Guest Blog From 1st Year Journalism Student, Dineth Lankaloka, On Moving To Melbourne To Study A Bachelor of Journalism With Macleay College.Not even a month had passed since I finished high school. I was waving goodbye to almost everyone I knew and loved in my home country of Sri Lanka, traveling 5000 miles to an unknown land, to be with unknown people. It was Saturday midnight that I got on my flight towards a faith unknown. I watched my beloved motherland sink into a tiny dot as my flight soared through the skies. Normally I would fall asleep on even the shortest of flights however, during the 10 hour long flight from Colombo to Melbourne, I couldn’t shut my eyes for a split second.
It was Sunday noon by the time we finally touched down (after what would be the longest and the most nervous flight of my life). Nothing was the same as the place I lived for 19 years. Everything looked new and everyone was a complete stranger to me. There I stood, at the baggage claim, completely and utterly clueless about what’s next to come.
One of my mother’s friends was there to pick me up from the airport, she was kind enough to give me shelter for a short while until I settle down in this new environment. I went to her place, all I had was a couch to sleep on and a small cupboard to unpack my clothes.
I only had two days to unpack before Orientation, not even close to being enough time to wrap my head around this pivotal turning point in my life. I had no idea how to navigate through Melbourne CBD, I didn’t know which trains to catch or how to get there (let alone how the trams operated!). Somehow I figured it all out on a pretty cold Wednesday morning, as I finally entered a building along Collins Street to head into Macleay College.
A few minutes walk from the iconic Flinders Street Station and Federation Square, our Melbourne campus sits in a stylish and accessible location, surrounded by eclectic cafés, art galleries and shops.
I was nervous, stressed, I felt like an alien in an unknown habitat as I sat in the student zone waiting for my classes to start. After just a few minutes of my first class I was so relaxed - that nervous teenager was talking freely and interacting with everybody. I felt welcomed, Macleay felt like home. My journey into the world of Journalism had begun, and this was the starting point.
Macleay is everything, and much more than I could have hoped for when I first applied to study a Bachelor of Journalism. I expected long, boring lectures and a lot of theory, but the reality could not have been further from that. All the lectures were supportive and on point, there has never been a dull moment. The hands-on, practical nature of the Newsroom sessions recreates working in a real-world newsroom, we explore all over Melbourne to cover different stories as they happen.
I can say, without a doubt, that I’ve experienced some of the greatest teaching I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve met a bunch of friends who share my dreams, with a passion for Journalism. I’ve met genuine people, who welcome me with all of their hearts. That kid who touched down in Melbourne with no friends, no family, and no network, now has a phone book full of genuine people - who I know are going to stick with me through thick and thin.
Macleay turned that clueless nervous teenager into an outgoing Journalist, who reaches out to make contact with people to write a range of stories. Macleay took that confused kid who didn’t know how to navigate to his own house in Melbourne and made him explore the vibrant city to talk to people from all walks of life, undertaking every task that a Journalist should do to succeed. Macleay took that kid who flew to an unknown faith and cleared up his visions, letting him know exactly where he had to go to achieve his lifelong dreams.
Thanks to Macleay this Sri Lankan kid, who didn’t know the first thing about Melbourne and the stories it has to be hold, now calls this place home.