I personally consider my experience in Melbourne as pretty awesome. I’ve never once regretted my decision to study here. For the past four years, I’ve learned lots of things – how to be independent (money and time wise), how to do chores, and definitely how to read a map!
In regards to my study, I’m currently enrolled in Monash University as an undergraduate in marketing, minoring in economics. When thinking about university life, the first thing that pops into my head is the bundles of assignments. They are mostly very practical, and trust me, if you sucked at Maths in high school, it doesn’t necessarily mean you suck at calculations. Because with university, things are much more practical, and I do a lot of live assignments (i.e. working directly with organisations).
I was doing my marketing research methods unit once when I was given the task to conduct a market research for a well-known firm in Australia. It was a competition-based assignment, and my team went to top five (wheee!). Even though we didn’t win, that was still an experience that I will never forget. I went to the office, presented and chatted with professionals there, and totally loving it (I also received a certificate for it by the way)!
The thing about group assignments is that I get the chance to work with people from different countries and background. Having a multicultural group mates is actually quite challenging. You’ll have to adapt to the way they think and work, and some disputes will definitely take place. But at the end of the day, these group works have helped me to better connect, engage and deal with people from different backgrounds. They open up my mind for sure.
Considering other university activities, I often join the events, which some are quite interesting. Last time I went to a career seminar hosted by a student organisation at Monash, where there were a lot of companies looking for graduates. At that time, I dressed up and talked to professionals from large firms in Australia, which definitely added my experience. Another event that I particularly enjoy was the cultural day event at my campus. There were a lot of stalls with different themes (country-based), and they were all giving free food originated from their countries. Cultural games were also presented. So when you are at uni, never stay sound! You should always get involved with things around you!
Outside university life, I dedicate most of my time to my communities. Another good thing with studying abroad is the number of communities that you can get involve in – the ones that fit best for you. Church is definitely my top priority, and I also do some volunteering with the young professional community from my church. Some highlights were my volunteering activities with ID Live, when we hosted Jayesslee Live in Melbourne concert, Tau Tau Melbourne (information day dedicated for new Indonesian students), and many more. Getting involved in communities is definitely beneficial for my networking, communicating, and organising skills. It helps a lot in resumes as well.
I also have several work experiences. My first two jobs were at cafes, mostly doing cashier and cleaning related tasks. I know they sound boring and tiring, but it is fun to have experienced that, because I won’t have the chance to do them in Indonesia. However, during my third year in Melbourne, I finally landed a non-physically exhausting job, and it happens to be my current job. I work as a marketer/admin girl at a water conservation and financial consulting firm. With working while studying, I have the chance to translate my studies to work (being practical and all). So having a part-time job is a definite yes for me.
Aside from uni, communities and work, I also enjoy the culture and events here in Melbourne. I love attending shows, concerts, film festivals, and many more. These are the things that I won’t normally find in Indonesia. Especially with the weather in Melbourne, it is much easier and more comfortable to walk around. Clearly, there are less pollution and humidity. Plus, during holidays, I will have the chance to plan trips with my friends to go interstate (Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, etc.).
Another thing that keeps me away from being homesick is the people. They are very friendly, nice, and easy to talk to (not all of them though). Love them!