The Economist Intelligence Unit’s most recent survey in 2011 ranked Melbourne first as the most livable city of the world. The first European establishment in the Victoria area was in 1803 and thereafter Melbourne was made the capital city of the state. It is the second most populous city in the entire country behind Sydney, and is referred to as the Garden City. Amongst others it is also known as the Cultural Capital of Australia as it was the birthplace of several cultural institutions like Australian Film, Australian Television and Australian Rules Football. The city also sees many cultural endeavours in major events and festivals, drama, musicals, comedy, music, art, architecture, literature, film and television.
Studying In Melbourne
Choosing Melbourne for one’s higher education pursuits is a good choice as it was ranked as the fourth top city in the world for education behind London, Boston and Tokyo; in 2008. The two most notable institutions are Monash University and the University of Australia which are the largest and oldest in Australia respectively. The University of Melbourne and Monash University was ranked as the 37th and 117th best universities in world respectively.
In an effort to welcome more students from India, the State Government of Victoria has now made available a Hindi version of the Study Melbourne website that is designed to appeal to Hindi speaking students and facilitate stronger ties between educational institutions between the two countries. The Government of Australia also provides legal protection for international students studying in Australia. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 governs an educational institutions responsibility towards its overseas students, with regards to delivery of education, facilities and support services. All universities have an international student office, where information about an overseas student’s rights and responsibilities can be obtained, and students are advised to contact them first. If further clarification is required students can contact the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations at 1300 363 079 (for calls from within Australia) or +61 354 545 245 (for calls from outside Australia). In addition, the International Student Legal Advice Clinic (ISLAC) is a free legal service open to all international students in Melbourne. The clinics are designed to be an “open door” information centre for international students to be educated about their rights during their stay in Melbourne. The ISLAC can be contact at:
Address: 69 Bourke St, CBD
Telephone: 9391 2944
The Study Melbourne website also has a complete list of all educational institutions in the city of Melbourne, which serves as a guide to prospective students.
TAFE or Technical and Further Education is a group of institutions who provide mainly vocational courses in fields such as business, finance, tourism, construction and community work. The Box Hill Institute of TAFE, Chisholm Institute and Holmesglen Institute of TAFE are just some of the TAFE institutions located in the City of Melbourne. Most institutions provide advanced diplomas which is lower in qualification to that of a Bachelors Degree, however, in certain cases, TAFE study could be used as partial credit towards a Bachelors degree.
After all formalities of admission and visas are completed, it is now time to look out for a place to call home, temporarily of course. This modern metropolitan city has many living options that cater to everyone’s fancy. The most common type of accommodation is Homestay, which involves staying along with an Australian family in a rented room. Homestay has many benefits and a good amount of international student prefer this as it offers cheap accommodation without compromising on the quality of amenities, security, provides international students with a good opportunity to enhance their spoken English skills and provides a sense of ‘family’. Apart from these there are other options, like full-apartments, single and double rooms or communal dormitory type accommodations.
In most cases students wouldn’t have to seek out accommodation as most schools and universities provide the same on campus, and if it is not provided, universities have a department that assists its students in finding accommodation outside. If all else fails these websites should be able to assist you in your quest for real estate.
Melbourne Homestay - Contains a directory of homestay providers.
YMCA - Studio apartments cost anywhere between Aus$260 to Aus$300.
Unilodge - Provides fully furnished accommodation specifically for students.
Accommodation for Students
- A search engine to find any type of accommodation, accommodation advice, roommates and landlords and leasing agents.
Risks involved with Homestay
While Homestay is predominantly the best option for international students, it also poses some risks to a student who is new to the country. There are two main reasons why families might open their doors to foreign students and that is either, to genuinely assists students and exchange cultural experiences or to just capitalise on a financial opportunity. Families or individuals who fall into the latter category usually have little or no regard for the welfare of the students. However a little research into the back ground of a particular host family would clear all doubt.
• If searching for homestay accommodation through a web search engine, most often, the profile of the host family should have previous student tenant reviews listed alongside it.
• If plausible, try to contact previous guests that the family has hosted.
• Students normally ask host families for a reference, and if one refuses submission of the same, students are advised to refrain from staying there.
• Homestay is usually initiated with a contract which lists facilities and conditions and should be carefully read by the student to avoid future complications that may arise.
The city of Melbourne boasts of an impeccable infrastructure. The city has well connected tram, train, bus and taxi service that effectively makes this entire 8000 square kilometre city a lot more accessible. Melbourne comes alive in the night and enjoys competitive sport during the day. The city’s many fine dining restaurants, bars and night clubs provides for a thriving and fun filled night out. With flourishing businesses, quality educational institutions, world class infrastructure and vast variety of cultural activities, Melbourne sure has something in store for everyone.
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