International Students in Australia: A Local’s Guide to Melbourne

Life as a student in Melbourne
Life as a student in Melbourne

What is life really like for international students in Melbourne? The city is famous for its culture, food and sport. However, if you’re interested in making the move to Melbourne, we understand that you want to know the real ins and outs of being a student in this city. Therefore, we’ve created an international student’s guide to living costs, work options and university life in this city. We’ve also included a heap of local knowledge, so you can get to know the real Melbourne lifestyle.

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The Best Universities in Melbourne for 2018

Melbourne is known as Australia’s culture capital, where you can smell coffee and find art in every corner of the city. The multicultural hub is well known for being the most liveable city in the world, but it is also the home to eight universities ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2018.

The city itself is ranked the best student city in Australia by QS due to its extremely high student mix and desirability. Clearly the city has a lot to offer students, so we’ve created a list of universities in Melbourne to help you get to know these institutions better.

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Where’s the best place to live in Australia? Student life and living in Australia

Student life in Australia
Student life in Australia

Australia is now the third most popular destination for international students worldwide. Sure, we may have beautiful beaches and landscapes, however what is it that really makes living in Australia so great for students and where is the best place to live in Australia? We at the Student Housing Company have decided to explain what really makes studying down under so special. In such a large country, it can be hard to know where is the best place to live in Australia, so we’ll also take you through some of Australia’s major cities and tell you what it’s actually like being a student there.

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A Guide to the IELTS Australia and How to Ace Your Exam

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most commonly used English language test for higher education in the world, so if you’re thinking of coming to study in Australia, you’ve probably heard of it before. As mentioned in our blog about the Australian visa process, you will need to prove your English language proficiency to be approved for an Australian visa and the IELTS Australia is the most common way students around the world fulfil this requirement. Exams often seem like a daunting task, but there are plenty of ways you can work on your English skills and ace the exam! We’ll run you through the structure of the exam, how to register and pay for the IELTS Australia fee and also explain the IELTS results. We’ve included a few tips and tricks along the way too, so here’s your helpful guide to the IELTS for Australia.

The Exam

First of all, let’s outline exactly which exam you will need to take. There are two versions of the exam – the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. If you are a student applying for undergraduate or postgraduate studies in Australia, the IELTS Academic test is the exam you need to take.

The IELTS test has four components – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests always take place together on the same day and there are no breaks between the sections. However, the Speaking testing may occur on a different day and can be scheduled a week before or after the day of the other tests.

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Australia’s Best Universities for 2018

The University of Sydney, Australia
The University of Sydney, Australia

Australia continues to prove itself as a leading country for tertiary education as our universities are consistently ranked amongst the world’s best universities. This year seven Australian universities were listed in the 2018 QS World Top 100 Universities.

The combination of our high standard universities with the laid-back Australian lifestyle means our student life is pretty great too. We at The Student Housing Company have done our research and talked to students from across the country to create a run-down of the top ten universities in Australia below.
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In a nutshell: Australian Student Visa Process Step by Step

Australia Student Visa Process – Studying Abroad

Applying for an Australian Student Visa is not the most exhilarating thing to look forward to before your study abroad trip. At TSHC, we‘ve created an informative and reader friendly compilation of tips and notes to simplify this process for you.

In order to be eligible, you must be pursuing a registered full time course with one of the educational institutes in Australia. It is important to fulfill the conditions of a student visa application to avoid delays in processing times.

It used to be really time consuming and complicated with an array of options but there has been a reduction of student visa subclasses from 8 to 2, Student Visa (subclass 500) and Student Guardian Visa (subclass 590).

The Student Visa process at a glance

Let’s see what the whole fuss is really about with a process outline:

Step 1: Get a confirmed place in an Australian University. (Confirmation of enrollment or Letter of offer will do.)

Step 2: Understand and comply to all the requirements, documents included. (You wouldn’t believe how much time just getting this done saves in the visa process)

Step 3: Create an online ImmiAccount. (With the introduction of Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) all student visa applications are processed online).

Step 4: Complete an Australian Student Visa application form online from your ImmiAccount.

Step 5: Upload scanned copies of required documents. (Check this tool by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to get a checklist of the documents.)

