First weeks in Melbourne!

Here some weeks of rest in Malmö, here I am, on the road again! I will spend the next term as an exchange student at the University of Melbourne, Australia!

I arrived in Australia around the 19th of February, and the first weeks in Australia have been a bit hectic since then.

First priority of all: accommodation. For all future students at Melbourne University, no panic!. Melbourne is a quite relaxed city regarding accommodation and there are plenty of rooms available. The most common form of accommodation is “shared apartment” or “shared houses”: apartments for only one student are very rare and out of price.

A useful website for all of those who are planning to spend a term in Melbourne: http://www.gumtree.com.au/. There you´d be able to find both rooms and jobs. I´ll talk about the job part a little bit after. An acceptable price for a room in Melbourne is about 250-300 dollars/week (around 1600-1900 SEK), which is quite of a budget for a student. You should calculate your costs of living before coming to Australia and maybe consider getting a job.

Second priority: Attending the Welcome Day at the University. At the welcome day, we were given lots of administrative information about students´ responsibilities and rights (quite different from Sweden), how to enroll to classes, how to log in the Student Portal…. Melbourne University is very advanced regarding to the use of IT in education. For instance, all of my lectures are recorded (both audio and video) and I can re-watch all of them as much as I want to. I´ll speak about IT and Education in a following post.

Third priority: Attending the classes! As a exchange student, you´re expected to enroll in 4 classes in order to be considered as a full-time student (a requirement for fulfilling the conditions of your visa).

Classes are generally divided in lectures (generally 2 hours/week) and tutorials (generally 1 hours/week), which would keep you busy around 15 hours a week. A slight difference from Sweden: attending tutorials in compulsory. At the University of Melbourne, undergraduate students are expected to attend 75% of their tutorials in order to pass the course. Failing to attend to tutorials leads to failing the whole course. Tutorials are generally given by passionate Phd-students or professionals (for example, my tutorial on Australian politics is given by an parliamentary assistant of a current Member of the Australian Parliament – fascinating!).

From your first moments at the University of Melbourne, you´ll notice the high standards of academics. Melbourne University has been ranked 1st in Australia and 39th in the world according to Times´ Higher Education World University Reputation (http://www.australianuniversities.com.au/rankings/). Literally all of my classes are motivating, fascinating and “brain-teasing”. The reading list is generally longer than Malmö or Lund University but it´s totally worth it!

As a conclusion, I can only recommend an exchange program at the University of Melbourne. I already feel that I´ve learned so much in so few week and I am really looking forward to continuing the learning “adventure” here in Melbourne!

/Michel

PS: I´ve posted pictures of the campus!