THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE (UOM)

My exchange experience at UoM and living in their residential college International House (IH)

During my undergraduate studies at Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg I went abroad for an exchange semester at the University of Melbourne (UoM) in Melbourne, Australia. I applied as a freemover for UoM and received very valuable support throughout the entire application process from the agency GOstralia!-GOzealand!. I lived together with people from over thirty different nationalities in the residential college International house (IH). I had an amazing time in Melbourne and in this section I am going to share my experiences at UoM and IH. I will also provide some application advice for students who are interested in studying abroad in Down Under.

MY APPLICATION PROCESS

Ways to go Down Under and secure a place at UoM and IH - Aussie specialists GOstralia!-GOzealand! or Institut Hanke Reinemann are valuable sources for support

It all started with a usual train ride in Hamburg: I was watching the advertisements in the commercial TV‘s and saw an announcement that Melbourne has been ranked the world‘s most livable city for the fifth year in a row by the newspaper Economist. I then started to conduct research about Melbourne on my phone and discovered the University of Melbourne (UoM). I never heard of the university and city before and this event basically kick-started my interest in living and studying abroad in Down Under. I also found the travel agency GOstralia!-GOzealand! on the Internet who are specialized in Australian universities and help German students with the entire application process (the service is free of charge as they are payed directly from the Australian universities and receive part of the regular tuition fee). I decided to apply for UoM through this agency as they were highly knowledgable about the university landscape in Australia and also maintain close contacts to the admission offices in Australia which significantly speeded up the entire process. I am very grateful for their help and can highly recommend them to other students who wish to study in Australia. I had to submit a CV, recent transcript from my German university and I had to pay a $100 non-refundable application fee as part of the application process. After five weeks I finally received my letter of confirmation from UoM and started to look for potential accommodation options in Melbourne: Some students decide to look for accommodation once they are in Melbourne but I found this option too risky and instead decided to apply for one of the residential colleges of UoM. The university has multiple colleges each with a distinct character but I decided to apply for International House (IH): I had to fill out a form where they asked me about my motivation to join the house and community and I also had a half an hour Skype interview with the director of the college. He asked me about my previous international experiences and understanding of diversity. I enjoyed the interview and would suggest potential applicants to know their CV by heart and to have a solid understanding of the house and what diversity means to them prior to the interview. 

LIVING AT INTERNATIONAL HOUSE

Heritage translates into traditions; IH will become your new Airbnb; an amazing community of students from around the world

International House was opened in 1957 and provides accommodation for about 350 undergraduate and graduate students. Their sound track record translates into a lot of traditions in the house such as the formal dinners that are held twice a week in academic gowns (see picture) or Cafe Internationale. The college also provides academic support for its students in the form of tutorials in small groups that are offered for the most popular courses at UoM. I found the tutorials very useful as I could ask any outstanding questions that I had from the lectures. The most unforgettable experience for me during my time at IH was the orientation week at the start of the semester: Current residents at IH organized a week full of activities for us in and outside of the college to put us at ease with the new situation. I don‘t want to dive deeper here as I would take away too much and I want you to experience the same first-hand 😊 The college offers an incredible community of people from around the world who will definitely enrichen your time in Australia. I would even say they become your new Airbnb as you will know someone in almost every corner of the world ^^ My time at IH exceeded my expectations and I don‘t want to miss the experience. I can highly recommend it and in the next section you will find some pictures that I took during my time at IH. 

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IMPRESSIONS FROM INTERNATIONAL HOUSE (IH)

Entrance of International House (IH)

Entrance of International House (IH)

Beautiful green areas in IH

Beautiful green areas in IH

Formal dinner in college

Formal dinner in college

Activity plan for the welcome week of new IH residents

Activity plan for the welcome week of new IH residents

My orientation week group...

My orientation week group...

...in the city centre of Melbourne

The IH freshers dance

The IH freshers dance

Receptionists of Cafe Internationale

Receptionists of Cafe Internationale

Part of IH‘s heritage and college tradition

STUDYING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

What should you expect? - Excellent teachers, facilities and a high workload

The University of Melbourne is one of the best universities in Australia and worldwide: The university is ranked #38 in the world by the QS Global World Ranking and is regularly featured as the second best university in Australia after the Australian National University in Canberra. Based on this high ranking it should not be surprising that the level of difficulty and workload are accordingly quite high. I had the full workload (30 ECTS) with four courses and a lot to do throughout the entire semester with assignments, mid-term exams, quizzes and final exams. It is not unusual that students at UoM reduce their workload to only three courses per semester to reduce the workload a bit and to make the content more ‘digestible‘. However, don‘t let this scare you off: We all managed to get through the semester and if you work hard and constantly on the materials you should have no problem. Just come prepared that you will most likely not have as much time to go to the beach as you might have initially thought 😉 For Germans and Europeans it is a bit strange at first that the semester in Australia has only 12 weeks that are quite content heavy. At UoM you will usually have the first mid-term exams already after 6 weeks so make sure that you stay on top of your studies right from the start of the semester. This is probably the most important tip that I can give to you :) Below you will find a picture of my study revision for the course ‚Quantitative Techniques and Methods 1‘ shortly before my mid-term exam in the course. Hm...how do you know that Maik has been in the breakout room in college before? 😂

LIVING IN MELBOURNE

What does it mean to live in the world‘s most livable city?

Melbourne is a beautiful city and has a lot to offer: Stunning architecture, art and culture, world-class museums, huge shopping malls (Melbourne Central) and the famous St Kilda beach. Melbourne is famous for its coffee culture and if you are in Melbourne your should definitely make sure to grab a cup of coffee. Once you are in Melbourne you will probably immediately feel the Australian laid-back culture and friendliness of the Australians. Melbourne is a city full of contrasts: You will for instance notice that old buildings such as churches meet with modern skyscrapers in the background. Melbourne has something to offer for everyone and there are so many places to discover that it will not get boring during your exchange semester. In the next section you will find some pictures that I took during my time in Melbourne :) They make me want to pack my suitcase and catch the next plane to Melbourne ✈️🧳👓

IMPRESSIONS FROM MELBOURNE

Melbourne with the Yarra river

Melbourne with the Yarra river

Seen from the Eureka Skydeck

Flinders street railway station

Flinders street railway station

Beautiful central station

Melbourne bikes

Melbourne bikes

Bikes are the preferred transportation medium

State Library Victoria

State Library Victoria

Can highly recommend it!

Melbourne‘s best street art

Melbourne‘s best street art

The graffiti street

The shoot tower in Melbourne Central

The shoot tower in Melbourne Central

The famous clock in Melbourne Central

The famous clock in Melbourne Central

Melbourne Festival of Light 2018

Melbourne Festival of Light 2018

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Should you have the opportunity for an exchange use it!

I know how scary it might be at first to live so far away from your family but there are so many experiences, places and amazing people waiting for you. Get out of your comfort zone - I promise it will be worth it! Don‘t forget to check out my exchange experience report for the agency GOstralia!-GOzealand! which you can find below. Should you need further information about Melbourne please don‘t hesitate to contact me. I‘m always up for a chat 😊

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Download now for additional information

MY STUDENT EXPERIENCE REPORT AT UOM AND IH

This file gives you access to the detailed  experience report that I wrote for the agency GOstralia!-GOzealand!. You will find information about my application process, college life at IH, student life at UoM and Melbourne in general as one of the most livable cities in the world. Feel free to reach out should you have further questions. Enjoy!

©2020 by Maik Wiedmann