Step 6: Pay the application fees. This is usually $420 in most cases but the cost depends on your home country. (Check here for more information on how to pay).

Step 7: Apply!

Step 8: Now, you can sit back and relax, unless they ask for some additional information to provide after your application.

Step 9: Wait until your visa is confirmed. It’s generally advised to hold off buying your flight ticket until your visa comes through.

Overall, it isn’t too laborious. Let’s look at the process in detail so you will not miss out on any of the processes.

Pre Application Australia Student Visa Process

Pre Application

Financial Pre-requisites

Adhering to these guidelines ensures a safe and entertaining student life. Low risk immigration students would find it easier as they only need to declare proof of financial capacity and meet the following mandates:

– Proof of funding that covers tuition fees and one year of living as well as travel for arriving to Australia

– If accompanied by a parent, annual income of $60,000, or $70,000 per annum is required.

Confirmation of enrollment (COE)

The COE or a letter offer is acknowledgment of placement to study, from an educational institute belonging to Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS) in Australia. The COE is essentially a code you will enter within one of the fields in the online visa application.

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has mandated the GTE as a measure to gauge genuine intent of staying temporarily in Australia. This prevents the misuse of the student visa as a means for students to maintain full time residency in Australia even after course completion or cessation. The following factors will be considered by the DIBP:

– Prosperity and situation in your home country
– Immigration history pertaining to you
– Potentiality of your course in Australia
– Any other relevant matter

English proficiency:

You will have to take eligible tests to prove your English language proficiency to the DIBP if you are not from an English speaking country or haven’t completed education for at least 5 years in an English speaking country. Some of the common tests include IELTS, TOEFL IBT and Cambridge advanced english (CAE). There is a list of proficiency tests and their qualifying scores accepted by the DIBP here.

Health requirement:

Excluding students from Belgium and Norway, Overseas Student Health Cover has to be purchased. Some students might also be asked to provide a certification of good health (for example, if you are applying for a medicine and treatment course), the tests would be either a medical or radiological checkup. The doctor conducting the experiment must be authorised by the Australian immigration department.


Certification of good character is essential for the student visa process. Now this includes documents like a police certificate or statement from your home country along with a filled out a form called the Character Statutory Declaration Form.

Application process

The most straightforward way to apply without delay in processing time is via the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s website. While another option is to approach educational agents who can represent your interests and make the documentation and other necessary requirements a stroll in the park.

You will have to create an account with ImmiAccount. You can use your account to:

●      Save an application
●      Upload documents
●      Provide passport details
●      Edit email and address details
●      Track the progress of your application.

After gathering and scanning documents pertaining to your student visa application, go to the ImmiAccount, an online application portal. All your documents which are scanned will be uploaded directly into ImmiAccount, using other channels to upload is not recommended as it leads to delay in processing time. You will also have to pay your application fee at the time of application. More methods of payment are given here.

Note: Please upload all necessary documents carefully in order to avoid visa refusal and other unpleasant things.

It goes without saying that you are not to make any travel decisions until you get an approval from the Australian Department of Border Protection and Immigration.

Student Visa Processing Time for Australia



You can track the status of your application using a Transaction Reference Number (TRN). This is a unique code assigned to every online application. You will have to log into your ImmiAccount to check on this.

After the online application process The Australian Department of Border Protection and Immigration will ask you to attend an interview. Apart from an interview you will be expected to provide a police clearance certificate and biometric information.

Application usually take about 4 weeks according to the Department of Border Protection and Immigration. But there are several things that can influence this time period:

– Provision of all supporting documents
– Your rate of response time towards requests from the Department of Border Protection and Immigration. (Make sure you reply fast on this one, you don’t want to keep government waiting)
– Your time duration for attending health checks and biometric information provisions

If the visa is granted the Department of Border Protection will let you know with the visa number and connected comments related to your visa. If the visa is not granted you will be informed about the reasons for the denial.

Welcome to Australia - Student Visa Processing Process from India

Some key things to know

Subclass 500

This visa allows students to pursue a full time study in an educational institute within Australia. (Compliant with CRICOS-registered course)

In order to be qualified for this Visa, students must have an accepted place in an educational institution. If you are under 18 years of age, you should have authorised financial capacity and other security arrangements in place. Just so the folks in Australia know you are going to be comfortable here.

