Living in AustraliaStudy in Melbourne: Universities, Student Life, and Living Costs

Study in Melbourne: Universities, Student Life, and Living Costs

Are you considering choosing Melbourne as your study destination? This city is a top choice for many students coming from abroad both for its great universities and vibrant student life. If you’re curious to know more about what Melbourne offers, keep reading to find out.

Top Reasons to Study in Melbourne

When many think of Melbourne, they think of culture, sports, and gorgeous scenery. 

Here are some of the many reasons why you should consider making Melbourne your home for the next years of your student life:

  • Melbourne was chosen as Australia’s most liveable city and the 10th in the world in 2022.
  • Melbourne is home to two universities in the world’s best 100 universities list.
  • Melbourne has one of the longest tram networks in the world, and many of them are free!
  • Melbourne has a big coffee culture — you’ll love the city if you love coffee.
  • Melbourne is a melting pot of around 140 diverse cultures, from indigenous Victoria inhabitants to recent migrants from all over the world.
  • Melbourne is a world-class business centre — a significant percentage of globally renowned Australian companies are headquartered here.
  • Melbourne hosts several top-of-the-line sporting events, including the Australian Open and Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
  • Melbourne was ranked ninth in the world for overall safety and a leading city for health security in the 2021 Safe Cities Index.
  • Melbourne is considered the cultural capital of Australia — the city offers some of the best galleries, exhibitions, theatre and opera performances, and architectural sights in the country.

Best Universities in Melbourne

Melbourne is a city with numerous choices for quality education and universities. Two of them (The University of Melbourne & Monash University) even rank in the top 100 universities in the world. Here are some of the best universities Melbourne has to offer:

University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is a public research university with a history of achievements spanning over 170 years. This university was ranked 37th in the world’s 100 best universities in 2022. Out of the 54,000+ students in the university, 40% of them are international students. Here you can find a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and research programs tailored to your interests. 

The university is divided into the following faculties: 

  • Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning
  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
  • Faculty of Fine Arts and Music
  • Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
  • Faculty of Science
  • Melbourne Graduate School of Education
  • Melbourne Law School

Monash University

Monash University is another excellent public research university in Melbourne. Established in 1958, this university has made its way to the top and ranked 58th in the top 100 universities in the world. Monash welcomes students from over 170 countries of the world and has established a presence in Australia, Italy, Malaysia, India, South Africa, and China. Here, you can pursue a variety of undergraduate, graduate, research, and online courses.

Monash University is divided into the following ten faculties:

  • Art, Design and Architecture
  • Arts
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Law
  • Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Science

RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

Established in 1887 as the Working Men’s College, RMIT University has grown into a globally renowned university with a history of achievements and academic excellence. With over 18,000 international students enrolled, RMIT University is a unique opportunity to choose from some of the best vocational, undergraduate, postgraduate, or research programs in the country. 

Their courses are offered through 16 academic schools:

  • Accounting, Information Systems and Supply Chain
  • Architecture and Urban Design
  • Art
  • Business and Law
  • Computing Technologies
  • Design
  • Economics, Finance and Marketing
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Fashion and textiles
  • Health and Biomedical Sciences
  • Global, Urban and Social Studies
  • Management
  • Media and Communication
  • Property, Construction and Project Management
  • Science 

Deakin University

Deakin University is a public university in Victoria that has been operating since 1974.

With four campuses across Melbourne, Geelong and Warrnambool, Deakin offers an excellent infrastructure for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, short and online courses, as well as research degrees. 

The university is divided into four main faculties, with several schools and courses to choose from in each:

  • Faculty of Arts and Education
  • Faculty of Business and Law
  • Faculty of Health
  • Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

Swinburne University of Technology

Founded in 1908, Swinburne University of Technology is a world-class university focusing on enhancing student education through the use of interactive and innovative technologies. 

This university welcomes international students in in-person and online courses offered at undergraduate, postgraduate, and research levels. 

Swinburne is divided into six higher education schools for you to choose from:

  • School of Business, Law and Entrepreneurship
  • School of Design and Architecture
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Science, Computing and Engineering Technologies

La Trobe University

La Trobe University was established in 1964 and has since then ranked among some of the best universities in the world in many of the subjects it offers. This university offers countless undergraduate, postgraduate, and online courses, as well as some outstanding graduate research degree programs. 

La Trobe University’s 12 faculties are divided as follows:

  • La Trobe Business School
  • La Trobe Law School
  • La Trobe Rural Health School
  • School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment
  • School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport
  • School of Applied Systems Biology
  • School of Cancer Medicine
  • School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • School of Psychology and Public Health

Student Life in Melbourne

Considering its lively atmosphere and wonderful study and work opportunities, it is no surprise that Melbourne was ranked in the top 10 student cities in the world. If you’d like to get a sense of the city before coming here, let’s explore what your life will be like and what to expect if you choose Melbourne.

