NYU Stern

University of Melbourne: Student Feedback

Melbourne_Student Profile_2
Student Profile

Name:
Stephanie Borowiec

Career goal?
I hope to become a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and pursue a career in actuarial science. Additionally, I hope to go back to Melbourne and work as an actuary some day!

Highlight of my semester abroad:
One of the best things about studying in Melbourne was the culture of the city. It was very vibrant and I was introduced to a lot of new music and musicians, some of them known as ''buskers'' or street musicians. I also loved the laneways and the graffiti everywhere, especially on Hosier Lane! It is a city catered to students and there was always something new going on every weekend!

Interesting fact I learned about the country or school in which I studied:
Minimum wage is insanely high in Australia! It's close to $20 per hour! At Melbourne Uni, most clubs required an initial membership fee to join. This was usually $5 - $10 for just one semester, but it would allow you to have free food and drinks at club events!

You might be interested to know:
I never left the United States before I attended NYU. During my four years at NYU, however, I've been to six continents and over fifteen different countries. College is definitely the time to travel - it has definitely helped shape my college years!

What I would say to students considering participating in IBEX:
IBEX is an absolutely amazing program if you go into it with an open mind. Definitely make friends with students in your host country. It may be difficult at first, but once you get through the initial awkwardness and nervousness, you will have an amazing time! They, after all, are the locals and know where all the cool places are in the city! Hanging out with other exchange students can be fun, too, but make sure you don't pass up the opportunity to meet other students!

Contact me about IBEX Melbourne:
Stephanie Borowiec - smb553@stern.nyu.edu

Name: Steven Rubin

Steven

Name:

Steven Rubin

Highlight of my semester abroad:
I went traveling to the north of Australia and completely immersed myself in the native ancient culture. The next week I went to an awesome music festival in Sydney. The opportunities of such diverse experiences in one country is unparalleled.

Interesting fact I learned about the country where I studied:
Melbourne was originally founded as a jail for British convicts. It worked because it is nearly impossible to swim from Australia to another land.

What I would say to students considering participating in IBEX:
You have to go in with an open mind. Don't expect things and travel plans to magically appear. If you put in the work, you will have a good time. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone.

Additional Student Feedback

Banking

"I have Bank of America for my checking account. I just used a debit card to take out money from Westpac banks since they don't charge a fee for Bank of America customers. It worked out great."

"I used my ATM card from home and it worked fine (I let my bank know in advance that I would be living abroad for the semester)."

"I took travelers checks and deposited them into a student bank account I opened when I got there. I was able to use EFTPOS (Australian debit card) locations wherever I went to withdraw money. This worked out well as long as the exchange rate remained in my favor."

Expenses

Airline ticket to/from IBEX site: $1,600-1,700
Housing: $4,000-8,000/semester
Food: $30 - $50/week
Local Transportation: $100-200/semester
Books (per semester): $50-75/semester
Entertainment: $40-$50/week
Phone Calls: $120-150/semester

"Phone cards to the U.S. are very cheap (roughly 2 cents/minute) and widely available."

"Pre-paid mobile phones are available but not necessary. Getting a used one can save money."

"The visa process and insurance costs were quite a bit."

"Everything in Melbourne was more expensive despite the weaker currency."

Housing

"I lived at RMIT Village. I found this through Melbourne Uni. It was great and was just like living in a dorm. It was quite expensive, however. But to get a true Australia study abroad experience, I would say dorms or student accommodations are the way to go. RMIT Village also held tons of events to get all of the students at the residence to get to know each other. Some events included a ball at the end of the semester, an anything but clothes party and plenty of barbecues. It was really great!"

"I lived with a family in Caulfield who provided me with meals every day. Food was great and so were the people. I made the arrangements myself."

"I lived at the YMCA run College Square. It was a small shared apartment. I would not recommend it as the price and what you get do not compare to other options available. Residential colleges or finding your own place would be better."

"Try to contact former IBEX students who already lived in Melbourne to learn the best places to live."

"I lived in a furnished apartment and cooked my own meals. It was nice but I would have liked to experience life in a residence hall in Australia."

Academics

"I think a strength of the system at University of Melbourne was the fact there were tutorials for every class. It was nice having a huge lecture and then having a small class of students discussing the lecture after. The grading system is A LOT more difficult than at Stern. Exams are also worth a lot more. During the semester there is a lot less assignments than at Stern, but that also makes it a lot easier to get behind and have more studying/work close to exams. Exams should be taken seriously - there is no curve, so what you get is what you get. Coming from Stern, it was difficult to remember that."

"The workload was significantly less, but  my teams for projects were much more productive and communicable (which allowed for workload to distributed well). The teachers taught quality lectures. The grading system, although different, was fair."

"It was a very demanding program and strict grading scale. Most material has to be self taught in addition to the lectures."

"I felt that it was easy to get lost in the crowd in lectures and difficult to ask questions."

