The perks of life on campus

Over the years you’ve survived many long days of school. Do you ever space out in class and catch yourself day dreaming about freedoms you’re eager to enjoy when you start uni?

Check out some of the perks our students are enjoying on campus and explore the lifestyle you can look forward to in your new life at uni.

Geena Glass
Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physics
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia


Take a break whenevs

At uni, I’ve never had a teacher tell me when my lunch break is over, to straighten my uniform, or to get off my phone. University life changes everything; you can do what YOU want with your time, and if it’s sunny outside, there’s no one stopping you from relaxing out on the grass with the sunshine.

Christian Liu
Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Relations
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia


Work on campus!

The past few years I’ve been working as a barista at the Standing Room inside the Student Union building. It works great with my schedule and makes it super easy to get to class between shifts. I also get the benefit of a discount on great coffee.

Eliza Lennon
Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Media & Communications and Criminology
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia


Put your skills to good use

I’ve been able to have a few of my articles featured in Farrago, which is a Uni magazine produced by students. I’m majoring in media and communications and see the magazine as a way to gather hands on experience in a working environment. There are also other opportunities beyond writing — you can contribute graphics, drawings and photographs, go on air with Fodder radio station, or help out behind-the-scenes!


It’s all about school pride

Joining the Melbourne Uni Cheerleading Pom and Dance team has been a great way to continue developing my dance skills (I started at the age of three). Spending a lot of time with a group of likeminded girls (there are also boys on the cheer and stunt teams!) has introduced me to some wonderful friendships.

We get to travel around the country to compete against other teams — we were in Queensland visiting the Gold Coast this year for the University Games competition and next year we’ll get to see Perth.

Joshua Stellini
Master of Architecture
Hometown: Kealba, Victoria, Australia


Never go hungry

The campus isn’t short of a variety of good food options scattered around, which makes grabbing a bite pretty convenient. As you can see, I enjoyed a roast chicken baguette for lunch from the LaBonne Bouffe French Café inside the Student Union building.


Natalie Ang 
Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Sociology and Art History
Hometown: Singapore


Plan your own time

Between high school and living at home, my schedule was mapped out for me. It’s great not having to check in with an adult on my whereabouts or what I’m up to. This means I can have friends stay over on weeknights without any hassle.

Varun Wijewardane
Master of Business Administration
Melbourne Business School

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia


Stay active on campus

It’s easy for me to keep an active lifestyle during my study breaks. I enjoy working out and it’s an important part of my routine. The are a few different Melbourne Uni Sport fitness centre locations, and as a student they offer cheap rates to access a range of facilities.

Felipe Yamashita
Fitness Instructor at Melbourne Uni Sport


Come to one of my group fitness classes!

I teach strength and conditioning classes a few days each week as part of the Melbourne Uni Sport fitness programs offered on campus (X train, bootcamp, cardio box and hardcore). I also like to utilise the great facilities on campus while I’m there to squeeze in my own workout. Students get the convenience of popping into one of my classes for an intense workout between their studies because of the easy access on campus.



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Our breadth subjects are awesome

There’s more to all of us than meets the eye. That’s why we offer breadth subjects —so you can mix things up and discover other interests outside your main area of study.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy an insider look at a few of the fun and interesting breadth subjects we offer.

Glee Singing

Share the joyous experience of singing popluar hits as a group activity with other students. There’s a lecture component that will introduce concepts and skills to get you performance ready for a small public debut at the end of the semester to show off your talent.


Student testimonial:


Mollie Borschmann

Bachelor of Science

Hometown: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Mollie pictured on the left side of her friend Harriet after finishing a quick rendition of the song “Royals” at a rehearsal.

“On the first day of Glee singing, my friend and I arrived a little late, so we entered the tutorial in the middle of a slightly chaotic but incredibly enthusiastic rounds singing exercise, not knowing quite what to expect. We slipped into place and immediately joined in the singing. I think we both had a moment of “wow we’ve picked a great subject” as we looked at each other midway through the song and knew it was going to be a good semester.

