Now, that the first semester is concluded, I should be in a position to assess and share what it’s like to study at the University of Melbourne and I will try and give an ernest and detailed account to the best of my memory and abilities. So in the following article I will try to sum up University of Melbourne in a few short lists.
The campus. The campus of Melbourne Uni is located in Parkville, just North of the CBD. It’s pretty central, but Melbourne is big and spread out so you won’t get anywhere without using public transport or a bike. The campus is absolutely gorgeous. Australians praise its historic buildings and age. That means that some of the architecture dates back to the late 19th century. Laughable. I know. But let them have their pride. The Old Quadrangle and Old Arts are probably my favourite buildings but the new Melbourne School of Design building is also impressive and I like the lawn in front of it perhaps even more than South Lawn. South Lawn: Unimelb’s main patch of grass and a social hub on nice days (most).
The campus is covered with cafés, most of which are relatively cheap and very good. My favourite three:
- Standing Room – Consistently the best coffee on campus, they remember your name, which is nice, and are located conveniently in Union House. Lack of seats, as the name implies, make this your first choice for a quick shot between classes or during work.
- House of Cards – Unimelb’s prettiest café is a small wooden container and an array seats around it. The coffee is very good and a part of the money goes to charity. With each purchase you get a vote to choose between health, environment, social, cultural. The donations get split according to the votes cast.
- Professor’s Square Café – This coffee shop currently located next to Baillieu Library makes the list for two reasons: staff and food. The coffee here isn’t the best and sometimes even disappointing, but the Italian baked goods and the cordial treatment make up for it. They are currently relocating slightly and I don’t think the name is still accurate either.
- Special mention: Seven Seeds – this café isn’t actually located on campus, but it’s close. Definitely the best coffee in reach and maybe it’s quite nice to be somewhere from time to time, where not everyone around you is either a student or working for the University.
Of course coffee will be your main occupation while at uni, but from time to time even the best student needs a break from caffeine and some old-fashioned sleep. This is why the next list will provide you with all necessary intel on my favourite libraries:
Note: No place like home. The Glasgow library, I came to realise, is a particularly amazing place. You thought it’s hard to find a computer there? Think again. You get annoyed easily at people’s behaviour to block seats, eat or be noisy and write daily complaints to the ‘Spotted’ Facebook page? Trust me, Glasgow library will feel like a monastery after you experience the bazaar that is Melbourne’s library.
- Baillieu Library – Melbourne’s main library (Arts) is spread out over astonishing four levels. Four. Wow. It’s pretty noisy. It will have only second book you are looking for. It closes ridiculously early. Don’t even bother coming in on the weekends.
- Giblin Eunson Library – After complaining much and often about Melbourne’s main library, this one made up for it at least a little bit. 3 levels, one of which is actually quite. Dark wood and modern study spaces as well as a balcony make studying here seem more like work in a google office and Seven Seeds is only a few metres. The opening hours are still too short in my opinion and Melbourne Uni’s lack of books is a shame. I also once spent what felt like a lifetime trying to find a book in an entire shelf full of books with the same library code. Not very smart arranging…
- Rowden White Library – or ‘Rowdy’ is a strictly no-study library, full of horrible fiction, dvd’s, magazines and music. Occasional open mic’s and stand-up comedy events between the shelves will make sure to keep you off your work. This is the kind of library any University should have, wether it’s to satisfy your thirst for fiction or to save you the time to find a good stream for your favourite series online. Well done.
- Special mention: State Library of Victoria – not a Melbourne Uni library, but not too far away either. 20 minutes away from campus this is located at the North End of Melbourne’s Centre, opposite the Central train station. The reading room and the entire building are beautiful, a great space for anyone who needs to be intimidated by awe-inspiring grandeur to get any work done. They also have a chess room.
Any questions about libraries, cafés or lists? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Or check out my blog for more: oneyearmelbourne.wordpress.com