Student life in Melbourne

Exchange semester in Victoria University, Melbourne

Update 1.0

 

Hey guys!

 

I haven’t updating much new stuff here, but now I had time to do so.

Life is great here! Everyday learning and seeing something new.

From the sport aspect I am going in the mid-semester break to the Gold Coast and participate the Unigames with Victoria University (sport is football ofc). Also, with others exchange students, we have this kind of mixed team in Futsal league. It costs 70AUD to play each week a game there, so normally there are seven of us playing there and the cost is that how 10AUD per each. Beside team sports, I also joined the Universitys gym. In my opinion its good gym, also you get access to the swimming pool and group exercise if u wish so. This package, which is compulsory (you cannot leave anything out to get any cheaper) is 57AUD per month. In Melbourne that is quite OK price to pay and it takes 5 minutes go there from where I live.

 

I would love really much, if you would suggest me some topic from what I should write about!

So, comment anonymously below this post what you would like to hear about!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 


Footy

 

Hey guys!

Everything is good here in the Down Under! Weekly routine is starting to rollin’ and everything has become more familiar.

The hullabaloo what was in the first weeks has settled more down and people are getting more focused on university stuff. The first impression is that university studies here seems to be more ‘easy’ than in Finland. The truth will be find out later on, but this is the first impression. That is not bad thing, otherwise I could not do anything else than study. I am sure that from those units what I took, I will learn a lot of useful things for my future career.

We also went during last week to the AFL game, Western Bulldogs against Essendon. The sport is Aussie Rules Football, more familiar word in here for that sport is footy/footie. It was nice experience, although the atmosphere in the Etihad Stadium was suprisingly low. There were no fan songs etc.

Also, I am slowly starting to be healthy again after the flu. Football situation is a little bit open yet. I went yesterday to the University football trials. The level of the game was not high, but mine level wasn’t either. I haven’t done almost any sports in the past month and because of the flu my fitness is in bad shape. However, if and hopefully when I pass the try-outs, there is ‘heavy’ expenses to join the team. The highlight of the university football would be the Unigames, which are held in mid-semester break at the Gold Cost, Queensland

 


On Your Own

 

Hellou!

 

Today I don’t have fancy pictures, but I update you ladies and gentlemen, my dearest readers, about the life here in Down Under. First of all, the University has been very quiet about everything. Without your own curiosity you would be so lost. University has only kept us one orientation day, which last couple hours and basicly there wasn’t so much new or useful information. I found yesterday when I looked more carefully my VUCollaborate that I have to do couple assignments before the unit starts at 4th of August. Thank god, I found it early enough, because if I would haven’t digged deeper, I would have not maked to the unit.

Overall, life is quiet chill here at least for now. I am still a little bit ill, so I haven’t done any sports yet. However, I will look if it would be possible to play football (soccaaah) somewhere here. At least I will buy the gym card for the Universitys gym.

I still haven’t met other Finnish or even Scandinavian people here, which is kind of a good thing. I have to use my English language, which is really great thing. Also, I try to improve my German basics, because here is a lot of Germans. So, hopefully after the exchange semester I will be better not in one, but in two languages!

Cheers!


My Units for the Semester

 

Today I am going to introduce you what units I took for my exchange semester.

I chose four (4) units, which equates 30 ECTS in JAMK. Every unit is worth of 7.5 ECTS. In JAMK we mainly have unit sizes of 3,4 or 5 ECTS, so it’s interesting to see, do these units require more work and effort than normal unit in Finland. Here was no special units for exchange students, so it’s required to speak fluent English that you can succeed in this University.

Here is my unit selection, tap the name of the unit if you want to read more (description, details, learning outcomes and assessments)

 INTRODUCTION TO ADVENTURE IN SPORT AND ACTIVE RECREATION

 ETHICS IN SPORT MANAGEMENT AND ACTIVE RECREATION

 GLOBAL STUDIES IN FOOTBALL

 SPORT SPONSORSHIPS AND PARTNERSHIPS

I have no idea what kind of units they are, except what the description tells about them. Studies related to Sports seems to be quite popular here, but the study selection is so wide, that it’s almost impossible to find someone who has these units in this semester or done them before. The only option was to take something that sounded interesting and what I can’t study in Finland. As you can see I did not choose any overall business units, my selection is fully focused on sport.

I will write here later how units differs from Finland standards. Are they ‘more difficult’ here in the 2% of best universities of the world? Is it so hard to study when everything is in English?

Cheers!

 

 

 

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Waiting for the Next Week

Hey guys!

Everything is great here! Weather is not so sunny and warm that you may expect, but it’s not that bad! At least it should be getting warmer all the time..

Days have been mainly past by hanging with our roommates, visiting the centre of Melbourne and drinking etc.

In the weekend most of the exchange students are going to an orientation trip. I didn’t book that because it seemed quite expensive for two days trip and I have plenty of time to travel after my semester ends. So, the weekend is maybe going to be peaceful for me and I try to recover from the flue that I have at the moment.

The semester is going to officially start next Monday, before that I am going to make a post about the units that I took!

And here is of course some pics from here! Somehow I have already used 10% of the picture capacity,  so later on I have to delete some earlier pictures.

