Being an international student at Monash University
Attending university is difficult as it is, let alone in another country. I had a typical study abroad nerves before coming to Australia, however, since I arrived I have been comforted by the exciting international community every single day. In this post, I hope to share with you all the varied resources and opportunities available to international students studying in Monash and more specifically in Melbourne.
I stayed in Richardson Hall last semester, and currently am for this semester too. I am sure that all of the halls are amazing for international students but I can only speak for Richo.
Richo has over 150 students making it a lively and welcoming place for students all around the world. Orientation week at the start of the year was a great opportunity to get to know everybody before the term started. For instance; the week consisted off a Mexican night, trivia quiz, and trips to the city. The Richo society is also great at organising regular events throughout the year, meaning that there are so many events taking place, whether that be ice-breaker kind off events within the halls itself or visits to places in Melbourne.
There are two weekly events at Richo which truly illustrate how welcoming the community is:
– Moose moments: named after the halls mascot which is a Moose
This takes place before supper and is a time for students to share stories about their lives. It is a great opportunity to hear from people all around the world and interesting facts about themselves and the place that they grew up in (and in many cases, the many places they have grown up in!). The turnout is always consistently high, making it a good time to get to catch up with people in halls.
– Stairway supper:
Richo is divided into ‘stairways’ and each stairway takes turns to run the weekly supper every Sunday, shortly after Moose moments. This gives you an opportunity to make food for everybody else within the halls, and also showcase some exciting food specific to your country! I’ve tried food from all around the world that my peers have cooked/baked, which has definitely been inspired by the organised weekly supper.
TL;DR: Richo is a truly international place, and perfect for students all around the world to feel welcome!
For this semester at least, the Monash Student Association and Campus Community Division have organised a weekly event: Wednesday Sessions. This takes place in the campus centre where you can enjoy free food and major music acts, mainly Australian bands. This is a great opportunity to not only listen to some Australian music and try some Australian food but also to meet other people; whether that be making new friends or catching up with people you already know. I have really enjoyed going to Wednesday Sessions and will genuinely miss it so much as it is a great addition to my week, being something that I look forward to.
Along with the many clubs and societies available at Monash for specific interests, there are also societies for varied international communities to find others who are interested in the culture too. You don’t have to be directly part of the community in order to be part of the society, I have attended events from the Malaysian society and made so many friends from doing so.
I definitely suggest that you check out the international culture societies available at Monash as it will give you a chance to make some friends and learn about other countries whilst doing so.
The Religious Centre:
The Religious Centre in the Clayton campus offers multi-faith services. It is used by many religious groups and anybody can visit. It also offers many services, such as readings of religious texts, meditation sessions or just an opportunity to seek some peace and quiet. The building is pretty much at the heart of the campus, representing just how diverse the student’s population is, making it a peaceful place for everybody.
Study Melbourne is a group which aims to bring international students all over Melbourne together. I went to their welcome party at the start of the year, where we tried to beat (and unfortunately narrowly missed) a Guinness World Record for the most number of nationalities at a dance party. This was a lot of fun and I got to meet a lot of students outside of Monash through it too! I recommend liking their Facebook page so that you can keep in touch with their events throughout the year.
They are based in the CBD which gives you the opportunity to explore the city more, which is always a bonus when you need an excuse to leave Clayton’s surrounding area.
Nothing makes you feel more welcome as an international student than realising that all your friends also have international experiences. This represents just how much pride Monash has in being an internationally friendly campus.
A group of my friends and I organised a potluck dinner to showcase a mix of Sri Lankan and Indian food, where we all dressed up too. This is by far one of my favourite highlights of the year as it gave me the opportunity to take pride in the Indian culture that I sometimes miss out on as an international student.
Shanita 🙂 xo