Letter from Melbourne: My Journey to 'the OZ' Australia

Letter from Melbourne: My Journey to 'the OZ' Australia

By Kathie Vu Pham, CIS Alumni Class 2015 - 2016, current student at University of Melbourne, Australia.

Hey there CIS-ers! For those who don’t know me, I’m Kathie and I graduated from CIS in June 2016. I am currently a first-year (or in Aussie’s slang - jaffies) student at The University of Melbourne, Australia, doing Arts, and my major is Media and Communication.

It has been nine months since I first stepped on the land of kangaroos and koalas. Melbourne is wonderful! Well, aside from its inconsistent and weird weather, Melbourne is such a great city for international students. You can find heaps of restaurants, cheap eat ones or fine dining, offering a variety of cuisines from Turkish to Korean, from Greek to Vietnamese, and so you get a chance to glance at culture through various foods!  Also, Melbournians are super friendly - they will ask you if you need help then they will try their best to help you out!

What distinguishes  Melbourne is its tram system - massive and extremely convenient it makes it easy to get around the city. Also, behind planned and wide streets are graffitied back alleyways, which hide amazing dining destinations, for brunch or even for dessert. For people who love art and architecture, you will definitely fall in love with Melbourne in just a blink of an eye. You will be surrounded by artworks on walls, graffiti in laneways and be amazed by the harmonious blend of 19th century Victorian and modern architecture. You will eventually be glad you chose Melbourne as your uni city!

I feel like I went a bit off topic there, so let’s jump to a more exciting part: life at uni! As I mentioned above, University of Melbourne is where I am studying my undergrad. I was completely petrified during the first couple of days.  I wasn’t able to grasp my first lecture - it was Criminology - because of the Australian accent; but I slowly got used to it - and at work today, someone asked if I was born in Melbourne!

Aside from that, university is fun! I get to study what I’m passionate about, networking with people from different cultures with the same hobbies and interests in clubs and trying out new things , like dancing. Through these extra-curricular activities, your social circle expands and you learn much more life experience from your friends, and that will help you know more about the city you’re living in and help you out in the near future, for example, finding a part-time job or just finding a place to crash overnight :)

 University can be a very exciting and enjoyable (well, except for exam periods) experience, and I have to admit, CIS has prepared me well for my journey in Melbourne. My previous experience with working with people Student Council and GIN Council has made me become more of a people person, more confident and helped me make friends more easily.  All the interpersonal skills helped me a lot in building my network. Besides that, being a student in an international school, in particularly CIS, provided me some awesome things and memories about being an international student to share with my local friends. High school also taught me how to use my time wisely - basically, I learned how to not procrastinate. Don't ever procrastinate while in uni because once you realize you need to study, you'll end up having two essays due on the same day and countless of lectures to rewatch (go to lecture - don't skip them!) and eventually you'll find yourself staying up until 3am in the library with 3 cups of coffee!

I hope you guys are doing well and having fun at CIS;  I honestly want to go back to high school because it was so enjoyable for me :)

If you have any questions about how to apply for universities in Melbourne or just my university life in general, don't hesitate to hit me up with a message. I guess that's all I have for now. Til the next article my beloved CIS-ers!

Your Kathie,