I've decided to write about the experiences that I had in Melbourne. I posted many pictures during my time there but I don't recall sharing my thoughts and opinions(maybe just a few before). So here it is :)
This might be helpful to those who are planning to study there as an international student. Since I was one there myself :)
A lil' background info; While I was studying at Taylor's University Lakeside (Diploma of ID) for my first semester, I applied to study at Swinburne University and RMIT.
Swinburne got back to me real quick whereas, RMIT was really slow. So, I received a conditional offer letter from Swinburne - they were waiting to review my final grades. After all of that, I finally received a letter of acceptance to study at Swinburne.
At first, my parents didn't believe me. They were skeptical, doubtful and they didn't get involve in it. Only when I asked for help that is lol. I had to do everything myself - application forms, talking to the agent, settling the letters from Swinburne, portfolio and much more.
When I received an email from Swinburne saying that I was accepted, I was so excited. And then my parents knew that I was serious. And capable of doing it - self praise LOL.
So, me and my parents settled the payment and visa, and everything was set. It was only after that that RMIT sent me an offer. Too late bro :P I do remember the stressful and tiring moments or completing everything before I took off. A whole new experience awaited me! :D
Had to dig up some old photos;
This is one of the first photos of me in Melbourne, Elizabeth Street. I think its the second day after I arrived lol. Those were the days that I didn't use make up ><
My dad came together with me for the first 5 days. He went back to Malaysia after that. I was like noooooo :(
I didn't know anybody at Melbourne. And I totally had culture shock. The people, buildings, environment, and atmosphere was totally different from Malaysia. If I was at Melbourne for a short holiday, it wouldn't matter. But I was gonna stay there for 1.5 years. Staying there is very different from visiting there.
The food is good, but its just pricy after conversion. An average dish costs around $9-$11 or more depends. Also, I'm contented with the public transport there; its efficient, fairly punctual(though there are delays at times), and fairly safe. I don't feel scared to take my Iphone out of my pocket. Almost everyone there has an Iphone.
I took this picture sneakily. Lol.
Me and koibito at St. Kilda Beach, 2012.
The people there are really nice too! One of my culture shock experiences; The sales person in any shop, be it retail or restaurant, would say, 'Hi! How are you today?'.
I WAS SO SHOCKED. Forgive me. I don't experience this in Malaysia. They actually ask you how are you doing??? They make an effort to chat with you as in a normal conversation. In Malaysia, most of the treatment I get from sales people are glares and couldn't be bothered attitude. Of course there are nice ones too. I'm not dissing all! Lol.
There are nice people and there are also scary and mean people. You might not want to walk the streets alone at night. Especially in the city. I've experienced seeing many drunk people at night. They get pretty rowdy and they do wild things @.@
A gloomy day at Deakin University near Box Hill.
Here's one of my personal experience and opinion. This might be a little sensitive topic.
No offense to anyone but here's the sad truth. Asians are somewhat looked down upon. I've seen it and experienced it.
I've had this situation where I was talking to a local lady at a tram stop. We were chit chatting and the conversation goes on something like this;
Lady A: What's your name?
Me : My name is Rachel.
Lady A: *Looks bewildered* Get out of here!!
Me : *Suprised and shocked* *I have no idea what's going on*
Lady A: That's not your real name!!
Me : What? Yes it is my real name.
Lady A: No no no! Tell me your real name!
Me : My name is Rachel, really. It's on my passport and my IC.
Lady A: *Refuses to believe* No no! Tell me your real name! Your CHINESE name!
Okay, at this point, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. SERIOUSLY? My CHINESE name? Heck, no one ever calls me by my Chinese name. I was shocked to understand that, she thinks Chinese people only can be named after Chinese names? -.-
Me : My Chinese name is Hsin Li.
Lady A: From now on, don't call yourself Rachel anymore. You are Hsin Li. *She got up of her seat to get down from the tram*
Me : Okay right. *Silence*
I was a little pissed but I calmed down and let it go later on. I've told many of my friends this story and everyone was shocked. I have another experience but I'll just mention this one.
Despite of what I said, there are lovely people there as well! I'm not assuming everyone is like that ><
Just had a hair cut that time. Lol. Was supposed to jog around the park but it was so cold that my nose hurt. Decided to sit on a swing and took an unavoidable selfie lol.
Cute penguins at Melbourne's Aquarium.
One more important thing! The weather there is like a girl with PMS. It changes whenever, wherever. When the weather changes from hot to cold or vice versa, this is what everyone says to me, 'Welcome to Melboune!' LOL.
The time when my sister visited me in Melbourne :)
Australia has lovely sceneries, historical buildings, beautiful gardens & parks, awesome food and efficient transport. It is also fairly safe against robbery, rape and etc. But still! Please be on guard at all times! Random note; Korean food there is awesome! :)
I saw many women left their handbags wide open and unattended on the trains, busses and any public area. I was so worried for them.Thank goodness nothing happened. In Malaysia, say bye bye to your goodies lol.
One thing I realised when I went to Melbourne is that, there are SO MANY FOREIGNERS @.@
Don't be surprised to see yourself being surrounded by Asian people. Melbourne has many universities therefore, many international students. If you are an Asian, you might feel like you are in an Asian country at some point. Lol. There are quite a few suburbs that most Asian people live at. For example; Glen Waverly, Clayton, Box Hill, Footscray and more.
The first friend I made in Melbourne :) Miss her badly! ><
My first time at Ballarat. Went cycling around the neighbourhood :)
Another thing about my time in Melbourne is, my sense in fashion totally changed. Before this, I dressed exactly like the picture above. A top, jeans and sneakers. The fashion sense in Melbourne influenced me to 'transform' lol. I guess that's a good thing? :D Also, my friend wore skirts ALL THE TIME, and yes I got influenced from that too. I have a lot of skirts right now lol.
Let me end the post with this;
What did I learn during my time in Melbourne?
1) To be independent - Cook, laundry, clean, assignments, pay bills by myself
2) To be responsible - I took up a part time job as a waitress during my second semester. You have to balance the time for work, and studies. Surprisingly, I had rather good results for that semester! ><
3) To make decisions for myself
4) Time for studies, friends and family - Learn to juggle time for your assignments and time for your loved ones and friends.
5) Set my priorities right - I believe it is unnecessary to go clubbing or whatsoever. I did shop a lot but that was it. Manage your time well with the right activities and you will achieve great results :)
6) The right church makes a huge difference - I attended Planetshakers and it was life changing for me :)
Okay, I think I have summarised what I wanted to say. I hope this has been useful in any way.
Note: Pictures are taken in Melbourne, 2012. Most of them were unreleased.
That's the end for now.