Tips to Thrive as an International Student in Orientation Week @UniMelb
Feb 3, 2023
Studying in a new country can be an exciting but also overwhelming experience for international students. I was a first year international student at the University of Melbourne in 2018 and I would love to share what I have learnt on making the best out of your first couple weeks in Melbourne.
Tip 1: Accommodation is incredibly important
Besides having a roof over your head, it’s important to note that since you’ll be spending most of your time at your place, it means your social experience will be vastly affected by where you live. Obviously, living close to uni means you have a bigger chance of meeting more students, the closer to campus the better. Some student accomodations try their best to provide a good culture and run activities besides being just your landlord, which is great. Usually accommodations such as Unilodge college square, Student village are great, and if you really value a unique experience, go for one of the colleges on College crescent, as there is 100% chance you’ll get social activities literally all the time and if you have meals 3 times a day with people you’re living with, there’s no way you’re not going to make any friends (unless you’re a sociopath)
Tip 2: Go to a club’s orientation
Some clubs such as Science Student’s society have really unforgettable orientation camps that literally has the most stereotypical activities: Speed friending, crazy events, partying, socializing, drinking games, etc. If you’re an international student, it might be a culture shock depending on where you’re from, but it’s a fantastic way to meet a ton of people right away, and get the ‘crazy university’ experience right away. It’s almost like ripping off a bandage, once you’ve gone through this orientation, normal university life is going to be a breeze. If you’re worried about things getting too out of hand, most clubs nowadays are usually quite respectful of your decision to not take part in activities that you’re not comfortable with, so you don’t have to worry too much.
Tip 3: Join the orientation challenge
Run by the University of Melbourne themselves, most first years students join the orientation challenge that usually happens during orientation week. You get put into a group with 3 other first years and accomplish tasks around the university, sort of like an amazing race for a couple days. You can really hit it off with some other students when you do things together! And many participants still keep in contact as they go through university. You can apply through here: https://students.unimelb.edu.au/new-students/melbourne-orientation/the-orientation-challenge
Tip 4: Join student organisations that have regular activities
Some clubs and societies, especially the food and wine ones, have a couple events every now and then during the semester, but what’s important is actually joining a student org that has regular activities going on, eg. Enactus - which puts you into a non-profit project that you work on throughout the semester, dance crews that make you go practice regularly or just join the student admins of any club or society, where you’ll be able to regularly see the same people and form longer lasting connections, instead of just going to one off events. Shout out to Stint, which has a 700 international student community with regular events and an awesome mission to get international students career ready and match them to employers, you can sign up here: https://linktr.ee/stint.community
Studying in Melbourne as an international student can be an exciting and enriching experience! With its high-quality education system, vibrant student culture, and multicultural atmosphere, Melbourne is the perfect place to begin your study journey. What’s most important, is to get your accommodation sorted, embrace new experiences and make new friends!