Debora is a Study Melbourne Ambassador. Study Melbourne has 15 international student and alumni ambassadors for 2019. During their time as ambassadors, they regularly share insights and experiences to help international students have a great experience while studying here in Victoria. 

I knew straight away this was the right place for me!

By Debora Komukai

I came to Australia in August 2016 having been awarded a scholarship to study English in Cairns, Queensland. After finishing my English course, I felt that even though Cairns was an adorable city, where I could enjoy the beach and warm weather, I felt couldn't access the opportunities I wanted to achieve all my goals. So, after extensive research and deliberation, I decided to head south to Melbourne.

So, what led me to this decision?

Well-regarded education system

I knew Melbourne was well regarded for its education system, and I wanted to experience life in one of the world’s most liveable cities. One of my goals was to study my Masters degree at The University of Melbourne, which I was successfully accepted to. But, as we all know, life can take many turns and I was directed on another path. Melbourne as a city offers a lot more a study – you can head to many events within the industry you are interested in the doors will continue to open. I came to Melbourne because of its famous reputation in the academic world in Australia and because the city is widely known as one of the best around the world. In the end, I not only ended up agreeing with these two ideas but also falling in love with what the city is surrounded by - it oozes diversity and endless opportunity.

As Melbourne is home to some of the best universities around Australia, it is easy to find events such as concerts and any other type of entertainment all over. For instance, if you live in Footscray you can literally go out just to do your groceries and end up having lunch in an Ethiopian festival. Or if you are cycling around Richmond maybe you will come across with an activity related to the footy and learn all about the sport without spending any money.

A friendly city

Another thing I heard before coming to Melbourne that was confirmed once I arrived here is this city is super friendly for international students. If you are an international student here, you will see a variety of events and benefits popping up in front of you. The city promotes a variety of activities to integrate domestic and international students in just one place.

Aussie culture

Another characteristic that made me feel attracted to a life in Melbourne was because the state of Victoria is made up of soccer team clubs everywhere including the prestigious Melbourne City team. By studying and living in Melbourne I finally got the chance to get to know more about Aussie culture, making local friends and playing in a community team in the sport that I love. Melbourne is a big city but sometimes it seems you are part of a small community – offering a number of activities for you to do with the people who live around you.

Melbourne was 'love at first sight'

As I was originally living in Queensland, I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in Melbourne before I made the big move. All my research had led me to this point, and it did not disappoint. It seems like yesterday I was arriving in the city in the middle of the autumn. Walking around the city I saw trees full of dried leaves that seemed to shine so golden, the noise of the trams passing along the streets and the old school/European architecture – there was so much to enjoy. Quite frankly, it was love at first sight.  

Now, my life in Melbourne is full adventure, challenges and new opportunities. Melbourne has opened doors I never thought possible and I am excited to see what’s next.

About the author

Debora has lived all over the world before arriving in Australia to study. She is passionate about international education and is looking forward to helping students navigate their way through their international student journey. Debora loves meeting new people, listening to their personal stories and trying new things outside of her comfort zone. Meet the 2019 Study Melbourne Student Ambassadors.

Debora Mayumi Komukai