Category Archives: FOB

Loss of International Students

I was thinking the other day with the after effects of COVID-19 impacting the wider economy in Australia, how would the higher education sector react to the lingering impacts? How about the general vibe in Universities? Will that shift?

  • More English being heard at The University of Melbourne / Upper Swanston Street area

Well you might have been getting pretty fluent in understanding Chinese, Hindi or Cantonese over the past few years. But now, you’ll have to make your efforts in your own time rather than passing by students on a day to day basis

  • Student accommodation demands dropping

Oh these are always pretty full at the start of every semester, including all the apartments and shared rentals near Universities throughout the academic year. This year though, rents are staying stagnant or dropping or housing simply isn’t filling up. Pretty standard knock-on effect.

  • Businesses around student areas being impacted

Weather its Clayton, Burwood East, Hawthorn, Footscray, Carlton or Bundoora – these are all areas that have large university populations and so I would say those food joints and student hang out spots will be suffering this yer.

  • Drop off in migration

Yeah so nobody local really can say that they love migration. Every year the city gets more crowded, infrastructure struggles to keep up with increasing demands and the cost of living continues to outpace wage growth. But it keeps the economy “growing”, with the government forecasts always including hundreds of thousands in net migration every year to facilitate the growth in the economy, there will definitely be a couple of dull years coming up

This year’s budget had assumed a net 270,000 increase in migration for 2019-20 and just a small drop off the following year. An 85 per cent drop would take net migration down to 40,500, the lowest rate in decades.

It’s not all doom and gloom for some, house price growth will slump so the people that managed to keep their jobs and have saved up can benefit.

Reverse Racism?


I used to feel bad when I see FOBs and other minorities being on the receiving end of racism in Australia.

However, after living abroad now for a few years, my sympathy for them has dwindled to something close to non-existent.

Why was this so?

Well.. lets see, in places like Asia, you will stand out in a homogenous population. People will refer to you as foreigner in their native tongue, people will make jokes against you in their language, they

  • People will refer to you as a “foreigner” in their native tongue which isn’t a bad thing, but your identity will revolve around this regardless of if you stay in a place 1 year or 30 years. You might be fluent in their language but still, you’ll never truly belong.
  • People will make jokes regarding you in their native language, some of which will be rather harsh.
  • People will use the biased media, authorities against you to absolve themselves of any guilt in any contentious situations.
  • Any type of relationship you enter with a female, you will stand out in public places with constant staring and snark remarks which will attempt to degrade your partners value (This only applies if she’s hot). The local jealousy is strong when a hot chick is dating a foreigner in most countries. In order to supplicate their own failures with hot girls, they attempt to push down the girls value. However on the upside, if you have your shit together, you will be regularly pulling hot girls that wouldn’t even consider for a second to open their legs for the average local guy.
  • The above point also regularly leads to fights, and yeah since Aussies would probably beat most of these guys to an inch of their life one-on-one it’s usually a ten-on-one fight in Asia. This is what “Fair” means to them.
  • Authorities simply will not give a fuck about you. Police won’t care if you’ve been robbed, beaten up, scammed etc. Anything bad that happens to you, then, well you may as well be on your own. Because that’s how you will feel.
  • You will be denied employment opportunities purely based on your appearance. (Note: It’s very common for CV’s to require a photo in some parts of the world)
  • The media will shame you for the smallest thing, you could easily make the news for something that occurs daily amongst locals of that country. Eg. an argument with a partner, a small car accident etc.
  • Every day you’ll say where you’re from, what you do, how long you’ve lived there.
  • You will be scammed, cheated, and exploited at almost every opportunity from the local underclass.

As you can see, non-Australians have it pretty good in Australia. A lot of these issues are either non-existent or rare in Australia.

So if you aren’t a leftist loser that cried when Hilary flopped, then don’t feel bad at all, let them have it, cause they sure aren’t going to do you any favours if you were on their turf.


Christmas List!

Christmas Wish List

With Christmas merely a few days away, I thought I’d post up a typical FOB Christmas Wish list, complete with reasoning as to why these gifts are so heavily desired.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been  a good boy this year, I have studied 65 hours every week and have scraped H1 for every subject except Organisational Behaviour which I sadly got a H3 for.

So far these holidays, I have religiously followed my holiday routine and have not engaged in any interaction with the outside world to distract me from my goals.

I’m trying so hard to improve in my English that I even got this letter to you proof-read by three native English speakers!

Please Santa, I’d love to receive the following in return for my persistence and hard work this year:
– Karaoke Machine (So I can be a master at Karaoke and beat my FOB friends next time at K-Box!)