Subclass 590

This visa is for guardians/parents accompanying students below the age of 18.

Simplified Student Visa Framework

The name sounds mean but this introduction in the entry formalities of Australia has smoothened and speeded the processing time with regards to less paper work and documents of evidence. There is a tool by the government which provides a list of preliminary mandates.

Australian Student Visa Lifestyle


Studying abroad is an important decision in your life, with regards to academic enhancement or something as simple as getting your dream job, better lifestyle and so on. Decisions of such magnitude require careful planning and execution. Australian student visa is a means to ensure you pursue a full term or short term course within Australia with your desired educational institute of choice. Getting together all the required documents, clearances and certifications really matters in a speedy approval of your student visa. It is then equally important to respond to DIBP’s requests after your application is complete, be it to attend an embassy interview within your country or to provide biometric information.

Have any questions? Feel free to share your thoughts and get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

All about Student Visa, Fees and Student Life in Australia

How much are Australian Student Visa Fees?

Why do you need a Student Visa?
Visa application and fees
Living expenses

Australia is arguably considered the largest island and smallest continent in the world (never mind Greenland, it’s not a continent anyway). A plethora of interesting and bizarre phenomenon make it a truly special place to visit.

What’s so great about Australia anyway?

The beach country is globally ranked number three as a go-to destination for international students. According to U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems, it is ranked number nine in the world for higher education. Apart from the academic seriousness, Aussie lifestyle is filled with more than 10,000 sunshine drenched beaches, some of the largest arts and culture festivals, sports (cricket), diverse cuisine and 2,000 varieties of wine and wildlife, which cannot be found anywhere else on the face of the planet.

Although Australia is the 6th largest country in the world, it only has a population of 24 million. The Aussie attitude is generally laid back and the people there usually hold very little stress. It has become extremely multicultural, with interesting opportunities for knowledge and cultural exchange. Australians are also known to be quite friendly, so don’t panic if you get a couple of g’days from the strangers on your walk to the grocery store. The crime rate is also low compared to countries like the US and regions of Europe, so much for living in a land down under.

All of this summed up together makes Australia a pretty great place to study. Getting to know the prerequisites to have in place for obtaining a student visa, living and code of conduct is important for your study abroad decision in Australia.

We at The Student Housing Company have carefully created a guide to help you through this process of obtaining an Australian student visa and getting around thereafter.


Australian Student Visa and Lifestyle Costs

Why do you need a Student Visa?

An Australian student visa allows you to stay for 5 years within Australia in order for you to study at an educational institute of your choice. This visa is under the category subclass 500.

A student visa also allows you to work for 40 hours per fortnight, and full time when you are on break from university. It can be pretty handy to work part-time in order to cut costs, earn extra income and support your lifestyle during your tenure as a student. The weekends need to be something you look forward to.

The time period(s) and work authorisation(s) differ depending on your enrolment and requirement.

The national minimum wage rate is $18.29 per hour or $694.90 per 38 hour week. Popular jobs that students seek include waiting/tending in cafes or bars, retail assistance in departmental stores or supermarkets, tutoring, sales and telemarketing.

Note: For serving and tending alcohol in Australia you need to complete the Responsible Service of Alcohol, training. The training is regulated by the state government, it is oriented towards educating alcohol providers and servers to prevent intoxication, drink driving and underage drinking.

Australian Student Visa Jobs and Wages

Visa application and fees

The Australian visa fees have increased from July 2017 😟 There are also certain mandates you will have to fulfill in order to apply without hiccups for the Student Visa (subclass 500).

Confirmation of placement/enrolment

You will have to be offered a place for full time study in one of the institutions of Australia. A proof of this is either maintained by provision of a ‘Confirmation of Enrollment’ (COE) or ‘Letter of Offer’ from the educational institute.

These documents are provided only to academic courses that fall under CRICOS framework, (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students).

Financial security and assurance

An evidence of ability to cover tuition fees, living costs and travel expenses is a more appropriate phrasing of showing financial capacity for your stay in Australia as a student. Believe us, going broke isn’t hugely enjoyable in Australia 😂

The amount of finance which would suffice as eligibility criteria usually depends on the duration of your course study. Other factors which would influence this criteria would be your passport’s country and your choice of educational institute.

