Exchange students new to RMIT tell us the best and most surprising things about studying in a foreign country, getting to grips with a new language, and sinking into Melbourne student life.
For experienced RMIT students rushing to get to class on time, either chasing down trams or strolling from their on-campus accommodation, university life can quickly become second nature.
But for fresh faces new to Australia - let alone to 8am lectures - it’s not just about managing your timetable, but also making sure you get the most out of the experience.
RMIT Global Mobility welcomed more than 500 inbound Exchange, Study Abroad, RMIT Vietnam Cross-campus and Singapore Institute of Management Inter-location students in Semester 2 this year.
Here are just some of the things this year’s exchange and study abroad students found out studying at RMIT.
Melbourne weather is always a shock
“Honestly, the most surprising thing about studying in Melbourne so far has been the weather. I have never experienced weather like this before!
“It’s been great though because there are a lot of international students here and I’ve been able to work with a lot of students from different nationalities and cultures.
"I really wanted to experience the cultural differences and move past the language barrier because I hope to one day work at an international company in Australia. The experience has already been better than I imagined.”
- Vu Tienn Thanh, Cross-campus Study, RMIT Vietnam
Studying in the heart of the city is full of surprises
“Studying in Melbourne, especially in the heart of the city, is constantly surprising – just the architecture, everything is different.
"It’s been my dream to explore Australia and when I discovered RMIT, a global university filled with people who’ve come from all over the world, it just worked really well.
“I’m really set on making the right steps for my career and so getting to improve my business skills and knowledge has been so beneficial.”
- Elsa Ferriol, Exchange, IESEG School of Management
Real-world experience is invaluable...
“RMIT is such a good school for design. It’s much more about what’s going on in the world and in real business, and I like that it has that practicality.
"I’d heard Australian people were nice, but everyone is just so friendly. It has been very easy to get settled.
“I’m hoping to meet people from all around the world and get better at English. It’s a challenge, now that I have to study in English too, but nice.
"I’m taking this course where we have to make something for a real business. I’m really looking forward to going out and working in the real world.”
- Cecilia Demant, Study Abroad, Copenhagen School of Technology and Design
... especially when you get to go hands-on
“I looked at different universities, I looked at the courses as well, but when I looked at RMIT, it just suited me completely because I wanted to do something I couldn’t do back home.
"It’s a different way to study here; much more practical and forward focused.
"I’m studying a design subject at home as well, but being practical isn’t a big part of it. It’s not as hands-on as I get to be here.”
- Sarah Larsen, Study Abroad, Roskilde University
RMIT students looking to build an international experience into their studies have a myriad of exchange and study abroad options. Find out more about global mobility opportunities at RMIT.
Story: Sean O’Malley