As a science student, being able to come down to the VCA once a week and simply just sing, really did seem almost too good to be true. I know for me it was a welcome break to learning chemical formulas or proposing a genetic hypothesis! Glee was a great way to unwind, but perhaps more simply to just enjoy ourselves and embrace having the opportunity to sing alongside 80 or so other uni students.”

MUSI20168 Glee Singing

Australia in the Wine World

Do you ever wonder how wine is made or where it comes from? Get to know the Australian wine industry while exploring different wine regions, and undertake wine tastings (sensory analysis) in this class.


Students at Dookie campus learning how to get wine out of barrels using a thief tool.

Student testimonials:

Freddie Simmons
Bachelor of Science
Exchange student from University College London
Hometown: London, UK


“The course gave me a good overview of wine in Australia that covered the history, the best regions and grapes, and the comparison to older wine regions in Europe.

This subject was exciting for me because I grew up in Europe and had been to many of the wine regions there. It helped me better understand my father’s passion for wine and make my own connection to enjoying it. Also, it was great to understand what makes a wine good, bad and expensive, etc.

The subject is offered at Dookie campus, which is beautiful in spring. It was also a really nice escape for me from busy city life, and provided a quiet and relaxing atmosphere to study in.”

Eliza Lennon
Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Media & Communications and Criminology
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia


“AGRI10039, aka Australia in the Wine World, is the infamous breadth that everyone during their time at Melbourne Uni thinks about doing. There are a lot of misconceptions about this subject and I’ll clarify a few myths from my own experience. You don’t get drunk in this class – it’s an intensive subject with heavy content, so being sober is a must to participate and learn during class.

The subject is very hands on and requires you to be involved in the practicals. This is not to say that the subject isn’t fun; this has been one of my favourite subjects so far. Not only do you learn info you can impress your friends or family with at dinner, you also get to meet a range of other aspiring wine-tossers.

Check out my full review of the subject in the “Mythbusting: AGRI10039” article I wrote that was published in latest edition of “Farrago” (A Uni magazine produced by students) available on campus. It should also be up online soon!”

AGRI10039 Australia in the Wine World

When was the last time you tried something new?

Watch this short video to get a little taste of what’s on offer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education – just one of our ten faculties offering breadth subjects:


Sport and outdoor recreation

This breadth subject looks like heaps of fun, but also very educational. Australia has some of the most stunning beaches!


Learning via Sport and Outdoor Education

Here’s a glimpse of a few other subjects that are on offer:

There’s something for everyone and the choice is all yours! Hop online to learn more about breadth subjects or start your search to discover what’s on offer.

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It’s Change of Preference time

For Year 12s, life as you know it is about to change in an exciting way (no more annoying school bells or detention!). Heading off to uni is a big deal and you’ll be thinking about the lifestyle on and off campus. You’ve worked hard to get this far, so you definitely deserve to find the perfect match when it comes to choosing a course and uni.

Big decisions aren’t easy and our students are here to share some Change of Preference tips to help you make the right choices, and why attending Course Info Day is a good idea.

Geena Glass
Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physics
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia


Know what you’re getting yourself into

Looking into the structure of each individual course at different unis can be quite confusing. Melbourne is slightly different to other unis — you first complete an undergrad degree focusing on a specific area of study and then have the option to enrol in a graduate program to become more specialised in a specific field. My plan is to complete a masters in physics after my undergrad science degree.


A large number of subjects beyond first year at Melbourne have prerequisites. If you’ve already picked a major, look at what subjects you have to take in first year that will lead you down the track into third year for that major. If you’re undecided on a course or have questions specific to your needs, I definitely suggest attending Course Info Day and talking to a uni rep to get help figuring out the best options for you.


What is the Melbourne Curriculum?


Avoid major FOMO by researching your course

I know many people (including friends) who failed to identify individual subject prerequisites along with their course prerequisites, which caused a slight detour in their study path. Don’t let this mistake prevent you from getting into your course! All UniMelb undergrad courses require certain Year 12 subject prerequisites for eligibility, but there are also individual subject prerequisites required within your course that may not be the same. The online handbook is a great tool you can use to search specific information related to courses, subjects, specialisations or breadth tracks.


