Living in Australia as an international student can be a fairly challenging and exciting experience. International students in the UK and the US will have their share of stories to talk about, but here, we talk about the Aussie experience.Australia, as a country, can be both wild and calm. It can be exciting yet laid back. It can also come across as innocent and untouched. It’s got a newness to it, which I haven’t felt elsewhere.
Melbourne was effortlessly welcoming!
When I first arrived in Melbourne to pursue my Undergraduate degree in Business at Monash, I fell in love right away. Not with Australia, but with Melbourne. I didn’t know any better. Melbourne was the first city I had travelled to overseas. For me, it can just be a first love I will never be able to forget.
I loved the vibe this city exudes, and more than anything, the graciousness with which it accepts you. Yes, it has its shortcomings. Public transport isn’t of the highest standard and punctuality isn’t their mantra. But the city welcomes you with open arms and being an international student doesn’t always mean you have to make an effort to ‘fit in’.
My First Experience at an Australian “Uni”
University is the best place to make your first friends in the country. It’s where you meet like-minded people who are walking down a similar path as you. I felt a drastic difference in the ‘education culture’. By ‘education culture’ I mean the manner in which lectures are held, assignments are prepared and reviewed and the general camaraderie with the lecturers and tutors. There is immense mutual respect that flows between the teachers and students, however, the manner in which that respect is conveyed is very casual and effortless.
It is an egalitarian society in every sense of the word and no one feels the need to address each other as ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ at university, irrespective of age, qualification or position. This culture was new to me and surprisingly I did not take long to adapt.
The Life outside my University
Life outside university almost always involves a part time job, which isn’t hard to find. Socialising on the weekends is a no brainer and social drinking is encouraged even in professional environments. Overall, Melbourne is a city of lovers, friends, musicians and baristas. It’s where you’d lose your heart without even knowing it and it’s where you’d find a lot if you’re the type to ‘explore’. There isn’t a better place to secure a bachelors or masters qualification in Australia, given the impressive list of world class universities. Although Melbourne consistently being rated the world’s most liveable city doesn’t hurt either!