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Study in Melbourne, Australia

Population: 4,170,000

City Overview

As the capital of the state of Victoria and Australia’s second most populous city, Melbourne is often referred to as the cultural capital of Australia and is the birthplace of Australian film, television and Australian impressionist art.

Ranked as the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Group’s Intelligence Unit in 2012, Melbourne is full of characterful neighbourhoods like St Kilda, Carlton and Fitzroy which teem with creativity.

Studying a graduate program in Melbourne will allow you to live in one of the world’s most cultural and exciting cities. What’s not to like?

Education profile

Melbourne is one of the world’s top university destinations and was ranked fourth on a list of top university cities in 2008, with only London, Boston and Tokyo ahead of it. You can study a graduate program in Melbourne at:
Australian universities also have a global reputation for quality of research, making them an attractive option for those looking to study postgraduate courses.

Most Masters degrees in Sydney take one year to complete full time, with PhDs taking up to four years to finish.

Immigration and visas

In order to undertake a graduate program in Melbourne you will need to acquire a temporary visa. This visa will allow you to study at an Australian institution and work unlimited hours whilst completing your postgraduate course, and will also allow dependent family members to accompany you whilst you are in the country.

In order to obtain your student visa you will need to pay a visa charge at your nearest Australian Embassy, where you will also have to present:
  • A completed form 157A
  • The confirmation letter from the university where you will be studying
  • Four recent passport sized photographs
  • Copies of passport pages
  • Evidence that you have Overseas Student Health Cover for as long as you will be in the country
You can apply online for your visa via the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

Life in Melbourne

Melbourne is known for its sprawling suburbs, which easily dwarf the city’s bustling business centre so becoming knowledgeable about public transport in Melbourne is a must. As with most arty cities, the best places to visit in Melbourne are often hidden away in little alleyways off the main streets, especially in the trendy student areas of Northcote, Fitzroy and Brunswick.

These areas are great places to people-watch from grungy pubs or arty cafes selling all day breakfasts.

Sydney might be larger, but Melbourne has the cultural edge. It’s no surprise that Melbourne now ranks as Australia’s number one city for international students.

Working in Melbourne

Melbourne is a city that has a highly diverse economy and is home to five of the ten largest companies in Australia. The city has particular strengths in finance, manufacturing, research, IT, education and of course, tourism.

Melbourne is also Australia’s industrial centre, being the heart of the country’s car, petrochemical, aircraft and pharmaceutical industries. Two of the city’s top employers are Ford and Toyota, who both run manufacturing plants in Melbourne.

As with Australia’s other major cities, tourism forms an important part of Melbourne’s economy. Almost 10million visitors come to Melbourne each year, spending an estimated AUS$15.8billion.


Most students coming to Melbourne will choose to live in university halls of accommodation, as this is the easiest way to get to meet fellow students and settle into life in Melbourne. However, if you do decide to live in private accommodation, Melbourne has plenty to offer. Here are some of the most popular student areas in the city:
  • Northcote
  • Clifton Hill
  • Carlton
  • Brunswick
Expect to pay around AUS$140-$200 (£92-£131) per week for a room in a shared house in Melbourne. 

Weather and Climate

Situated near Australia’s south coast, Melbourne has an Oceanic climate that is changeable and can be much colder than most international students expect. The main summer months are between December and February, where temperatures regularly reach 25C, while winter is at its coldest between May and July, when lows can be as cold as 1-2C.

Melbourne regularly experiences severe weather, such as thunderstorms, hail, heavy rain and sudden temperature drops.

What to do next

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