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Things you wish you knew earlier as an international student in Melbourne

FROM the serious to the whimsical things in life, Gabriella Ariffin shares some of the things she wish she knew from day one as an international student. And for those new to Melbourne, maybe this could help you. 

journal---lessons-from-melbourne

I have been studying, working and living in Melbourne for more than three years. It has been a really fun and inspiring adventure, and a decision I know I will never regret. However, looking back at my first couple of months in Melbourne, I wonder if I could have made my experience even more fulfilling?

I wish I knew…

  • The importance of having friends besides people from my own country. Not only would one have more opportunities to converse in English, but also a more interesting and diverse social circle.

friends

  • The importance of using the word “please” when placing an order. Failing to do so would make one come across as being extremely rude, especially to the locals.
  • To explore Melbourne’s lanes and alleyways. Some of the best restaurants and cafes are hidden within!
  • Less is sometimes more. There are so many thrift shops and markets in Melbourne, and cheap eats too!

Melbourne-weather

  • To choose substance over form when buying an umbrella. Melbourne’s strong winds will flip and break a pretty but cheap brollie in a matter of seconds – only the sturdiest of umbrellas will do.
  • Stores close way earlier in Melbourne and pondering what to do after hours can be both rewarding and challenging!

I wish I had …

  • More courage to talk to my classmates and lecturers at university.
  • Equipped myself with better cooking and housekeeping skills to survive living by myself overseas…
  • And with that, wish I had learnt to cook my favourite dishes from home so I didn’t have to wait months to fulfil my silly cravings.

cleaning

  • Respected and appreciated my parents and family more, because it’s only when you’re overseas and alone that you truly learn to value their presence in your life.

luggage

 

  • Ventured further out of the city to explore the other parts of Victoria.

I wish there were, during my time…

Photo: Lupita Djody

Photo: Lupita Djody

  • The option to experience more of Melbourne and extend my stay here through the temporary graduate visa.
  • Shops and familiar brands such as Uniqlo, H&M, Top Shop and MUJI so easily accessible in the heart of the city.
  • The mushrooming of Asian eateries across the city, and Hot Star Large Fried Chicken in particular, to quickly satiate my Taiwanese snacks cravings

What are some things you wish you could tell yourself when you first came to Melbourne?

2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Hi! I’ve been in Melbourne for half year and all the things that you’ve listed are true! I really wished that I can tell my past self about these. Anyway thanks for the lists! Since I still have time, I’d like to follow these tips and be a better version of myself :)

  2. Haha really useful points! I have been in Melb for one and a half year and honestly, I wish I knew the information in this article since my day one in this amazing city!

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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.

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