Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Michigan State University

Education Abroad: Sydney

Sydney means "Wide Island"

Sydney, Australia 

This guide will help you prepare for life in Sydney.

Here, you will find resources that help you learn more about:

Culture  ♦  Tourism  ♦  Transportation    

Food  ♦  Travel  ♦  Climate  ♦  Education     

Quick Facts 

Sydney is famous for its landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, and Harbour Bridge. It's the capital city of New South Wales state of Australia and the residents of Sydney are known as Sydneysiders.

Some profiles maintain that the city of Sydney is ~670 sq. miles.

Nickname: "Oz" (Australia)

The best times to visit Sydney are September through November and from March to May.

Although Australia has no land borders, it does share maritime borders with: East Timor, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and the Islands of New Caledonia.

Brief History

The early history of Sydney was grimly dominated by its existence as a British penal colony. With the exploration and settlement of New South Wales, Sydney grew quickly. The most rapid growth of Sydney—from 60,000 to 400,000 population—took place in the years between 1850 and 1890.


The Hungarian language (‘Magyar’) belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group although the similarities between Finnish and Hungarian are quite distant. Once the Hungarian’s settled in the Carpathian Basin at the end of the 9th century, the language became mixed with other speech communities (Slavic, German and Turkic) and one can see the borrowing of words from these language groups. Hungarian is said to be one of the most challenging languages to learn.

Parks and Leisure

There are many green spaces scattered throughout Budapest that allow for a quiet respite away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Margitsziget (Margaret Island) and Városliget (City Park) are the biggest and most popular parks in Budapest. Margitsziget is a 1.6-milelong island in the middle of the Danube that is a great place to go for a picnic, or for a jog around their running track which circles the entire island. Városliget houses a variety of monuments and attractions, including Vajdahunyad Castle, Hősök tere (Heroes Square), Széchenyi baths, the zoo, and an outdoor ice skating rink during the winter months.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Budapest is very affordable for those coming from the U.S. The Hungarian currency is known as the Forint (HUF) and $1 USD is currently around 295 HUF. Credit cards are accepted in many stores and restaurants, but definitely not all, so it is best to carry cash. Eating out liberally costs approximately $350-600/month and rent is generally $350-500/month maximum.

Culture Notes

Hungary has Type C & F electrical outlets so be sure to bring the right power adapters for your devices. Electrical voltage is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz.

Michigan State University