Course Information

Elva Zhang

Individual Testimonials

Elva Zhang, China, Law & Arts (International Relations)


I have been studying in Melbourne for five years now and I want to tell new students one thing: when you study here, enjoy it fully. Go out and meet people and discover the city. There�s so much to see and do and you will find people very friendly once you start meeting them. It is necessary to get over the initial fear but after taking the first step, you can jump and fly and unexpected surprises will come.

The first two languages I heard people speaking in Melbourne were not English but Greek and Italian. This surprised me! You will be amazed at how many different languages you hear. This is why I choose to study in Melbourne and also why I have fallen in love with it. Meeting people with such different cultural backgrounds is fantastic as I feel it broadens my views and makes me feel we are global citizens.

Sometimes feel like I am in China rather than a foreign country, since you can meet a lot of Chinese people here and also enjoy the traditional Chinese food, and certainly Chinese cultures. There is just about every other culture too and many new foods to try.

I have fulfilled a dream in Melbourne too. I have joined 3ZZZ radio station and become a broadcaster at Polyfonix, a show for the ethnic youth in Melbourne. I never really expected Melbourne could fulfill this dream. Working at 3ZZZ has helped me get to know a lot of people.

When I first came to Melbourne I lived in homestay with an Australian family. It was a good start as I gradually learned how to live here. Now I am living in a townhouse sharing with two other girls who have already finished their degrees. I have learned to be really independent in order to deal with all the daily life details which were done by my mother before. However, I am still trying to be a good cook. At the moment I do all my cooking in the microwave which works fine for me!

Studying in China is the opposite to studying in Melbourne. Student life in China is 95% about studying and more studying. It is very different in Melbourne � the days are not as long at school but it requires a lot of independent thinking as well as team work. You can challenge your teachers� opinions if you disagree with them, which has particularly benefited me. I can openly express my own views when there is a class discussion and I no longer feel shy. This year, I became close with one of my tutors, who was teaching and doing her PhD in China.

My university has great facilities. The legal library has wireless online so I only need to bring my laptop to school and I can access information very easily. I have joined the university gym and I go to yoga class there too.

I love the leisure time in Melbourne. I have really enjoyed the parks - they are all so beautiful and no matter where you go you feel you are always surrounded by green trees and flowers. Many times, I just walk around the city with a cup of traditional Italian coffee or a chicken sandwich in my hands! Going to the Sunday markets is also great fun since you can see many handmade crafts which cannot be bought in the department stores. I have sold second hand goods of my own at Camberwell Sunday Market � it is a wonderful experience and something I would never have done in China. Most interestingly, I have started learning Tarot and Western Astrology in Melbourne!

I would like to stay in Melbourne after my degree is completed and will probably apply for permanent residency. Melbourne is now a second home for me so no matter what happens I will always come back. I have so many friends here now.

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