English Proficiency

This is another application criteria which depends on your choice of course, country of origin and nativity of English. As an evidence of English language proficiency, a test for minimum English language is accepted by the Australian Government.

Some popular English proficiency tests are IELTS, TOEFL IBT and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE). There is a list of proficiency tests and their qualifying scores accepted by the government here.

Some educational institutes have a different means of gauging proficiency and can be higher than the standard expected by the government.

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)

All student visas adhere to GTE. The government just does not want anyone to overstay and take advantage of their student visa. Your intentions to stay temporarily in Australia are determined here by the officer in charge where he considers your individual and academic circumstances and home country as part of the assessment.

Courses in Australia

According to the Global MBA Ranking by Financial Times, Australia is the third most coveted destination for studying abroad. The most popular courses revolve around business and management but Australia’s higher education is host to a bunch of academic courses allowing you to go crazy and study what you would really like!

Costs of studying

A bachelor’s degree on an average term across Australia can cost around $7,900, (41,368.09 CNY, INR 40,1190) according to Dr. Kirby. While annually a bachelor’s degree costs, AU$15,000 (US$11,750) to AU$33,000 (US$25,800). Post graduate programs are AU$20,000 (US$15,650) to $37,000 (US$28,900) and PHD programs are AU$14,000 (US$10,950) to $37,000 (US$28,900).

Living expenses

An estimate of AU$350 to $900 per week would include recreation, food and travel although accommodation rates vary depending on the type chosen.

It costs about $300/week in Sydney, $160 in Melbourne and $175 in Perth. Do check here for The Student Housing Accommodation’s rates for the newest and most comfortably furnished accommodations.


Scholarships are another reason for Australia being one of the most popular study abroad destinations. Scholarships imply covering tuition fees, one semester’s extension and scholarship amount levied up to AUD$10,000.

Check here for more information. The selection criteria differs with accordance to home country, academic merit, closing dates and financial support.

Visa Fees

The Australian student visas fees keep changing from time to time. This tool lets you estimate your price if you have to customise your application.

The subclass 500 starts from AUD (Australian Dollars) $560. That is 28,713.73 Indian Rupees, 2,939.89 Chinese Yuan Renminbi, 36,411.28 Bangladeshi Taka and 47,160.39 Pakistani Rupee. Source: Department of Immigration and Border Security.

Please visit here to know the updated surcharges that will apply on your Visa if your method of payment is a credit card.

Overseas Students have lots to discover in Australia


Studying abroad in Australia can be one of the most interesting decisions you could take as a student, pursuing higher education and greener pastures with Kangaroos to hop alongside. With high quality degrees on offer from globally recognised universities along with employment opportunities while you study, Australia allows you to enjoy your studies while chilling in the rich Australian culture, beautiful landscapes and wildlife. The Australian student visa is an important means towards completing your study abroad decision in Australia. Just make sure you meet all the necessary prerequisites of finance, health, clearances and other documents, your visa application process is going to be as smooth as possible.

Still wouldn’t like to visit? Tell us why and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Top 10 Things Melbourne Has To Offer

Explore the top 10 things Melbourne has to offer to help you plan your trip.

Exploring Melbourne’s laneways is just one aspect of this diverse city. Get a cricket or football fix. Soak up art and culture. Go high-end dining or grab the best pub burger. Shop for local designer fashion or cycle the bayside. Whatever you fancy, Melbourne is a city of choices.


Visit Attica, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants and delve into Ben Shewry’s unique menu. In Melbourne you’ll do destination dining in every nook, from the sublime Estelle Bar and Kitchen to Donovan’s for water views. As for the CBD, the original MoVida in graffiti-covered Hosier Lane serves knock-out tapas. Nearby, George Colombaris’s The Press Club produces a clever Greek menu.

Cumulus Inc,
Melbourne, VIC


Melbourne invented the rooftop bar scene. Join the legendary Emerson Sunday sessions in South Yarra, hunt creative cocktails at its Brunswick Street neighbour, Black Pearl, or sip wines at Bellota in South Melbourne and the CBD’s Cumulus Up in Flinders Lane.


