Students from all across the globe descended on Warrnambool for Deakin University's annual 'Welcome Program'.
The 220 students from 30 different countries got a true taste of Australia, trying their hand at surfing, bowls, yoga and AFL with the help of local sporting clubs.
Connor Spence, a literature student from the University of Exeter, will be spending a year here in Australia on exchange.
He was blown away by the sheer size of the ocean swell when he paddled out with the help of Go Surf School on Tuesday.
"They've introduced us to Australia through a day of activities, ending with surfing at sunset which is lovely," he said.
"The sea is my favourite thing about the area, it's amazing.
"We went for a walk out along the Breakwater and the waves here are something I've never seen.
"In the UK it's really calm but here the waves are taller than cars, it's huge."
Jennifer Mendes is the senior coordinator of global student mobility inbound with Deakin University.
She said the students enjoyed a BBQ dinner, courtesy of the Warrnambool Deakin University Student Association, breakfast at the Warrnambool Bowls Club and pizza at Flagstaff Hill.
The aim of the program is to help international students make friends.
"These students are all Deakin University exchange or study abroad students and will study at all different campuses," she said.
"About 50 per cent of this group are from Europe, 40 per cent North America and the rest from the UK and Asia.
"We do the Welcome Program two times a year, one in February and the other in July. The aim of the program is for them to meet other people in a friendly and fun space."
"We make sure there's a mix of nationalities in each apartment so they mingle and make friends with people from other countries."
This is the first time the program has been held in Warrnambool, a change from their usual Lorne destination said Warrnambool campus director Alistair McCosh.
"It's traditionally been in Lorne and this year Deakin decided to bring students down to Warrnambool for the opportunity for students to get a regional experience," he said.
"It's an excellent opportunity for us to showcase Warrnambool and the Warrnambool campus.
"Most of these international students have never had a regional experience before and Warrnambool is such a welcoming city.
"They got a good introduction to Aussie Rules, and surfing as many have never been to the beach, showcasing something you can't do in Melbourne.
"They also went to Tower Hill on Wednesday to take part in a number of activities with Gunditjmara to experience the south-west's Aboriginal culture."
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