IFSA: University of Melbourne Partnership

Video and Photos

University of Melbourne Campus
University of Melbourne Campus

About

Study at Australia's #1 university in the heart of the world's most livable city. Arts and culture imbues Melbourne's many laneways, markets, arcades and neighborhoods. Melbournians love coffee and food and love to be out and about. This is one of Australia's leading higher education institutions, with top ten world rankings in education, law, linguistics, psychology, accounting and finance, and medicine.

Highlights
  • Melbourne was recently voted most livable city for the 7th year in a row!
  • An energetic and active student union that sponsors concerts, speakers and cultural events Union House, the hub of campus social life and home to many of the 160 clubs and societies
  • Great indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, including a mountain lodge
  • One of Australia's leading research and higher education institutions with select research options for students in the sciences

Scholarships

IFSA Scholarships
IFSA Scholarships and Financial Aid

We believe that study abroad should be within reach of every student, so we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities for all our participants.

Value
$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 3 reviews
  • Academics 9.3
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 8.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Default avatar
Aaron
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Semester!

My semester in Australia with IFSA's program at the University of Melbourne was one of the best of my life. IFSA's staff is incredibly helpful in ensuring that we have all the support we need, whenever we might need it. I tend to be a pretty independent person and didn't rely too much on their help, but it was always extremely comforting to know that our advisors in the city would be there if anything did come up. IFSA also facilitates a lot of fun excursions and trips for those who want to get to know the cohort a bit better.

While Sydney is the most famous Australian city to global audiences, there are numerous reasons to pick Melbourne. Sydney is beautiful (it has its harbor, the opera house, the bridge), but Melbourne is (in my opinion) the better city to live in. Melbourne has been ranked the most livable city in the world by The Economist for seven years in a row--and for good reason. The transit options are fantastic, the nightlife is vibrant (with none of the lock-out laws that inhibit Sydney's nightlife), and the arts and culture are endless. Sydney is Australia's financial hub, but Melbourne is known for its artistic side. It is phenomenally easy to get around, including by foot, and also has more to offer in terms of good food and music.

The University of Melbourne is a great place to study as an exchange student. The university has several support systems in place for students from abroad, including a course registration help center that is extremely easy to use. There is also an exchange student club on campus called MUSEx, which organizes a lot of pub crawls, parties, and trips that are all really fun. I enjoyed getting to know students from all over the world through such programming.

In terms of academics, I found the coursework at UniMelb to be engaging, but far less stressful than my classes back home. You are only allowed to take up to four classes, and I chose two in urban design/architecture and two in Indigenous Studies. I got to know 3 of my 4 professors very well and still keep in touch with them regularly! I also interned at a small urban design consultancy in Melbourne, through which I got to know a lot about Australian governance, culture, and design. I loved working with local colleagues and partaking in office activities a few times per week!

Beyond that, my semester in Melbourne afforded my many opportunities to travel, and I ended up having many of the most amazing travel experiences of my life, including skydiving over the Whitsundays, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, biking around Uluru and Rottnest Island, driving the Great Ocean Road, and many more! I could not more highly recommend a semester in Melbourne!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Australia is generally a very easy place to travel domestically (they don't even ask for you ID on domestic flights), but there are a few tips to remember. Like the United States, Australia lacks considerable railroad infrastructure, which means most trips involve flying and driving--sometimes for long distances. One important piece of advice I would give for driving is to ALWAYS purchase full insurance on the vehicles you rent, especially if you plan to go to New Zealand, Tasmania, or parts of Victoria and NSW. You will see many, many animals in the roads (especially at night) and sometimes there is no way to avoid them, no matter how good a driver you are. It's better to have split the cost of insurance than to find yourself dishing out hundreds or thousands of dollars on a damaged fender!

When driving in rural parts of the country, never take risks with petrol. Even if you have significant amounts of gas remaining, fill up when you can, because you never know how far the next fill-up station will be. I had too many experiences gently rolling a car down a hill or turning around to go back to a gas station to take those sorts of risks again.

