Sunday, August 30, 2015

Why should International students make friends with the locals

As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015

Many International students make friends with people from their own culture and not with the locals. This is when they first arrive in Melbourne. We explain why International students should make friends with the locals

To improve grades
In order to improve their English, International students should make friends with the locals. A lot of the local students love International students. If International students hang out with the locals then there will be many chances for them to practice English. Hence this will help to improve their grades.

To improve employ-ability
In order to get a good job at an Australian company that employs International students, students must learn the local culture. In order to do that they should hang with the local students. The locals are willing to teach International students

To reduce homesickness and learn about Melbourne.
A lot of the local students go out on weekends and many of them are willing to take International students. Just ask the Couch which is an International student program which has local Australians and International students. They go out most weekends to things like the AFL or a pub or two.

Universities should have programs where internationals and locals can get together.
Yes that is true and in many cases its not known as it is not widely promoted. Usually the uni does have some sort of orientation program at the beginning of the semester for students to get together.

But by doing a blog or joining up to a fitclub or something that you really like you can meet other like minded people.

Love Melbourne: a survey by Meld and the City of Melbourne

Have your say in the latest survey by Meld and City of Melbourne on ways in which Melbourne can be a better city for International students. We explain.

Last year alone there were about 160,000 enrollments for International students from 160 different countries. The highest ranking university is Melbourne with a world rank of 33.

So far the City of Melbourne has these services for students: Study Melbourne Study Centre, iUSe pass and many other things such as the Lord Mayor's welcome. Melbourne is ranked as one of the best student cities in the world.

Our thoughts.
If Melbourne was to become a better knowledge economy for International students then the quality of teaching in universities has to improve and that cannot be done by the City of Melbourne. It has to come from the universities itself which can be a challenge.

There also needs to be more internships for International students. Similarly there also needs to be employers that are willing to sponsor and employ International students other than permanent residents.

It is a good thing that they are increasing their scholarships so that students from poorer countries can study in Melbourne but there needs to be more of that. Maybe some of that can come from the best big companies

You can fill out the survey here. The survey was done by Meld Magazine and the City of Melbourne. They would love to know what you think.

Selene's chocolate bar

Selene's chocolate bar is in Box Hill just outside the Box Hill station, hence it is convenient for all the workers to get their morning coffee/chocolate fix before starting work. I went here on Leandro's recommendation when they posted a lovely picture on Instagram.

I really wanted to try this place. I have walked by it a few times but never got to go in until today when I wanted tea and chocolates. I did not have a chance to look at the reviews on Zomato. Instead the place was busy at 3:30pm which was a good sign.

Not so much of a good sign was when the barista didn't know whether they had pots of green tea. They had to ask. Also they forgot to ask me whether it was eat in or takeaway. Luckily I wanted eat in since that was what I primarily visited Box Hill for.

I wanted to try their matcha truffle chocolate for $2.20. Here it was creamy and smooth, but I prefer Chokolait's one any day. Its just that their's is a lot smoother and richer in flavour. This wasn't so rich.

The green tea was ok for $4.50. In the city they charge $5.50 for this.

Oh well, its good that Box Hill have this kind of cafe. That and Movenpick and now Cacao Green. I'd visit just for their chocolates if I'm around. Otherwise its just out of the way for me.
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Language exchange at Two hands bar

Every Sunday there is an afternoon language exchange at Two Hands Bar. This exchange is run by the Overseas Student Service which helps International students to make some friends in Melbourne. These meetups are held at Two Hands Bar which is an Asian bar that serves cheap meals. And big portions too.

It is easily accessible by train and tram. From the train station it is about a five minute walk and from the city by train it is about 10 mins.


Initially I was invited there by a friend of mine from the Couch. But I couldn't come for the last two Sundays due to other things. I had heard many good things about their desserts in which I was keen on trying. Their desserts are $2 each during the meetup and drinks are from $1-$5.

They also do lunch sets for around about $10-$12 and they come with a soft drink or a free seaweed soup. I tried the curry one and it was good. Someone else ordered it and they let me try it. The rice was well cooked and the curry was very spicy.

I also got to try someone else's chips and they were darn good. The burger looked pretty good and on Thursdays they have $5 Burger night.

My dessert was good and I can't complain about the ice cream. It tasted like Peter's Ice cream and their donut bread worked well with the ice cream. They put lots of fattening cream on the side. Not that I mind as it was afternoon tea.

Language exchange was fun and I'd do it again if I was around in the city or in Abbotsford for the day. You can find out about their meetups on Facebook.
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Chill Bro Palatas presents

Ice cream and Mexican ice cream and churros

All the ice creams here are $5 with toppings for an extra $1.5. Here I had the mind blowing lemon cheesecake with milk chocolate. Charlie was right when she said that these ice creams were good and they were. I loved mine with the nuts on top.

They were also featured at Melbourne Central's shopping night with their Dulche de Leche at $5

There is upstairs seating in which they share with Uncle Jungs and Saigon square. If you ever do get cold then go upstairs.

They also give out samples if you can't decide on the flavour.

Do come on by during the summer when they have their mind blowing flavours
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