The Festive Season as an International Student

Megan is a Brand Ambassador for The Student Housing Company and a third year international student at the University of Melbourne. She is currently pursuing a degree in commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance. She is a Filipino Chinese who hails from Singapore and has lived in Hong Kong and China too. A fun and driven individual, she knows how to work hard and play harder. She #livesforthegram and is a meme lord. If you see her around campus, don’t forget to say hi!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Yes! Christmas is almost here! As an international student in Melbourne, sometimes we aren’t be able to return to our home countries because of school obligations. I remember having to spend New Years in Melbourne because of summer school. There were hardly any friends remaining in Melbourne and I didn’t know what to do. It can get kind of lonely when you’re alone in a foreign country by yourself, especially during the festive periods which were once spent with friends and family.

Or maybe you just don’t feel like heading back to your home country this holiday. Either way, you’re in luck! You may not have experienced Christmas Festive Cheer like here in Australia as an international student, so this is a great opportunity for you to expose yourself to celebrating Christmas the Aussie way! You can still have a wonderful time in Melbourne over Christmas and the New Years. Here are some activities you and your friends can enjoy over this Christmas season!

1. Christmas shopping

Bourke Street Mall at Christmas

Late on your Christmas shopping? Head down to Bourke Street to pick up some presents for friends and family. Treat yourself to a present too, while you’re at it! Nothing like a little retail therapy. Not to mention, there are always crazy sales going on along Bourke Street on Boxing day, make sure you don’t miss out on those great deals!

Also be sure to drop by Myer’s Christmas Window at Bourke Street Mall for some pictures with the Christmas decorations. Myer’s Christmas windows are a must-go if you’re in Melbourne. Every year the displays are different and they just seem to get more beautiful. For more information, you can visit their Christmas Window Website.

Bourke Street is only a short tram ride from The Student Housing Company’s student accommodation in Melbourne, University Square – check it out over the holidays for 2019 accommodation!

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Melbourne’s Best International Cuisine Locations on a Budget

Megan is a Brand Ambassador for The Student Housing Company and a third year international student at the University of Melbourne. She is currently pursuing a degree in commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance. She is a Filipino Chinese who hails from Singapore and has lived in Hong Kong and China too. A fun and driven individual, she knows how to work hard and play harder. She #livesforthegram and is a meme lord. If you see her around campus, don’t forget to say hi!

TSHC Brand Ambassador, Megan

Missing home? Or simply hungry for a taste of food from your home country? I’m here to help. As an international student, being in a foreign country alone can be daunting. Not only are the comforts of home gone, you won’t be able to savour a family home-cooked meal or head to your regular food establishment in your home country.

I remember my first few months in Melbourne and having to get accustomed to the food here. Surprisingly it wasn’t hard to adjust to what Melbourne had to offer. I learnt that Melbourne is a multicultural city that was home to people from all over the world. So it was only natural that Melbourne’s food-offerings were very diverse. Food from every continent and city could be found!

There is also a large, growing population of international students here in Melbourne which means more international food options just around the corner. This has definitely made my stay in Melbourne feel more like home. Here are my top recommendations for international cuisines and I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I have!

Japanese – Sushi Hotaru

Midcity Arcade, 118/200 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Sushi Hotaru packed with customers and sky-high sushi plates

Menu Favourite: Flamed Salmon Nigiri

Feeling Adventurous? Try this: Unagi Nigiri (Eel Sushi)

Love sushi trains? Check out Sushi Hotaru for a wide range of sushi for very affordable prices! Besides sushi, they also offer other Japanese food such as Udon and Ramen. Sushi Hotaru is very popular, so I suggest you head over when they are just about to open or during non-peak periods to avoid the long waiting time. Another thing to watch out for are their regular seasonal promotions. This winter, there were lucky draws held if you dined in on weekdays. Visit Sushi Hotaru and without knowing it, your sushi plates will be stacking high!

Check out their menu here.

Korean- Gukbab

535 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Local Korean favourites like Bimbimbap and Korean fried chicken

Menu Favourite: Kimchi Chigae

Feeling Adventurous? Try this: Naeng Myeon (Cold Noodles)

Looking for all the Korean essentials? Look no more, Gukbab is your place. Menu items include Bimbimbap, Japchae, Korean fried chicken, and many more! Warm yourself up this winter with a hot bowl of Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew) with some Corn Cheese. In summer, you can look forward to their Naeng Myeon (Cold Noodles). If you are eating with a group of friends, I suggest ordering the Budae Chigae (Army Stew) to share. Prices range from $10 to $25 per person, depending on what you order. One thing is for sure, you’ll keep wanting more!

