NYU Stern

University of Melbourne: Student Feedback

Melbourne_Student Profile_2
Student Profile

Stephanie Borowiec

Expected graduation date:
May 2014

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:

Additional Feedback from Students


"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."


Housing: $3,500/semester
Food: $30 - $50/week
Local Transportation: $10/week
Books (per semester): $250/semester
Entertainment: $40-$50/week
Phone Calls: 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.


"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."


"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."

"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 crown 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

"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."

Student Life

"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

"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."

Travel Tips

"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."

Restaurant, Club and Shopping Suggestions

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

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

Additional Student Profiles

Steven Rubin

Steven Rubin_Melbourne_Fall 2012
Student Profile

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.

Contact me about IBEX Melbourne:
Steven Rubin - steven.rubin@stern.nyu.edu