Moving countries to launch your dream career - even when moving to one of the world’s best cities for students - can make anyone nervous. But when you come to study in Melbourne, you’ll quickly feel right at home.

That’s been the experience of Study Melbourne Ambassador Amanda Abeysinghe. She’s one of the many international students in Melbourne and is currently completing a Master of Business Management at CQUniversity Melbourne. She’s a qualified Attorney-at-Law after first studying at Sri Lanka Law College.

Even though she misses her home back in Sri Lanka, she is confident that she made the right choice when she decided to come and study in Melbourne.

“I fell in love with the city when I visited Melbourne with my family a few years ago, but the true reason obviously is that I felt comfortable putting my future, my money and my life in the hands of an expert in the global education sector,” she told us.

It made sense for me to choose Melbourne as I knew that it was the best student city in Australia and I knew they were doing everything right to gain that reputation. Today, I am so proud of myself because I made the best decision of my life!

How to feel comfortable studying in Melbourne

Before you make the move, you may find yourself asking: is Melbourne good for students? The answer, according to Amanda, is yes!

And part of the reason for that is the diversity. Melbourne is an extremely diverse city, filled with other international students all drawn from many different countries to study in the best city in Australia to live and work in.

“I live in the city and I can confidently say it was the true diversity in the community that made me feel welcome,” Amanda said.

I was fascinated to find out that this city does not force anyone to change themselves to fit in. In fact, it is our uniqueness that makes us belong in the community and I found that to be so wholesome and welcoming.

She is also a fan of that well-known Aussie sense of humour and our laid-back way of life in Melbourne. This more relaxed attitude helped Amanda to settle in.

It's a weird thing to notice but everyone is so patient and chilled out about queues and waiting times. It has trained me to calm down and slow down as well because I am culturally used to rushing things and being really antsy when in a queue. Also the “How ya goin'?" greeting still has me perplexed because I do not have an automatic response to that and my mind goes blank! I love the double take it gives me every time!

Stepping out of your comfort zone

That’s not to say Amanda didn’t ever miss her life back in Sri Lanka. She is very close to her family and said she missed having them around.

“I don't think it is something I will ever get over but I have made some great friends and connections so far. I have a beautiful crowd of people who are my chosen family here now! Not just friends from uni but also amazing lecturers, colleagues and seniors, they have made it so much better for me here, and I am so grateful for that,” she said.

To make friends and help her feel more comfortable, Amanda made sure she stepped out of her comfort zone to try new experiences and make new friends. She says international students should say yes to opportunities that come their way and take chances.

One of the opportunities that Amanda has had access to since moving to Melbourne is becoming a social ambassador at CQUniversity, where she has the opportunity to show students exactly why Melbourne is a good place to study and why they should choose CQUniversity. She is open about the fact that Melbourne is one of the best cities for students.

I always like to quote Taylor Swift on this topic; "The bad news is, you're on your own now, and the GOOD news is, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN NOW!" and if there was ever a place I would love to start afresh on my own in, it would always be Melbourne. It will change your life.

Want to study in Melbourne? Here are some things you should know.

Studying in Melbourne is an investment in your future. The city is home to some of the world’s best universities, and offer plenty of things to make your time here memorable. As Michael tells us, there are many parks and green spaces to relax in, and it’s easy to get around with Melbourne’s extensive public transport system. The city perfectly combines its historic roots with modern services, and you’re sure to find a community among the many different cultures that call the city home.

One of your first stops when you arrive should be the Study Melbourne Hub. The Hub will be your one-stop shop for events, networking, support services and even free tea and coffee! The advice and help on offer is free for all international students. A visit to the Study Melbourne Hub will help you ease into life as an international student in Melbourne.

If you’re ready to begin your studies in Melbourne, visit our Course Finder to discover what courses are available in Melbourne and Victoria.