It only felt like yesterday when Evelyn arrived in Melbourne to begin a new chapter

“It’s freaking cold here!”

That’s the first thing that came out from my mouth when I first landed in Melbourne back in July 2016. Yep, that’s true. I arrived in the middle of winter and it was freezing. For someone who has been living in the tropics with warm weather throughout the year, 10 degrees is enough to make me curl up.

Back in Indonesia, I graduated with a Bachelor in Food Technology and I decided to pursue further studies overseas. As a Master of Food and Packaging Innovation student at the University of Melbourne, I get to learn about the different disciplines related to the food industry. For instance - food chemistry, food safety, innovation management, food packaging, and other topics!

When I first walked onto the campus, I felt like I was at Hogwarts. When you enter through the main gate on Grattan St, you will be greeted by a beautiful green lawn with trees around it. On the left, you have Professor’s Walk which has its own eye-relaxing sensation. And you also have the Old Quadrangle, which looks just like the castle where Harry Potter had classes in.

Melbourne University = Hogwarts

In addition to my studies, I have been involved in several extracurricular activities at the university. The university has lots of active student organisations and I am currently a committee member in the Graduate Agriculture and Food Society – a society for postgraduate agriculture and food science students. I’ve also been lucky enough to be selected in the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Program where I’ve been able to learn from mentors who have lots of experience in the industry.

The Graduate Agriculture and Food Society committee

The university also run lots of events and I try to attend as many as I can in my spare time. I have attended a few free public lectures such as the ‘Leaders in Social Impact’ lecture organised by OakTree MelbUni and TEDxUnimelb, and the ‘Careers in Social Impact’ lecture run by the Microfinance Initiatives (MMI). From these kind of activities, I always learn something new. I personally see this as a way for me to keep on growing into a better version of myself.

There are so many good places around Melbourne to visit! I love St Kilda, especially its pier. Brighton beach also has its iconic colourful beachboxes. If the weather is warm and nice, strolling beside the Yarra River in the afternoon is recommended. Melbourne has lots of festivals, especially at Federation Square. If I am bored and get stuck with assignments and exams, I usually stop by here for a while because it is close from the campus and home.

View from the St Kilda Pier 

The iconic colourful beachboxes at Brighton Beach

Sunset at the Melbourne CBD

I can’t believe it has almost been a year since I arrived in Melbourne – time has flown by! This also means that I’m halfway through my masters degree. Do I enjoy it? Definitely! It has been challenging to maintain a high score through my studies, and a lot of effort and hard work is required to get a H1. But, but, but,…don’t forget to enjoy your uni experience. Study hard (and smartly), but don’t forget to have fun.

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