The journey from Indonesia
I grew up in Indonesia with my mum, dad and my younger brother and sister. I lived in Bandung in West Java until I was 18 years old and then moved to Australia to study.
Bahasa is my first language so I consider myself to be very Indonesian. I came to Australia two years ago now and I’m about to start my final year at RMIT.
RMIT stood out from the pack
I chose RMIT because it's one of the top universities in the world for advertising. My dream is to become a photographer and art director, hopefully working in an advertising agency. I even did an internship with advertising agency Grey Advertising Australia last summer.
Before I started my degree I did the Foundation Studies course at RMIT, which is an excellent preparation for university. I studied English in high school but because I didn't use it in my daily life in Indonesia it was pretty hard to start studying in English full time.
Foundation Studies was really useful. I met lots of people from different countries and we helped each other improve our English. The course also taught me how to write formally, which has really helped with my assignments and exams.
It can still be challenging to get my writing right. I use the program Grammarly with pretty much everything I write and I also get a friend to check my work. The international students here are always ready to help each other.
"The thing I like the most about studying at RMIT is the great facilities available to students. I also love how many new people I get to meet. Unfortunately, the hard part is everyone is focused on their studies so sometimes I feel a bit isolated. That part is not so fun. But it's good to join a student club so you can meet other people with similar interests."
Spending 24 hours with Natanael
8am: I wake up and have breakfast at home with my little sister. She moved here to start university last year so it’s great to share this experience with my family. We have a small apartment in Melbourne. It's right near the university, so we can walk everywhere.
I don’t like getting up too early, especially in winter in Melbourne because it's so incredibly cold compared to Indonesia. I'm not used to these temperatures! Usually I make some food for lunch to bring with me. But we live right near the Queen Victoria Market so there's no shortage of food options. I walk past the markets every day to get to class so I'll usually get a coffee on the way – coffee is a big thing in Melbourne, it’s the best in the world here.
10am: I start the morning by getting ready for my first class. If I have time I usually skim over the readings again. My favourite place is Building 9 because it has some quiet areas and most importantly – heaters!
Midday: Most of my classes are in the middle of the day and the early afternoon. So, most days I go to all my different classes and tutorials. The subjects I'm studying at the moment cover art direction, copywriting and the foundations of advertising. They're all very interesting. Sometimes there’s not much time between classes, so I often eat my lunch on the run.
RMIT provides excellent equipment for students to use, for studying in and outside school, so we can develop our knowledge and experience. The library and study places are great and there are so many facilities here. There's definitely lots of support for international students, which has helped me get through my degree.
Afternoon: I’m working as a journalist for an Indonesian language magazine so I usually find a quiet nook on campus to work from. Work usually involves writing a story or two and posting it online. Then I try to go to the gym. Some days I like to walk around the city and snap a few photos.
I’m also the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for the Indonesian Student Association (PPIA) at RMIT, which is a non-profit group. Every year we run Project O, where we raise funds for education for disadvantaged children in Indonesia.
When I'm not in class, I like to grab a coffee, watch a movie on Netflix or read a book. My favourite coffee shop is this small place near campus – Little Rogue – which is super cosy and warm.
I also work a part-time job raising funds for Oxfam. It keeps me pretty busy!
Evening: At the end of the day I usually grab dinner with my sister. We usually cook a meal together but sometimes we like to explore the restaurants nearby. We're Indonesian so we love spicy food. My favourite place to eat is a restaurant called Rose Garden, but there's a lot choose from.
I then head to bed so I can wake up... and do it all over again.
Thinking about studying at RMIT? Browse our International Student Hub to find out more about life at RMIT as an international student.