Named the world’s most liveable city for the third year in a row, Melbourne is a leading education destination for international students.
In 2012, the QS World University Rankings judged Melbourne as the leading student city in the Asia-Pacific region. The 2013 QS rankings confirm Melbourne's position as one of the world's top five student cities.
This ranking is an acknowledgement that our city has world-class universities that provide internationally-recognised qualifications, as part of a cosmopolitan, multicultural community that celebrates culture, food, fashion and entertainment.
Melbourne, Victoria is a global centre for excellence in education, offering students the opportunity to make their mark in leading research and innovation facilities. Our ten world-leading universities have cutting-edge facilities, academic staff with international experience, and outstanding student services.
Our vocational education and training sector, which offers high levels of hands-on training and skills development, has close connections with industry. This ensures that these education providers are directly linked with the skills needed by current and future employers worldwide.
With our courses recognised globally, a qualification from Melbourne, Victoria is a passport to careers in almost any country.
We invite you and your family to visit Melbourne and encourage you to gain a world-class education here in Victoria.
Melbourne and Victoria have a rich history beginning 40,000 years ago with Indigenous people, through to colonisation, a gold rush, mass migration to today’s prosperous economy.
The first Australians
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lived in Australia for over 40,000 years and still share a deep spiritual connection to the land.
Australia Day, a national holiday, celebrates the landing of the First Fleet of British ships on 26 January 1788. By 1820 these new migrants were going overland from New South Wales where they set up early whaling and sealing communities along the south east coast.
A settlement is established in south-western Victoria in 1834 and in 1835 land beside the Yarra River is claimed by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner. In 1837 Melbourne becomes the capital of the state of Victoria
and planning for its streets and structure begins.
In 1839, immigrants from Britain sail directly to Port Phillip and start to establish communities. In 1851, the ‘new colony’ of Victoria was named after Queen Victoria.
In the 1850s gold was discovered in areas around Ballarat and Bendigo. Almost half a million immigrants move to this area in that decade, including Chinese miners and many American, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and German immigrants.
In 1901 Victoria officially became a ‘state’ in the Commonwealth of Australia – and at that time, because of the gold rush, Melbourne was considered the financial centre of Australia.
First World War 1914-18
Every year on 25 April, Australia commemorates the day Australia and New Zealand Army Corps or Anzacs, landed at Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915 (during the First World War). Anzac Day is about remembering Australians who have lost their lives in all wars.
After the years of the Great Depression up until 1945 when there was very little immigration, Australia's population of 7 million was mostly of British descent.
After the Second World War, many new immigrants arrived to start a new life in Australia. The first migrants came from Britain, then Eastern and Southern Europe. By the late 1960s around 6,000 immigrants from Asia arrived each year. From the 1970's and 80's many people from the Middle East and South America settled in Australia. The most recent arrivals are from Africa.
Almost 75% of all Victorian’s live in Melbourne which numbers just over 4 million people (around 5.6 million people live in the state of Victoria). There are 10 universities and a further 18 government-run TAFE (Technical and Further Education) schools throughout Victoria.
Victoria has the second largest economy in Australia after New South Wales and finance, insurance and property contribute largely to this. Agriculture, manufacturing, mining and the service industry are also major economic activities within Victoria.
Before moving to another country it is important to know the cost of living (accommodation, food, travel etc.) Make this a major part of your planning so that you can live comfortably and within your budget while you study.
Before you leave your home country, find out how much money you need to pay for your most important needs. Once you arrive, local people will also be happy to help you find the best and the cheapest food, rent and other necessities.
The basic unit of Australian currency is the dollar. There are 100 cents in one dollar ($1). Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Coins are issued in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations.
There are no 1 cent or 2 cent coins. Prices are rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents in shops and supermarkets. For example, you would pay $1.95 for an item priced $1.97, but $2 for an item priced $1.99.
Cost of living
Some prices for common items are listed here. Compare supermarkets and local markets, as quality and price can vary. Prices are in Australian dollars, are approximate only and can vary significantly.
Renting a Room: $120 - $180 per week
Part-time job up to 20 hours a week: $100-$350.
Groceries: $50-$80 a week
1 packet of noodles: $1.50
1 kg rice: $3-$4
1 kg fresh fruit: $3-$5
1 litre of milk: $2.00
Pre-paid mobile phone contract: around $30 per month
Transport pass, weekly, zone 1: $30.20
Litre petrol: $1.20 - $1.50
Getting a good deal
Make sure that the money you spend is not wasted on bad deals or fraudulent businesses. In order to get the best deal you need to know your consumer rights, be aware of online scams, and always do your research before you buy or sell. Get helpful consumer information.
