Justine Hsu Taking on Australia

Justine Hsu made her arrival to TCNJ after tackling a semester as a double major in Finance and International Studies in Australia. During the Fall Semester of 2017, Justine traveled to Melbourne, Australia where she attended Melbourne University. She lived in a suburb Carlton, which is an accommodation for international students. I had the pleasure of talking to her about her experience while studying abroad in this scenic country and it was a story worth listening to. While living in Australia for the semester, Justine became comfortable with being away from home and eventually called it her new home. As she stated to me, “it’s a city that grows on you” and she indeed said it was her favorite place in Australia.

Justine’s very first experience in Australia was a little hectic and crazy, but it was certainly one she won’t forget. On her first day in Melbourne, Australia, Justine went on the trams and while she was on, the tram broke down—crazy right. That’s not all though, because this caused everyone on the tram to panic and they eventually bust through the doors and ran out of the tram. Can you image a multitude of people running out of a tram all at once? That must’ve been one scary experience.

Justine has been living the dream while in Australia by traveling to many different places within and near the country—Taiwan, Korea, New Zealand, Sydney and China to name a few. She enjoyed trying a variety of food in each place she visited, which she said was amazing by the way! Among all places she visited, Justine said that Singapore had the most variety of food.

One of Justine’s best experiences in Melbourne, Australia was seeing the Swedish pop group, Abba perform Mama Mia live! “It was in the beginning of the semester, and I really didn’t know anyone. But, I met this girl who’s from Switzerland and it was nice to hear people’s experiences and they were very welcoming.”

There were a lot of fun things to do around the city and many parts of Melbourne were artistic. The Seven Seas, as Justine said, looked like an abandoned building, but it was actually a nice and cozy café in the inside. There were also many places she stated that had beautiful graffiti on the walls. If you’re ever interested in visiting Australia or studying abroad, there are many fun activities to do and places to see. Justine mentioned that they have a hiking and beach area, Philip Island, where you can see a penguin parade, St Kilda Beach located in Victoria, Australia—every night around sunset, you can see penguins walking on the island. They also have interesting places to visit like the Mornington Peninsula, where they have the Peninsula Hot Springs Spa and Yarra Valley, which is a winery in Australia. Melbourne, Australia also has 3 different big malls that every visitor dream of visiting.

Justine’s experience in the classroom was fairly different from the teaching style here at TCNJ. Australian professors would record their lectures from and it’s not mandatory to attend the lectures. They also have tutorials; which Justine says you would learn more from than the lectures. Now, Justine is happy to be here at TCNJ with her best friends and tackle yet another semester.