"Melbourne has a strong Finance program and faculty, however the classes are too large and there is no interaction with professors."
 

Course Recommendations

"My favorite class was my international business class about conflict in the global workplace. It was very interesting and the professor was great. She made sure to get the whole class involved in every lecture, so we weren't just sitting there for three hours listening to her speak."

"Intro to Marketing was my favorite class and professor. He was engaging and very well organised. He also used very relatable examples in his lectures. Corporate finance wasn't taught so well in class although it was fairly assessed.  Although I had fun in the Organisations, Ethics, and Society (PRL equivalent) the professor gave an extremely biased approach which was uncomfortable. (For example, a presentation slide depicting Milton Friedman with devil horns....)."

"Education in Natural Landscapes was fun and allowed me to learn and travel at the same time."

"Rob Brown was an excellent Finance professor."

"My favorite class was Derivative Securities with John Handey. He made all the topics interesting and did not simply lecture to us."

Course Registration

"The course offerings were offered extremely early - I believe around January or February.  Classes were approved before arrival, but we didn't register for them until arrival. It was all done electronically. The best thing about Melbourne was that classes would not fill up. If you wanted to take a specific subject, they would make another class if one filled up."

"Classes were apporved prior to arrival but it was not guaranteed that you will get into the courses. Also they decide to change the semester schedule until the very last minute causing classes to overlap. I had two lectures at the same time, because of this even though I specifically chose the classes so I wouldn't have scheduling conflicts. Consequently, the ability for a student to plan a schedule becomes very limited."

"To register for courses I met with an Adviser who had to approve courses I was interested in taking."

"Course registration was a combination of online and in-person steps. We had to meet with an Adviser to be cleared for registration, but we registered for the classes online."

Student Life

"There were tons of activities to get involved with. I got involved with the Financial Management Association of Australia and I also went to a few other random events on campus. There is definitely a club for everyone - it's like NYU! Students can also attend events at RMIT University!"

"I was in the Tai Chi and Wushu club. I met some quality students. I also spent time in their "fun" library which had an amazing collection of fiction, non-fiction, comics and dvds. Students were very lively and fun."

"Student life centers around where you live primarily. I traveled a lot with the Australian students and exchange students. There were not many interesting options for clubs in my opinion."

"It may be easier to meet Australians if you live on campus. On many of the organized trips I went on I met quite a few international students."

"There was a club for pretty much everything. You did not even need to be a member to go to events - and if you did membership only took two seconds. Clubs included many culture clubs and a surfing club."

Culture Shock

"I spent most of my time with Australian students from both University of Melbourne and RMIT. I met them through my residence. It was pretty easy, but I had to overcome my quietness to put myself out there!"

"I spent time with both Americans and Aussies. My host family had two children my age, and we became fast friends."

"It was a great experience to have a traditional campus, new styles of lecture, and different attitudes toward familiar theories. It was like I was getting a new perspective on learning."

"It was worth it because I saw and did things that I never even thought I would be able to do in my lifetime."

Restaurant, Club and Shopping Suggestions

"Bimbo's - Pub with awesome pizza in Brunswick, Melboune, British Crown - $3 Pizza's in Brunswick, Melbourne."

"Cool Pubs on the South Bank, shopping at the Docklands.  Use Time Out Melbourne to find which clubs are having cool parties.  And must go to a Footie game (Aussie Rules Football)."

"There are many cool restaurants and shops on Lygon Street."

"Crown Complex (South Yarra) was Melbourne's main nightlife attraction."

Travel Tips

"I didn't travel as much as I would've liked since I didn't have enough money. Planes are really the only way to travel in Australia. Jetstar and Tiger Air are the cheapest airlines."

"I used student discounted flights for various sites. I did 2 major traveling stretches, which were pricey but easy to do."

"Brighton Beach Boxes - Brighton Beach, Phillip Island, The Grampians, Uluru."

"Must-see: ACMI, Hosier Lane,  Healesville Zoo, Philip Island, Great Ocean Road, Scuba on Great Barrier Reef, Sydney (Bondi Beach), and definitely New Zealand."

"Prepare well. Preparation will make your trip flow smoothly and you will have more fun."

"I wish someone would have told me you really do not need to tip for anything in Australia."

"I wish I had planned further in advance for traveling to other countries at the end of the semester."

"The less stuff you have, like clothes, the easier it is to get around."

"Travel and see as many places as you can. The school offers many organized trips, STA Travel is good and you can plan your own trips as well. Air travel is reasonable and often the fastest way to go."

"The best part was climbing Uluru (Ayers Rock) because I had high expectations in what that experience would be like and it actually surpassed those expectations."

"I mostly flew or took the train to most locations."

"Must sees: Uluru (Ayers Rock), Cairns (Great Barrier Reef), Sydney, Tasmania."

 

Career Development

"If you're interested in internships or job placements, definitely apply a few weeks before departure. It took a while to hear back from any of the jobs I applied for."