An American in Melbourne: preparing to leave home

As an exchange student there's a lot to organise before leaving home to study overseas.

Now that I’ve arrived in Melbourne, the craziness has settled down.

So now I can tell you what it's like leaving home...

What it is really like... (at least for me).

Pre-departure: getting ready to leave

To be honest, if anybody told you that the pre-departure study abroad process is going to be easy, they would be lying.

There’s a seemingly endless list of things to do, from applying to study overseas to arranging your visa, passport, housing and flights.

The entire process puts an extensive amount of responsibility on the student. Personally, I don’t know anybody else my age who has wired money, found a place to live in a foreign country, nor applied for a visa while going through finals – and working on top of that.

Preparing for such an imperative milestone takes time, hard-work and dedication to say the least – but it’s worth it in the end!

Everything I went through prior to leaving educated me on critical life lessons in such a short span of time. Every step I took to be in Australia has not only prepared me for my time abroad but also my future.

Mindset before leaving

My mindset continuously jumped from excitement to a great deal of anxiety in the months, weeks and days leading up to my departure date.

Leaving your home for a long period of time is always going to be a tough situation and my case wasn’t any different. I made sure I saved my money and spent as much time with family and friends before I left.

While I put so much effort in getting my mind, body and spirit in the right place prior to departure, nobody can be fully prepared for this type of life event and I am realizing now that that’s completely okay!

Departure: leaving home

I will never forget the day I left the USA for Melbourne, Australia.

Having worked so hard for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I was beyond ready to finally start my journey.

Although it was sad leaving my family and friends, the second I was on my own was one of the greatest feelings in the world.

I’ve always been so attracted to the “unknown” and stepping outside of my comfort zone.

Call me crazy, but the fact that I was about to fly to the other side of the world where I didn’t know a single soul was entirely invigorating.

Arrival: settling in

I arrived in Melbourne on a gorgeous hot summer day in February and was completely in awe that this was going to be my home for the next year.

I fell in love with not only the city but also the country of Australia right off the bat.

Acclimatising to Melbourne life couldn’t have been an easier transition. Being a study abroad student, you are surrounded by other students from around the world who are on the exact same boat as you are.

I didn’t adjust alone – we did it together. Figuring out public transport, laughing at our language barriers, going out, studying and starting an entirely new life together officially made Melbourne our home away from home.

Simone Oram, VUI blogger selfie by mountains

About the author

Simone Oram is a VU exchange student from Sacramento State University in the United States.

While at Victoria University (VU), she is studying units from the Bachelor of Business (Marketing major).

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