Twenty-one hours in a plane.
After a long, long, long time in a plane, I finally made it to Melbourne on a sunny Sunday morning! And for once, I didn't hear a single crying baby on the flight! Before boarding my flight, I wasn't sure how I would get from the airport to RMIT Village, my home away from home for the next four months. I was unaware there was a free shuttle for exchange students run by the University of Melbourne, but thanks to a fellow NYU student, I was able to get on the shuttle instead of dealing with the hassle of hiring a taxi. Crisis averted!
Brrrr, this is not how I pictured weather to be in July!
When I left NYC there was an excessive heat warning and the temperature was about 100 degrees with high humidity. Walking out of the airport was a bit chilly - only 55 degrees. In the sun, it's actually really comfortable. I mean, at least I can walk around without dripping sweat.
Although the space is small, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into my room at RMIT Village. Lots of shelf and closet space, so it's perfect. Although, after being here a day, I've discovered there is no heat, so it's pretty much like living in Antarctica. Luckily, it will get warm soon and it won't be a problem. First thing I did? Shower. And it was AMAZING! The first shower after long flights is honestly THE BEST!
Although I was tired, after showering and unpacking I decided to walk around a bit with a couple of people on the shuttle I was on. First stop: Queen Victoria Market. There was SO MUCH STUFF! From clothes to shoes to wine to fuits and meats, there was EVERYTHING! One stop shopping pretty much! Unfortunately, I didn't take out any Australian money before I went, so I'll have to go back tomorrow and buy some fresh fruit! We walked further into the city and I was surprised at how many 7-elevens there are here! And we only saw one Starbucks! And I was shocked last fall when I saw a Max Brenner's in Boston, so imagine how shocked I was when I saw one here in Melbourne!
You think New York City is expensive?? Come to Melbourne then!
And I thought things were expensive in NYC. I paid A$28 for soap, shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste at the Big W (can't figure out if it is most like K-Mart or Walmart). It is going to be a LONG 4 months on a college student budget. Even this morning when I had a slice of banana bread and orange juice from a cafe, I paid A$9! I definitely need to stock up on groceries and inexpensive fruits and veggies from the QVM and limit eating out.
Orientation at UniMelb!
After sleeping 12 hours, I felt rested and ready for the first day of orientation. The orientation sessions today covered the basics of school and life at Melbourne and how to enrol in classes tomorrow. Oh yeah, and minimum wage here is A$18. I'm definitely considering getting a part-time job, but I definitely have a lot of things to consider first. I definitely want to focus on my studies and getting to experience Australia to the fullest.
The University of Melbourne is great - it actually has a campus!! Coming from NYU, it's just perfect. It's something that I feel I really need to experience for at least a semester. It's great going to NYU and having the city as our campus, but actually having a set square containing the campus is something that will be nice. Some of the buildings are really old and pretty, too! More pictures to come!
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