29 May 2014

The game is not over

Simon Vallenet

”I’m in Australia studying what I want. These are the best years of my life.”

Life is an adventure for videogame lover and journalism student Simon Vallenet.

Wanting a new life in a new country with new people and opportunities, Simon arrived in Sydney in October 2012, worked at a farm in Bundaberg for five months and eventually settled down in Melbourne in September 2013.

“Back in France, I used to write for amateur and professional websites. I’ve always wanted to work in the videogame industry as a journalist. It is an industry that I’m passionate about – why not doing that for a living?” he says.

Between his time working at a café in Brighton, Simon did some research and spoke with his colleagues. “I wanted to study journalism and I knew RMIT had a good reputation. After a few months of uncertainty, it was a big relief when I first discovered that I had been accepted at RMIT.”

“One morning, one of the lecturers called me for an interview. I went to the campus and at the end the lecturer told me that I was accepted. I was really happy and texted my mom straightaway,” says Simon.

Being a student; however, is not without challenges. Simon is required to read, watch and listen to the news every day for in-class quizzes. “I’ve only been in Australia for two years. It’s really hard for me to understand old news that I’ve never heard of before. I’m struggling to get everything together during the quizzes.”

“My English isn’t perfect either, so it’s hard for me when I have to interview people on the phone for my assignments. I understand what they’re saying, but it’s really hard to put it on paper afterwards.”

Simon does want to prove to himself, his family and friends that he can get his Graduate Diploma in Journalism. “It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible,” he says. “I like my course. I get to meet journalists and developers from the videogame industry for some assignments. My contact book keeps growing.”

“I would love to work as an editor or journalist in Australia. I might need to start as a cadet in a general newspaper first, but videogame magazines or websites are my ultimate goal,” says Simon about his future. But for now, he is enjoying his life in Melbourne.

“This city is one of the best I’ve been to. I feel really lucky to live in the CBD – it’s very convenient,” says Simon who got his own room after almost two years of backpacking in Australia. “I don’t want to go back to hostels with bed bugs,” he jokes.

On top of Simon’s busy days at the university, there is still time for work and fun. “My job at the café helps me pay the bills. Save up money right now – you will spend a lot for study fees, rent, food and social life,” he says. “Technically, I have no days off. It is pretty tiring but I can’t complain – I’m in Australia studying what I want. These are the best years of my life.”

Discover your study abroad options by visiting the Education Abroad Office.

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