Location: Melbourne, Australia
Language of Instruction: English
History Year Abroad Student Views
- The experience has . . . surpassed my expectations, particularly in regards to the difference in topics available and the lessons I have learnt.
- The Indigenous Studies module I took during the first semester opened my eyes to the experience of the indigenous populations of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. I will be forever grateful for this.
- Travelling was easily the best part of my year abroad. . . I have developed my independence . . . I would now be very prepared if I moved to a new city, and my worldview has significantly expanded.
- One of the things that surprised me the most was the extent to which British and Australian cultures differ.
- The most significant knowledge that I gained from Monash was a better understanding of the issues that Australia has faced over the course of the last two centuries. Anyone that wants to gain a better understanding of Australia should complete the Contemporary Australia module.
- When we first got to Melbourne it was very cold which I didn't expect!
- I think more than anything I have realised that I can live independently and away from home. I have more confidence in myself as a person from this experience and truly believe I have changed somewhat. My perspective on many aspects of life has altered as a result of the people I have met here and experiences I have had.
- With the university I travelled to Sydney for their annual Halloween trip which was very fun and allowed me to explore Sydney safely with friends from the university.
- I think Monash is quite similar to Warwick in terms of their teaching style, however Monash does have a larger selection of modules on offer, which I found very appealing . . . I have learnt a lot about certain topics, such as the Middle East and Australia's history, that I would not have had the opportunity to learn otherwise, so the scope of my knowledge has definitely expanded.
- I definitely feel more prepared for later life, as I have learnt how to be more self-reliant, resilient, and responsible . . . I feel more equipped with money and budgeting, as well as planning and organising different events. . . . The year has been incredible in increasing my self-confidence and allowing me to see my own strengths.
- Group projects have enhanced my communication and teamwork, especially when groups often consist of multiple nationalities.
- I was surprised at how welcoming the Australians were for us study abroad students. Aussies have a reputation for being particularly warm and friendly but I don't think you can ever fully understand until you spend time living with them.
- The hall I lived in was very proactive in arranging events, both arts and sports for their residents. I played a great deal of table tennis and dodgeball for my floor, as well as a little bit of 5-a-side football, and in terms of creative arts events, I played a main role in the hall musical that was written.
- I learnt a lot about myself, from dealing with the pressures of finances, study, work and living conditions all away from the support of my family. I now consider myself to be far more organised, self-sufficient and perceptive than before coming to Australia.
- From Indigenous Studies I now understand further the importance of questioning leading academic works and am able to approach a topic like racial categorisation with more understanding and experience than I had before.
- Melbourne shares certain similarities with some British cities so it was not a massive culture shock. However, one thing I did notice was how much more relaxed people generally are compared to back home.
- The importance of sport to the whole city was much greater than anything I have experienced before. I have attended The Ashes, rugby league, rugby union, Aussie Rules, F1, horseracing, darts and soccer whilst here and the diversity of the demographic who attend all these sports is much greater than back home.
- The assessment at Monash also varied a lot to Warwick as most Arts units gave credit for tutorial participation/attendance. . . There would sometimes be presentations on tutorial readings or quizzes on lecture content.
- I was surprised at how different the university experience in Australia is compared to at Warwick. Most students still live at home and go to their local university which makes for a social dynamic far different from university in the UK.
- The chance to study subjects outside of History has given me an understanding of other disciplines' relation to history. Studying an anthropology unit, for instance, involved focusing on case studies and contemporary research of migration that can be connected to its wider history. I have also been able to learn more about Australian history and Indigenous Studies in particular which is a combination of different disciplines including history, anthropology and linguistics. Being able to write essays, and reflective writing, tailored to different disciplines is a major skill I've gained.
- I have had the opportunity to study subjects I wouldn't have at Warwick, which has been really useful in allowing me to gain knowledge and skills in other subjects aside from History. For instance, my International Security Studies module in my first semester introduced me to international Relations, [and] . . . I also took a Criminology module on Global Crime, and a Sociology module on Health and Culture. Taking these different modules has given me interdisciplinary skills and awareness. . . It has been a challenging but rewarding experience.
- I have travelled a lot whilst on exchange and have found it so rewarding. It's incredible to see new places and helps with adjusting to a new country as you get to see more of it than just the university campus. Whilst living in halls I attended residential events and got involved in the res community. I also volunteered for the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
- I travelled to numerous places during my time here. I have done Fiji, the north island of New Zealand as well as the majority of the east coast of Australia. These have been amazing experiences that I could not have enjoyed otherwise. I have also been training with a local soccer team and volunteered for a charity, selling pin badges at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
- At Monash I became the Vice President of the Students Teaching English Worldwide Society (STEW), which was a really rewarding experience as it was a role that required responsibility, teamwork and leadership, which were skills that I wanted to develop.