As a more specific piece of advice, I'd recommend using Apex Car Rentals when you can, mainly because they have no additional charges for young drivers, give you pretty nice cars, frequently offer free upgrades, and are one of the only companies that allow drivers under 25 to purchase full insurance.

Other than that, enjoy all of your travel opportunities! Go to cooler places (Victoria, Tasmania, NSW, NZ) during the part of your semester that is closer to summer and go to warmer places (Uluru, Queensland) during the part of your semester that is closer to winter. Australia is a beautiful country and you will undoubtedly find yourself in many magical places!
Default avatar
Isabel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

How IFSA helped me create a home away from home

The IFSA program at the University of Melbourne was an incredible experience. We had a pre-orientation in Sydney where we were able to meet other students studying through IFSA and our IFSA staff member who would be with us in Melbourne. This was an amazing way to start my study abroad experience. I was able to feel more comfortable meeting new people and exploring a new place. Though I only lived with a few of the IFSA students I became friendly with a handful of them and would often meet up with them to get dinner. The IFSA staff member, Lindsay, was also an amazing resource to have. It was nice to know that I had someone who I could go to with questions or if I needed support. I remember taking a really hard Linear Algebra final and immediately meeting Lindsay and a few other IFSA students after at a cafe and having coffee. It was a nice way to de stress. Overall, the program was incredibly supportive and it enhanced my Melbourne experience!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers would be to enter every new situation with an open mind. Always say yes to new opportunities no matter how different or strange they may seem, you never know who you may meet along the way.
Default avatar
Paige
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying in Melbourne with IFSA-Butler

Although what I am about to say is the most cliché saying associated with study abroad, I cannot stress enough how much important study abroad was to me - it truly did change me. In Australia, I was able to foster a way of life that is most appealing and satisfying to me, a way of life that is very different from the American lifestyle. It was validating for me to leave America and see people living their lives in ways I more closely identify with because not identifying with the American lifestyle can be extremely disheartening, especially when we are made to believe that a certain way of life is the only option. Living overseas taught me about my priorities, my flexibility, my work ethic, and so much more. IFSA-Butler's program in Melbourne was supportive yet offered space for student discretion. My goal for study abroad was to become as immersed in Melbourne's community and culture as possible, so I appreciated and utilized the freedom IFSA provided. However, this means that students who attend this program must be proactive, adventurous, and flexible because the experience is truly what you make of it. Students who do not plan to explore beyond the resources provided by IFSA will have a less plentiful experience because the most organic, enjoyable adventures I had in Melbourne took some digging to uncover. One thing I did abroad that helped me with my immersion was work in a local cafe. Working helped me make Aussie friends and really get to know Melbourne's community. I know it sounds silly to say that getting a job was one of the best things I did during my study away, but it really was because I was able to feel like a true Melbournian.

What would you improve about this program?
To improve this program, I would offer a mandatory course on the history of indigenous people and colonization of Australia. I think learning the erased histories of a place helps foreigners understand the culture on a deeper level. All travelers should be critical of themselves and their travels and their ability to travel. Traveling should be a highly reflective experience, and unfortunately it often is not because people treat it as a longterm vacation. To comprehensively dive into the cultural learning of a place, we have to consider the things that are unsettling and difficult to address. Australian culture has been massively influenced by British colonization and Aboriginal erasure, therefore understanding Australia requires an understanding of the violence that has historically occurred there, and still does.

Location

Location:
Melbourne
Currency:
Australia Dollar
Weather:
Jan-Mar
79 F / 55 F
Apr-Jun
68 F / 45 F
Jul-Sep
63 F / 43 F
Oct-Dec
75 F / 48 F
Airports:
Melbourne Airport
( MEL )

Melbourne is the culture capital of Australia and generally considered the more "hip" city in Australia. There is always something to do in Melbourne, as it is always teeming with events like: internationally acclaimed festivals and sporting events. When you aren't at one of these events the city still has a bustling scene filled with museums, cafes, breweries and beaches.

Interviews

Staff Interviews

About Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)

The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Our primary goal is to provide quality study abroad opportunities, plus academic and personal support services, for qualified North American undergraduates seeking to...