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Perth’s Top 5 Beaches

The beaches of Perth are usually the first thing on every new student’s list – and why wouldn’t they be? Perth has some of the clearest water and whitest sand in the world. It’s the perfect place to chill out and have fun, or a good place to study for the day if you’re in need of some sun! If this sounds like something you’re into, read on for our picks of the best beaches in Perth.

City Beach

Some of the clearest water in the world at City Beach

There’s plenty of parking at City Beach, so it’s the perfect place to drive to during a break in classes – with plenty of restaurants too, it’s the ideal place to head to for a picturesque lunch during some free time. There’s an expanse of grass and trees, as well as long stretches of sand. It’s quite a popular beach, so there’s always people to meet and places to be!

How do I get there?

City Beach is the closest beach to our brand new student accommodation in Perth, The Boulevard, a quick 20 minute drive or 40 minute bus ride away on the 81 bus.

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Top Day Trip Destinations for Students in Perth!

What sets Perth apart from any city? It’s close proximity to amazing destinations to tour. From it’s beautiful coastline at Rottnest Island to the Pinnacle Desert. We’ve listed the best places that students like to visit with friends, that are cheap and easy enough to see in a weekend or study break.

Explore the Margaret River Region

The Southwest of Western Australia is one of the country’s most beautiful regions. Margaret River is a perfect place to start and has so much to do. It’s only 3 hours south of Perth and is students favourite place to go if they want a short, cheap getaway over the study break or weekend. Sights students like to check out include the many beaches, caves and forests. Check out their website for a full list of Margaret River attractions.

How to Get There?

The best option is to rent a car so, you have complete freedom of what you can visit. However, some attractions offer private tours which take you there directly. For list of tours check out their website for more information.

If heights do not scare you, check out The Valley of The Giants Tree Top walk!
If heights do not scare you, check out The Valley of The Giants Tree Top walk!

Cool off at Injidup Natural Spa

Location: End of Wyadup Road, Yallingup

One of Western Australia’s best kept secrets, Injidup Natural Spa is a rock pool with crystal clear blue water. It’s not just any rock pool, the rocks shelter the pool from large waves, creating spa like bubbles. Best place to come if you need to de-stress from your exams or just want a relaxing weekend with friends. You can come for a day, or stay a few nights and explore the area. Indjidup Spa was not even known to most locals until it was made famous due to its picturesque image on Instagram. There’s no natural path, so you’ll have to climb some rocks to get there, but trust us, it’s well worth it.

Day trip to Injidup
Day trip to Injidup

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The Best Places for Shopping in Perth

New to Perth and want to know the best shopping centres around? We’ve got all your shopping needs covered while living in Perth!

Shops with Something for Everyone – Perth CBD

Perth CBD has a variety of stores on offer, so you’re guaranteed to find what you are looking for. With stores to suit every age, style and budget, you can spend the day exploring Perth City’s many unique arcades and strip malls. There’s Hay Street Mall, London Court and Forrest Chase just to name a few.

Perth CBD shopping
Shopping for everyone! Get amongst the London Court Arcade in Perth’s CBD.

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My Experience as an International Student in Melbourne

Megan is a Brand Ambassador for The Student Housing Company and a third year international student at the University of Melbourne. She is currently pursuing a degree in commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance. She is a Filipino Chinese who hails from Singapore and has lived in Hong Kong and China too. A fun and driven individual, she knows how to work hard and play harder. She #livesforthegram and is a meme lord. If you see her around campus, don’t forget to say hi!

TSHC Brand Ambassador, Megan
TSHC Brand Ambassador, Megan

My first days

I moved to Melbourne from Singapore in mid 2016 and it was my first time in Australia, so it was pretty mind-blowing for me being introduced to a new culture on top of navigating my way through independent student life.

Moving to a new country is no easy feat, especially when you are an international student. For the majority of international students, it is our first time leaving the nest. We no longer are able to turn to the comforts of our home and family like we used to, so I understand that for many of you, starting a new chapter in a different country can be daunting. However, do not fret! Here are some tips to get you through adjusting to your new life in Melbourne:

Tip 1: Finding your new nest

For all you students planning to study in Melbourne, accommodation will be the most important order of business. When finding your new nest, there are many factors to consider such as location, community and amenities, amongst other things.

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Where are the best restaurants in Perth?

