Experience Melbourne from an International Student\'s Perspective
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking that a university degree obtained in the incredible Land Down Under will resemble an exotic getaway with homework. Even though this is true to a great extent, it only scratches the surface of what this country has to offer to its international visitors, and I’m happy to say that Melbourne has not only lived up to my expectations, but it has exceeded them many times over.
A melting pot of diversity
No matter where you come from, chances are that your home city already has an exchange program in place. However, Australia, and its urban hotspots such as Melbourne in particular, is already in its core a blend of cultures from all over the globe, and they all flourish side by side.
It’s not just the funky restaurants or entire galleries
devoted to international artists, but variety is in the very fabric of Melbourne. From day one, I haven’t felt for a single moment that I don’t belong, as the locals and other students have accepted me as one of their own immediately. The very first time you walk into your nearby store to get your morning coffee, you’re considered a neighbor, and this attitude pretty much sums up the entire country’s embracing nature.Student life at its best
Even though independence is another very prominent quality in people here, both the locals and other visiting students have built a system of support. That includes regular student discounts for all kinds of cultural events, museum passes, concert and festival tickets, public transportation perks, and access to foodie spots with the help of Mealpal, as well as a whole other range of benefits.
Despite the hefty price-tag, Melbourne is still one of the most livable cities, and a great part of its allure lies in their desire to make all aspects of their lifestyle available to everyone, students included. While I have to sacrifice some of the more “high-end” aspects of Melbourne life, there are always free and exceptionally affordable options, from stand-up comedy nights, excellent student accommodation in Melbourne CBD
near your university to art exhibitions for all preferences.
Growth without borders
The primary reason I considered Melbourne as my overseas destination was the curriculum – their selection of programs surpasses many others I’ve managed to find, and this is the place I’m able to study specifically what I want. And I’m not the only one with this experience, as many of my classmates have said the exact same thing.
Add to that the fact that here universities offer a multitude of opportunities to develop your career, through seminars, extracurriculars, guest lecturers, conferences, and the like. Plus, you can always find a job both on and off campus
to help with the costs (which can be quite substantial), and that also adds to your personal growth with experience, time management, and even improves your social life.A “give and take” mindset
I come from a country where you’re raised to help others, but it’s difficult to say how much of this attitude survives your adulthood, and how many of us truly end up with a desire to make a difference continually. In Melbourne and all over Australia, however, I’ve noticed that the wish to change for the better is a huge part of their identity, in the sense that volunteering is as common as getting a job or celebrating Christmas.
As a student, you are encouraged to take part in many forms of giving back
– from free tutoring on campus, setting up festivals and other events, all the way to working in a local animal shelter. Since this is a very deeply appreciated mindset, these actions are rewarding in more ways than one: you’ll make invaluable connections, build up your CV, and develop skills alongside experts who can help you shape your career.
The challenges of mastering your studies in Melbourne, which naturally come with every form of education, are greatly overshadowed by the many opportunities you’ll come across during your stay. All it takes is an open mind and you’ll quickly understand why so many people from all over the world flock to this continent to continue their education.