British student shares things about Australia she wished she knew

British student, 21, shares the weird things about Australia she wished she knew before moving – including expensive food, rude waiters and indecipherable slang

  • A student has shared things she wished she knew before she moved to Australia 
  • Elizabeth Beemer, originally from England, lived in Sydney to study for two years
  • The 21-year-old revealed the biggest culture shocks she discovered Down Under
  • The things she stumbled on included rude waiters, slang and expensive food

A British student has shared the bizarre things about Australia she wished she knew  before moving – including rude waiters, cockroaches, slang and expensive food.

Elizabeth Beemer, originally England but now lives in America, was studying in Sydney for two years between 2016 and 2018.

Taking to her YouTube channel, the 21-year-old revealed the biggest culture shocks she discovered while attending college Down Under.

‘I picked up on quite a few things that people do here or are just normal that I had no idea what happened before I came here so I would like to share my insights with all of you,’ she said.

‘Some of these things will be funny to you or maybe you can relate to them or you’ll and pick up on them and just give yourself a little giggle when you’re on about wandering the streets of Australia.’

Elizabeth Beemer, originally England, moved to Sydney for two years between 2016 and 2018

Australian slang

‘Australians shorten everything,’ she said.

‘So my name is Elizabeth, I have been called “L, E, Liz, Lizzie” – I don’t like the last two by the way.’

After spending 24 months Down Under, she picked up many Australian slang.

‘I’m gonna give you a really quick Australian language lesson – so “arvo” means afternoon, or “avo toast” – avocado toast, “Maccas” – McDonald’s or “Breaky” – breakfast,’ Elizabeth said.

‘I could go on because they shorten legitimately everything, it’s crazy.’

Rude waiters  

Elizabeth said she found Australian waiters can be ‘rude’ to customers because they already earn an average wage instead of relying on tips.

‘People in America who are waiting usually are a lot nicer because they know their tips are like their livelihood depending on how nice they are to you,’ she said.

‘In Australia, I have come across some places where they [can] be rude to you. There are places where people are straight-up rude because they don’t really care.

‘They already get a high paying job, which by the way let’s talk about how in Australia minimum wage is like $25 an hour – in America where I live, it’s like $7.25 an hour.’

The British student has shared the bizarre things she wished she knew before she moved to Australia – including rude waiters, slangs and expensive food


Elizabeth said she found cockroaches everywhere when she was living in Sydney.

‘Cockroaches are everywhere, all the time… The heat just like draws them inside and the water also attracts to it,’ she said.

‘It doesn’t matter if you have a thousand bottles of bug spray and you get your house sprayed like three times a month, like it’s not going to matter because cockroaches are insane and they’re everywhere here.’

Talking fast

She said another thing she found challenging was listening to Australians talk. 

‘People here tend to say things really fast and in one breath,’ she said.

‘So like one for example is “We’ll be right”. What? What does that even mean? “Will be right” – we’ll be all right.

‘Or “how are you going” – they say “how you going” instead of “how are you doing” or like how “what’s up”. They go really fast “how are you going” like in one breath, it’s so weird.’

She said another thing she found challenging was listening to Australians talk ‘really fast’

Expensive food 

Elizabeth said when she lived in Sydney, she found ‘everything was overpriced’. 

‘No matter what you’re getting, it’s probably going to be a little more expensive than what you’re used to if you’re from a different place,’ she said.

‘Like in America, you could probably get a burger at a good restaurant for about $7, here it will be about $14. Obviously thinking about exchange rates but everything is super expensive here especially in Sydney.

‘I’m not sure about other places but Sydney is one of the top most expensive cities in the world to live so everything is just way more expensive than you expect to pay for.

‘I thought that was really interesting. It’s not really fun because I’m a college student who wants to travel the world… I don’t really want to spend money.’

Elizabeth said when she lived in Sydney, she found ‘everything was overpriced’, including food


Elizabeth said another thing she found interesting was the seasons in Australia were ‘reversed’, compared to America.

‘In Australia, summer is December to February, autumn is March to May, winter is June to August and spring is September to November so it’s super opposite from America,’ she said.

‘In America, autumn is September to November, winter is December to March, spring is March to June and then summer is June to the end of August – September.

‘But basically it’s really confusing because it’s total opposites – when I go back to America in December and it’s summer here so I’m like dressed in summer clothes – I go home and it’s like freezing so I got like culture shock and my skin’s like what’s happening so it’s really interesting.’ 

Driving on the left side

Elizabeth said another thing she found unusual was how Australian drivers drive on the left side of the road – the same goes with walking on the footpath.

‘Everybody here drives on the opposite side of the road so it’s really interesting. The steering wheel is on the right side and you drive on the left side,’ she said.

‘Whereas America, it’s reversed. My brain is kind of going crazy right now, I’m having like a cultural brain fart. What’s really funny is when people walk past you in Australia, they actually walk past the way that they drive. 

‘You can tell her who the Americans are because you run into them by accident because everyone’s going the same way.’

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