Sunday, 15 March 2015

Melbourne Memories ♡

Hi there weshy wanderers, so as you can probably tell I haven't don't any blog posts recently that were just on what I was thinking about at the time or on my opinion on things such as trends or hairstyles (you can check those posts out HERE and HERE). I haven't been taking a lot of care when it comes to my blog and that upsets me as I really have enjoyed my time blogging over the past year and I remember how when I first started I had made a promise to myself that I would write a blog post on whatever I wanted at least once a day! I did stay true to that for a little bit but as always I seem to have given up before really getting anywhere.. Which is a shame.

Anyhow for this post I thought I would reflect on my time in Melbourne when I was on a student exchange programme from July to December last year and would maybe bring a few questions to light that I have been receiving from fellow students who are looking to go away to Melbourne for a semester or two. 

So firstly I would like to state that although going on a student exchange or a study abroad programme is an amazing opportunity you do need to remember what it is that you may have just signed up for! For myself, I chose Australia - I literally couldn't have chosen a country that was further away from my beloved United Kingdom, however it was a dream of mine to not only visit Australia but to study there for a semester (i.e. four months). Living abroad can be difficult as you're living and learning to cope with a new environment, new people, new experiences, a new learning method and most importantly a totally new country. I didn't know anyone in Australia which made it feel like I was going to be completely alone for six months but honestly that couldn't have been further from the truth! I loved my time abroad and felt that I met so many new people that I was never alone. So if you do get the chance to go abroad please make sure you know what you're letting yourself in for and make sure you know how difficult it can be!

Now RMIT felt like a very new and modern place compared to GCU for me. I say that mainly because their teaching methods are so laid back you feel like the tutor is literally your best friend! Their computers and laptops are all Apple Macintosh and you're even allowed to borrow them and take them home as long as you sign them out! It all felt very modern and different that's for sure. The University itself is absolutely gigantic and there are so many chill out area's that I feel like I could literally have spent all my time just chilling in the University and never going home. The University course itself was fairly easy to get to grips with and as a Media and Communications student I chose the following courses; Introduction to Advertising, Writing Media Texts and Journalism Rules and Ethics Regulations. I absolutely loved the options I chose and felt like their approach to teaching was far more physical. For instance for WMT we had to take cameras and camcorders and actually go out and film or photograph projects and for Journalism we got to visit the Parliament and go to the Judicial Court and saw actual criminals being sentenced (albeit only for crimes such as speeding, stealing merchandise and selling drugs).

Now when it comes to your personal life things can get a little difficult.. I am a very 'to myself' kind of person and I knew it was going to be hard sharing a kitchen and a bathroom with someone else - luckily I ended up getting a brilliant roommate who I really enjoyed spending time with! You have to make sure you get some downtime and spend some quality time on yourself which I felt I achieved when we would both be on our own traveling journeys and we would get the flat for a few days to ourselves each! Also you can feel like you're getting in each others way when you're trying to cook and share a bathroom but just make sure you talk about it all first hand and make sure you have some ground rules set up that will definitely help you out in the long run! 

Q-How much money will I need in order to do everything I want to do in Australia?
A-I would say that you would need minimum £6,000 ($11,000) as I felt that's what I needed for travel, food, entertainment, rent and lifestyle buys.

Q-Were you receiving a student loan? What's the visa application process like?
A-Unfortunately I wasn't eligible for a loan but make sure you are by emailing SAAS or your country's student loan as you never know! The student visa application was extremely easy and was all done online in under and hour!

Q-Does RMIT University have a student accommodation?
A-No, RMIT doesn't have a student accommodation like GCU does but it does have a sort of sister rental line through RMIT Village which is where I stayed! The prices are pretty high so make sure it's the right place for you! There's a lot of group bonding and social occasions which I loved about the village! Bonus-it was only located a 15minutes walk from the University or two stops on the tram!

Q-Do I need a job whilst I'm out there?
A-This one all depends on how much money you're going to be spending (I did end up spending way too much). I ended up getting a job for three months as a waitress on Lygon Street as I seemed to run through my money pretty fast! It depends on how much travelling you're going to be doing and how cheap you do it and where you stay. I decided to get cheap flights through Jetstar and TigerAir and I stayed in Hostels everywhere I went. 

If you have anymore questions please don't hesitate to ask as I love answering them and making sure you know everything you need to know before going away :)!
Glasgow Caledonian University (Glasgow, Scotland)
RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia)
La Notte Lygon Street Melbourne
Sarah x