Discover interests outside your degree

Flashback: So I was at Course Info Day thinking about possible options for breadth subjects (while also distracted by my craving for another delicious Nutella crepe from Carte Crepes on campus) and my attention quickly shifted to a bizzare conversation I overheard:

“Taking wine tasting was really fun! But then again, I did enjoy African drum and dance. That said, I think hands down my favourite breadth subject was Glee Singing in first year.”

Wait, did I just hear that correctly? That can’t be right. I was intrigued enough to follow up on this and located the online handbook to search “Glee Singing” to see if it was a real subject. Funny enough, there it was with all of the subject information. To avoid confusion about a subject or doubting its existence, and to discover interests outside your degree, use the online handbook to take a look!


Get to know the campus

Take advantage of your time at Course Info Day to also check out the campus and its surroundings. Find a nice café and sit in the sun, explore random buildings and scout out a few facilities you might be using in the future. It’s important to make a connection with the campus because you’ll be spending a lot of time there over the next few years while you complete your studies.

Isabella Barker
Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology
Hometown: Bonbeach, Victoria, Australia


Get the clarity you need

After you’ve figured out eligible course options with your ATAR, start narrowing down your choices and researching course specifics. I remember feeling fairly confident I would study at the University of Melbourne, so I attended Course Info Day on campus to make sure both the course and University were a match for me.


This helped me figure out how the UniMelb’s degree structure differ from other unis, particularly for a psychology major as the requirements can vary by major. I also roamed around the campus to check things out and got a glimpse of what life might be like after starting uni.


Keep your dream courses alive at the top

The VTAC process can be tricky and I thought by putting a course lower down on my preference list it would affect my chances of getting accepted into that course. Not true! Universities really only note whether you’re eligible or not and they don’t see how your preferences are ordered. VTAC will only offer whatever is highest on your list that you’ve been accepted for, which is why it’s important to put your dream course at the top!


Find opportunities available to you

Back in Year 12, a few friends thought they missed out on their dream course, but actually qualified for guaranteed entry! If your heart is set on a course, then look into alternate routes for getting into it — do some research online or contact a uni rep to see what programs they might offer. Also, the pressure won’t be as high if you’ve thoroughly researched and found an awesome second choice as a back up plan.


Seek advice, but make your own decision

Make sure you pick a course that you want to study and not because your parents (or others) want you to. Also, don’t take what careers advisers say as the gospel truth. They support tons of students, so they won’t have the same amount of focus or investment in your future that you do. Do your own research early on before discussing with your careers adviser. This approach helped me discover course options and identify the required prerequisite VCE subjects.

Changing your VTAC preferences can be a daunting decision, but don’t worry, we’re here to help! Join us on campus for Course Information Day.

Parkville campus

Date: 16 December

Time: 10am – 2:30pm



Date: 17 December

Time: 11am – 9pm



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We’re proud to be no.1!

It’s been confirmed: Melbourne Uni remains the no.1 university in Australia and no.33 in the world!*


*Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016

We’re very proud of our rankings and our reputation remains strong, but how did we score when we asked students around campus what makes the University no.1 to them?

We explored our Parkville campus to ask students to share their honest feedback. Kate O’Shannessy (pictured below) was the first student we bumped into while she was enjoying a lunch break with a girlfriend.


Kate (pictured on right) eating lunch with her friend Faith at Pronto Pizza outside of the Student Union building

Kate O’Shannessy
Bachelor of Arts

I think the quality of lecturers and tutors here exceed international standards. It also has the rare ability to maintain a university campus environment while located in the heart of one of the greatest cities and the atmosphere allows you to forget that the heart of the city is right next door.

Melbourne is an aesthetically pleasing and vibrant place that represents cultures from around the world, and offers a student nightlife unlike any other Australian city.


Ian utilising the quiet study space in the library at the Melbourne Design School building

Ian Lobo
Bachelor of Environments

Studying at the University of Melbourne has given me opportunities to work with highly intelligent students from a diverse range of backgrounds, which has allowed me to broaden my learning experience.

Living in the city of Melbourne is great because it’s an amazingly friendly city that plays host to thrilling sport competitions and events that consistently have you on the edge of your seat!


