19 Things to do over the Summer Break as an International Student

19 Things to do this summer break in Australia

Summer break is just around the corner and we understand that you were just too busy in submitting those last assessment tasks that you didn’t get to plan on what to do in the upcoming summer semester break. This is usually that time of the year when the days are longer and warmer and if you are in university or studying vocational programs, you might be enjoying a full semester break from studies. If you are stuck with some ideas on what to do this summer break, we have got you covered in this list of things that you can do over the summer holidays. Let’s begin:

1. Travel

First and the one obvious choice is to travel around. After hectic last weeks in the semester, you definitely deserve a break. And what can be a better way than just to take some time out and travel around. Now with travelling, you got two options: first is to travel within Australia and the second is to travel around other countries. So let’s talk about travelling to Australia first.

Things to do in Summer Semester as an Overseas Students - Travel in Australia - Great Barrier Reef - Queensland

Travelling within Australia – As you already know, how beautiful this country is and we travelling within our own backyard is one of the best Aussie things to do. You can travel around your city areas, suburban areas or some local tourist attractions. You can also travel interstate and visit other cities and attractions. We have plenty of things to see and do in each state and territory, so you will never run out of options. Get a few friends together, hire a van or a car and go for a long road trip ( a highly recommended activity).  If you don’t feel like driving then you can always catch a flight, though the prices in summer can be on the higher side. Depending on your location, there are many world-class attractions that you can visit, eg, Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House, and Harbour Bridge, Uluru, Great Ocean Road, Fraser Island, Cradle Mountain, Rottnest Island, Broome etc.

Travelling outside Australia – Since lots of overseas students come to study in Australia and plan to return after their studies, the summer break can present an excellent opportunity to travel to Australia’s neighboring countries like New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji. Make sure to check the visa requirements for your passport before you decide to book any holidays. If you plan to travel overseas, we recommend you to check on the Australian government’s official website (www.smartraveller.gov.au) for travelling advice. Although made for Aussie travellers, this website still has lots of good content for any traveller willing to travel around the globe.

2. Visit family back home 

If you are just too exhausted after assessments and exams and need to see family and missing home food too much then visiting your family back home might be the way to go for you this summer semester. Get some well-deserved rest, eat mum cooked food, catch up with old mates ( and make sure to tell them how cool studying in Australia is) and most importantly see your loved ones back home.

3. Work 

As an overseas student in Australia, you are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight but did you know that you are allowed to work an unlimited number of hours in your school holidays? Well, for some student’s this is the perfect time to start looking for some part-time work and some student’s look for even full-time work during this time. Usually, during summer breaks, there are plenty of opportunities available for part-time work in hospitality, sales, and retail sectors. We suggest you check some jobs available for international students on websites like Seek, Adzuna, and Gumtree.

Things to do in Summer Semester as an Overseas Students - Work

4. Learn a new skill

If you are not planning to work much or at all, then learning a new skill can be the way to go for you. A whole summer semester can be enough time to develop a new skill. Skills like cooking, public speaking, photography, swimming, coding, musical instrument, basic software skills can be learned in a month. Don’t believe us? Check this video out yourself. You can actually get better in lots of things in just 20 hours.

5. Learn a new language 

We are keeping this one separate from learning a new skill (although some of you might say learning a language is also a skill but we want to keep it separate as by learning a skill, we meant hands-on skills :P). Since Australia is such a multicultural country and you can meet people from all around the world. Why not take this time to learn a new language. You can actually do this with one of your very own friends and you can teach other your own language’s, (assuming you also already know a language other than English). But if you can’t find a friend to teach a language or they are all too busy then apps like duolingo can be a good way to learn a new language or find some language buddies in language exchange events like Lingos in your city.

6. Pick a new Hobby 

At some point in time on holidays, you might be feeling bored. Then it might a good time to pick up some new hobbies. Try some of the hobbies like dancing, painting, gardening or pick something that interests you more. There might be some event or workshops happening around some of the hobbies, we suggest you check with your local library or Tafe’s for them. Some of them are even Free.

Things to do in Summer Semester as an Overseas Students - Hobby

7. Volunteering 

Well it is rightly said that if you do a good karma, it will come back to you. We define volunteering as a good karma. Look for some volunteer opportunities around your local community. There is always a need for some volunteers in most of the religious and charitable organisations. If you still can’t find then we suggest you check out the www.volunteer.com.au. You never know who you meet at these volunteering places, you might even be working with a CEO from a company you always wanted to work with? You really never know.

