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Hello, my name is Angela Hou. I am from Shanghai, China. I have been living in Melbourne since October 2016, but this is not my first time to Australia. I first came to Australia in 2015 and spent 2 weeks in Melbourne, 1 week in Brisbane and a few days in Sydney. Melbourne is my favourite city! My reason for choosing Melbourne is simple (but a bit strange), when I came here in 2015 I stayed in St Kilda. Early one morning, I went to cross a quiet street and a man in his car stopped so that I could walk across the road. I thought it was such a kind thing to do. That’s why I chose to live here!
Some things in Melbourne were a surprise for me. The weather! I did not expect to see such changeable weather. Also, Melbourne is quite expensive for me! There are many things I love about Melbourne, like the green spaces and historic buildings. I really like the Botanic gardens. Sometimes living here is challenging, like the fact that public transport that does not run very frequently and that I feel bored on the weekends because I don’t know what to do or where to go.
I’m looking forward to my future here. I am going to study Communications and Journalism at RMIT next year. I would advise everyone to follow their dreams and study what they really love doing. I chose communications because I love photography and one day I would love to make documentaries about social issues.
Brunswick and Northcote
Brunswick and Northcote are known for their community atmospheres, and both are home to a wide mix of cultures and religions. The area is popular for its cool vibe and easy access to the CBD.
Brunswick and Northcote are growing in popularity, not only due to their cheap costs of living, but also their comfortable feel. It may have something to do with the great coffee available, but the music venues, markets and outdoor areas certainly help too. Brunswick feels untouched by the masses, but still has access to fantastic places to eat and shop.
Northcote is increasingly popular with families with its somewhat retro vibe, and houses some of Melbourne’s best cafés, offering heaps of options to choose from to get your caffeine fix. Nearby, Merri Creek brings some green back into the area, making it feel less like the city and more like an average Aussie suburb. The CERES Community Park adds to its leafy surroundings and is a great resource for the locals. It’s free to wander around and check out the gardens and learn sustainability tips from one of their passionate volunteers. For lunch, A1 Bakery on Sydney Road is the best way to taste the multicultural flavour of the area. Super-cheap and extremely delicious, this Lebanese bakery and food store serves traditional meats, bread and dips at bargain prices.
If it’s shopping you’re after, Brunswick has its own Flea Market running every second Saturday of the month. Stall holders sell all types of wares, including vintage clothing and records. Northcote Town Hall plays host to a variety of markets throughout the year, with an updated schedule available on its website. Northcote Social Club is one of Melbourne’s most-loved venues, with music lovers packing into the band room to see their favourite acts. Sydney Road’s The Penny Black is another beloved venue, with its outdoor areas popular in the summer. Tuesday night is the night to take in an eclectic array of free music at Howler. The cool bar and art space hosts this weekly event to showcase electronic music, local DJs and whatever else takes their fancy.
Free & frugal
There are plenty of pubs in both Brunswick and Northcote, and most offer cheap meals on various weekdays. The charming Peacock Inn Hotel has $10 lunch menu options, as well as pool tables for a lazy Sunday game. The Cornish Arms in Brunswick offers a range of vegan and veggie food and has $6 pints of Aussie lager, all day, every day. On Westgarth Street you’ll find the Palace Cinema, showing both domestic and international films. Still holding to its old world charm, it also boasts a licensed bar. Movies aren’t as cheap as they used to be, but if you join the movie club you can grab a free ticket and discount tickets on your next visits. There are also cheaper tickets available all day on Tuesday. Get a team together and flex your memory at the Northcote Social Club on Tuesday nights at their free Pub Trivia, and enjoy their $5 house wines all night.
News and Information
It's been a busy few weeks for us as we welcomed 800 new students into the Foundations Studies program. For the first time, Foundation and ELICOS are together in building 108. We have opened up the newly renovated levels 3 and 4 and we think you'll agree, it looks fantastic! If you haven't had a tour yet, we welcome you to walk around level 3 where the new Study Support (formerly known as the ILC) centre is located and level 4 where you'll find the student café. Don't forget to go outside into new courtyard! We will be giving away free smoothies to all students every Friday from 10-11am in the level 4 student café.