Esther relaxing outside in the Systems Garden

Esther Zhang
Master of Engineering

I chose the University of Melbourne because of their great engineering program combined with the fact that I’ve been able to take advantage of the diversity of studies they offer so I’m able to pursue more interests.

I also love the fresh air you get in the city of Melbourne and definitely prefer living here over Sydney because of the vibrant culture.


Isabel picking up her bike parked at the lot behind the Student Union building

Isabel Baker
Bachelor of Arts

I really enjoy the architecture on campus and like hanging out at the Melbourne Design School building to study or relax in the lounge. It’s soothing because of the open space and massive windows and sitting in there helps me to clear my mind.

The city life here is great because Melbourne holds so much creativity and is a place filled with inspiration. There’s such a diverse genre of music here and on most nights you can find a local pub with an affordable gig. Recently I saw a local jazz/soul group named Hiatus Kaiyote perform. They were top quality, really approachable and so much fun!

Now we’re off to our Southbank campus to crash a few classes so our VCA (Victorian College of the Arts) and MCM (Melbourne Conservatorium of Music) students can weigh in with their opinions. This time we brought a video camera to give you a better view inside their world at uni. Watch to find out why these rockstars chose to pursue their passions at the University of Melbourne.

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Study hard then play hard

The idea of taking a break can be easier said than done, especially if you’re cramming in extra study time during exams while also keeping up with other responsibilities outside of school. These things can make it harder to schedule in the “me time” you’ve been craving.

It’s time to be smart about taking timeouts for yourself to enjoy life so you’re not constantly feeling left with major FOMO from all the fun activities everyone else is enjoying.

Taking breaks for your mind and body can increase your performance by giving you more energy to focus clearly and make better decisions.

Hear it from our experts

Lindsay pictured above enjoying a bit of exercise in nature with family

Lindsay Oades
Associate Professor, Positive Psychology
Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Lindsay pictured on left enjoying a bit of exercise in nature with family


Think about what you need

How you spend your time during breaks is important and some ways are better than others. A good place to start is by identifying where you need stress relief the most so you can use your breaks more purposefully. For example:

Mental distraction: If your mind is racing, then calming it through meditation or even a simple distraction like catching a movie is the way to go. If you are feeling low, then a night out with good friends will likely lift your spirits.

Physical distraction: If your body is tense then hot baths, stretches, massage or exercise may be the way to go.

A big night out is not always the best way to take a break, especially if it’s impacting your sleep (it’s important to get at least 7 hours of snooze). Be purposeful about how you take your breaks!

For more helpful information, I recommend reading Eat, Move, Sleep by Tom Rath.


Dr Gavin Slemp
Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs, Positive Psychology
Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Gavin pictured left getting a good workout at the Colour Run with friends.

Plan ahead.
Practice good habits.
Be mindful.

A good method to follow is allowing yourself time to unwind by planning for it in advance. This way you won’t have to feel guilty about taking a break or struggle with timing because it’s already blocked out in your calendar.A healthy and consistent sleep cycle, good nutrition, and exercise are all fundamental for wellbeing and academic performance. Another helpful routine you can try is practicing mindfulness for 10–20 minutes a few times each week.

Mindfulness forces us to think about the present moment by focusing our attention and awareness on our breathing or bodily sensations for a given period.  When we are doing this, it is more difficult to stress about upcoming assignments or exams. 

I recommend downloading the Smiling Mind app — it’s a free app that provides mindfulness techniques. It’s a good place to start if you’re curious to learn more and want to experience the positive mental health benefits of mindfulness.

Related subject available: Wellbeing, Motivation, and Performance (EDUC10057)

Student tips!

If you’ve been thinking of ways to unwind, we have some great tips from UniMelb psychology major Dingding Moa and local high school students that were on campus for VCE exam lectures.


Alma Park Zoo

Dingding pictured above at Alma Park Zoo

Dingding Mao
Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology
Hometown: Shanghai, China




Study Tip: During exam periods, I make sure to get enough sleep (around 9 hours). I think eating delicious foods can help you maintain a good mood, so I like to treat myself with some cheesecake. Also, I make sure to squeeze in at least 30 min of exercise every day before 6 p.m.

