When you're getting ready to go abroad, someone somewhere is probably going to tell you "OMG you have to try this" or "I heard they eat this there." Foreign countries aren't always going to eat or even sell the same foods as you're used to, and that's okay.

Here's how your diet will most likely change if you actually embrace the Australian (college student) way of life.

1. Boxed Wine

The one thing everyone is told before they go to Australia: stock up on duty-free booze at the airport because you won’t be able to afford it once you get there. Due to a complicated mess of taxes put on liquor in Australia, you can expect to pay an arm and a leg for the same fifth of vodka you could get in The States for $9.99.

Thanks to Australia’s wine country, drinking wine becomes the affordable norm. When you are a broke college student like the rest of us, you drink boxed wine—more affectionately known as “goon.” If you’re in luck, you can find some quality goon starting around $AU7, which is about $5.20.

2. Espresso 

Danielle Stuart

My biggest regret when I arrived in Australia was not saying a sweet enough goodbye to American coffee before I left. My roommate spent a good two weeks in Australia asking everyone where she could find bottomless drip coffee—turns out it doesn’t exist there.

Instead, you have two options: espresso and instant. Instant coffee is, to put it lightly, the Natty of coffees. It doesn’t quite taste like real coffee and I am still convinced you have to drink four cups of it to get the same effect as one cup of drip coffee.

Luckily, if there’s one thing Australia knows how to do it’s espresso. They are famous for their coffee shops and cafés, so you better get used to ordering a long black or a flat white to get your daily caffeine fix.

3. Aioli 

Mixed opinions or not, if you want a condiment, it's not going to be in Australia. Ranch, mayo, normal ketchup (not that stuff that tastes like old barbecue sauce)—none of it really exists in Australia.

The standard response to asking for any of these sauces and dips was “Is aioli okay?” Every. Single. Time. But hey, after a few weeks, I knew to ask for aioli with my fries (or should I say "chips") rather than confuse the shit out of any more Aussie waiters. However, be warned that when you return to America, you’re only getting aioli with your fries at very classy establishments.  

4. Vegemite

chocolate, sweet, coffee
Lauren Thiersch

I can honestly say I am not a fan of this legendary Australian spread. Disclaimer: I never actually tried it, I only smelled it but that was more than enough to make me gag. Regardless, everyone around me loved it.

The Australians say to really enjoy it you have to coat a piece of toast in butter and then put a thin layer of Vegemite on it. My question is—at that point, are you even eating Vegemite or just butter? Either way, Paula Dean would be proud. If you go to Australia and happen to fall in love with Vegemite, be sure to bring a few jars home because it’s priced like caviar in America.  

5. Macca’s Chicken and Cheese

A photo posted by Raf 🐢 (@velocirafftor) on

I know McDonald’s is different in every country, but what I didn’t know is that a McChicken at Macca’s—what Aussies nicknamed our beloved Mickey D’s—is $AU5. Even with the heartbreaking decision to get rid of the dollar menu, a McChicken is still cheaper in America. Probably because it is completely different, but still.

Luckily, that’s where the Chicken and Cheese comes in. For all of you that get a McChicken with cheese, Australia would quite literally be heaven for you. Their value chicken sandwich is a Chicken and Cheese, which is basically a McChicken with a slice of cheese. If you’re not trying to spend $7 on a kebab after you’re already pricey night out, you’ll most likely find your drunk-self chowing down at Macca’s.

6. Beets

Jamie Medina

I’ve had a lot of beets in America. Probably more than most people because my parents have a weird obsession with them. But I have not nearly reached Australian-level beet consumption. They literally put beets on or with everything—pizza, sandwiches, salads, eggs, cheese plates. Beet chips are even a norm, whereas we can usually only find them at trendy health-food stores.

I am pretty sure I only ate two sandwiches in my time in Australia that didn’t have beets on them. But hey, they are full of nitrates that improve blood pressure and brain activity, so just embrace your temporarily purple tongue and eat beets as the Australians do. 

7. Sushi

Although I would never go for it in America, sushi in train stations or street stands is pretty much the norm in Australia. I sometimes forget that geographically Australia is very close to Asia so there is a lot of Asian food.

Everyone has heard horror stories of gas station sushi, so I am always hesitant to eat sushi from unfamiliar places in the U.S. But the street sushi in Australia was around $2 for a roll and was actually legit. Safe to say I loaded up on the fish, rice and seaweed goodness before returning a country of overpriced sushi. 

8. Kangaroo

A photo posted by Ara (@aradelatorre) on

Okay, I wouldn’t go as far as saying kangaroo was a regular part of my diet, but it definitely was for some people. Markets and restaurants always had kangaroo burgers, filets and skewers. If you still wanted to eat this adorable Australian-native after making friends with it at a wildlife reserve, you could definitely enjoy it daily.  

9. Pizza Shapes

If you study abroad in Australia, you will soon discover that pretzels are hard to find and I’m not sure I ever saw a package of Goldfish. Luckily, there was a heavenly alternative: Pizza Shapes.

Yeah, there are other flavors of Shapes, but none of them as popular and delightful as Pizza Shapes. They essentially taste like flavor-blasted goldfish but instead are shaped like hexagonal Cheez-Its. Once I discovered this magical snack, my roommates and I polished off a box a day. Pizza Shapes are the only thing I miss more than the beaches, scenery and adorable little quokkas.

10. Tim Tams

I felt obligated to include this one as Tim Tams are only the most talked about Australian cookies in existence. There are chocolate, double chocolate, caramel and about a hundred other flavors. They are essentially the Oreos of Australia—but better.

You can literally eat them whenever, but the most highly recommended is dipped in your afternoon tea or coffee. Tea time in America (if that’s even a thing) will never be the same.

Anywhere you travel abroad, you're going to have to somewhat start to eat as the natives do. Even tackling your first foreign grocery store is a battle on its own. Quit looking for Burnett's and Goldfish and head straight for the goon and Shapes.