– New Pho recipes (Sure, its a simple dish but I want to make it unique since I have it 3 times a day!)

– No Doz (Pretty much a per-requisite for my late night pre-studying for 2013)

– Lots of Red Bull (As above)

Modelling Extremal Events for Insurance and Finance (Definitely want a head start in my Actuarial career!)

The Aptitude Test Workbook (Need to get that edge for my dream graduate job)

Lots of Love,

Xing Lee Jiao

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FOBs (Part III) – Demeanour

So the FOBs series continues! Now, I’m sure that I’ll get a lot of people raging over this, but honestly, I couldn’t care less.


So we’ve all had tutorials that have been dominated by FOBs, right? Those tutorials for me were undoubtedly the worst, most awkward and boring tutorials ever.

Silent FOBs
I re-collect a couple of years ago a tutor mentioning how one particular tutorial he takes is quieter than his any of his lectures (Note: This tutorial was around 95% FOBs). The silent FOBs generally just sit there copying down answers and not really contributing, which is alright usually, since most tutors will speed through the content and hopefully most people will understand. There are tutors however, that always try to engage their students and ask a ton of questions throughout the tutorial. Now, these are the ones which generally have all those awkward silences throughout the semester when a tutor asks the class a question because silent FOBS will either

A) Will genuinely be clueless, or

B) Know the answer but still not say it

Also, some silent FOBs will probably be staying back after class to ask the tutor a question instead of asking during the class when the tutor asks if there’s any questions.

Information-Hungry FOBs

There are also some FOBs that ask a ton of questions which

A) Make absolutely no sense

B) Are super super obvious

C) Have nothing to do with the course, or

D) In rare cases, are decent questions

Often, A, B and C will occur in subjects where participation marks are given (Usually this is not more than 10% at most)

Group Assignments

Group Assignments, love them or hate them, but chances are you’ll probably have to do one at some stage.

Useless FOBs

These are the worst types I think. So, you get given a group assignment, unfortunately you have a FOB in your group and the FOB is either..

A) Completely incapable of doing his or her part (Probably due to lackluster writing ability) or..

B) Slack and really doesn’t care

In the end you’ll have to do their part and work a bit harder.

Demanding FOBs

This usually occurs when you are put into a group which is mainly comprised of FOBs. The demanding FOBs will usually push you to work very hard and probably complete the assignment well before the due date. I have a friend that receives text messages on almost a daily basis (including weekends too!) demanding improvements to the group assignment he was working on with a group of really eager FOBs. Just be sure to cross-check their work to see if its on the right track, cause the last thing you want is incoherent work from them.


FOBs (Part II) – Hangout Areas

So in the second instalment of the FOB series, I’ll be writing about the different areas around the university where I noticed international students regularly spending time.

It’s funny, FOBs are usually rather cliquey, and usually only hang with their own kind, so it’s not too uncommon to see them bundled up in a few distinct areas of the university.

Below are a few that I’ve noticed.

Union House – Underground
I’m not sure why but the Underground level of Union house is rather popular with FOBs, maybe it’s the availability of a variety of Asian foods or the absence of daylight, whatever the reason is, there’s an abundance of FOBs here during the peak times throughout the day.

The Spot – Lounges
Almost every floor of The Spot building has an area at the end of it which contains a sink, microwave, tables and chairs. This is has become very popular with FOBs. I think maybe it’s because of the microwave allowing them to re-heat food from home.

Sidney Myer Asia Centre – Ground Floor
The times I’ve walked through here around lunch times there was a large FOB presence, and also a FOB group practicing breakdancing. I really can’t find much reasoning behind it but maybe since a lot of FOBs undertake their native tongue as a breadth subject for some easy marks they end up spending a lot of time here? I’m not sure..

Aside from that there aren’t really any other areas where I noticed a high FOB contingent so I’ll leave this post short and sweet.

P.S. – and the people trying to find out who I am.. (There’s a few unpublished comments crying for this) I’m basically trolling FOBs in my first couple of posts; do you really think I’m going reveal my identity?

P.P.S – and the comments about making a spelling mistake or getting a fact wrong, all I have to say is… I really could not care less. This is a bit of fun, and I don’t feel like exerting that much effort into getting everything perfect.

Next Post: I’ll take a break from the FOB series, and write about O-Week since it is that time of the year.


FOBs (Part I) – Fashion

So today I begin the first official post of the blog, and the first post will be into the prominent group of international students referred to as “FOBs”. I’m sure most people know what this means, but if for whatever reason you aren’t familiar with the term, a quick Google or Urban Dictionary search should get you well acquainted with the meaning.