When I take a break: Exploring nature is the best way for me to unwind. Seeing flowers blooming and cute animals make me happy. I like to walk around parks when I am stressed and my apartment is near Flagstaff Gardens, so I often go there to relax and enjoy nature.

Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens

Dinding enjoying the blooming flowers at Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens


Hala Spear
Year 11, The MacRobertson Girls’ High School
Melbourne, Victoria


Study Tip: First off, just chill (that doesn’t mean be lazy)! You got this! Stop wasting your time writing notes and just do practice exams. Unless you’re really stumped with the concepts, writing notes aren’t going to help you prepare for the final exam.



When I take a break: I like to workout! Cycling, weight-training, yoga… pretty much anything! Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t fail their exams. They just don’t.


Tyler Pedersen-Hor
Year 11, Wellington Secondary College
Mulgrave, Victoria




Study Tip: Have a place that is clean, organised and free of distractions (no TV or smart phones!). You know what works for you, so customise your study habits to be productive.

06_Tyler_Music_webHow I take a break: To unwind I like to jam out on my tenor sax or listen to some Eric Clapton hits. I also enjoy a night off to join my local theatre group for acting or go on an adventure with my mates.


Samantha Clay
Year 12, Braemar College
Gisborne, Victoria

Samantha pictured on left



Study Tip: I tend to study in 45–60 min blocks followed by at 10 min break before starting again. I remove myself from all distractions (including social media) until my scheduled break. However, during a 2.5 hour practise exam, I’ll reward myself with a longer break.


When I take a break: I like to grab a snack, pick up a book, watch an episode of one of my favourite TV shows (Friends, How I Met Your Mother, iZombie or The Flash) or get a quick workout in at the gym or by running outdoors.

Jordan Sibberas
Year 12, Mt Lilydale Mercy College
Melbourne, Victoria




Study Tip: Teachers say don’t study with music, but we all know it’ll happen anyway. So, create a playlist that will help you focus in advance so you aren’t distracted by having to change the music.

08_Jordan_Guitar_webWhen I take a break: I can be found playing my guitar or out for a run. Both are fun and relaxing to help me feel refreshed if I’m overwhelmed with my studies.


Delaram Ansari
Year 12, Templestowe College
Melbourne, Victoria

Delaram pictured on right 



Study Tips: Something that works for me is to do practice exams, but NOT under exam conditions. I’d have my notes organised and give myself as much time that I need to complete. Then I’ll start practicing under exam conditions once I feel more confident.


When I take a break: I like to go out for a bite and enjoy quality time with family and friends. I also love to spend a bit of time outdoors in nature and visit art galleries.

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UMSU Student Market

What a gorgeous day for the Student Union Market on campus yesterday. There was heaps of cool stuff to buy and some of the goods for sale were originals designed by our creative students.


This semester’s market took place during Anti-Poverty Week (11–17 October) and sellers were encouraged to help counteract student poverty by either offering useful and affordable items, raise money for charity, or to just simply put the money earned towards their own student expenses.

We stopped by the Concrete Lawns to see what the fuss was all about and found an amazing array of items. Check out these pop-up shops we stumbled upon.

Little Things


Renee (pictured on right) and her sister Rachel at the student market

Renee Serraglio (Bachelor of Arts, but soon to be Science student) and her sister Rachel Serraglio teamed up with their Little Things pop-up shop, both showcasing their own individual brands and creations.

Little Hangings Jewellery

Renee has always had a passion for jewellery and started her own line under the name Little Hangings Jewellery. She makes some pretty cool accessories and brought some of her designs to the market.


“Making jewellery has always been a great way for me to take a break from my studies and to meet new people with similar interests.” -Renee


Little Wild Terrariums


Rachel sells terrariums, but with her own creative twist from her brand Little Wild Terrariums. She had a few glass skull terrariums for sale in her collection, which is perfect for the Halloween season!

Tati Tatti Design


Alumni Tatiana Massara (Master’s in Landscape Architecture) puts a creative spin on her customised jewellery and packaging that’s available from Tati Tatti Design.