Melbourne is sport crazy and its venues legendary. Join the fun at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Australian Football League in winter or international cricket in the summer. Go trackside at Flemington for the excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup. Be exhilarated by the Formula 1®  Australian Grand Prix and see international soccer stars at Hisense Arena.

Hansom, Gertrude Street,
Melbourne, VIC


Discover edgy and high-end fashion in Melbourne’s retail scene. Shop Australian designers like Alistair Trung on Little Collins Street and Alpha 60 in Flinders Lane. Find Lupa in Fitzroy before browsing Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street. Go vintage shopping on Chapel Street and get statement pieces on High Street, Armadale. Look for international brands at Emporium.


Melbourne’s historic urban environment is full of life. Spend hours exploring the city’s beautiful arcades, one-off boutiques, eclectic laneways and graffiti art. Visit the Melbourne Museum and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. Admire Victorian landmarks such as St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral and Flinders Street Station and discover Art Deco with the beautiful Manchester Unity Building.

Stones of the Yarra Valley,
Yarra Valley, VIC


Taste world-class wines, artisan cheeses and handmade chocolate in the Yarra Valley, 90 minutes drive east. Have your photo taken with a koala at Healesville Sanctuary or head into the nearby Dandenong Ranges for cute villages and towering forests. For more wines and surf beaches, drive 90 minutes south-east to the stunning Mornington Peninsula, or west to the Bellarine Peninsula.


Enjoy the tram ride to bohemian St Kilda and check out live pub music at the Espy. Go for great burgers at Barney Allen’s or the best pizza at Mr Wolf. Eat fish’n’chips on the beach, taste sublime coffee and cake on Acland Street and ride the rollercoaster at historic Luna Park.

Queen Victoria Market,
Melbourne, VIC


Get among the hustle and bustle of the Queen Victoria Markets in the heart of the city, and pick up some fresh produce or fashion. Take the tram to the South Melbourne Market and enjoy dim sims under its historic awnings. For bric-a-brac and vintage bargains, catch an early train to the Sunday Camberwell Market, 10 kilometres east of the CBD.


The National Gallery of Victoria spearheads a range of galleries, museums and other art sites. See the NGV’s impressive international and Australian exhibitions. Head over to the Heide Museum of Modern Art at Bulleen for insight into the famed Heide Circle. Visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image to immerse yourself in the world of film, television and digital culture. There are many more galleries and plenty of sculpture parks to discover in Melbourne.

Royal Botanic Gardens,
Melbourne, VIC


Run, cycle, walk or just relax in the stunning green spaces of Melbourne. Jog the tan track around the Royal Botanic Gardens and Kings Domain along the banks of the Yarra River, seeing Government House along the way. In Royal Park, find Melbourne Zoo. Picnic in Fitzroy Gardens in the CBD after visiting Captain Cook’s Cottage.

Top 10 Things To Do In Perth

Explore Kings Park, Fremantle , Rottnest Island and much more on this list of the top 10 experiences in Perth.

Australia’s only capital city on the Indian Ocean oozes confidence. Explore Perth’s hip wine bars and sunny beaches, spectacular green parks and glittering skyscrapers, funky neighbourhoods and beautiful colonial architecture. Be enthralled by a city on the move that has passion for the past and energy for the future.

Enjoy Spectacular Views in Kings Park

Wander one of the biggest city parks in the world, Kings Park and the Perth Botanic Garden. Take in gorgeous views of the Swan and Canning Rivers, the city skyline and Darling Ranges as you walk bushland trails, admire manicured gardens and stop at one of the various cafés in the area.

Jus Burgers, Northbridge, Perth, WA

Explore Perth’s Diverse Precincts

Turn down Hay Street and find funky Wolf Lane for eclectic collections of cafés, bars and boutiques. Chill out in Subiaco, meet office workers in Perth’s city bars, hit up vintage and antique shops along Leederville’s Oxford Street and head to Northbridge for designer fashion, hip cafes and cutting-edge restaurants.