- I have joined some societies - the Farrer Hall society, Monash Overseas society, Outdoors club. I have also travelled around Australia and New Zealand. There have been many hall events that I have taken part in, and this second semester have achieved the role of a Floor Representative.
- I knew little about the importance of indigenous culture and its importance, socially, politically and historically before coming to Australia, so the education given at university- such as a walking tour around the CBD with an indigenous person- has developed my understanding greatly.
- I took a module studying the history of Australia which was an eye-opener for learning about the culture here. After studying here I am now much more aware of the culture and history of place I now go to. I think this is due to learning about the sad but shockingly true history of Indigenous people in Australia.
- Australia is a very multicultural country, which I wasn't as aware of before I came here. The module I undertook on Contemporary Australia, definitely helped to provide me with a greater insight into indigenous and aboriginal cultures for instance. I would recommend that future students take this module as well.
I started ceramic classes- something that I’ve wanted to do for the last 4 years! A new found passion that I can’t wait to continue when I’m back home.
- I partook in the Melbourne half-marathon, attended the New Years Falls festival, went to about 20 gigs in and around Melbourne and travelled to New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Japan and Hawaii, as well as travelling through and around Tasmania, Canberra, Queensland, Adelaide, Alice Springs to Darwin and around the Kimberleys, Cairns, the Great Ocean road and Perth
- I attended Rainbow Serpent Festival which is well known for being hosted by an Indigenous community on Indigenous traditional lands celebrating traditional Indigenous culture.
- Melbourne rules.
- It’s a lot more expensive and racist than I thought. . . The disparity and treatment between ‘white’ Australians and indigenous people is unacceptable and it has really made me think about Australia as a nation. It isn’t the great, easy-going nation I thought it was; in fact it is old-fashioned, outdated and backwards in terms of its outlook on issues of sexuality, gender and race.
- I have been able to expand my knowledge of subject areas outside of History on my year abroad. For example, I took courses in Bioethics, Anthropology, Criminology, Psychology, as well as Indigenous Studies. These subjects allowed me to enhance my understanding of things I was interested in but had not been able to do as part of my degree at Warwick. They allowed me to utilise the skills I have learned throughout my degree (for example, the ability to think critically and write succinctly) within different disciplines. I often had to alter my style of writing to fit the expectations of these subjects, and I believe that has been useful in my academic development.
- In my first semester at Monash, I joined the university’s ‘flute ensemble’ and performed in two public concerts in Melbourne which was an amazing experience.
- I was most surprised, for Monash anyway, at the difficulties of meeting Australians. Aussies live at home, for the most part, at University and so keep their childhood friends. Additionally, many do university for longer whilst working a lot more than UK students. Thus, I was mostly surrounded and friendly with other international students.
- I would recommend future students to not live in Monash Halls. Make the effort, whilst it will be tough, to find somewhere to live close to the city (or on a good train ride away).
I would advise you not to live on campus and to live out as then you can really integrate into the community and meet Australians, which is the best way to make the most of your year.
- I enjoyed the relaxed nature to the extent that it meant good relationships with lecturers were really easy to form, whilst the prevalence of field trips was extremely positive and culturally enriching. I preferred this nature of the teaching at Monash, although the attitude of other students towards this system made some seminar style teaching much less effective or enriching than might have been expected.
- I gained significant multidisciplinary skills by studying a lot of modules outside of my History and Politics course. An introduction to philosophy and to anthropology have given me a more rounded and holistic approach to issues relevant to my course. One thing that has been developed is greater critical skills, particularly when discussing philosophical frameworks. The experience has also encouraged me to read outside of the course to bring more wide-ranging ideas to my study. Philosophy in particular has led me to have greater understanding of the theoretical side of policy and politics that lead into current discussions, whilst also providing context to significant methods of thinking throughout history, allowing far more effective critical assessment in my further study.
- Most importantly was the solo travelling I took part in. Particularly I travelled the east coast of Australia and the outback, but also spent two weeks of solo travel in New Zealand. This was incredibly enriching, being so far from home and totally alone, it forced me to take greater independence and gave me confidence in knowing my ability to thrive on my own. This travelling also enabled me to understand culture and really engross myself in this; particularly in Mauri culture in New Zealand.
Please note that not all institutions are available each year, and places will be allocated on a competitive basis. Partnerships may be added or withdrawn at any time, and are always subject to availability. The institutions available each year will be posted in the preceding Autumn Term.
Year Abroad Contacts:
Professor Tim Lockley
Director of Study Abroad Programmes
Mrs Val Melling
Tel: +44 (0)24 765 22502
HistoryOffice at warwick dot ac dot uk