I am officially halfway through my semester in Melbourne, Australia and I have loved every second of it. It was a rough first week or so, but after I figured out the public transportation, everything else just came naturally. I am in Geelong, a suburb about an hour outside of Melbourne and, despite having my doubts, it has ended up being the perfect place for me. I am 30 minutes from beautiful beaches, like Bells Beach and Torquay, and am 15 minutes away from Geelong CBD, so everything I want is at my fingertips. Australia as a whole is a very hospitable country, so almost everyone I have met has been so kind and helpful, especially once discovering that I am an international student. This has been one of my favorite parts of being here; I have gained the confidence to approach strangers and I have loved engaging with the locals.

Academics here are a bit different from America, which I am still struggling to navigate. I only have one lecture and one seminar (similar to a recitation) per week for each class, so a lot of my education is self led through the other required resources in my classes, like readings. There are also a lower quantity of assessments, but they are harder, take up more time, and are worth more of my grade. I am not sure which I prefer, but I do enjoy not feeling like I am just doing busy work, like weekly fluff homework assignments.

I have been able to easily take excursions around Victoria, my state, because there are busses and trains all over the place. I love going down to the coast, and I am so close to the Great Ocean Road. Victoria is one of the less touristy states in Australia, which it makes it feel a lot less crowded and feels more liveable, which has helped me make this place feel more like home. Since I do not have a car here, any other travelling outside of the state has to be done by plane. This has made travel plans a little more expensive than I planned, but a roundtrip flight to other cities like Sydney is only about $120, so it is manageable for weekend trips here and there.

Here is the 12 Apostles, a stop along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Being so close, the Great Ocean Road is somewhere I enjoy going a lot, to either hit the beach or just to enjoy the lookouts.