“I was originally inspired from my architecture studies at uni and started using a laser cutter to create my own jewellery using bamboo.” –Tatiana

Check out their online stores to see the full collections available.

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Where Great Minds Collide

Watch what happens when the brightest minds come together to achieve incredible things at the University of Melbourne.

If we take a look back throughout the University’s history (established in 1853), there’s proof that great minds have continuously worked together to deliver worldwide innovations. Our new campaign is all about how our research helps create a better future.

Behind: Where great minds collide

Meet the students and staff around the University who collaborated on the making of Where great minds collide.

Check out the many incredible contributions that have come from a collision of ideas at the University of Melbourne and see what our new campaign is all about:

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G’Day from Australia!

We’re taking you on a digital visit to Australia—as seen through the eyes of University of Southern California (USC) student Nika Shahery.

Nika (pictured on right) with her sister at a USC tailgate in Pasadena, California, at the Rosebowl for a football game against rival school UCLA.

Nika comes from sunny Los Angeles (USA) and is currently on exchange here at the University of Melbourne. She has really embraced the Australian culture and was excited to share her experiences with us. Check out Nika’s journey so far.


Sitting outside on a fresh spring day at the historic 1888 building on campus.

Meet Nika Shahery

Double majoring with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor of Science in Planning, Policy and Development at USC in Los Angeles, California, USA

Study abroad courses at UniMelb:
Criminal Law & Political Justice
Global Environmental Policy
Human Rights & Global Justice
Israeli & Palestinian Conflict, Peace

Aussie Talk
All of my lectures have been intriguing so far and the professors are incredibly knowledgeable; however, I’ve noticed there’s a small language barrier. The professors may have been speaking English, but I found myself repeating back words like “methane,” “schedule” and “vitamin,” to name a few. The tables turned though in my tutorial: students laughed at my pronunciation of “aluminum,” as I did not pronounce it “ahli-umi-knee-um.”


Just finished an afternoon lecture in the Harold White Theatre on campus.

The city of UniMelb
The campus itself is a Disneyland of sorts; almost everything you can imagine is here in the little city of UniMelb. There are cafes, travel services, computer labs, libraries, hair salons, etc. Also, I’ve been fortunate to form lasting friendships on campus. I met one friend by sitting next to her after arriving late to orientation and I met Katherine (pictured on left) after realizing we both attend the same university back home—I guess we had to travel to a different hemisphere to finally meet.


Lunch with Katherine at Lot 6 café on campus.

Art + Coffee = Melbourne
The street life of Melbourne encompasses several parts of the city’s experience. The place is a mass gathering of contrarians, expressing their art in a variety of mediums. The street art reflects the accepted eccentricities of the public; it follows the anything goes attitude of the city that celebrates its hidden gems and liveability. Coffee is also a central part of the Melbourne lifestyle. Simply ordering a “coffee” is unacceptable. You need to name the preparation, sugar quantity and milk desired. It took a few times before getting my coffee order right.


More street art around the CBD and my now traditional soy latte (no sugar).

Graffiti and the Melbourne eco lifestyle
In my Criminal Law and Political Justice course, we focused on the multiplicity of appearances that graffiti takes on: while some view it as a criminal act exemplifying the allowance of other criminal behavior, others see it as expressions that beautify the city. Each time I pass by one of these expressions I begin to think of this debate. Before starting my semester at Unimelb, I had only a rough understanding of climate politics. My Global Environmental Politics class, coupled with the Australian climate conscious lifestyle—water bottle filling stations, turning outlets on and off, and biking–made me much more aware of my behaviour and has encouraged me to adapt.


Street art finds while walking to the night market.

I heart Australia
Seeing the Sydney Opera House in the flesh marked the first time I really felt like I was actually in Australia. Thanks to Finding Nemo, the Opera House is my biggest association with Australia. On a sunny day, Aussie beaches are the stereotypical representation of Australia’s surfing culture and more. As surfers shred the waves, sun bathers bask under the sun.


My view of the Sydney Opera House on a rainy day.


Sunbathing at Manly Beach in Sydney.

