Jae Min: “You are now at Stop 1, Melbourne University. The doors will open on the right side of the tram”

The three troublemakers, and the compulsory box of monopoly deal

Since you guys probably didn’t get to see much of Melbourne University this year (neither did we 👀), Tim, Sasa and I (the three troublemakers 😪) had a photoshoot on campus for the funsies. Here’s how we did 😉

Some people just love the camera 🤦🏻‍♂️
Hide and go seek (…?)
Accidentally recreated a cliché K-drama scene (no, not the Squid Game kind 🦑🎮)

The campus is so incredibly beautiful! I kept thinking to myself what it would’ve been like if lectures were actually on campus this year. It would’ve been so amazing! There are so many buildings across the main campus, and it stretches for ages – just when you think you’re out of it there’s another couple blocks! 🚗 🚗 🚗 🚗 💨

I like how this picture turned out hehe
My attempt at nature photography
What I would have seen every day, if lectures were in-person.

Tim and I decided to make the big jump from tram track to bike lanes, and went on a couple of bike rides to spice up our Melbourne experience. We went on the Capital City Trail and the Brighton Beach Track, exploring places like Brighton Beach, St. Kilda, the Yarra River, and a great handful of places in the Melbourne metropolitan area. I must say, the Capital City Trail was such an eye opener! Who knew there were so many hidden beauties behind the wall of skyscrapers; Cycling by natural rivers, beautiful bridges, and seeing Costco for the first time are things I’ll remember for a long, long time.

Albert Park! But not the one in Auckland ;-P
$17 for 24 hours of biking – not bad!
Capital City trail – how fun!

I have to say, just when I thought there wasn’t anything else to explore in Melbourne, I was hit with a gust of new surprises! The bikes got us to places that were previously unreachable, and we managed to see another dimension to Melbourne that we couldn’t see before! Hidden parks, alleyways, attractions, and many more places that can’t be found on any ‘Top 25 must-visit places in Melbourne!’ websites – I felt like a real local 😎

Sasa really likes Pho
Mid bike-ride selfies!
Mask and you shall receive

Anything (even lockdown) is better with friends! Having friends to catch up with every now and then has made the lockdowns a lot more bearable (and dare I say, enjoyable?). We went around visiting all of the niche and local restaurants around Central Melbourne, and went and walked through a maze of alleyways and buildings. What I found fascinating is that to this day there hasn’t been a single alleyway without an interesting cafe, restaurant, or a beautiful artistic display/instalment!

Mandatory Brighton Beach Photo

First time seeing a ferris wheel!
Every alleyway in Melbourne has something special 😉 Found a nice bingsoo place in this one!

To conclude…

The past few months here has been awesome, but it also felt like a demo version of the true Melbourne experience. Too often I found myself thinking ‘what if?’, and imagining how much better this experience would have been without the pandemic-that-shall-not-be-named. But despite this, I did enjoy this exchange! There aren’t many people who can say that they’ve been on an exchange during a pandemic, and Melbourne has had a great bunch of activities that could still be permitted with social distancing. Do I recommend people to go on an exchange to Melbourne? Absolutely! Melbourne boasts being one of the southern hemisphere’s most culturally diverse cities, and you can feel that everywhere you go. It feels like a world-best coffee, pizza or croissant (or anything really) is always just an alleyway away.

Thank you all for reading my blogs!
Hopefully your exchange experiences are pandemic-free.

Kia kaha,
Jae Min 🙂

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