Launceston Student Life - by Haonan Kang

Launceston is a fantastic place. In size, it is somewhere between a busy city and quiet town, well suited for international students coming to study and live. The city has almost every type of outdoor activity, and many historic sites.
I came to Launceston after living in the Shanghai CBD for nearly 25 years. I still have vivid memories of after I had arrived for the first time, when we were being driven from the airport to Kerslake (Student Residence). The whole way we were all shocked by the shops that were already closed, and the lack of any traffic jams. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.
In the next following years though, my idea of Launceston changed completely as I explored this amazing and passionate place.
I did not expect to enjoy the food in Launceston, as I am used to Asian food. We saw so many other options though – such as Indian food with amazing service, Korean food with extremely nice side dishes and wonderful, wonderful  brunches. All these came with complimentary helpings of sunshine and fresh air.
While being an active student took most of my time, I also found the time to do things I had never done before. My first Christmas break, I visited the East Coast blow hole with my friends. We waited for the penguins to come back after dark and listened to the noises they made, then got up early so we could view the sunrise next morning. After this trip, we started travelling further, and tried to blend in more. We started travelling like locals, eating as locals and living as locals, just as the newspapers sometimes talked about. 
I didn’t just organize my own trips either. As a University student in Launceston, I went on heaps of activities organized by CFNP North, such as a Cradle Mountain trip and Honey and Cheese farm day trips. There was also a great many international association events. The best of these are the movie nights, marmak nights, and mid-autumn festivals. These were all very affordable too – even for students. The best part of these was chatting with our classmates, tasting oriental and Middle Eastern food.
People who come from the southern regions of Asia might complain about the winter, but the weather doesn’t have to stop you. I found by chance that I could still do indoor exercises such as yoga at the Uni Gym. They have special discounts for University students that make them MUCH cheaper than other gyms. I always told my friends that if they find winter too cold, they can warm up in the gym.
I love Launceston. I love being a part of it. I hope more people can come here – either to study or to live.