By Sunny Liu
Having lived in the CBD for the past two years, recent RMIT University graduate Cindy Wang said her lifestyle had changed dramatically since making the city change.
Ms Wang came from China to study a Masters of Media and Communications at RMIT University in 2016 and was surprised at how inconvenient it was to commute from the outer western suburbs to the city each day.
“It used to take me almost two hours just to commute to the city. And living in the suburbs also means I had to head straight home after my classes to get home before dark,” she said.
She described her lifestyle before coming to Melbourne as “the stay-at-home-and-read type”, but that had changed ever since she moved into the CBD.
“After moving to the city, I became much more active in both my social life and physical exercises,” she said.
“There are always festivities and things to do in the city. I joined the gym and keep a regular fitness schedule.”
Ms Wang said she thought the CBD residential lifestyle was the perfect fit for young professionals and students.
“I think the CBD is a great place for singles to live in. They have more chances to socialise, more employment opportunities and more room for self-improvement,” she said.
“The CBD is also very multicultural and young in its culture, so it’s a wonderful choice for people in their 20s to live here.”
After moving to the CBD, Ms Wang signed up to become a student ambassador for the state government initiative Study Melbourne.
She was also actively involved in RMIT’s student TV station, Australian Federation of International Students and AMES Australia.
She said the convenience of being a CBD resident meant she had more time and energy to commit to her voluntary work.
“I had plenty of time to attend to my voluntary commitment because I live in the CBD,” she said.
As an international graduate, Ms Wang said she believed volunteering provided a platform for foreign students to get to know the local community better.
“Volunteering for the university, Study Melbourne and non-profit organisations is a great way for international students to fit into the local society. The community needs international students’ contribution and it also helps break down stereotypes about overseas students once the locals know more about the student community,” she said.
Another big plus of living in the heart of the city is safety.
Ms Wang said she felt much safer living in the CBD than when she lived in the western suburbs.
“Commuting on the train and walking home from the train station in the suburb at night could be quite dangerous. But here in the city I feel safe going out at night as there are always people around. Most of the residents here are very friendly and they also care about your safety,” she said.
Ms Wang said the geographic location of the Melbourne CBD means people would always need to come into the city.
“Melbourne is not like Beijing, where there are several city centres. Wherever you go in Melbourne, you would always need to go through the CBD,” she said.
“I feel very comfortable living in the CBD. It has improved my social life, my health, my lifestyle and employability,” she said.