We also welcomed a new member to the Student Experience team – Antonia Everson has joined Matt to help bring you everything you need to get the most out of living in Melbourne. We have a fun packed month of activities for everyone, so please join in!
Most activities can be booked here. Other activities are run by RMIT University and you can book them here. You are also welcome to come and see Matt or Antonia on level 3. We hope you can join in the fun with us, meet new people and practise speaking English!
News and Information
We finished 2016 with a bang with our end of the year boat party, where more than 300 of our students cruised the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay and danced the night away!
The Photography Exhibition people’s Choice Award ended and we are excited to announce that Shaas Al Najjar’s wonderful photo of the State Library was voted the most popular. Congratulations Shaas!
As usual, we have a great program of fun and interesting activities for you to do after class during Module 1. It all kicks off on Tuesday 3 January when we will visit the tallest building in Australia, the Eureka Tower. We also have a free BBQ in one of Melbourne’s most beautiful parks, Studley Park on Thursday 5 January.
All activities can be booked here as they become available.
We hope you can join in the fun, meet new people and practise speaking English!
Fitzroy, just 10 minutes tram ride from the CBD, is Melbourne’s hippest bohemian enclave with galleries, fine dining, hidden bars and vintage shopping. Visitors can grab breakfast and coffee at Brunswick Street institution Marios, or rooftop drinks at Naked in the Sky. Ultra-cool Gertrude Street is lined with local fashion boutiques and vintage stores, specialist book and vinyl retailers, plus some of Melbourne’s trendiest bars and restaurants.
Around the corner, quirky Smith Street in Collingwood, is known for its art and homeware retailers, galleries and studios, and happening late night scene.
To get there take tram: Number 11 from Collins Street or Number 86 from Bourke Street.
Some highlights of Fitzroy:
- Vintage clothes shopping at Vintage garage: http://www.vintagegarage.com.au/about
- Icecream at Messina: http://www.gelatomessina.com/au/
- Coffee at Mario’s: http://www.marioscafe.com.au/
- Mexican food at Trippy Taco: http://www.trippytaco.com.au/
- Punk rock at The Tote: http://thetotehotel.com/
- Drink at Naked for Satan: http://www.nakedforsatan.com.au/naked-in-the-sky/
Student Story – Lucas Hauptmann
Lucas is a computer science student from Brazil. He studied at RMIT English Worldwide (REW) for 20 weeks through the Science Without Borders scholarship program, an initiative of the Brazilian government. He will complete a year of study at RMIT University from February 2016, before completing the remainder of his degree back home in Brazil.
He chose Melbourne because of the overwhelmingly positive things his friends had to say about the city. They had recommended it above all the other places they had visited worldwide.
“Melbourne is very cultural. There is so much to do, like music events, festivals and museums that are available for everyone to enjoy, so anyone can go regardless of background, and you are included.”
He lives in Footscray with three Australians, which he says is great because he is able to practice his English every day and become more involved in the Australian culture.
During his time at REW, Lucas volunteered as a ‘tour leader’ to help new students become more familiar with the city. He has also volunteered in wider community initiatives including the Colour Run and Spartan Race charity fun runs.
One of the things Lucas has enjoyed most about this experience is how much his English has improved in 20 weeks, which has made him a lot more confident.
“REW teachers are very committed to the learning process. The classes aren’t too big so they are able to help each student individually and can focus on everyone.
“They clarify any question asked and always have the answer. They are very prepared and motivated.”
Lucas highly recommends both REW and Melbourne.
“Be confident in your own culture abroad and you will have a better experience. All cultures are rich. We can teach and learn from each other. Be active—search for groups to join, interact with people, don’t stay at home all the time on the internet but go out and participate and push yourself.
“I have definitely learnt more in five months at REW and living in Melbourne than I would in 10 years of English lessons in Brazil. It has been better than I even imagined it could be. I have no psychological barriers now and feel very grateful and satisfied.”