Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria and is the second most populated city in Australia after Sydney. It has twice been voted as the most liveable city in the world; it is consistently voted one of the top ten university cities in the world, and has long been considered one of the top cities in the world when it comes to innovation. The city has given birth to a great many of Australia’s cultural movements. In fact, it’s known as the cultural capital of Australia.
So, as you can see, Melbourne for students is an excellent city, both local and international.
Let’s take a look at what else Melbourne has to offer students.
Universities and Colleges
The University of Melbourne
According to the esteemed Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the University of Melbourne has been ranked the best university in Australia, and it consistently makes the list as one of the best universities in the world. It’s also one of Australia’s Group of Eight. This is largely thanks to its excellence in research, the quality of its education, and the support and opportunities for students.
It consists of 11 faculties, each of which has its own schools:
- The Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, which includes Melbourne School of Design.
- The Faculty of Arts, which includes the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Melbourne School of Government.
- The Faculty of Business and Economics, which includes Melbourne Business School.
- The Faculty of Education, which includes Melbourne Graduate School of Education.
- The Faculty of Engineering, which includes Melbourne School of Engineering and Melbourne School of Information.
- The Faculty of Land and Environment, which includes Melbourne School of Land and Environment.
- The Faculty of Law, which includes Melbourne School of Law.
- The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, which includes Melbourne Dental School, Melbourne Medical School, Melbourne School of Health Sciences, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, and Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.
- The Faculty of Science, which includes Melbourne Graduate School of Science.
- The Faculty of Veterinary Science.
- The Faculty of Victorian College of Arts (VCA) and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM).
There are eight campuses:
1) Parkville Campus
2) Burnley Campus in Richmond
3) Southbank Campus
4) Creswick Campus
5) Shepparton Campus
6) Dookie Campus
7) Hawthorn Campus
8) Werribee Campus
The University of Melbourne has strategic partnerships with several universities in Europe, North America, and Asia. Qualifications follow predetermined structures, but students are able to opt out at any time. For example:
A three-year undergraduate (bachelor) degree can be followed by a one-year honours degree, which can be followed by a graduate research degree (master or doctorate). Or, an undergraduate degree can be followed by graduate coursework, which includes a professional entry degree and a professional development degree.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings places Monash University within the top one per cent of universities in the world. It’s an international university with locations in Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, China, India, and Italy. It was established in Melbourne in 1958, making it one of the country’s youngest universities. Like the University of Melbourne, it is part of Australia’s Group of Eight. Students are able to study part-time or full-time and they are able to choose between on-campus, distance, and hybrid learning.
There are 10 faculties:
- The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
- The Faculty of Arts
- The Faculty of Business and Economics
- The Faculty of Education
- The Faculty of Engineering
- The Faculty of Information Technology
- The Faculty of Law
- The Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
- The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
- The Faculty of Science
There are six campuses:
1) Berwick Campus
2) Caulfield Campus
3) Clayton Campus
4) Gippsland Campus
5) Parkville Campus
6) Peninsula Campus
Several different qualifications are available, including undergraduate (bachelor) degrees, postgraduate (master degrees and doctorates), higher degree research, and non-award courses.
La Trobe University
La Trobe University has campuses all over Victoria. It has an outstanding reputation internationally, thanks to its commitment to globally relevant study programs, which give students the tools they need to apply their skills and knowledge anywhere in the world. As part of this global vision, La Trobe has partnered with over 100 higher education providers in over 30 countries around the world, which enables students to participate in exchange programs.
The university has five faculties:
- The Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
- The Faculty of Education
- The Faculty of Health Sciences
- The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
- The Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering
It has several research centres and institutes designed to deepen knowledge and encourage innovation all over Melbourne, Australia and around the world.
