The winter holiday for Australian students starts from the early July. For many people, a holiday is a chance for them to get away from their work and study while enjoying various interesting activities such as travelling or visiting their families. Nevertheless, the winter holiday can be gloomy for many students, especially international students. They often live far away from their families – some have to live on their own. In addition, living in a strange city might make them feel lonely, especially in the winter – when it is cold and there is a lack of sunshine.
Making yourself busy is a good way to get rid of the blueness. If you still don’t know what to do for the upcoming winter holiday to make the most of it, take a look at our ideas and suggestions.
Here are some tips you can do to make the most out of the winter holiday in Australia
1. Explore the city or travelling within Australia or overseas
Exploring the city or travelling within Australia or overseas is one of the most popular activities that both local and international students like to do when they are in the winter holiday.
Even though you have been living in a city in Australia for quite a while, I am sure that there are some certain parts of the city that you have never been to or known of. So take this free time in the holiday to explore the city that you are living in. If you live in the city centre, don’t just hang out in this area. Take time to venture out into the city’s suburbs or the part of the city that you have never been to.
It is also a great time to try the new pub or restaurant that has just been opened in town. In addition, in most of the big cities, there would be a winter fair opened in a city’s park. These fairs such as Winterlight in Parramatta in Sydney are seasonal so take your time to visit them before they are gone.
You might be surprised that your city might have quite a few attractions that you don’t know about. So it is also a good idea to check your city’s official tourism website or visit the tourism centre to see if there is any fun place or activity where you can go to or take part in. We have copied some of the popular sites in big cities below:
Besides exploring your city, you can use your winter holiday for a short getaway holiday. You can travel around Australia or Australia’s nearby countries such as New Zealand and island nations such as Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia. There are so many choices for you to choose from. If you like to go skiing and see the snow, you can go to Victoria or Snowy Mountain in New South Wales. If you prefer some sunshine, you can choose to go to any city in the eastern and western coastlines. And in case you are a wine lover, you can get some tastes from the best quality wines in South Australia. Or you can go to Tasmania to see the wilderness and hike along the off-beaten trails. The list goes on and on. Whatever you like, there would be a place in Australia for you to go.
If you have time, you can take a long flight haul to other continents as well. America, South Asia, and Europe are just 15 to 16 hours away. It is winter in Australia during this time but there would be sunshine welcoming you in these places.
Plan ahead of time is a good strategy if you want to save cost for your journey. You should also invite your friends to come with you. It would be fun and you can also save a lot of money as well.
After these holiday getaways, I am sure that you would be back refreshed both physically and mentally for the next semester.
2. Take extra hours at work during winter holiday
If you need to apply a visa to study in Australia, you are granted limited working hours as part of the visa. To be specific, during term time international students can work from 10 to up to 20 hours per week. However, you can work full time during the holiday, which means that you can work up to 40 hours during term break.
If you are a bit short of cash, you should take this wonderful opportunity to take on extra hours at work. If you register to work full time, you might double the money you could have earned during the term time. However, it is worth noting that in some workplace, the employers will require you to have a letter of confirmation from your university/school stating that you are on your holiday before they can give you extra hours of work.
It is really tempting to know that you can earn a lot of money but remember that you also need to rest as well. So you should spend 1 day or more taking part in other activities and resting as well.
3. Find an internship
If you don’t have a part time job, you can consider finding an internship for the upcoming winter. Having an internship is not just an activity to make up for your spare time. In fact, it helps you to get an idea of what the working environment would be when you graduate from college. You can also gain and enhance many crucial soft skills for your future career. Also having related experience in the field that you would want to apply for a job in the future will enhance your chance of getting through the CV screening round.
When you are able to secure an internship, take this priceless opportunity to meet other people, networking with them and learning from their valuable experience. Try your best and show off your potential well while you are an intern. Many people would be able to secure a full-time position from these internships way before they graduate.
When I mention about an internship, it is worth mentioning that you can use the free time you have in the winter holiday to brush up your CVs, cover letters and prepare for interviews as well as psychometric tests. These are not just helpful for you to find an internship but they will help you later on while you graduate and search for a full-time job.
In case you don’t have to worry about earning more money for your next semester, you can consider spending your holiday to take part in volunteer work. You can find any volunteer job in the local community organisations, youth centres and animal shelters. It is a great way for you to give back to your community.
Taking part in these activities can also help you gain many valuable skills such as time management skills, leadership skills and communications. Employers don’t just appreciate relevant working experience but also these skills.
Not to mention that when you take part in a voluntary job for your local community, you have a great chance to meet many great people and create many fun and memorable moments.
5. Take up a new hobby
When was the last time you try something new? If your answer is “Long time ago” then this is a great chance for you to try new things and take part in a new hobby. There are a lot of things that I am sure you have never tried before. You can get ideas from various sources. You can check for some societies in the campus to see if there is any society that captures your interests. As you might already know, there are a lot of societies in your college such as baking society, cooking society or knitting club and even wine tasting society, to name just a few.
You can also look for your local sports society if you like to take part in an active activity and sports such as running, playing rugby, tennis to increase your strength and fitness.
There are many hobbies that can really enhance your employability later on such as reading, writing or learning a new language. Australia is a cultural hotspot so that you can have a chance to practise speaking foreign languages with many foreign students and people here.
Taking up a new hobby such as reading Australian novels or watching Australian dramas can also help you to learn more about the traditions and cultures of Australia.
6. Get fit
When you are in term time, you are probably too busy to have a healthy lifestyle. You tend to sleep less in order to finish your assignments. And exercising is the activity that is neglected the most.
So when you are in the winter holiday, you would have more chance to take care of yourself and your overall well-being. As I mentioned above, you can take part in a new sport. In addition, you can consider joining your college or local’s gym. You can work on the machines at the gym or take part in various fitness classes such as Yoga or Zumba classes.
Exercising frequently will enhance your stamina and your mental health as well so you are more than ready for the next semester.
7. Visit your family
If you haven’t seen your family for a long time, this is a good chance for you to buy a ticket to get home with your family. It is also a great chance for you to meet your old friends. Winter holiday is summer holiday on the other continents; hence your friends will have lots of time hanging out with you.
If you plan ahead of time, you can buy air tickets at a very affordable price so plan early and remember to look for good deals from time to time.
I know it might sound like the most boring plan of all but isn’t it the most important thing that you need to take care of in this time? Studying is the thing that you will regret not doing instead of overdoing later on in your life.
It is better to start early than leave everything at the last minute. Also, you will realize that the library is quiet and almost empty at the early winter holiday rather than in the later time when the holiday is coming to an end.
If you have any exam after the holiday, it is also better to plan what you have to learn ahead instead of rushing to remember everything at the last minute.
You can also spend this valuable free time to write your due assignments, proof read it and collect good resources and materials for your research.
9. Get organised for the next semester
Bad time management is often seen in the majority of high school and college’s students. So make sure you can get organised in advance to get yourself on track.
You should spend time reading about the course’s outline to see what you have to prepare and study next. Some universities also release the class timetables pretty early so that you can plan your schedule according to the timetable as well. Think about how much time you would like to spend for each of your activities: sleeping, studying, working and exercising.
Finally, you can spend 1 or 2 days before the semester starts to buy stationeries and textbooks for the next semester.
As you can see, there are a lot of activities you can do for the winter holiday as an international student such as having a new hobby, travelling, working pair unpaid or catching up on your studies. These activities will ensure you to have a busy and effective winter holiday ahead.
So go ahead and take part in these activities, make the most out of your time and you will never see winter holiday as gloomy anymore.