Cheers!

 

 

 

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It’s All Good out Here!

Hey guys!

It’s now evening of my fourth day here in Melbourne.  However, it doesn’t feel like it. I have already meeted so many new people and got new friends. I use to live in a solo in Finland, so this shared flat with 5 roommates is a whole new experience for me. At least  for now it has been only positive. Our room is quite popular one, here is usually always people hanging who doesn’t live here and the music is on. But it has been fun, this way I get to know more people and here is never boring!

In these past days I have stayed most of the time at Footscray area. I have already visited Victoria University’s Footscray campus, which is a huge (the picture shows very little of the campus). Tutorial day is at Tuesday, so I have couple days left until the official opening of the semester. It takes approximately 20 minutes to get into the Melbourne center by public transportation or Uber/Taxi. Footscray is quite ok at the day time, looks like a regular suburb. Based on the experience of the center of Footscray, this area seems to be in favor of Asians and Africans. We have been adviced that after 7 pm we should not walk here alone, but I haven’t encountered any problems. What I heard was that a little shop next to UniLodge was robbed twice in a two weeks just when I arrived. In the center of Melbourne I have been couple times in the bar/nightclub and today in the Aussie Mates meeting. The first impression is that it seems very much like a every other big city. In the future, I will have more experience of that!

Eating is quite expensive here. They don’t have here student discounts for or any student price meals. Grocery stories don’t have many microwave food options or they are pretty expensive. That is why people in here use a lot food delivery services or eat out. One of mine roommates Guy use to be a chef and he likes to make ‘real’ food, which is a great! We can buy together ingredients, split the costs and cook something good to eat every now and then!

 

This was just a little check out what is the situation here!

If you have any questions or maybe proposals for the next topic, comment it below!

Cheers!

 

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All the New Things

Hey!

I have been extremely busy during my first days in Australia! This is my third day here. It was a good choice come here a little bit earlier than the school starts.

I will now tell you something about the first impressions and what it has been so far! So, the flight from Bangkok to Melbourne went well. Even though I did not sleep at all  –  I don’t know, the flight would go easier and faster if I would sleep, but somehow I’m too restless and just watch the movies and tv-series.

You may have heard stories about the Australia’s Immigration and Border Protection and/or watch the tv-show, which comes from Finnish tv-channels. There were also this time a camera crew, or there were signs that told about them, but I didn’t see them. However, everything went really well! Better than I hoped for, I was guessing that they would complain about my football shoes or something else… Because you cannot bring dirty sport equipments or anything with attached to soil. I don’t know would they just made you clean them or would they remove them, but luckily I didn’t have to find about it. The passport control didn’t have any line and I just walked through and the custom didn’t stop me!

After I got through custom, I started to look out my driver, which I ordered from the Victoria University. I searched approximately 15 minutes from the area that I was told he would be, but I could not find him anywhere. Finally, I found a guy with a similar sign, which told me that he is not the right guy, but the guy who is coming for you (and a couple other students) is right there behind you! My driver was sitting in the corner and playing with his mobile phone… He didn’t bother to show the sign or try to have any eye contact with anyone, but luckily I found him and thats for it. I waited with the driver one hour the other Asian students and than headed to my accommodation UniLodge. It took approximately one hour drive from the airport to the UniLodge.

The next thing to do was the registration, which did not go without troubles. The registration took about 20 minutes, I had to sign dozens of papers and this point I was quite tired, because I had not slept at all in the last night and the time difference did get even bigger compared to Finland. I had asked earlier in the email conversation between the UniLodge that can I pay my “pre-arrival” payments with American Express, which includes two months rent, another security deposit, community programm fee and the whole kit & caboodle. They had answered that Yes, they accept it, but there will be added 2,5%, because of the credit card payment, which was fine to me, cause bank will also take they part from the international money tranfer. However, when everything was clear, I had my room card in my hands and the papers were signed, I tried to pay my payment, the card reader didn’t accept it, and they said that: Oh yes, we don’t accept American Express.. In this point I was little upset, because I didn’t have enough money in my Finnish VISA Electron or even if I had the amount, the payment limit would have declined it. The reception crew was very friendly and told me that I can pay it later and just send the receipt to their email and it was OK that way. I got this handled later in that night, but without their co-operation I would have been in trouble…

I took my luggages with me and started to search my room. When I got to my room, nobody was there, so I started to get the WiFi working, because I had to contact with my parents concerning this payment that I could not do with the American Express, which was the original plan to handle all the payments during my stay in UniLodge.

After the stressful day I got everything handled! But this was a good reminder that arrive early enough that you can get all the basic things in order before the semester starts!

I’m staying in a shared room with 6 roommates. Rob from Netherlands, Gabe from Portugal and Guy from England. They all are really great guys! A guy from Japan is not present at the moment and the last guy nobody really knows, but he is not at present either.

Have to say that this accommodation is better than I could wish for! Here is an amazing atmosphere between the student residents! Everyone is very kind and you get instant a feeling that you are very welcome here! I absolutely think already in this point that this was the best choice to stay!