Managing your budget is important, especially if it is the first time you have lived away from home. Think carefully about how you will support yourself while you study. What will your expenses be?
Information on how to plan for expenses in Australia is available at Moneysmart (by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission).
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a 10% tax on supply of most goods and services in Australia. The GST does not apply to fresh food, your education or international airfares. Prices of items in stores already include GST, as do prices in restaurants. By law, an advertised price must include GST.
Under the Tourist Refund Scheme, if you purchase new or second-hand goods with a total minimum value of $300 from one shop, no more than 30 days before you leave Australia, you are entitled to a GST refund. This excludes beer, spirits and tobacco. Contact the Australian Customs Service on Ph 1300 363 263 or Ph 02 6275 6666 for more information.
Tipping is not customary in Australia and you should not be asked for a tip. Tipping in hotels and other service industries (such as hair salons) is still uncommon and strongly discouraged. Restaurant customers may sometimes leave the change (coins given back to you after you have paid the bill) on the table if service has been exceptional.
Debt and problems with money
Debt can be a serious problem for some students. Talk to someone who can help. Most institutions have financial counsellors, and some can offer short-term loans.
Money Help, a Victorian government initiative, provides a Money Help information pack, free confidential and independent financial information for people experiencing difficulty paying bills and debts. Call to speak to a financial counsellor. Phone 1800 149 689
The weather is generally warm and dry in summer and cold in winter. The landscape and environment varies quite significantly from alpine snow fields and semi arid land, to white sandy beaches and lush green forests.
Melbourne is built around the iconic Port Phillip Bay. The city's weather is known to be changeable with locals often saying that Melbourne can have ‘four seasons in one day.' Summers are sunny and warm-to-hot with low humidity. Winters are cool-to-cold and often cloudy, but it doesn’t snow in Melbourne city. The climate varies across the state - the north is much drier and warmer than the south.
Summer: December to February
Summer days average 25°C (77°F) and humidity is usually low. Heat waves with temperatures over 40°C (104°F) can be followed by sudden cool changes, and even rain.
Wear: Cotton tops and pants, or skirts and dresses, light shoes or sandals, a light cardigan or jacket. Don't forget your swimming costume ('bathers' or 'togs') and a hat or cap you can store in your bag. Pack sunscreen.
Tip: The strength of Australia's sun surprises most visitors. Be 'sun smart' and protect yourself with sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Take bottled water and wear protective shoes when walking in parks or along beaches.
Autumn: March to May
Autumn in Melbourne is very beautiful - warm and sunny with temperatures ranging from 9°C to 17°C (48° -63° F). The days are still long and the sun may still be strong. People enjoy the light sea breezes and occasionally a little rain.
Wear: layers of clothing that can be easily removed or added to. Light showerproof jackets with a hood in case it rains, umbrella, scarf.
Winter: June to August
Winter daytime temperatures range from 7°C to 14°C (44° – 57 ° F) but it gets colder overnight. Most of Melbourne's yearly rainfall happens in winter.
Wear: warm clothes and shoes, as well as a warm, water-resistant jacket, beanie or warm hat, gloves, scarf and an umbrella.
Tip: If you go to a football game, wear warm clothes, a warm hat and gloves, but don’t take an umbrella as it will block other people's view.
Spring: September to November
Spring weather can be very changeable and often very windy. It starts to get warmer with daily temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (52° - 65° F). Melbourne’s many parks and gardens will be full of colourful flowers, and people start wearing lighter clothes and more colour.
Wear: layers of clothing, a waterproof jacket. Take an umbrella.
Victoria has diverse weather and landscapes ranging from the semi-arid plains in the west and northwest, to the wet of Gippsland in the southeast, and the snow-covered alpine areas in the northeast. The state has a series of river systems supporting agriculture and communities.
In winter, you can travel to the alpine region, three hours northeast of Melbourne, to enjoy winter snow sports. Enjoy the many popular beaches in summer.
Tip: all along the Victorian coastline, there are clean, sandy beaches to swim, fish and enjoy water sports. Beach safety is important
All year round, you will need to carry or wear a jacket in case of sudden weather changes. Wear comfortable, waterproof shoes when bushwalking or hiking.
My Smart Education (MSE) was established in 2012 as a brand new international initiative to make a difference in the lives of aspiring students and youngsters. MSE started its first office in Hyderabad (India), the fourth most populous city of South India. MORE