Winter in Melbourne-COLD AND RAINY Past Review

By (public health, University of California - Berkeley) for

University of Melbourne: Melbourne - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was really bummed out with the weather. My decision to study in Melbourne wasn't very informed. I didn't expect it to be as cold and rainy as it was, and I was expecting more of the stereotypical "Aussie life" in Melbourne. The idea of AUSTRALIA was just so intriguing and I didn't think you could go wrong. But if I could do it all over again, I would want to be close to the beach/nature/sun! Like the Gold Coast, Brisbane, even Sydney or NEW ZEALAND.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

School at the University of Melbourne was much easier than I expected. Unlike school in the states, I found that the courses were designed so that the majority of your grade depends heavily on one or two major projects (i.e. a research paper).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program was fantastic. I had so many resources and helpful people at my fingertips. My expectations were met!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a dorm complex called RMIT village. I didn't like it because I don't like the dorm life. I was a senior went I went abroad so it was tough to go back to the dorms. I personally found it too loud and crazy, however, for people who really enjoy partying and the social scene, it could be a great fit. Tons of international kids live at RMIT village and it's a great place to meet new friends from all over the world. I just would have preferred a more low-key and quiet atmosphere. I would say it's a great place to live if you're a freshman or soph.

* Food:

The is the restaurant called Lentil As Anything. It's a donation based vegetarian hippie-ish joint. It has such a cool atmosphere and you donate money-the amount is up to you. They always have live music, and open mic, African drumming. It's a pretty cool place and it's in a really nice part of town-nice places to lay in the grass and have a picnic. 1 Helliers St. Abbotsford, Melbourne. Lygon street is great if you're looking for Italian food-great pizza and pasta and tons of restaurants. I worked as a waitress in on that street and it was a ton of fun- I recommend it! Brunswick street and Smith street have tons of good food too. Queen Victoria Farmers Market-GREAT PLACE. Really cheap delicious fruits and veggies and a good place for touristy gifts too. I did most of my shopping there, it's much cheaper than the grocery store (for produce).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Like I mentioned, I worked as a waitress on Lygon street which was a great experience. I worked with a tin of cool people from all over the world and they ended up being my core group of friends. I highly recommend getting a job because money goes quickly here-everything is very expensive, but if minimum wage in Australia is much higher than in the states. I got paid $13/hour but one of my friends worked in a bar and she was earning around $19/hour. It depends on where you work, but if you work in hospitality you'll most likely earn between $12 and $20 per hour. Don't settled for anything less than $12!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The healthcare was great. All healthcare is pretty much free if you are a student (except for dental care).

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you plan on studying in Melbourne, don't go in the winter (Semester 2:July-November)! The weather was horrible, it rained pretty much everyday. If you are an urban type of person and thrive on the buzz of city life, it can be a cool place. But if you are more of a low key, peaceful, nature lover I wouldn't come to Melbourne.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Australian Indigenous Studies

Course Department: Indigenous Studies
Instructor: Philip Morrissey
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was great and I really feel like I learned a lot about the Indigenous People of Australia. Indigenous studies in Australia are just now becoming a required subject in the Australian curriculum. I was shocked to learn how uninformed most Australians are when it comes to knowledge regarding the Indigenous people and all the issues surrounding them. Non-Indigenous Australians are slowly starting to recognize the troubles of these oppressed people and the injustices they have been facing since colonization in 1788. The course was great, I learned a lot and I loved it.
Credit Transfer Issues: I am still in Australia, but I don't anticipate having any issues with credit transfers. I had the courses pre-approved by my academic advisor as well as with an admissions officer.