Living in Melbourne as a Student - 10 Things You Should Know
If you’re heading to university in Melbourne then life is about to get interesting! If you’re not sure what to expect about living in Melbourne then read on…
Campus life at Melbourne
When you’re living in Melbourne, you’ll be living in one of the friendliest cities in the world and campus life reflects that.
Living on campus, you’ll be part of a diverse community of students from all over the world. The people here are used to international students coming from other countries, so they are generally patient and friendly, even when language may be a slight barrier.
Remember that in the first few weeks of university everyone is in the same position as you, and trying to make new friends. So don’t be shy - strike up a conversation!
Accommodation in Melbourne
One great way to make friends when you start university is by buddying up with people from your student accommodation.
That’s why choosing your student accommodation wisely is of vital importance.
Make sure that it’s in a good location, so that it’s not too difficult to get to lectures and classes at university.
Also think about whether you want to live alone in a student flat, or whether it would suit you better to share with others. Sharing a flat can be a great experience and gives you an instant university family. You can give your student accommodation a home-from-home atmosphere if you do fun things together with your flatmates such as cooking together and having movie nights.
Just make sure that you keep on top of things like cleaning and household chores, to avoid any potential friction with housemates.
Travelling in Melbourne
When you’re living in Melbourne, you’ll obviously want to explore all the delights that this city and its surroundings have to offer.
The Journey Planner function on the Public Transport Victoria website is very useful for international students as well as locals.
As a student in Melbourne, you can get reduced price tickets on the trains, trams and buses, so getting around is super easy!
Places to see
Speaking of exploring, Melbourne is perfectly located for quick getaways. So if you fancy a break after a long exam period or need to clear your mind during the Easter holidays, you’re spoilt for choice.
There are amazing stretches of coastline, picturesque country landscapes and mountain ranges just an hour or two away. Find out more here.
If you’re not much of a Masterchef, or just like to mix it up every now and then, the good news is that Melbourne is packed with places to eat out!
You’ll never be short of a place to get some delicious dishes with your uni mates, in fact the choice is so extensive we had to write it down!
The weather in Melbourne
One of the things you’ll have to get used to living in Melbourne is that the people talk about the weather - a LOT.
That’s because the weather here is quite temperamental! Here in Melbourne the temperature can reach 40°C in the afternoon, and drop down to 2°C at nighttime. That’s quite a drastic change!
One tip we have for you - bring clothes for all types of weather, you’re going to need them!
Legal ID stuff
In Melbourne, there will be times when you will have to prove that you are over the age of 18, or have to prove your identity.
There are two common types of identification used for this. The first one is the Drivers Licence, or the Learner’s Permit. You can get hold of these from VicRoads after taking a test.
The other form of ID is a Keypass, which you have to get from a police station.
The Australian study system
One thing you may find is different when you’re studying and living in Melbourne is that the education system is different to what you’re used to back home.
Here the education system emphasises independence in your studies. That is, you are solely responsible for your own academic progress. Unlike at school, no one will be chasing you for coursework that hasn’t been handed in, and no one will be holding your hand throughout the process. No one will remind you to set deadlines - you have to find a way to organise and motivate yourself.
And if you don’t manage to do it successfully, the only person responsible is yourself.
However, realistically speaking, many people do fall behind in their studies at some point in their university career. If for whatever reason you find that you’re falling behind, you can always ask for help from the university support services. But remember, you have to do the asking!
How to get help on campus?
Whenever you need help, just know that it is always available.
If you need help, one of the most underestimated places on campus is often the Student Administration Office.
This is the place to ask about deadline extensions, enrolling into subjects, submitting coursework, and swapping subjects (it happens - you are entitled to change your mind!)
These guys know all about the rules and policies of your university and can generally point you in the right direction, whether it be financial issues, coursework problems, health, or even a need for counselling. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask - that’s what they’re there for.
Life hacks for living in Melbourne
There’s so much more we wanted to say to you about studying and living in Melbourne but if we went into all of it we would be here all year!
If you want to go a little more in-depth, check out some of our life hacks for living in Melbourne, which gives you even more detail about what life is really like here!