Guide to Australian Etiquette for International Students

Guide to Australian Etiquette for International Students

Guide to Australian Etiquette for International Students
Australia is a multicultural country filled with diverse people and cultures. And it is pretty easy to mix up everything. You surely don’t want to offend someone by doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

To give you tips on what your behavior should be, here are some etiquettes that you need to know:

Keep left

Wherever you go, keep to your left. If you walk on a sidewalk, up or down the stairs, or escalator, the left is used as a guide. Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road. When walking on bike paths, it is safer to walk on the left side.

Personal space

Australians like to keep a fairly large circle of personal space. So, brushing up against someone is considered rude behavior. Try to keep people at an arm’s length when space is available. If you have a good reason to invade that space, say “sorry” or “excuse me”.


Tipping a waiter, busboy, or hotel staff is not customary in Australia, but it is a good gesture to do. In upscale restaurants, tipping is common but not required.


You probably know about Aussie slang, but you don’t need to use it. A forced “G’day” and “mate” can be annoying since Australians know of this stereotype. It may appear patronizing to them. A simple hello is fine, along with good eye contact and a firm handshake.

In a formal setup, Australians call each other by their first names. When you call someone “Mister” or “Miss”, it would just sound stiff.


It is common sense that when you see someone within five steps of a door, you don’t let the door slam on them. Rather, hold the door for them. Whether the person is a male or female, you should hold doors for them and make some space if they are carrying something.


In boarding public transport, especially on trains, you have to wait for everyone to exit first before you get on. It is considered rude and annoying if you don’t wait for people to exit first, most especially during peak hours.


Waiting in line is a very important practice in Australia. Most end of queues can easily be found but if you are in doubt, ask the last person if that is the end of the line. Pushing in or squeezing is very rude behavior.

Even in bars or in a crowded place, queueing is equally important. If you notice that the server accommodated you instead of the person who was before you, you can politely say that the other person should be the one approached first.


It is appreciated to hold elevator doors for people going in the elevator. You can also ask their floor and push the button for them if they can’t reach over for the buttons.

Discover more about Australia— food, education, and way of living—by reading more articles here at MSM Unify.


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