‘G’day mate! I am Ernesto Zepeda, a Mexican engineering student that had the opportunity to experience a semester in Australia thanks to an exchange program with Deakin University.
The truth is that when I was planning my exchange I wasn’t sure about coming to Australia. Everybody talked about going to USA, Spain, and other European countries, but nobody said a thing about Australia. But I decided to think out of the box and experience something new.
I didn’t know what to expect from Australia. I had only heard of deadly animals, Steve Irwin, kangaroos, and koalas. Once I arrived in Victoria, moved to Deakin’s residences in Geelong, travelled a bit and met new people of different cultures, I can tell you that Australia is more than poisonous spiders and exotic marsupials.
Talking about studies, Deakin has a great study program, quality facilities, high-tech laboratories, and distinguished professors with a will to teach and share their knowledge with their students. Being honest, it was hard at first because I didn’t understand the Australian accent at all. After some time I got used to each professor’s accent and felt more comfortable in my lectures and seminars. All the projects and assessments encourage you to learn and develop techniques that can be applied in the professional environment.
One thing that I was very impressed with was the friendly and warm reception from Australians.
One thing that I was very impressed with was the friendly and warm reception from Australians. It is worth mentioning that I wasn’t able to attend to the Beach Welcome Program for exchange students, so I didn’t meet the other exchange students, didn’t have the introduction to the Geelong campus, and I also got lost on the first day of classes. Thankfully, since my arrival to Melbourne airport, I received great disposition from Aussies, Deakin International, the residential department, and of course from the residents from “The Block” (The Block is one of the buildings in the Geelong Waurn Ponds residences).
Here, at the Waurn Ponds Campus I participated in a conversation group with other international persons; I got involved in dodgeball games and unit functions among Deakin residents; and I made friends with people of many different nationalities. I even met some guys that I was supposed to meet at the Beach Welcome and now they are my friends and travel companions.
An amazing advantage of coming to Australia is all the natural gifts that this land offers. It has everything! There are beaches everywhere, perfect to try surfing or just chill out and get a tan. Also you can go up to Cairns at the top of Australia to experience a rainforest landscape and do some scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Tired of water, sand and plants? Go to the big cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Admire the amazing buildings, monuments, have a walk, and enjoy a delicious meal with coffee in the city centre. After getting a little bit bored of big cities you can jump on a boat or plane to Tasmania, do some hiking and enjoy some of the best views that Australia has to offer.
Feeling like you’re reading an article from a travel agency, right? Well it isn’t. Making an exchange with Deakin will give you only benefits. Great education, intercultural relationships, travel opportunities, and more! Without exaggerating, I can assure you that this has been one of the best experiences of my life.
For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.