By Kelly Rowland, Exchange to Monash University, Australia
I absolutely fell in love with Melbourne in the short time I spent there. It is, as many Melbournites are keen to remind you, “The Most Livable City In The World”. Melbourne is a huge sprawling city, with suburbs that go on forever, but it still manages to seem small. The city houses everything from old Victorian buildings, to new cutting edge skyscrapers, and lots and lots of green parks. Parks which always seemed to be in use, from the hordes that descend to run the track around the Botanical Gardens the cricket games that spring up, or the people like me who preferred lazing under a tree reading a book.
In my time abroad I opted to live off campus so I would be able to live closer to the city. I’m so glad I did! I was very lucky and was able to get an amazing flat within 10 minutes of the city core. I used that to my advantage as much as possible as it meant that I could easily take part in the endless sport and festivals that Melbourne is famous for. One of my favourite experiences was the Australian Rules Football (“Footy”) matches I was able to attend. Not only is the sport incredibly fun to watch, but Melbourne “Footy” fans take the sport very seriously and love to welcome in the initiated. At all the games I attended strangers were so excited to tell others about their favourite team, and teach you the chants so you could cheer alongside them.
Melbourne also always has amazing festivals going on. With festivals celebrating everything from beer to film, something was always being celebrated in the city. My absolute favourite was the renowned Melbourne Comedy Festival that ran from March through April. It took over the city and comedians were always on street corners trying to convince people to attend their shows. I loved all the crazy acts I was able to see and I felt like I learned a lot about Australia through seeing what makes them laugh (mostly it would seem, making fun of Tasmania). I’m so thankful for the time I got to spend in Melbourne. It was incredibly hard to leave, not only the fantastic friends I’d made, but also the city I had begun to call home.