Australia is a very multicultural country, with people from all across the globe! In Perth, we are lucky to have so many cool and trendy restaurants that have proven to be a hit amongst university students! Whether you are after French, Asian, food trucks or Italian, we’ll show you the best places to go that suit all budgets and occasions!

 

Best Asian Food

Lucky Chans Noodle Bar

311 William St, Northbridge

$$

If you’re looking for a nice local meal with friends, Lucky Chans is your best bet. Asian Fusion food with lots of amazing flavours. They also do bubble tea cocktails which are a popular choice amongst students and you can’t find them anywhere else!  Bao sliders, a more western take on the traditional Asian staple, are proving to be very popular amongst students. Lucky Chans have some of the best in Perth and you should definitely try them out! Check out their menu to see what else they have to offer. They are also only a 10-minute walk from The Boulevard, making it super convenient to access!

Boom Boom Fried Chicken Bao
Boom Boom Fried Chicken Bao

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What Are Perth’s Top Festivals for Uni Students?

Perth may be the furthest away from all the other capital cities of Australia but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on! We’ve listed the best events and festivals suited for university students. We’ve got the Perth Fringe Festival, Perth Comedy Festival, and Falls Festival, among many others! Whether you want to watch a runway fashion show, or a comedy show, you won’t be disappointed.

Perth Fringe Festival

18th January – 17th February 2019

The annual Fringe World Festival is one of Perth’s biggest events and dubbed the 3rd largest in the world. One of the best things about it is that it’s located in the heart of Northbridge, only minutes away from The Boulevard. In 2018, the festival featured 730 events throughout 155 venues all over Perth. At Fringe, expect to see a wide variety of acts including circus, cabaret, comedy, music, and theatre just to name a few! International students, this is not one you want to miss as people travel far and wide to attend. It’s best to book your shows in advanced online as they get pretty busy!

Fringe Sign in the Perth Cultural Centre
The iconic Fringe Sign in the Perth Cultural Centre, minutes from The Boulevard!

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Life in Perth: Weather and Climate

No doubt you’ve heard about Perth’s sunny days and hot weather, endless hours spent at the beach or relaxing outside. We can’t lie though – sometimes it does rain in Perth, albeit rarely! We’ve compiled some of the best information on Perth temperature, the climate of Perth, and the seasons of Perth for your ease. We’ve also included some activities you might like to do in each season – so read on!

The iconic Perth boat shed on a clear day

Generally Speaking

Perth is in the southern hemisphere, so that means our seasons are mirrored to the northern hemisphere. OK – you probably already know that, but just remember that if you’re coming to Perth in June and expecting a hot summer! It’ll be winter in Australia, and although it doesn’t rain too much, you can expect a few gloomy days. We can’t have it all!

In the cooler months of May – September, you can expect around 110mm of average rainfall, with July being the wettest and coldest month of the year: with an average of 145mm rainfall and temperature of 18.4 degrees. On some days you’d hardly think it’s winter though, and you can even get away with going to the beach sometimes!

Summer though, is a different story. In Perth the weather really starts to heat up around November and stays warm until April. You won’t see much rain, with an average of 20mm in these months. It’ll get pretty hot though – with January being the hottest month of the year, the temperature averaging 32.3 degrees!

In the peak of summer, it’s not unusual to see temperatures over 40 degrees! Don’t worry though, there’s plenty to do and you’ll soon forget about the heat with all the fun you’re having. Make sure you keep reading for the best things to do depending on the weather in Perth!

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What’s on in Perth: The 10 Best Things To Do

The warm, coastal city of Perth is one of Australia’s best kept secrets! With climate comparable to California, world class restaurants, countless Instagram-able locations and professional sporting events for every sport imaginable, there’s something for everyone in the city of sun.

Cottesloe beach things to do perth
Cottesloe Beach, Perth

1.Head to one of Perth’s sublime beaches

It wouldn’t be a list of things to do in Perth without mentioning the beach. Boasting some of the whitest sands and clearest water in the world, there’s a place for you whether you’re looking to surf, soak up some sun, or have your own secluded bay. Check out Scarborough or Trigg beach if you’re into surfing, with Cottesloe beach great for lazing about on the shore and enjoying the good life.

optus stadium what's on perth
Optus Stadium, Perth

2. Catch a game of sport in a world class stadium

Like the rest of Australia, Perthites are obsessed about sport. If you’re new to Australia, why not head to the newly constructed Optus Stadium and catch a game of Australian rules football. It’s a unique and fast paced sport unlike anything else in the world! The best description would be a mix between basketball and rugby – but you’ve got to check it out for yourself!

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