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Moving to Melbourne: 6 things you need to know

What you'll need to know before making the move to Melbourne

A couple wearing activewear walk together through Melbourne
A couple wearing activewear walk together through Melbourne

Dubbed the world’s most liveable city, and one of the most vibrant and fastest growing cities in Australia, Melbourne has a diverse population with people from different countries and cultures. It’s a popular choice for overseas students and workers alike, with more than 200,000 international students attending the many world-class education institutions on offer.

1. Moving to Melbourne to study means plenty of support

Acknowledging the large international student population, the local government has set up Study Melbourne to help students from around the world connect with friends, share information and ideas. By signing up to the community (which you can do on their website, in person or on social media) you can find out more about the area and keep up to date with the latest news about student life, courses and events in Melbourne.

2. Melbourne weather is unpredictable

Famed for its unpredictable weather (it’s claimed you can experience all four seasons in a day in Melbourne), it’s recommended you keep a range of clothing to suit all types of conditions. Melbourne experiences scorching heat, flooding, heavy winds and rain, so clothing that can be worn in layers is ideal – a raincoat you can roll up and keep in your bag will also be very handy!

3. There is plenty of public transport in Melbourne, and you’ll need a Myki card to use it

There is a network of trams, trains and buses in Melbourne that extends beyond the central business district into the suburbs. The best place to plan your journey is through Public Transport Victoria to ensure you can get to your school from home easily. Before catching public transport, purchase and load your Myki card.

A woman enjoys a cup of coffee outside a cafe

4. There are lots of free and cheap things to do around Melbourne

One of the best things about living in Melbourne is the variety of things to do to suit all different tastes and interests. There are plenty of festivals, free events, shops, live music and theatre venues around the city. To keep up to date with upcoming events, check out Visit Melbourne.

5. Melbourne has one of the best food scenes in Australia – and the world

Melbourne is known globally for its mix of cuisine from cheap eats to fine dining, all offering a high standard of food and flavour. Coffee is a big part of the food scene, with cafes competing to offer the best brew. One of the best things about the cafés and restaurants in Melbourne is the diversity; whatever your budget or taste, there is something for everyone. Many have student nights with discounted offerings, so if you’re studying make sure you carry your student card with you.

6. There are plenty of accommodation options in Melbourne

If you’re attending one of the major universities – the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Monash, La Trobe or Swinburne – the property experts at Domain have a range of suggested suburbs:

  • Monash University: Berwick is roughly 30 minutes south-east of Melbourne CBD, and this suburb is perfect for Monash residents. It also has plenty of local parks and shops.

  • Melbourne University and RMIT: Collingwood is only a tram ride away from these universities.

  • The University of Melbourne: Abbotsford is close to campus; it’s also less than five kilometres from the Melbourne CBD and has easy access to all transport links.

  • La Trobe University: Northcote is perfect for La Trobe students. This suburb has cafes and restaurants as well as bars and pubs.

With the wide variety of accommodation options available in Melbourne, you might want to consider finding short-term accommodation while you get to know which area you like before committing to a longer-term rental. Find out more about your student accommodation options in Australia.

If you’re thinking about making the move to Australia, get health cover that meets your visa requirements in less than five minutes. Learn more about our international student cover at OSHC.

If you’re going to be working in Australia, find out more about our working visitor cover options here.

For more information about all things Australia, visit the dedicated Life in Australia section of The Check Up.