After many months of preparation you have finally made it and are ready to study and enjoy life in Australia.
With the many new challenges you face, it may be easy to overlook your health and the environmental changes that may affect your wellbeing.
You are about to embark on a great adventure in an environment which may differ in culture, food, climate and lifestyle; all of these changes can impact upon your physical and emotional health and wellbeing.
The best way to maintain your health while studying and travelling in Australia is to be aware of the environments that you live, work, study and play in. Being aware of these environments is the best way to avoid or reduce risks and situations that may jeopardize your health.
Use information available online and at your institution to learn and adjust your lifestyle to the Australian environment and create a healthy and safe environment. Having access to health care services aids in the achievement and maintenance of good health.”
During your time in Australia, you may be faced with times when you are feeling uncertain in the unfamiliar environment, feeling lonely away from your family and friends and feeling stress due to the pressures of studying. It is perfectly natural to experience these feelings.
There are many situations that can bring about feelings of sadness, anxiety and negative emotions, such as:
Pressures of studying and workload
Change in culture
Being away from family and friends
Living conditions – overcrowding, lack of privacy, insufficient place to study, noise levels and difficulty living with strangers
If you are continually feeling extreme sadness, anxiety and negative emotions, you may be suffering from stress, depression, anxiety or other mental health problems that can contribute to many other health problems including chronic pain, sleeplessness and fatigue.
Life and studying in a new country is not always easy, but your institution and other professional services can help you feel more positive about your life in Australia.
Never be afraid to ask for help!!
You can speak to your support services at your institution or access various sources of information about depression and available treatments, visit:
Safe sex practices reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs are infectious conditions transmitted through sexual activity. Some of the STIs can be easily treated but unfortunately there is no cure for many of them, and these incurable STIs tend to be the most common and longest lasting. Some, for example HIV and Hepatitis B, can have serious health consequences.
The risk of catching the more serious STIs can be minimised by:
Avoid having sexual intercourse or genital contact.
Use condoms and water-based lubricant or dental dams every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Minimise the number of different partners you have sex with, and practice safe sex every time.
If using intravenous drugs, ensure you do not share injecting equipment.
Have Hepatitis A and B vaccination.
Condoms, used properly, are the most effective means of reducing the transmission of semen or vaginal fluids from one person to another, but will only protect you against infection if you use them every time you have sex. Condoms are available from supermarkets, chemists, condom vending machines, health services and family planning clinics.
For information about sex health, contraceptives and the most common sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in Australia, refer to the following websites:
You can protect yourself or your partner from falling pregnant unintentionally by taking precautions and using contraception that suits your lifestyle and situations. In Australia there are many contraception choices that you can consider, and discuss your options with your local doctor.
Family Planning Australia has organisations all over Australia that provide a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services that focus on prevention, early intervention, diagnosis, treatment, and community education. For more information about services in your state, visit Family Planning Australia. http://www.fpq.com.au/
Diet and Nutrition
Change of diet
Living in a new country often means diet changes according to the food and produce that you have access to. A western diet tends to be higher in fat than diets from the Asian region, and changes in your diet have an effect on your health and nutritional state.
There are many benefits to eating a well-balanced and nutritional diet:
Having the energy to exercise, socialise and study
Maintaining a healthy weight
Improved ability to concentrate and cope with stress
Reduce the risk of common health issues, including excess weight, heart disease, blood pressure, certain cancers and constipation
Strong immune system to fight common colds and flu
For tips about diet and nutrition in Australia refer to the following website Australian guide to healthy eating.
Regular physical activity has significant benefits for your overall health and wellbeing. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity each day can improve health and reduce the risk of developing certain conditions or diseases. More intense activity (for those who are able and choose to do it) may provide additional benefit in terms of cardiovascular health.
People who enjoy physical activity benefit from:
Increased energy levels
Overall improved physical health
Feeling more positive about life
Joining exercise groups or team sports is also a great way to meet new friends! Your institution or local sports centre may be able to provide you with recreational activities.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol is a part of most social occasions – people drink to celebrate, relax and have fun. Often we underestimate the effects that alcohol has on our bodies and behaviours.
As a pilot you are under strict rules and regulations in regards to flying & alcohol Drugs so any kind are expressly forbidden and CASA now has random Drugs testing of pilots.