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Student stories: Live like a local explore like a tourist

IN her time in Melbourne, UK exchange student Catherine May shares her experience of living like a local and exploring like a tourist – and loving every minute of it, unpredictable weather included!

When I first moved to Melbourne from England, I told myself I wanted to spend my semester here living like a local student. I wanted to avoid joining all those international societies, try and make local friends and explore local haunts.

Four months later and my best friend here is English, and I met my closest local friends through an international society event during O-Week. But would I change anything? Absolutely not.

On my blog I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to do during my semester abroad. I didn’t tick off everything I had on that list, but I gave it a pretty good shot.

I found out about the huge array of events that take place in the city every weekend while writing Meld’s The Weekender section, and I made it my mission to explore as much as possible.

I fell in love with the Northern suburbs, added brunch to my daily routine and attended some amazing live music gigs. I spent one Sunday a month listening to inspirational Australian women talk at Women of Letters in Thornbury, saw a handful of hilarious shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and got to see where Neighbours was filmed.

Melbourne was the reason I chose to study abroad (and so much more) and I can’t imagine how different the past four months would’ve been had I stayed at my home university in the UK.

As for the educational side of things, The University of Melbourne was everything I’d hoped it would be. I got to learn about Aboriginal linguistics and Australian history, which I never could have dreamed of studying back home.

For me, Melbourne has been the ideal place to study abroad. While I didn’t experience the sun, sea and sand postcard picture of Australia, I had the chance to see what life was really like here… and I quickly learned that heavy rain and delayed trams are just part of the city’s charm.

I guess I spent my time in Melbourne simultaneously living like a local student and a tourist. But for me, that’s exactly what makes being an international student so special.

Do you have your own student stories to share? Email our lifestyle editor elisa.scarton@meldmagazine.com.au if you’d like to have your story published. 

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About

Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

Meld Magazine – Melbourne's international student news website © 2014 All Rights Reserved

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