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The basics
Australia: Destination Guides

An insider's guide to Melbourne

A diverse and vibrant city, famous for world-leading universities and a passion for coffee, Melbourne is an ideal destination for studying abroad.

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Popular for a high standard of living, multicultural society and world-class universities, Melbourne is a dynamic and vibrant city located in southern Australia. It’s therefore not surprising that Melbourne has been voted the 3rd best student city in the world!


Each year, Melbourne attracts over 300,000 students to its shores and here we explore why this might be. For an insider’s perspective, we spoke to native Aussie, Jess, who studied Marketing at La Trobe University. Jess shares her experience of living and studying in Melbourne, helping us to find out why this city is such an attractive location for students from all over the world. Interested in studying in Melbourne? Find more information here.





Often described as a melting pot of cultures, Melbourne has a diverse population of 4.8 million people. You might be surprised to learn that Melbourne also has the largest Greek population outside of Greece.  With such a mix of nationalities, this diversity could be one reason why so many students are attracted to Melbourne, as you have the opportunity to meet lots of different people. However, there are many common cultural misconceptions which could be useful to know in understanding the culture and people of Australia.



If you’re planning on visiting or studying in Melbourne, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared for all weathers…With a temperate climate, Melbourne is often described as having four seasons in one day! Unlike other parts of Australia, Melbourne also has 4 distinct seasons throughout the year, with cold winters and hot summers. However, the city has certainly compensated for the unpredictable weather with the wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities.


What is there to do in Melbourne?

It can be challenging to find the best spots when you’re new to a city. However, it’s even harder to find out about what the locals get up to! Luckily, we spoke to Jess, a Melbournian who has lived and studied in the city for a total of 5 years. According to Jess, “Melbourne is a very diverse and cultural city with some of the top-ranked universities and research faculties in the world”. Jess enjoys Melbourne for “the food, the coffee, the easy lifestyle” as well as “great bars and restaurants for celebrating handing in an assignment”.


From personal experience, Jess tells us that “the brunch scene is huge, so make sure you try out as many cafes as possible” and for some fresh air “walk around the botanical gardens” or “down the Yarra river”. She also said “don’t stick to the CBD [Central Business District], explore the suburbs just out of the city, that’s where the gems are”. Jess explains that the most popular suburbs for students include Fitzroy, Brunswick, Richmond and South Yarra, describing them as “a hub for young adults”.


However, exploring a new city can also be expensive, and so it is worth researching how to budget to make the most of your time abroad. Click here to find out more about saving money as a student in Australia.






Recognised for colourful street art, live music and an artistic community, Fitzroy is the epicentre for Melbourne’s hipster culture. Only a 10-minute tram journey from the inner city, this eastern suburb is a quirky alternative to the CBD. Whether you’re looking for a taste of contemporary art and culture at Fitzroy’s Sutton gallery or prefer to browse the eye-catching window displays of boutique stores, Fitzroy has something for everyone. With such a large Greek population in Melbourne, you can enjoy authentic Greek food to re-fuel while exploring this funky and hipster area.



A multicultural suburb associated with hipsters, edgy cafes and varied cuisines. Cyclists share the spacious streets with trams, which connect Brunswick to the city centre and surrounding suburbs. Besides latte art and gourmet food, Brunswick is also home to many unique vintage stores, which you can find on Sydney road- a fun and affordable way to spend your free time. 



Just a 10-minute tram journey from the city centre, Richmond has a wide variety of amenities and attractions to keep you entertained. Besides restaurants, cafes and vintage shops located on Bridge road, Richmond is also home to several major sports stadiums. So why not take a break from studying to watch a live game of Australian football? But, pick your team wisely! Melburnians are huge supporters of AFL and it’s important you choose a side!


South Yarra

Home to the iconic Chapel street; a long strip of eclectic shops, cafes and restaurants, running a total of 2km from South Yarra down to Prahan. Luxury designer clothing stores dominate the streets of South Yarra, with more affordable vintage shops lining the streets of Windsor. Whether you’re a foodie or a coffee fanatic, Chapel street is a great social-hub to spend those free periods during your studies.



While Melbourne is full of exciting things to do, you can take a break from the city during the summer months by escaping to the nearby beaches.  Just a 20-minute tram journey from the city centre, St Kilda is one of the most accessible beaches in Melbourne, with plenty of shoreside cafes and restaurants. However, St Kilda can actually be enjoyed all year round, for beautiful sunsets and penguins who can be found waddling by the shore!



With so much to see and do in Melbourne, what exactly is the best way to get around? Jess explains that “from regional cities, Melbourne is very accessible” and “there are regular trains and great highways if you have a car”. She says that Melbourne is “best to explore on foot but if you need public transport, you’ll need to get a myki”. Luckily, Melbourne also has a free tram service in the city centre, which is great if you’re on a budget but still want to explore the city!


Feeling inspired to study in Melbourne? Explore courses and discover for yourself why Melbourne is such a popular study destination!

Have a look at some of the other destinations in Australia



Study in Australia


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