Having never studied abroad before, I think it is fair to say that Deakin Uni has the very best orientation committee ever. ESAs, short for Exchange & Study Abroad Assistants, are some of the greatest people on the earth. It is their job to ensure that all of the students studying abroad have an enjoyable transition in to the Melbourne lifestyle.
The ESAs are as diverse as the international student group they lead. Some are locals and some come from the most distant places on the earth. However, they all have something in common, their appreciation for the study abroad experience.
For the first two weeks the ESAs had an event planned for every night. The events range from footy games to festivals to cheap eats to big nights out. The nights have been tremendously fun, albeit, quite taxing on my wallet and liver.
Having a group of peers that are committed to showing as much of the city as possible is priceless. It is almost as if Deakin hired tour guides, of relevant age, that not only can show us where to go, but how to enjoy the venue.
Being thrown in to a city can be overwhelming. No idea where to go, what to do, no good. Yet, getting chaperoned around for a few weeks isn’t the only reason why the ESA program has been a success in my mind. It has also been another great opportunity to meet fellow study abroaders. Let me say this, seeing a bunch of international students trying to sing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” is a great icebreaker.