I will write more about my accommodation and the student life here soon as I can! I have been really busy to learn all the new things and get my life rolling here. I have not even realise to take any of good pictures from this place, but I added some sneak peek! I took these pictures right after I arrived.

This was just a scratch from the surface, but I hope that you get something out of this!

Cheers!

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First Leg of the Journey

 

Hey guys!

My journey has officially started! I am now staying in Bangkok, Thailand in my fathers apartment. My flight went well and both luggages arrived safely! I think that I don’t yet have any idea what I signed into, but I bet that this journey will be extremely fun and amazing experience for me! After I woke up from my nap, I went to the relaxing foot massage, amazing beef restaurant called El Gaucho and played some billiards!

Also, I finally got registerated MyVU portal, which is basically Australian counterpart to Finnish Optima, but there is much more info! I also got my Australian student email.

I was also invited couple weeks ago to WhatsApp group called Aussie Mates. The conversations are increasing rapidly, when people are arriving from all over the world to Melbourne and they got all kind of questions. Many of them are staying in UniLodge accommodation, which is also mine accommodation. So, it’s nice to see that I maybe chose the right place, because I did not have any idea that is that “popular” place etc.

I found also, that Victoria University has some cool Uni clothes! Might buy some for souveniers and to myself!

Check them out here

Now it’s time to have some sleep. Cheers!

 

 

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Four days to go!

Hello guys after one week of media silence!

I have been extremely busy with everything going on my life; playing football, taking care of moving and woodwork (helping my relatives). I haven’t even thought about the fact that I am moving less than a week to Australia! There is still plenty of things to do before “everything” is clear.

The next things that I should do before leaving to Australia are these:

 

These are not so complicate to handle, but all of this takes time and when you have to do something like these regularly! I will take care of these task tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am going to travel to my home town Varkaus, where I am going to stay until I leave to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. I have to start the famous packing operation… I will check in two luggages and one hand luggage. I hope that I get everything fitted in these three luggage! There is so much stuff to pack. For example, sport stuff, autumn clothes (there is not so warm when I am arriving), summer clothes, hygiene stuff etc. I try to take everything necassary with me, so I don’t have to buy everything in the first place, because I know that I will/have to spend money anyway there.

I got feedback that my blog needs more pictures, so I try to add them more to demonstrate things better and of course in the Australia I will take a lot of pictures!

I will write again soon, have a nice day!

 

 

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The Preparation Hassling

 

 

Today, I am going to introduce you what I did after I got the acceptance from Victoria University!

After the confirmation of exchange studies, I got a lot of PDF files from the Victoria University, which were full of information what to do next. Also with a little googling you will find everything that you need to know!

Actions after the successful application process:

 

  • Apply VISA ! It can take some time that it will be approved and you will need your VISA number to get the accommodation!!! So, do the application right after you get everything clear with Victoria University. I took the Student Visa, but you can also take the Working Holiday Visa, which will give you more freedom to work while you are studying (I would not recommend this, because you can only have this type of visa once and you probably don’t have a place or time to work within your exchange period). Take enough time to do the VISA properly! There were over 20 pages and it can take easily 1-2 hours.

 

  • The flights. I took the flights before I applied VISA, but if I remember right its not necassary to book them beforehand. My flight route is HELSINKI-BANGKOK by Finnair, BANGKOK-MELBOURNE by ThaiAir and same back to Finland. So, I will stay four days in Bangkok before I fly to Melbourne. I don’t know what was my exact ticket price, because I got the Bangkok-Melbourne-Bangkok flights covered with my fathers flight points, but I recommend to book them early and compare the prices. However, the tickets are going to cost a lot of money, but that is just how it goes if you want to fly to Australia! You should arrive at least couple days before orientation week starts, that you will get used to the time difference and get familiar with the basic things! I will be arriving Melbourne week before the orientation week starts (12/07/2017).

TIP Victoria University offers free airport pick-up, so you don’t have to worry your transportation!

  • Accommodation. This is a big and an important decision and for that reason, I will write soon an own post of this topic! Keep in touch!
  • Financing. Of course, this depends heavily on your financial situation. Shortly, the point is that Australia and big cities there including Melbourne are expesive place’s to live and for that reason you should be aware of this and be properly prepared. You apply grant money from JAMK. Normally it is paid 3 weeks before your school starts, but in my case someone is at the holiday and they pay me in some point after mid July (hopefully!). Also, you should apply from KELA financial support, but the amount of money is close to normal student grant, except student loan is much bigger (800€/month).
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You will need an insurance for your exchange period. This is required by the University and VISA terms. Victoria University’s preferred provider is Allianz Global Assistance, which is the insurance that I took. They got a representative at City Flinders campus and Footscray Park Campus, which is my “home campus” for Sport Studies. The normal travelling insurance only last three months, so it won’t cover your exchange period. Of course, I recommend that you compare the prices of different companies, but I wanted to get this done and took the Allianz. It cost approximately 300€ for the whole time.

It will take time to get these things done, so start early when you get your confirmation from Victoria University (or any other exchange destination) and make them carefully!

Have a nice day and like always, don’t hesitate to write comment or ask if something comes to mind!

Cheers!


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