The University of Melbourne (UoM) is quite well known for its large contingent of international students. I’d estimate without the help of any official statistics that the overall cohort in my course (Bachelor of Commerce) was anywhere from 40-55% FOBs. This also varies with each major, with Accounting, Finance, Actuarial Studies and Economics taking the crown for having the highest FOB ratios. Marketing and Management, which everyone considers a joke, has a much lower FOB ratio. So, if you want people to talk to, then subjects which fall under these majors would be the prime choice.

Most of the FOBs at UoM, are from Asia, with the main countries being China, Singapore and Malaysia. I guess proximity with Australia has a bit to do with that. I wouldn’t imagine many Europeans travelling all the way to Australia to study when there’s a myriad of tertiary choices throughout Europe.

In my FOB series of posts I’ll cover a number of sub-topics. The first one is Fashion.

FOBs come in all different shapes and sizes, and also differing levels of fashion awareness. Here are a few sub-categories for the different levels of fashion awareness. This list doesn’t just apply to FOBs, I guess a fair amount of local students could fall under these categories too, but I’ll get to that in future posts.

Dressed to impress
A fair amount of FOB girls, seem to dress quite well, some wearing dresses you would expect to see in nightclubs to classes. Often, this is accompanied with make-up overkill, neat hair, and zero preparation for class, which clearly reflects what the majority of their time is spent on.

These girls are often the club rats hitting up Asian night at every prominent nightclub around the inner-city with their fellow FOBs and are somewhat social.. Only in their mother tongue of course!

Fake Louis Vuitton bags are also huge within this crowd, considering most of the FOBs are from China, I’d expect a large proportion of these bags are fakes, but it’s all about appearances right?

I have a friend that falls under this category, she’s Asian but not FOB. Anyway, she lives on-campus and admits that she spends a solid one hour daily getting dressed for university. Whenever I don’t make a comment on her clothes/hair/nails/shoes she’ll bring it up with an open question like..
“What do you think of my hair?”
If a dull response is given, get ready for hell.

If it isn’t already obvious, most of the girls in this category just crave attention. I guess, in my opinion this group is alright, I mean at least they make an effort to look nice, even though most FOB girls aren’t exactly model material in the first place.

For the FOB guys in this category, they will often wear decent collared shirts, sometimes with casual ties and dark slim jeans or other fashionable pants. In winter, expect a coat, sweater or jacket over the top. Some wear will wear dress shoes too, which I think is a bit of an overkill when you’ll probably be walking around a lot between classes, but most will just wear Chucks or other more comfortable alternatives. Recently, I saw a FOB with khaki’s, boat shoes and a cardigan, first thing that popped into my mind was how “White” that FOB had dressed, but yes, there are some FOBs that will try imitating non-FOB fashion, maybe to stand out and confuse you?

The prominent brands in this category of dressers are things like Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, FCUK, Tommy Hilfiger and so on. Many will often wear clothing that openly shows off the brand logo, because appearances are everything.

Mid-tier dressers
These FOBs don’t put as much time or effort into dressing up as the aforementioned sub-category. There’s a strong emergence of American brands like A&F and Hollister amongst the mid-tier dressers.

A lot of them will wear rugby tops or hoodies with jeans. Hair may be a bit messier and generally clothes won’t be as well fitted. Common clothing choices within the mid-tier dressers will be almost the same for both males and females. A lot of FOBs fall within this category.

There are also hipster’s which fall within mid-tier and edge towards the dressed to impress crowd. Generally speaking, the hipster look for FOBs will contain the Hipster glasses, skinny black jeans, and maybe a checked shirt.

Scrub dressers.
These are the worst. Basically, they wear trackies and fleecies with runners. The FOBs that fall within this category are often too nerdy to have fashion sense or social skills and are also overly dedicated to their studies, which is cool, right?

Many of them will wear no brand clothes, or sports brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma and so on. There are also a lot of fake designer brands on their clothes with terrible fonts making the level of authenticity very obvious.

Basically, if you’re a dweeb-FOB then you will more than likely fall within this category. Also, many students doing Engineering or Science seem to dress this way.

For females, wearing leggings by themselves is such a trashy look, definitely a scrub look.

My advice, dress in whatever you’re comfortable in, but avoid dressing like a tramp regardless of comfort.

Of course, this post was a generalisation, so let’s not get all worked up over it, but most people that attend UoM will undoubtedly be able to relate to what I’ve written here.

Next Post: Fob Hangout Areas!

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