Thinking of doing a study abroad in beautiful Melbourne but not sure what to expect? Look no further. Arcadia Abroad Australia asked 10 of our current students in Melbourne what key pieces of advice they would give to someone thinking of giving the program a go in the future, or anyone who is curious about how to make the most of their exchange experience.
Moving to a new city and new university can be daunting, which is why it’s a good idea to schedule a brand-new event or activity at least once a week to stop hiding in your dorm room, get out, make friends and discover the city. The university accommodation people, a quick Google search and the Arcadia staff are all good resources for recommendations!
Melbourne is a beautiful and interesting city, but it’s also a great springboard to visit parts of the country or the world that you can’t easily get to from the States. Both the area directly outside Melbourne like the Great Ocean Road, as well as other areas close to Australia, like South East Asia, are amazing and worth visits.
When you’re doing study abroad, you don’t want to choose classes that are overly time-consuming, or that has really difficult assessments. Be sure to pick classes that let you have time to enjoy the fun side of study abroad.
Arcadia schedules cool events and excursions throughout the semester, like a hiking/abseiling weekend in the Grampians, or for us, a trip to the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs after the mid-semester assessments. Be sure not to miss out!
Learning a new currency system can be tricky, so use the app TransferWise to plug in the Australian dollar amount to find out how much things cost – don’t overspend on something thinking that it’s really cheap!
Also, check out the Queen Victoria Markets. It’s a really cool night market near campus where lots of students hang out.
Melbourne is described by the locals as ‘four seasons in a day’ for a reason. If you come in either the fall or the spring semester, make sure you pack for extreme heat and also the cold – both can happen in an average Melbourne day.
Melbourne can be expensive, with all the bars and restaurants, even without the mandatory tipping culture. Be sure to scope out the cheaper restaurants, or the ones with food/drink deals. Even better – learn how to cook if you have a kitchen in your accommodation.
Melbourne has really great coastal areas just an hour or two in either direction. Try making friends with a local Australian from uni who has a car, and take a weekend trip with a bunch of friends to visit the Great Ocean Road or the Peninsula.
Australian Rules Football is way different, but it’s a fun experience to go to a game in Melbourne and see the excitement of the crowd.
Melbourne has a great public transport system, with trams that run across the whole city. The central area of the city even has a free system but be sure to get off before the free zone ends so you don’t get a fine!
Melbourne is a great study abroad experience, where you’ll make lots of friends and have a blast. Give it a go!
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