Geelong - City by the Bay
Interaction with the local community is what it's about. How well you extend yourself academically as well as socially often determines the limits of a successful lifestyle. Definition of living is to adapt and thrive as opposed to merely surviving, and leading balanced, happy and fruitful lifestyles are the key aims of the student experience at Deakin.
Geelong is the second largest city in Victoria next to Melbourne. Geelong began its life as a city with working class industrial origins offering quality education offered by established educational institutions to its residents. Many Geelong residents work in manufacturing industries (Ford Geelong, Shell Australia, Alcoa Australia); education sectors (Geelong Grammar, Geelong College, Deakin University, Gordon Technical College) and most recently there has been a growth in international education and the tourism industry.
Geelong is home to approximately 240,000 people. It is locally known as the 'City by the Bay', and enjoys a unique position of having a northern facing waterfront. The City of Geelong Council has been extensively developing recreation opportunities along the waterfront attracting thousands of visitors and tourists to the city each year..
As an environmentally friendly city, there are lots of outdoor and open public community spaces. These places have a community focus and have designed to be people-friendly. The city is proud to present itself as a sustainable city and Geelong residents are encouraged to practice sustainable living at every opportunity with Council provision of green waste bins, recycling bins and incentives to install solar hot water heating.
Sun, Surf + Footy
Staying in Geelong for the duration of an entire year gives you the full picture and the opportunity to experience a particular cultural behaviour peculiar to a particular season, e.g. Winter is very much the 'work' season and AFL football (known by locals a 'footy') is sometimes all the locals can talk about. The last Saturday in September is AFL Grand Finals day and just watch the supporters of their local footy team show their colours. Due to the cooler temperatures and the wetter months, spending the after work hours huddled next to a cosy open fire in a pub hugging a pot of beer or nursing a big mug of hot chocolate is the most natural thing to do. Come spring and summer, there's the Geelong Spring Ding Festival where there are carnivals and displays celebrating the change of season throughout the city, and a multicultural festival called Pako Festa (held on the second weekend in February). These are followed by festivities celebrating St Patrick's Day in March, Geelong Cup Day, Easter, Melbourne Cup Day and a series of horse racing events.
The description of the lifestyle offered in Geelong could not be complete without the inclusion of excellent beaches, sun and surf culture in nearby coastal towns such as Torquay (Bells Beach); Anglesea and Lorne. These coastal towns come alive in the hot summer months (December - February is the primary holiday period) and display a distinctive 'surf culture' where barefooted and bronzed bodies eating fish and chips, and ice creams would be a common sight, and where cricket and tennis would be the order of the day.
Geelong's proximity to Melbourne (80km or a 45 minute safe driving car ride) provides opportunity to enjoy theatre, shops, arts, culture, music and food. Geelong operates an efficient and economic train service between Melbourne CBD and the station is a conveniently located 10 minute walk from the Waterfront campus.
High quality sporting facilities are available at the Waurn Ponds campus. Plenty of opportunities to participate in inter-campus activities are organised by DUSA. Geelong City Council also offers many communities sporting and water recreation facilities such as Leisure Link, Bellarine Splashdown and Norlane Water world.
Walking, public transport (bus/taxi), bicycling and taxi are the usual means of getting around. Many students find owning a car offers the most independence and also the most opportunity to getting around and visiting different places. There is a wide range of second hand cars offering reasonable quality for money in the market. We drive on the right hand side of the road here and local traffic rules will need to be observed. Local speed limits are 50km in a built residential zones and 60km and upwards in others. Those who seek a more economical option find owning a bicycle provides plenty of enjoyment. Many roads around the city have included both bicycle as well as pedestrian pathways.
Motorbikes are least common both among students and among local residents. They are usually of powerful cc and present inherent danger as a mode of travel on the roads. All motorists will need to observe local traffic rules.
Student-orientated social events organised University-wide include orientation BBQs, Multicultural Day, specific international student social events and annual balls and dances.
Popular social activities that international students organise on their own include house warming parties, birthday lunches and dinners, night clubbing, karaoke, shopping and sightseeing in Melbourne.