After weeks of traveling, we have landed ourselves back in Melbourne. Reality– a bright and sunny reality, but reality none the less. Indeed, our main reason for being in Australia was to study at the University of Melbourne, known to be one of the top Australian institutions. One of the first items on our agendas was to register at the university or uni as they call it here. We made our ways down the bustling urban streets of Melbourne to nearby suburb of Carlton in which the University was located.
Amongst a giant herd of 600+ exchange students we were introduced to what would be he next 4 months of our educational experience. Amongst the top hints the school informed us was…
:That Australian students appear to be laid back and never study, but they do, and pretend they don’t. So, don’t fall into a trap of following their lead, it is deceptive.
:That exams make up a majority of your work. Further, you could in technicality not touch the material until the exam, but this would be a mistake
:one-half of the class time would be spent in a small group of 10-15 students lead by a pod student where class based discussion and questions could be answered. These sessions are mandatory, if you do not attend, you are not valid to be graded.
: a small translation lesson
-a subject=a course
-a course=a major
-a college=your faculty
Overall, amongst a system which appeared to be rather bassackwards, I managed to still feel excited. Namely, I was surrounded by a beautiful campus, filled with mini coffee shops, seating and grassy areas, and clubs to join. Unsure of how to go about meeting new students, we joined the wine tasting club which takes groups to vineyards for tastings as well as a yoga group which offered courses and free vegetarian lunches. More on our clubs later.
Taking our first walk around school and the campus, it appeared to be massive! A mix between which I would imagine Oxford to be like, and an ultra modern city campus, all held together by grassy pathways and benches under regal archways. Passing by our business school, it became rather obvious to us while it was called the SPOT building, as quite literally it was covered in spots. Overall, I was not quite sure how I felt about this architectural touch. Walking around Melbourne, it seemed as if many architects decided to do similar things– design modern buildings, and then find some way of adding a random signature, such as covering it in spots, or rainbow plated windows. In any case, it had nothing to do with the actual structure or contents of the building, it just seemed to bemuse the tourists and the town. In the end, I suppose the spots are hurting no one.
Enjoy the following pictures, a scenic walk through campus on a bright and sunny day amongst the occasional palm tree.