July 15, 2011

Exchange Melbourne

My name is Rick Kraakman and I study International Business and Languages at the HES. For my exchange I have been placed in Melbourne, at the RMIT Uni. With this blog I will try to keep you up-to-date about all the things I do out here.

I arrived 2 weeks ago. When I left Amsterdam, it was 30 degrees..when I came to Melbourne, it was 5 degrees. That's when I realised that Australia actually has a winter..unfortunately. Melbourne has 8 hours of time difference so the first 2 days I had a bit of a jetlag. Most of the hostels out here are build for the summer because it is so cold in here! I have to sleep with 3 blankets, socks and a jumper! The first hostel that I was in was really bad! Dirty/smelly rooms, strange people, bad location etc. So after 4 days I decided to go to another hostel at which Im still in. When I arrived, Lidia (another girl from the HvA) was allready here so the first days she was kind of my tour guide.

The last 2 weeks I've been looking for rooms in the city. I could have applied for the RMIT campus but that should have cost me around 1200 euros..so I decided just to go and find something my own. Finaly, after 2 weeks I found a really nice appartment just outside the city center. I'll be living together with a 25 year old Kiwi (New Zealander). He looks nice, a bit boring maybe..but it was by far the best appartment I had seen in weeks! so I'll probably move in this Sunday.

The last 3 days I had the orientation days, the "get to know each other" session and it was really nice! In total there are 240 exchange and study abroad students out of 25 different countries and i think there are about 10 Dutch students. We received a RMIT bag with all kinds of brochures and stuff. A lot of people held a presentation (police, Lifeguards, RMIT clubs, Library etc) and we did some games to get to know each other. Yesterday was the last day and we had an AFL session (Australian football league). They first explained the rules of the game and afterwards we went out side to play "Footy". At the end they gave away 5 balls to the one who impressed them, and guess what..Lidia and I both got one! So that's already one souvenir that will return to NL. After the session we had the great Melbourne race and in the evening they hired a club and there was a party which was really nice!! During these days, and especially that night I met a lot of people and I am sure that this will going to be a great experience.

This is it so far. If you have any questions or something about my exchange, or your future exchange, don't hesitate to drop a message!



  1. Hey Rick, welcome to the Study Leaks Team. Great to hear you are enjoying your exchange so far and congrats on finding a nice place to live. Looking forward to reading more about your stay in Australia!
    IBL Insider

  2. no worries!! I like to share my experiences with other so I can maybe help them for their own Exchange..

  3. Hi Rick! Indeed it's great to hear what it's like to arrive at a new country. How would you rate yourself initially regarding openness to new cultures? I know when I came to the Netherlands, despite having travelled the world, I found that after the initial fun period I soon felt quite shocked at how inept I was at reading social signals etc... How about you?

  4. well I think Im still in the fun period. To be honoust, I haven't met that many aussies yet..I think there hidden somewhere haha..I must say, it is crwoded with asian people..not that that is a bad thing..but everybody noticed it. There are some things that are different from the Netherlands, such as driving at the other side of the road, walking on the other side of the pavement or standing on the other side on the escalator, but those are just minor things. We did got a presentation about how to react to people. whether you can be direct or not and if you can go into a open discussion with your teacher during a class, so we are kind of perpared for that.