My experience of housing in Melbourne

By Ezmee Wyatt, University of Melbourne, Australia

This is a view of the Yarra River, which was right next to my hostel.

This is my first blog post after being in Melbourne for just over 2 months. I arrived on the 8th of July after a 24-hour flight, and felt ready to embark on this adventure. It has been such a whirlwind of experiences; I have only now found time to sit down and begin to reflect.

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🌆 5 Essential Things to Do As Soon as You Arrive in Melbourne 🌆

by Emily Fujii Kyriakidou, University of Melbourne, Australia

Capturing the Pulse of Melbourne

Hello future scholars in Melbourne! 🎓 This city is a treasure trove of cultural richness and educational prowess. Before diving into all it offers, here are five essential tasks to get you started:

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Building a Life Abroad

By Tara Brougham, University of Melbourne, Australia

I arrived in Melbourne for my exchange nearly 3 weeks ago, and the last three weeks have been a whirlwind of meeting new people, getting to grips with classes in another academic system and all the (sometimes boring) life admin you have to do to live somewhere new. The vast number of things I needed to do once I had arrived in Melbourne was overwhelming, so the aim of this post is to make it that little bit easier for anyone else embarking on exchange, particularly in Australia.

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A Covid Farewell

By Lauren Howie, the University of Manchester

Like many people on exchange this year, I didn’t get the send off I had anticipated. In our pre-covid fantasies we imagined a month of BBQs on the beach, sunset hikes and cocktails at those bars we just hadn’t got round to visiting yet.

The reality couldn’t have been more different.

How we imagined our send off to look like

PHASE 1: MOVING OUT

To begin with Australia wasn’t too badly affected by the virus. While the UK infection rates were rocketing, Melbourne was yet to record a fatality. But we couldn’t predict what was round the corner and staying in Aus during a pandemic seemed risky, not to forget expensive.

With great hesitation, we ended the lease on our beautiful home and booked a flight back to the UK. Our decision to leave brought about a mad frenzy of selling furniture and rushed goodbyes. It wasn’t till we parted with our last pot plant, that we finally realised our time abroad had come to an end.

Well thats what we thought.

All packed up and ready to go

Only 45 minutes after we had gutted our ENTIRE house we received an email informing us that our flight had been cancelled and that unless we had a spare 10 grand lying around, we weren’t getting another one soon.

We were officially stuck in Melbourne with only Chinese leftovers, a legless table and a new family of mice for company.

Sitting in our empty home eating Chinese leftovers

PHASE 2: STRANDED

With no electricity and a rapidly deteriorating budget, things began to look pretty bleak. I made several attempts to contact the University of Melbourne in hope of securing temporary accommodation. Much to my dismay, our host university took no interest in our plea for help. Running out of options we were unbelievably grateful to receive a message from my Aussie course-mate. Having heard of our distress, she insisted we crashed at hers or at the very least used her wifi while we sought for solutions.

My wonderful coursemate & her dog missy

PHASE 3: LOCKDOWN IN AUS

After a much needed 2 days away from the family of mice, we were ready to launch our covid action plan! We had struck lucky with an incredibly cheap air bnb in the city centre as well as a new flight home in a fortnights time.

Making the most of a ‘bad’ situation we spent the next 2 weeks relaxing in our apartment, playing boardgames, ordering breakfast, holding makeshift spa nights and learning Spanish. Overtime the supermarkets restocked and we found ourselves with a plentiful supply of loo roll and watercolours. Shockingly, lockdown in a swanky inner city apartment wasn’t all that bad!

PHASE 4: TAKE OFF

In the days leading up to our flight we constantly refreshed our inboxes expecting to see a dreaded cancellation email. To our disbelief, no email appeared. In a groundhog day like manner, we repacked, put on our face masks and headed to the airport.

Our airport experience was anything but normal. Firstly, our flight was 25 hours long but we weren’t allowed to leave the plane during our stop over. Instead we waited for 2 hours in the dark while cleaners; dressed as futuristic spacemen, sterilised every surface. Making matters more bizarre, no hot food could be served. With nothing better to do, we spent the last tedious stretch of our journey reminiscing and scoffing our faces with endless supplies of kitkats.

On the 25 hour flight

PHASE 5: REFLECTIONS

So it mightn’t have been the perfect ending to the perfect time abroad.

But I can certainly say that for the amazing people I met, the incredible places I saw and the unforgettable memories I made, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Farewell all, safe travels.

Lauren x

Melbourne’s Dollar Worthy Brunches

By Lauren Howie, The University of Manchester

So you’ve found yourself in culinary heaven … but you don’t know where to start? Have no fear, a Melbourne brunch guide is here.

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An Australian Summer – Festivals, Internships and Road Trips

By Lauren Howie, The University of Melbourne

4 months is a daunting amount of time. When I first heard that our summer holiday would stretch the whole of November to March I was slightly concerned – how would I fill all those weeks? 

Well not to stress, there is more than enough things to do in summer, whether it is going to festivals, finding an internship or travelling – you name it the list is endless! 

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The Highs and Lows of 2nd Semester

By Lauren Howie, the University of Manchester

After an incredible 4 months off uni, the stress of essay deadlines, 9ams and rushed breakfasts has become a strange and distant memory.

Before coming out to Australia I was anxious about my second semester. Would I have friends staying the whole year? Would I need to find a new house? Would I be ready to go home? 

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No.1 Spots @UOM’s Campus

By Lauren Howie, The University of Melbourne

No matter the day there’s always plenty of things to do around Melbourne’s campus from free BBQs and live music, to cosy study spots and farmer markets – the list is endless! So if your wanting to make your day at uni a little less studious and a whole lot more enjoyable, here’s a quick guide to my N.1 spots on campus.

Melbourne University Garden

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Time Out in Tassie

By Lauren Howie, The University of Melbourne

Unlike the other Universities in Australia, Melbourne’s midterm break is a gruelling nine weeks into the academic term. By this point you will defo want a holiday, so take that time to plan a great trip away!

Chain of Lagoons, Tasmania
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Moving to Melbourne

By Lauren Howie, The University of Melbourne

Time has soared by since I first set foot in Melbourne. Now 8 weeks into the Aussie dream (and loving every second of it) I’ve put together 5 life hacks that made settling into this fantastic city a lot less daunting!

Houses in Fitzroy
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Akhil’s Top 3 Tips for Travelling During the Semester

Helloooo Prospective Exchangers!

Hands down one of the best parts of going on an exchange is the opportunity to explore around the town or city you’re studying in. Travelling throughout the semester on short weekend breaks really gives you a feel for the country. These are quite general but if you’d like something more specific shoot me an email akhil.chauhan@student.manchester.ac.uk

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Akhil’s Guide to Finding Your Melbourne Dream Home:

So, you’ve managed to secure a place with the University of Melbourne. That’s great. On top of that, you’ve just flown over 10,000 miles, enjoyed and are just about ready to collapse from jet lag. In spite of all of that, things are looking pretty good, you should feel proud of yourself for getting so far (I know that I’m excited for you). BUT before we can kick off your dream exchange, we need to get you a base for the next few months, a place you can kick back and relax in between your Australian adventures.

*This guide is aimed at those who are planning on finding accommodation after reaching Australia*  

See the University of Melbourne website for information about University Colleges and other student only accommodation options.

Feel free to drop me an email if you’ve specific questions about finding a place akhil.chauhan@student.manchester.ac.uk

Here’s a rough map outlining where each area lies in relation to the University


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