Visit the Historic Seaside Port of Fremantle

Thirty minutes from Perth’s centre, Fremantle Harbour has its own special character. Discover colonial remnants like Fremantle Prison, the Arts Centre and Old Courthouse. Delve into seafaring history at the terrific Maritime Museum and Shipwreck Galleries, then drink from a choice of 43 tap beers at the 1843 landmark Sail & Anchor. Visit famous craft brewer Little Creatures’ Freo HQ.

The Aviary Bar & Restaurant, Perth, WA

Hit Perth’s Small Bars

The small bar movement in Perth has grown substantially with many popping up across the City Centre  and surrounding suburbs. Sample wine and tapas at laneway gem Andaluz, join the cool crowd at The Aviary or go for a vintage feel at Hula Bula, with its tiki décor and retro cocktails. Also in the City Centre  are Helvetica and 399 Bar. In hip Northbridge, find Ezra Pound Bar and The Bird Wine Bar.

Explore Perth’s Museum, Gallery and Zoo

Discover more about Australia’s amazing west coast at the Western Australian Museum, with its fascinating local scientific and cultural collection. Delve into an extensive collection of Indigenous art at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Make time for Perth Zoo, dedicated to conserving Australian wildlife.

Cottesloe Beach, Perth, WA

Chill Out or Surf at Perth’s Best Beaches

Don’t miss Perth’s beachside towns. Stop in Scarborough for coffee at funky cafés Wild Fig and Kinky Lizard before taking to the waves at Trigg and North Beaches. Closer to the city centre, watch the sunset across the waters of Cottesloe Beach, a great spot for families and picnics under shady Norfolk Pines.

Feel an Adrenalin Rush with Perth’s Adventure Activities

Loop 360 degrees in the air above the Indian Ocean in a high-speed aerobatic flight. That’s just the start for adrenalin junkies. Take a rally-driving adventure, doing hot laps like the pros, or jump in the passenger seat and let the experts do the driving. Take to Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway in a V8 for a serious rush.

Quokka, Rottnest Island, WA

Hop on a Ferry to Rottnest Island and Meet Quokkas

Feel a world away on Rottnest Island, even though it’s only 19 kilometres from Perth. Access this car-free island by ferry, helicopter or private boat. Relax on one of more than 60 beaches, snorkel coral reefs, dive shipwrecks and explore history. Best of all, get close to cute little marsupial the cute quokka, found only in Western Australia.

Sail Perth’s Beautiful River and Coastline

Pursue your passion for yachts or learn to sail in Perth, a city that loves its boats. In the home of Australia’s America’s Cup challenge, take to the river or the coast, especially at sunset. Head to the Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Discover Sailing Centre on the Swan River for safe and picturesque sailing on Matilda Bay.

Lancaster Wines, Swan Valley, WA

Plan a Swan Valley Winery Day Trip

Drive 25 minutes north-east of the City Centre  to the Swan Valley where you’ll find 40 vineyards and many cellar doors offering tastings in Western Australia’s oldest wine region. You can cycle through the vineyards or take a cruise upriver, sipping local wines and enjoying the scenery with visits to cellar doors.

32 Important Life Hacks For Students In Melbourne

It’s probably going to rain. A lot. But it’s OK! We’re about to give you the ultimate list of life hacks for your time in Melbourne.


1. Footscray Market is a huge indoor arcade in the west of the city, where you can pick up fresh, good quality fruit, veg, seafood and meat at seriously low prices.

2. Minh Phat Asian Supermarket, between the CBD and East Melbourne, is the best place to pick up Asian food and ingredients in the whole city.

3. Go shopping 20 minutes before the market closes, when vendors will be offloading everything for rock-bottom prices. $1 fruit bowl anyone?

4. Head to Elizabeth Street in the CBD to find a flurry of fantastic restaurants, selling everything from Thai food to Bubble Tea.

5. South Melbourne Market Dim Sims. Enough said.

6. Enjoy a pizza for $10 while listening to live music in the Little Creatures Melbourne Dining Hall. Plus, they have Wi-Fi so you can even get some work done while you’re there.

7. Students at the University of Melbourne or Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology can snack on mouth-wateringly good souvlaki at Lambs on Lygon Street – a favourite for late-night bites!

