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Student Testimonials: University of Melbourne

Name: Wynonna Rinkacs

Highlight of my semester abroad:

The best part of my IBEX experience was traveling to new places I never would have had the opportunity to visit otherwise. Australia was rich in natural beauty and I became more outdoorsy and really enjoyed hiking there, as well as in New Zealand. I tried to travel as much as possible on the weekends and during breaks; I even made it to Hong Kong to visit my friend there who was also on IBEX. 

If you go, you must:

Visit the colorful bathing huts at Brighton Beach, relax on St. Kilda beach, watch the little penguins emerge from the water on Mornington Peninsula, eat brunch at Grigon and Orr’s cornerstone and the Auction Room, and travel to New Zealand!

What I would say to students considering participating in IBEX:

IBEX is a different experience than studying abroad at NYU’s study away sites as you have the opportunity to meet more local students, as well as students from other American schools studying abroad. IBEX broadens the community of friends you have all over the world. IBEX also forces you to become more independent and is a great way to truly understand and engage in another country’s culture. Both options have their benefits, as I also studied abroad at NYU's site in Prague, so it just depends on what you are looking for in your abroad experience.

Contact me about the University of Melbourne:

Wynonna Rinkacs -

More Student Insight


  • Airline ticket to/from IBEX site: $1,600-1,800 USD
  • Housing: $4,000-8,000 USD/semester
  • Food: $30 - $60 USD/week
  • Local Transportation: $100-200 USD/semester
  • Books: $50-75 USD/semester
  • Entertainment: $40-$50 USD/week
  • Phone: $120-150 USD/semester
  • Visa: $535 USD
  • "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."


  • "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."


  • "Long-term "student hotel" (fully furnished apartment with cleaning services once per week). Essentially no on-campus housing provided with exception to "residential colleges", which are extremely hard to get into."
  • "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 Australian 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."


  • "The majority of my classes were taught in huge auditoriums and there were mandatory "recitations" you had to attend for each class. I think Melbourne's academic program provides students with an incentive to actually not attend classes and instead attend recitations. The classes themselves did not bring much value - the homework and the recitations are where you learn everything applicable from the course." 
  • "I think a strength of the system at the 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 are a lot fewer 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 the 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 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."
  • "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."

Course Recommendations

  • "Australian Employee Relations Management. The class was relatable, small in number, and the professor taught it with a laid back and approachable attitude". 
  • "Entrepreneurial Marketing with Robin Canniford. He was an engaging lecturer and the course had a lot of good, applicable content. Neuromarketing is also very interesting."
  • "My favorite class was my international business class about conflicts 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 organized. He also used very relatable examples in his lectures."
  • "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

  • "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."

Restaurants, Shopping, Must-See Sites

  • "If you are going to Melbourne, see the 12 apostles, the great ocean road, the rain forest, and the zoo. Also, there's a donut truck outside of the Queen Victoria market. If you go to Melbourne and you do not try this donut truck, you might as well have never gone to Melbourne."
  • "Brunch (seven seeds + hardware societe) in Melbourne, Bondi Beach in Sydney"
  • "Bimbo's - Pub with awesome pizza in Brunswick, Melbourne, 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

  • "Travel was easy, not expensive, but I did not travel that much because I focused on studies. Cairns was my favorite travel destination in Australia, and would definitely recommend it to future students."
  • "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, 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."
  • "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."

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."