It has seven campuses in Australia:
1) Melbourne Campus
2) Albury-Wodonga Campus
3) Bendigo Campus
4) City Campus
5) Franklin Street Campus
6) Mildura Campus
7) Shepparton Campus
RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) University emphasises practical skills and has adopted an outcome-oriented approach to research. As the name suggests, its primary focus is on technological-related courses, but it covers a diverse range of programs, including technology, design, communication, health, and business, and urban sustainable futures. It has a diverse student population with enrolments from the Far East, Asia, and Europe. Courses are available on-campus and online, which caters to its many overseas-based students.
It has three colleges, each with several schools:
- College of Business, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) Accounting, Business IT and Logistics, Business TAFE, and Economics, Finance and Marketing.
- College of Design and Social Context, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) Architecture and Design, Education, Media and Communication, and Property, Construction and Project Management.
- College of Science, Engineering and Health, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing, Applied Sciences, Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Health Sciences, and Computer Science and Information Technology.
It has three campuses in Australia, two in Vietnam, and one in Spain. Campuses in Victoria include:
1) Melbourne City Campus
2) Brunswick Campus
3) Bundoora Campus
RMIT offers several different pathways to education. For example, it has a school-based apprenticeship and trainee program, a foundation studies program for international students, a VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) for adults program, TAFE pathways to university degrees, and university credits for TAFE programs.
Swinburne University of Technology
Swinburne University of Technology consistently achieves high rankings from many different ranking organisations, including Academic Rankings of World Universities, the Times Higher Education Rankin of World Universities, and the QS World University Rankings. It achieves multiple five- and four-star ratings from the Good Universities Guide. It places a great deal of focus on technology and science-related education programs such as advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, cognitive science, nano-engineering, and optics and applied laser technology. It belongs to the European Consortium of Innovative Universities, as well as Community Colleges for International Development.
Swinburne University of Technology has five faculties:
- The Faculty of Business and Enterprise
- The Faculty of Design
- The Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences
- The Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies
- The Faculty of Life and Social Sciences
It offers a wide variety of TAFE programs which include (but aren’t limited to):
- Arts and Social Sciences
- Business Commerce and Management
- Health Sciences
- Information and Communication Technologies
In total it offers 117 undergraduate programs, 185 postgraduate programs, and 400 TAFE programs.
Swinburne has five campuses in Victoria and one in Malaysia. The Victorian campuses include:
1) Hawthorn Campus
2) Prahran Campus
3) Melbourne CBD Campus
4) Croydon Campus
5) Wantirna Campus
Victoria University (VU) has a number of study programs available that cater to a variety of students. For example, it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, TAFE certificates and diplomas, short courses, and apprenticeships. VU is renowned for the quality of its courses, which have a strong international focus, and it has an outstanding reputation for its long history of sporting success.
It has seven colleges (faculties):
- The College of Arts
- The College of Business
- The College of Education
- The College of Engineering & Science
- The College of Health and Biomedicine
- The College of Law and Justice
- The College of Sport and Exercise Science
There is also the Trades College for apprenticeships and other practical skills-based programs, while VU College helps those from under-represented groups prepare for and enter university.
VU has 11 campuses in Melbourne, and one in Sydney. Melbourne campuses include:
1) City Flinders Campus
2) City Flinders Lane Campus
3) City King Campus
4) City Queen Campus
5) Footscray Nicholson Campus
6) Footscray Park Campus
7) Melton Campus
8) Newport Campus
9) St Albans Campus
10) Sunshine Campus
11) Werribee Campus
Different courses and education programs are available at the different campuses, so be sure to find out what is offered where.
Australian Catholic University
While the Australian Catholic University (ACU) is obviously rooted in the Catholic approach to education, the not-for-profit university is open to everyone, no matter what their religion or creed. The university has campuses around Australia, two of which are in Victoria and one of which is in Melbourne. Students are encouraged to get practical experience throughout the course of their studies, either through work placements or volunteer experience programs.
ACU has six faculties:
- The Faculty of Arts and Sciences
- The Faculty of Business
- The Faculty of Education
- The Faculty of Health Sciences
- The Faculty of Law
- The Faculty of Theology and Philosophy
It also has a number of research centres and institutes that cover a wide selection of topics, including cardiovascular research, leadership, indigenous education, community engagement, child protection services, and clinical outcomes research.