8. Melburnians in the Kensington area should head to La Tortilleria to feast on quesadillas from just $3.50 and tacos from only $4.70 – that’s dinner sorted!


9. University of Melbourne students go for coffee at the Manchester Press, a rustic café set in a former warehouse. They specialise in latte art, so your drink will look as cool as the setting.

10. Grab a Gobble Gobble Jaffle (yes that’s a real thing) and a flat white from Naked Espresso Bar on your lunch break. Your wallet will barely feel a thing and you’ll be satisfied for life.

11. If you’re living in Prahan & East Melbourne, drop by Market Lane on a Saturday for free coffee tasting!


12. Melbourne’s weather is completely unpredictable. In fact, this southern city is famous for experiencing four seasons in one day. So buy a lightweight raincoat that you can take everywhere with you and never leave the house without an umbrella.


13. If you don’t own water-resistant boots, you’re going to need a pair for the winter months, so don’t wait ’til you’re ankle deep in a puddle before making a purchase! (See Weather, above!)

14. Use Ozbargain to find outrageously good deals on absolutely everything!


15. Melbournites are passionate about their sport, particularly AFL (otherwise known as Australian Rules Football or Aussie Rules). If you want to fit in quickly, pick a team to support and pick it fast! Most conversations in this city begin and end with discussions on Aussie Rules.


16. Familiarise yourself with the sites of Melbourne’s CBD on the City Circle Tram. This free hop-on, hop-off tram service operates seven days a week and takes in all the major CBD sites, including Federation Square, the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House and the Princess Theatre. It also includes a running commentary as you pass or stop at a place of historical or cultural significance.

17. Melbourne’s public transport is the easiest and cheapest way to move around the city, but you’ll need a Myki card to travel. Topping up your Myki with the monthly Myki pass is usually cheaper if you’re using it to get to and from university every day. It costs around $65.

18. Ticket inspectors are ruthless in the city areas and you can face a hefty fine if you forget to tap on, regardless of how legitimate your excuse is.

19. Escalator etiquette dictates you HAVE to stand on the left and walk on the right, or risk being confronted by an angry local.

20. For University of Melbourne students taking either the Sunbury, Williamstown, Upfield, Craigieburn or Werribee train lines to uni, take the 401 bus to uni from North Melbourne Station and it will cut your travel time by 15 minutes in peak hour.

21. Cycling is another cheap and easy way to get around the city. But be warned, some intersections in the city rely on ‘hook turns’, a rather confusing but legal requirement to move into the far left lane if you are intending to turn right. Cyclist should also obey these road rules unless otherwise indicated.


22. You can access past exam papers for most subjects at the University of Melbourne.

23. Subscribe to the digital version of The Age newspaper by entering your student email address. You get the first month for just $1 and 40% off every month after that.

24. All major Melbourne universities offer free Wi-Fi for students while on campus. If you’re out and about, try cafés like Starbucks or McDonalds, public libraries and museums, Federation Square, Flinders St train station and the Queen Victoria Markets.

Arts, Culture & Things To Do

25. With your student card, you can get into the Melbourne Museum and all its sister museums, like the super-interesting Immigration Museum, for absolutely free!.

26. National Gallery of Victoria offers free entry, and has free Wi-Fi with lots of benches and chairs tucked away in quiet corners. If you want a drink or muffin while you’re there, the Crossbar Café on Level 3 is the best spot to relax for a couple of hours.

27. Go to the beach! From Port Melbourne and Elwood beaches to St Kilda, Chelsea, Brighton and Blackrock, your choices are endless!

28. Attend White Night, the city’s famous dusk-to-dawn festival, and keep your eye out for special international student events.

29. Spend a night (or several) at Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane, where you might be lucky enough to stumble upon a free gig (or several) at this infamous rock music venue.

30. If you go to Victoria University, you can get great discounts at the Malthouse Theatre, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming shows and productions!

31. International students can sign up for a Culture Card Victoria, which means you get discounts on a whole variety of cultural attractions, exhibitions and events. What more could you ask for?

32. Wander through Melbourne’s arty lanes and graffitied alleyways. As one of the street capitals of the world, you’ll be happy to get lost in this city. Start at Hosier and Rutledge Lane, opposite Federation Square – you won’t be disappointed.