Study Abroad  Australia

Two Worlds United Programs in Australia for High School Students

Not long ago, mention of Australia conjured visions of a vast geological and zoological theme park.

These attractions still play a large part in the island continent's appeal. Countless millennia of isolation from the rest of the world have created an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. Nature diverged in a big way Down Under, and this is mirrored by the growth of the country and its increasingly multicultural population.

Today, students are likely to be drawn by the sophistication of Australia's leading cities as much as the outback visions popularized by the Crocodile Dundee movies. Australians, with their sly, dry humor, tend to perpetuate their national myths—not for nothing do they call their country "Oz."

According to popular legend, these mythical "real Australians" wore strange hats pinned up on one side and had wonderfully twangy accents. They herded millions of sheep across vast deserts, with an independent and often outrageously down-to-earth approach to life. Australia today is a country that inspires such clichés yet transcends almost all of them.

Today's Australians are an urban people, almost all of whom live either on or within a few hours' drive of the coast. Since the end of WWII, Australia has been a magnet for immigrants from around the world. It is a land of opportunity and a new frontier.

The archetypal Australian—a slow-talking iconoclast of Celtic or English descent—still constitutes the greater part of the population. But these days Australian society is thoroughly saturated by the influence of its Italian, Greek, Maltese, Lebanese, Chinese, and other settlers.

Yet some of the old attitudes and prejudices remain: the self-reliant spirit is still there, as is a widespread disregard for authority and an ability to shed social inhibitions at short notice. 

What students find are 18 million people living on one of the most fascinating continents of the world. It's entirely possible to visit Australia and never see a koala or a kangaroo—it takes a little work, but it can be done—and if you meet somebody on the Sydney streets wearing an Australian hat, he's probably from Cleveland. But once you've driven through the outback, or watched the sun rise over the Coral Sea, or shopped in one of the elegant department stores in Sydney or Melbourne, you won't go home disappointed.

Admissions Dep't.
Tel: 1 (805) 581-9191
Fax: 1 (805) 581-6079

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