..
Known as the “City of Light” for the uncanny ability to stick out in the vast expanse of Western Australia. When a space shuttle passed overhead in 1962, the residents of Perth turned their lights so the city could be seen from orbit. The name is fitting for it’s distinction as the sunniest city in Australia.
The Common Cold: Cured by Australians?
We’re here in Melbourne, Australia. Ground zero for what might be the biggest medical breakthrough since the HPV vaccine: The cure for the Common Cold?! The Common Cold is a virus that always seems to pop up right before a vacation. It may not be a scourge but it produces over 40% of lost worktime in the USA. That’s 126 million workdays gone!
Biota, an Australian pharmaceutical company better known for Relenza, has found a breakthrough in treating the rhinovirus (Common Cold). With their drug in stage two of clinical studies, they found that the severity of cold symptoms dramatically decreased. An oral drug is estimated to be five years down the line.
Be Youthful in the City of Brisbane
Right in the hustle and bustle of the east coast is Queensland’s capital and Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane. Pronounced “Briz-ben”, Australia’s new world city has been the nation’s fastest growing since the 80′s. Over two million people call Brisbane home. The bend of the Brisbane River creates miles of prime (and affordable) coastline. This winding river makes the skyline seem straight out of Sim City.
Brisbane is said to consist of youthful, forward-thinkers. The world famous nightlife here has attracted Australians looking for a fun weekend out. The appropriately named Fortitude Valley features some of the nation’s best DJs and entertainers for what is sure to be a great night out. Day trips to Australia’s budding tourist town of Gold Coast can be reached for about $17.
A Future Unlimited
This has been an exciting month for us. The Future Unlimited video we’ve been working on has finally been released. A Future Unlimited tells a story about how studying in Australia benefits your future career, goals and aspirations. Australia is not just about kangaroos and koalas, it’s an optimistic, forward-looking country. The institutions are highly ranked and are pioneering the world in many fields of research. This is what the Future Unlimited brand is all about.
Maybe I shouldn’t take credit. M&C Saatchi (yes, THAT M&C Saatchi you ad majors) and Animal Logic produced this video. Animal Logic is not just a lowly producer surviving off of making educational videos on Youtube. Their claim to fame is producing Happy Feet. They’ve also worked on the visual effects for The Matrix, Moulin Rouge, 300, Harry Potter among many more! Maybe it’s the film buff in me, but I like those stats.
So the next time you think a Future Unlimited, think The Matrix. Both the Matrix and Australia are very similar. A sort of escape from your normal, boring life. Woah.
Melbourne: Ranked First in… Everything
When it comes to brands most think Apple or Nike. What about a city? Recognized as the World’s Most Livable City and home to many world-class universities, Melbourne is as marketable as it gets. Apparently some smart marketers agreed when they shaped a brand out of Melbourne.
First explored by Batman (John Batman, not the superhero) in 1835, Melbourne has turned into the second largest city in Australia. So many people are moving there that the city is estimated to one day surpass Sydney. What makes this such a lofty destination? Culturally, educationally and competitively. It’s all there.
Sydney: Australia’s Booming Metropolis
Australia’s most populous city (4.6 million people) covers a vast metropolitan area of New South Wales. This city has been a cultural icon since it’s founding as the first British colony back in 1788. Today, one in every five Australians call Sydney home. Sydney was rated The Sixth Most Livable City in the World for 2011. The accolades don’t stop there: