Celebrating the holiday season in Australia
Summer in Australia. It is a time when people celebrate a range of holidays from Christmas to Lunar New Year to Australia Day. It is a time when people travel, have picnics and go to the beach. Many businesses close for holidays. From late December to the middle of January, it sometimes seems that finding a café for a coffee is a challenge!
Deakin University operates on a trimester system, meaning that some students do not have a long break over the summer. Instead, they study year-round to better balance their workload over the year.
This year, close to 900 students are staying in campus accommodation across Deakin’s three campuses for the summer trimester. For international students, the break over Christmas and New Year provides an opportunity to explore their surroundings. Whether it is spending time in the city or travelling to the coast, it is time they can spend with friends.
Anne is a Deakin student from Mauritius. ‘It’s not my first Christmas in Australia,’ she tells us, ‘but the first one without my family.’ She will be busy on the holiday. ‘Christmas is a very traditional day for me. I intend to start the day by going to church and then having lunch with other Resis [people who live in residence]. The rest of the day will be spent at my besties’, probably watching cheesy Christmas movies and exchanging gifts!’
Anne is looking forward to watching cheesy movies.
Deakin 'Resis' celebrate the holidays together in style.
The team at Deakin’s Residential Services host a range programs and events for students staying in Australia over the holidays. ‘Lots of events are awaiting me’ said Malaysian student Neesa. She is in Melbourne for the summer trimester, living in residence because ‘it is a convenient, safe place for a person like me who is studying overseas.’
This year, Residential Services is organising excursions to beaches, art galleries and even a theme park. There will also be barbeques and special lunches, so students can make the most of their holidays. For the more adventurous, there will be an opportunity to learn paddle boarding. Other students might feel more comfortable playing mini golf or picking strawberries!
For those who celebrate Christmas, Deakin is also hosting a range of Christmas events and activities such as gingerbread house decorating, a Christmas day lunch and even a Christmas movie marathon for students looking to get into the Christmas spirit.
Anne is living on Deakin’s Burwood Campus. Neesa is in nearby Geelong, studying and living at the Waurn Ponds Campus. This gives them the opportunity to explore one of the best cities for students in the world. Anne is excited for this. ‘This is my first time seeing the Christmas festival in Australia.’ She is also excited that ‘I will spend 2 weeks during Christmas break with my husband and son who are coming from Malaysia! We are planning to cover Melbourne and a road trip on the Great Ocean Road.’
Many students embrace the opportunity to explore Melbourne and beyond over the holidays. ‘Road trips are definitely on the list’ said Anne who is spending the holidays in Australia, ‘if everything goes to plan, potentially a longer trip interstate’.