Ranked also as one of the most livable cities, Melbourne has gathered people from different cultures around the world. As a result, you will easily find friends and not feel like an outsider. Plus, a variety of cultures means a variety of food, drinks, and activities for you to choose from.

Some popular eat streets in Melbourne include Gertrude Street, Lygon Street, Smith Street, Chapel & High Streets. And if you’re one to enjoy coffee & coffee shops, you’ll feel right at home in Melbourne.

The Study Melbourne Hub is a resourceful community for tertiary international students living in Melbourne. Here you have access to workspaces and free wifi, various events and social activities, orientation sessions, English conversation classes, and different workshops that ease your life as a student in Melbourne. 

The State Library of Victoria is also a highly-frequented spot by students due to its convenient location in the city centre, great resources, and free membership.

Top Things To See and Do in Melbourne

When you have free time and want to take a break from studying, here are some popular attractions to check out in Melbourne:

  • Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
  • City Circle Tram
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • Shrine of Remembrance
  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • Queen Victoria Market
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • State Library Victoria
  • Melbourne Museum
  • ArtVo
  • Dandenong Ranges National Park
  • Melbourne Skydeck

Public Transportation in Melbourne

Living in Melbourne, Australia, means that you’ll have access to some of the best public transport in the country. Melbourne offers public rail, tram, and bus services, with its tram network being one of the largest in the world. The metropolitan area transport is provided by Metro, whereas V/Line provides regional transport. Tram rides within the city centre are free.

Getting a myki card is a must; it is the card that you can pay with on almost all forms of public transport in Melbourne. If you’re an international undergraduate student, you can save 50 per cent on an annual myki card with an iUSEPass. 

Walking or cycling are also cost-effective and fun ways to get around and explore Melbourne. The city has many walking paths and trails, including The Tan, Albert Park Lake, and Yarra Bend Park. For cycling, you can find Lime and Neuron scooters and electric bikes around the city for convenient use and sharing.

Melbourne Cost of Living and Student Accommodation

Living in Melbourne has its ups and downs, with accommodation and the cost of living often being considered expensive compared to other cities. However, many students manage to live comfortably in Melbourne by working part-time and living within their means. 

This means budgeting their expenses, opting for cost-effective transportation, and living in less expensive areas that are further away from the city centre.

Please note that all rates presented below are $AUD.

Cost of Living

International students in Melbourne can expect to spend around $3,750 to $4,000 (2,500 to 2,650 USD) monthly on living expenses, depending on their lifestyle and type of accommodation. 

You can use this Cost of Living Calculator to calculate your approximate monthly expenses and cost of living in Melbourne, Australia.

Student Accommodation

Melbourne student accommodation types include university-managed accommodation, residential colleges (on-campus accommodation), purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), private rental accommodation, homestay, and temporary accommodation such as hostels.

University-provided accommodation

Check with your university to enquire about university-managed accommodation and residential colleges. This type of accommodation typically includes the room, utilities, internet, and amenities as part of your fee, which is why many students opt for this option. 

The weekly rate will vary depending on the type of accommodation and location. For example, a twin studio at the University of Melbourne’s Little Hall costs $385 per week, whereas a 4 bedroom 4 bathroom (ensuite) costs $450 per week.

Purpose-built student accommodation

Purpose-built student accommodation options in Melbourne include UniLodge, Iglu, Scape, Journal, The Student Housing Company, Y Suites, dwell and Village Melbourne City. These buildings are spread out in different areas in and around Melbourne and provide various room options depending on your needs. 

Their prices also vary depending on the type of accommodation and the distance from the central areas of Melbourne. For example, the price of the centrally located UniLodge Melbourne Central starts at $469 per week, whereas the price of Student Living on Raleigh located in an inner suburb of Melbourne starts at $258 per week.

Homestay & flatshares

Homestay is another convenient type of accommodation that allows students to book a private room in a larger unit shared with a landlord, most commonly families that host students. Depending on location and amenities, prices typically range from $250 to $350 per week. 

Plenty of international students also prefer sharing a private apartment with other students. If you want to find a flatmate, two useful resources include and the Fairy Floss Facebook group.

Studying in Melbourne means you’ll be studying in a thriving, multicultural city with so much to offer. From globally-recognised universities to the high standard of living, fun nightlife and cultural events, delicious food, and beautiful botanical gardens, Melbourne is the ideal study destination for internationals.

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