Deakin University enjoys elite status as one of the few international universities to be awarded five stars by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) university ranking organisation. This is due to its outstanding facilities, esteemed research programs, and the quality of its teaching staff. It has world-wide appeal, with a significant portion of its students coming from over 100 countries. On-campus and distance learning opportunities are available, and courses can be undertaken on a part-time or full-time basis.
It has four faculties, each with its own schools:
- The Faculty of Arts and Education, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Communication and Creative Arts, the School of Education, and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
- The Faculty of Business and Law, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) Deakin Graduate School of Business, the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, the School of Management and Marketing, and the School of Law.
- The Faculty of Health, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, the School of Nursing and Midwifery, the School of Psychology.
- The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Architecture and Built Environment, School of Engineering, and the School of Information Technology.
There are four campuses, one of which is in Melbourne:
1) Melbourne Burwood Campus
2) Geelong Waterfront Campus
3) Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
4) Warrnambool Campus
All of the universities in Melbourne offer students on-campus housing options, and most of them have support facilities to help students find off-campus accommodation if they so choose.
A quick Google search will reveal several organisations that specialise in arranging student accommodation, especially for international students. For example, the Education Abroad Network helps international students involved with its Melbourne program find accommodation on- and off-campus. Students can choose between Sapphire (extremely comfortable) accommodation and Opal (comfortable) accommodation.
Student Hostel Network helps international students settle into life in Australia. One of its most important functions is to find students safe and affordable accommodation in Melbourne and Victoria. Accommodation is chosen for its levels of cleanliness and convenience, i.e., proximity to transport, shops, and entertainment.
Home stays are available for students who want the comfort of family life. Home stays are great because families often take pains to show their students around the city, introducing them to all the wonders that Melbourne has to offer.
Living in Melbourne
Melbourne has twice been voted the most liveable city in the world. It’s got it all; great scenery, great things to do, great cultural experiences, great attractions, and great people. The cost of living is comparable to other major cities in the country, although it’s a little higher than some of the smaller towns in Victoria. It’s a culturally diverse city with people from all over the world rubbing shoulders as they learn, work, and shop. One of the advantages of this is that no matter type of food you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it on Melbourne’s vibrant city streets.
Another great thing about the melting pot of cultures is the diversity of festivals that are held throughout the year. For example, you can bring in the Chinese and the Vietnamese New Years, and you can enjoy the Indian Festival of Light.
The weather treats the residents well. The city tends not to experience the major highs and lows that afflict many other regions of Australia.
Melbourne has an efficient public transport system that includes trams, trains, and buses. They run from early in the morning to about midnight. You will need a myki card, which will enable you to travel on all types of public transport. Many people opt to cycle around Melbourne, or at least to destinations within close proximity to the homes. The most important rule is: always wear a helmet.
Melbourne has high-quality public health care services that are available to international students. Some of these services are free. Australia also has health insurance designed specifically for foreign students called Overseas Student Health Cover. Find out about it before you leave home.
Things to do on a budget
You don’t need a lot of money to enjoy yourself in Melbourne. The city is home to some of the finest beaches in the country, so you can pick any one of the many beautiful days and get your fill of sun, sand, and surf. Some of the best beaches include Brighton Beach, Kerford Road, Carrum, and Werribee South.
You can get your (budget) shopping fix at the city’s many markets such as Queen Victoria Market, with its delectable food and vintage and modern clothing.
You can get your cultural fix and one of the many museums and galleries in the city, including the Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and the Ian Potter Centre.
You could hit Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, and the Australian Shark and Ray Centre for some animal action. And, you can get back to nature at Birrarung Marr, Fitzroy and Treasury Gardens, Domain Parklands, and Royal Park Wetland.
If you want more information on student life in Melbourne, take a look at Study Melbourne Victoria Australia. It’s one of the most comprehensive resources around.