8. Celebrate Christmas and New Year 

Summer in Australia means Christmas and new year time. As you already know that our summer runs opposite than the countries in the northern hemisphere, Christmas is not too white here. Christmas is usually celebrated very differently in Australia. Most of the people head to the beach for the barbeques on the Christmas day, so why not try to celebrate Christmas in Aussie style. Also, the Australian New Year celebrations (especially Sydney) are world famous. Check out this video to believe it yourself. This is one of the lifetime opportunity and we highly recommend it. Other capital cities also have amazing fireworks, so don’t feel sad if you miss out Sydney’s fireworks.

9. Do an online course 

 Ok, not sure how many of you would like to hear the word “Study” in the semester break but this is something that students would like to do part-time. Maybe go and attend some short online courses to learn new things. You can actually do some free online learning these days via websites like www.open2study.com, www.alison.com, www.coursera.org and you can also do a paid online courses on a website like www.udemy.com as well. There are plenty of other websites you can jump and learn online these days, so go can google “Free online course” to find them out.

10. Watch a live cricket match 

Summer also means cricket in Australia. For some of the people, it seems crazy to play a match for five days and not get a result but it is a thing in cricket. Ok, we understand that you may not be willing to commit full 5 days to watch cricket, if so, then there is a shorter version of this game you might like to try, known as 20 20 cricket, which runs around 3 hours and 99% of the time gets results. We suggest you bring a mate with you who can explain what’s going on in the match.

Things to do in Summer Semester as an International Students -Start a Business

11. Start a business

 This is very interesting as there is no rule that says that an International student cannot run a business in Australia. So starting an online business or a small business might be the way to go. Do some research and learn some business skills before you decide to jump on the “hustling” ride as you might need to commit some time during the semester as well if you decide to run it for good. The easiest way to start selling things online these days is Shopify.

12. Start writing a blog 

Start writing something that interest you or you have a hobby in. Whatever the topic you may choose, you can write your heart out about it on your blog. We suggest you choose a theme and follow that theme when writing a blog. You can start writing blogs for free these days using services like wordpress, and weebly

13. Read Books 

 “Books and then my parents” If you ever heard about Elon Musk,(aka the savior of the human race) then you probably know how much he loves reading books and he is pretty much self-taught in all the fields he is currently involved in. Now, we don’t expect you to become Elon Musk suddenly but we are suggesting that you can read some books in the summer break. And these books don’t have to be your typical uni textbooks but can be anything from motivation to biographies, from fiction to novels.

14. Catch-up with friends 

There is no better time than summer to catch up with some of your friends. You can spend longer time outdoors as we have long summer days, so perfect excuse to see those friends who you haven’t met for a while or catch up for a longer time with the friends who you have just seen for 5 minutes every day in last few weeks.

Things to do in Summer Semester as an Overseas Students -Friends

15. Declutter your life 

Being a minimalist is the way of life that lots of people are adopting these days. So why not start looking at your room or apartment and see what things you really need and what things you haven’t. If you are not sure whether to keep a thing with you or not, then you should take a mountain test.

16. Develop a career plan 

Unless you already have a very organised plan for your career, It might be the time to sit back and rethink your career strategy. Look at your past achievements, assess how did you go and set your new goals for the upcoming semester or even better for your next few years to come. We suggest you to write down your goals and make sure to include the timelines to achieve. At the end of each semester or study period, you can sit down and analyse how did you go with your semester goals. Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. 

17. Catch up on those Netflix shows 

We really didn’t need to tell you this as you are at an expert level at this but we just thought to keep this in the list. You never know, if you forgot about all the shows you were planning to watch it during your summer break after the exams. Just reminding.

Things to do in Summer Semester as an Overseas Students - Healthy Eating Habits

18. Develop healthy eating habits 

Well, we all know that one new year’s resolution where we commit ourselves to go to the gym and yes we do start going to a gym for a week or so and as soon as we see our friends going to eat those lovely pancakes,  then there go that healthy lifestyle habits out of the window. Developing a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean only going to a gym but also eating healthy. There is no better time to develop a new healthy eating lifestyle than the summer break. So look for some healthy alternatives to your daily routine. Can you replace those Nutella packed toasts with a smoothie? Sure you can! There is always a healthy alternative to our diets. FIne, you can enjoy that sweet tooth once in a while still while enjoying healthy eating habits for the rest of the time.

19. Take up the summer semester 

Last but not the least, if you have no plans at all or don’t feel like doing to any of the things we listed above, there is an opportunity to take up that summer semester and complete your course earlier. We don’t know why would you do that but it is certainly an option for you if you plan to do nothing else.

Well, here you go with all the things we think you might be able to do during the upcoming summer break. Are you planning to do any of these activities during the holidays or planning to do something else. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We would love to hear your thoughts.

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