So I’m finally Out Here In Australia! Can’t believe that I’ve been here for 2 months. There’s truth in the saying -time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve been so busy and lots of things have happened. So I’ll fill you guys in on what I’ve been up to so far.
1) The search for accommodation
I’m being honest when I say that my search for permanent accommodation in Adelaide, has been one of the most stressful things that I’ve had to do so far. Finding accommodation in your own country can be a difficult task, but doing it in a foreign country is a whole other story. I arrived in Adelaide 2 weeks before the suggested arrival date to find a place to live in time for the start of the semester.
I decided to look for privately managed student housing rather than ones managed by the university, as it was the cheaper option. (University managed accommodation can range from $220-$270 a week) Here’s what I was looking for; a place really close to the university, at no more than $180 per week, with utilities included in the rent. But was it easy to find? In my case it wasn’t. I stayed in temporary accommodation for a month, while I spent almost every day searching for places and viewing houses. Shout out to my friends on Melbourne Street for letting me stay at their place! Xox
The university’s accommodation service definitely helped with my search, as I was able to get all my questions answered and be informed about the things to look out for. From my experience, here are a few things that you should consider when looking for privately managed accommodation:
- Don’t sign 12 month leases. You might end up not liking where you live, and may feel like moving out. Things may get a bit complicated when it comes to breaking your lease to allow you can move out. To avoid this, sign a lease that lasts 3-6months. I signed a 6 month lease, with the possibility of extending it to 12 months.
- Don’t feel pressurised into signing anything. Take your time to think about your decision. Take a look around first, don’t settle for the first place that you visit (unless you’re 100% sure)
- Don’t pay any deposits or sign any leases without seeing the property first. I can’t understand how some people do that with out seeing the place in which they’re going to live. I’ve met a few people that have done that…. well each to their own, it’s not something I would recommend. I visited a few places that gave off weird vibes with questionable individuals living there so yeah..visit the places first!!
- And lastly… READ YOUR LEASE AGREEMENT, this may seem pretty obvious but I’ve met people who haven’t. Thankfully, I was able to go over the lease with one of the staff members at the accommodation service, who were very helpful in making sure that I understood everything. You don’t want to get any surprises after you’ve signed the lease without reading it…
If you’re planning on doing a year or semester abroad, find out if your university has an accommodation service. Things may be different in your home country when it comes to renting, that way someone will be able to explain how to go about things.
Looking for accommodation in France was much easier for me than it was in Australia. This was mainly because I had my family around to help me and I wasn’t in a rush to find a place. Also, my monthly rent was much cheaper than it is in Australia (rent was €150 a month, people don’t be believe me when I tell them).
After what seemed like a never-ending search for accommodation, I managed to find a room in a shared house through an estate agent. It’s located 20 minutes away from the uni by bus. It’s my first time living with housemates, as I previously lived in a studio by myself in France and it has taken lots of getting used to. It’s a pretty hit and miss situation when you move into a house with people that you don’t know. Either you’ll be lucky and get on with everyone or you’ll share a house with people that you can’t stand. It’s all down to luck. Hopefully you guys will be lucky! You can try to find a place to rent with people that you know, then again it’s good to mix with different people to form new friendship groups. My living situation has been fine, but I would’ve preferred to live in a studio again like I used to in France.
2) Orientation Week (18/07/2016 – 25/07/2016)
The orientation week was organised to welcome the new exchange students starting in the second semester. Talks, presentations and tours were held throughout the week to get us familiar with the uni. I’m glad that I went on the library tour, because it turns out that I spend most of my time there outside of lessons. AND OF COURSE, the week was filled with parties, outings and BBQs organised by the university and the ESN (Exchange Student Network).
Urimbirra Wildlife Park & Victor Harbor (Day Trip)
The most memorable thing about the orientation week was the day trip organised by the university, which is where I got to visit a wildlife park and the coastal town Victor Harbor. It was a cool experience and I’m glad that I went on the trip, as I got to feed kangaroos, and see other animals native to Australia. Even though I’m smiling in this picture, I was actually terrified! But now that’s one thing crossed off my list of things to do while I’m here.
3) Settling in as an exchange student in Adelaide
I haven’t had any difficulties settling in as an exchange student here in Adelaide. I rarely find myself feeling bored as there’s always something going on, like outings, parties and local events. It’s really easy to get around the city and most things are within walking distance. I will say, that as someone who relies on buses to get around, the public transport here is terrible. It’s not unusual to find yourself waiting up to 20 minutes for a bus. I’ll never complain about TfL (Transport for London) ever again! In fact TfL is amazing in comparison to Adelaide Metro.
The locals here are very friendly, which is what surprised me when I arrived here. I often asked myself, “why is everyone so nice here?”. I’ve noticed that strangers are very willing to help you out. On two occasions, I accepted car rides from random strangers offering to take me where I needed to go, which is something that I’d NEVER EVER consider doing in London or in France. But don’t worry I haven’t lost my sense of ‘stranger danger’.
Well that’s it for now! Thanks for taking the time to read this post, look out for my next one!