Studying at UniMelb was definitely a great choice
The classes are incredible and Melbourne is probably one of my favourite cities in the world. I can’t wait to share all of my experiences with friends and family back home!

Follow my adventures on my blog:

Would you like to study abroad at the University of Melbourne and experience Australia?

Check out our website to find out more about our Study Abroad and Exchange program.

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What do you know about internships?

An internship can be a great way to explore an area of interest or get a head start on your career path during your studies. We hit our campus to ask students what they know about internships and here’s the consensus:


The good: it’s a great resume builder, provides hands-on work experience, and there’s potential to have a job waiting for you after graduation.

The not so good: to sum it up—have you seen the movie The Devil Wears Prada?

We recently caught up with Bachelor of Science student Vivian Cheng and Lakeview Senior College student Tiia Kelly (she interned for us!) to see what they got out of their internship experience.


Vivian Cheng

Studying: Bachelor of Science

Hometown: Beijing, China

My journey started with a bit of inspiration
My passion for science was heavily influenced by two amazing people—my chemistry teacher at Trinity College and my boyfriend. They both motivated me to work hard academically and always pushed me to be my best self. An internship naturally seemed like a good idea to get more experience in a different learning environment. I completed a Science and Technology Internship at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources of Victoria in their BioScience research division, mainly measuring and recording data relating to genetic modification for a few different projects.


A glimpse into my future
I remember being very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Data entry wasn’t the most glamorous responsibility, but I knew this opportunity would be a good way to see into the future on what my career path might look like. I now realise how important my contribution was to the overall project I was assigned to.


My worst nightmare became a reality
I had just completed recording a large amount of data gathered from some samples and made a huge mistake by accidentally deleting the whole data file. The samples were now gone and I couldn’t find a way to retrieve the missing data. It was destroying the confidence that I had been building up. I was scared to tell my boss and was panicking, but to my surprise he was very understanding and that taught me a valuable lesson: we all make mistakes and we learn from them, and we can share our experiences to help others.


It was a major confidence boost
I could see the impact my internship experience had on me during my studies the following semester. I was more confident working in the lab and more comfortable communicating with other students, and I was achieving better academic results. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I’m so happy I invested in an internship. Even a negative experience can have a positive outcome.


Tiia Kelly

Year 10, Lakeview Senior College
Caroline Springs, Victoria, Australia


I wanted to experience it for myself
Right now I’m thinking about where and what I want to study at uni. I’d like to complete a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on journalism because I really enjoy writing, but this early on I don’t really know what that looks like. At my high school we’re able to earn credit by engaging in work experience, which is like a mini internship. I jumped on that opportunity so I could start investigating what my career path might look like. I spent a week at the University of Melbourne working in External Relations with the content team on the Parkville campus.


What did I sign up for?
I didn’t really have many expectations. If anything, I assumed I’d be mostly job shadowing or helping out with small tasks as needed. I was just excited knowing that I’d get to ditch my school uniform for the week! My first day on the job I was assigned to write a story on the Melbourne Writer’s Festival and Literary Awards for Voice, which is the Uni’s newspaper. I was a bit shocked and a little nervous because I didn’t know much about the topic and wasn’t sure where to start.

It was a little bit scary at first
I was also asked to write a few posts for the @UniMelb social media team. How cool is that? At this point I was a bit overwhelmed and afraid of failing because I’ve only had practice at school. I had to remind myself why I was there (my love for writing and the experience) and step up my game. Once I got started on my projects, I realised I wasn’t on my own and had many resources there to help me. This was my chance to learn as much as possible and it was ok to feel a little lost.


What I’m most proud of
I learned a lot from this experience, especially how to work in a team. There are so many projects happening all at once, so it’s important to work together and help each other out where we can. I’m very proud of the article I wrote because it’s the first time I’ve had my work published. I’ve noticed improvement in my writing and this work experience helped confirm my decision to study journalism. I can see the benefits an internship can provide and will definitely look into completing one during my studies at uni.

Head to our Melbourne Careers Centre website for more info about internships.

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#unimelbLyf with Josephine

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Meet Josephine! She’s currently in her second year of the Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Finance. She’s shared a week in her #unimelbLyf with us.              

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