Tim: What makes a good exchange experience? Lockdown of course!

To whom it may concern 

I have been in Melbourne for the last month and it has been a great experience so far. Although we have been in lockdown for most of it, being stuck in our homes has never been better. Apart from occasionally falling into the Netflix and YouTube rabbit hole, I have been productive with things like chores, uni work and settling in. I have also somewhat enjoyed doing adulty tasks like going to the supermarket/Victoria market and trying new recipes (some turned out pretty inedible though). Even though we haven’t explored much of Melbourne yet, there have been many memorable moments. These highlights include playing Monopoly Deal in the Royal Victoria gardens, going for a cute walk along the Yarra river, and dinning at vibrant restaurants that I definitely can’t afford.

In many ways, Australia is very similar to New Zealand. But there are a few things that caught me by surprise, for example:

University classes: Here in Melbourne, we generally have less classes with most of them being longer than that in Auckland. As a result, I would start to doze off halfway through every lecture which never used to happen. 

Supermarkets: The supermarkets are great here, but don’t expect to find your favourite food items here in Australia. For example, I noticed that their ice cream section is a lot smaller than New Zealand’s and items like kettle chips and iced animals are nowhere to be seen.

Public transport: Unlike Auckland, public transport in the city is so convenient and frequent. One reason for this is the tram system that runs throughout the city all day for free. You can expect trams every couple minutes into the city.

City size: Of course Melbourne city is much larger than Auckland but I didn’t realise how large it actually is. One minute you’re walking down a random alleyway checking out restaurants and the next you’re in a hidden 5 story mall. Also, The University of Melbourne is massive. I thought the new UoA engineering building was impressive but expect 20 of those scattered around campus. 

So far the trip has been great and I cant wait to experience everything Melbourne has to offer. Lets just hope we aren’t in lockdown much longer. 

Thanks for reading this amazing work of art Until next time!

Tim

Us being tourists
Somewhere along the Yarra river
Me slapping at monopoly deal

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