Monthly Archives: February 2012

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

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Sydney: Australia’s Booming Metropolis

Melbourne and Sydney compete in everything. Melbourne revamps their brand. So does Sydney. Population, culture, economics, sports, even university prestige. The rivalry exists in multiple ways.

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:

Sydney avoids the extreme weather patterns characterized by other regions. The city is temperate most of the year. This makes for great daytrips to the various sights. With the Australian Museum, the Royal Botanical Garden and even the iconic Opera House, there is plenty to see!

University of Sydney's campus

What unis call Sydney home? The University of Sydney is the nation’s oldest university. The University of Sydney ranks 38th in the world according to the QS World Rankings. Other prestigious universities that call Sydney home include the 49th ranked University of New South Wales, MacQuarie University, the University of Technology in Sydney, the University of Western Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. The University of Notre Dame Australia, the University of Wollongong and Curtin University of Technology all have campuses in Sydney as well.

Studying in Sydney will be fun. Just don’t tell anyone you know in Melbourne if you plan to!

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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.

What institutions call Melbourne home? Ranked 31st in the world, the University of Melbourne is comparable to the US’ top research universities. The largest Australian and 60th world ranked uni, Monash University is also located in Melbourne. Other world class universities include La Trobe University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria University, Australian Catholic University and Deakin University.

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February 16, 2012 · 12:42 PM

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.

2.   “Down Under” by Men at Work is the National Anthem

Who doesn’t love a good old vegemite sandwich? Apparently many Australians (and maybe a few Americans!). But the Men at Work song is about as synonymous with Australia as Born in the USA is to America. The real National Anthem is to the tune of “Advance Australia Fair“. That isn’t to say they haven’t adopted “Down Under” as an Unofficial Anthem. Men at Work played live during the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. And many Aussie football clubs the favourite as an anthem.

3.   Aussies would love to “throwing a shrimp on the barbie” for you

Australians love a good barbie. But Australians do not call it shrimp. What Americans call “shrimp” the rest of the world calls “prawns”. The famous term actually originated in the tourist ad above featuring Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee). The rest is true. If you’re in the mood for a good barbie, try some culinary suggestions here.

4.   Australians are rugged bushmen

Speaking of Crocodile Dundee, not everyone Down Under spends their time in remote Outback bars arguing over who has the bigger knife. Blame Hollywood execs, ad execs (Foster’s is NOT Australian for beer), RM Williams, or even the late and beloved Steve Irwin. The perception of the rugged lifestyle comes from the first European settlers who described a harsh terrain. Yet only about three per cent of the population live in the Outback. Why not experience the red centre for yourself?

5. When Australians are not wrestling crocs they’re surfing

The laidback atmosphere of Australia is well founded. Over 90% of the Australian population lives near the coast. They love the beach. But their culture isn’t defined by “beach bumming” as Americans refer. Most of the population live in large urban areas with highly competitive jobs. Low unemployment and an efficient economy (12th in GDP per capita) define the economically influential nation. This means a surfer in a suit may be a more accurate perception. Check out the guide on landing an Australian internship while you’re there.

6.   Every mammal is a marsupial

Rocko's Modern Life Wallaby

"I'm a wallaby. Not a kangaroo."

Close. About 70% of the world’s 300+ species of marsupial call Australia (and nearby islands) home. This is due to the landlocked nature of the region. Australia’s marsupial roster spans more than just kangaroos and koalas. America’s favourite Australian import is none other than a wallaby named Rocko.

7.   Toilets flow the other way

Maybe it was The Simpsons that perpetuated this. Many believe the Coriolis effect in the Southern Hemisphere makes them go backwards. But the most important misconception can finally be clear: They actually flow down instead of around due to the low water levels of Australian toilets. The University of Queensland offers an advanced water management program.  But that doesn’t answer your question? You’ll have to find out for yourself!

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Kangaroo Burgers for Lunch? Five More Stuff You Only Get Studying 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:

Wildlife Sign

Keep your eyes on the road!

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.

2.  Actually pick up a “foreign language”.
Few countries enable you to integrate so quickly for English speakers. This isn’t to say North Americans can’t get lost in translation. Did she just ask if I wanted chips or did she really mean fries? A semester here and you’ll understand fluent Australian! You might pick up an accent of your own!

3.  Benefit (quickly) from medical innovations

In college I went to the hospital for a rather large 2nd degree burn. Were I studying in Australia I might have received their awesome new spray-on skin. Instead I’m looking at a nice scar. Innovations like this aren’t totally uncommon. From the HPV Vaccine to the world’s most powerful radio telescope, Australia is full of pioneering advancements. The 2010 ERA top ranked schools for Medical and Health Science are the Australian National UniversityMonash University, Murdoch University, the University of Adelaide, the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland, the University of Sydney and the University of Western Australia.

4.   Double up on the season’s wardrobe.
Here’s your chance to pick up the summer sale at the mall. How cool would it be to double your summer by studying in the fall? Or do you want to escape the incoming heat? Try a mild winter here. You’ll probably never have a chance to surf on Christmas again! View the Pre-Departure Guide for advice on what to pack.

This looks delicious

5.   Have a Kangaroo burger in dining hall
It may sound cliché but kangaroo meat is popular Down Under. Kangatarianism is a term for a diet exclusively of kangaroo meat. Don’t expect to find Koala Burgers on the menu though…

6.  Story topping your friends at home
Face it. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to say you studied exactly where a dozen of your friends have been. The inevitable “Straylia” stories will surely top your friends. Be sure and use the accent too. Study here is all about the stories. Maybe you can blog about yours through our blogging program.

Have your own? Be sure and add some in the comments below!

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