On Sunday 7 August, more than 70 international students joined thousands of fellow Melbournians for a truly Australian cultural experience: to see the Carlton Blues play the St Kilda Saints at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The AFL experience was organised by La Trobe International in partnership with the Carlton Football Club. Travelling by charter bus from La Trobe’s Melbourne Campus at Bundoora to the iconic MCG stadium, International Student Services staff member Liselle and local student Zac accompanied the eager new footy fans to their prime vantage point at the ground and helped to explain the intricacies of this mysterious sporting and cultural ritual.
The Blues proved no match for the Saints, going down by 71 points on a difficult day for Carlton fans, however the weather was beautiful, the atmosphere was electric and impressive match was greatly appreciated by La Trobe International Students. Some of their feedback is included below:
‘We weren’t aware of the rules of this game. I could see how intrigued everyone was from their faces.’
‘For me it was first experience of coming to MCG although I have been living in Melbourne for 2 years, so from the time of stepping in the MCG I was feeling happy to be in the ground.’
‘We were supporting the Carlton team as they sponsored the trip but I personally liked the opposite team because there players were performing better than the earlier one.’
‘It was nice to see a big crowd of people supporting their beloved team whenever their favourite team goals they give big applause.’
‘We didn’t only enjoyed the game and learnt the rules of this game but we also enjoyed eating food. Although the food was bit expensive but me and my friends bought different food and shared with each other, we wanted to taste different food being sold at MCG.’
‘The fun of the day didn’t finished on that as at the end of the game we were allowed to go in the field to play footy and take pictures.’
‘I was so excited to go to the MCG, as we used to watch cricket matches held there when I was back home in India. I was so so excited to go there, finally. It was so beautiful and amazing.’