“Hungry for Learning” — How studying in Melbourne makes you a global citizen

Is Melbourne a good place to study? We asked International Student Elisa about her experience studying in Melbourne. 

Elisa is doing a double degree in Environmental Science and International Studies at Monash University—ranked number 44 among global universities.

Melbourne is often referred to as the best city in Australia to live and work. In this interview, Elisa shares her views on what makes Melbourne such a great place to study. 

Why did you choose to study in Melbourne?

Melbourne offered me a safe, welcoming space where I can prepare myself for my future endeavours. I have always wanted to study abroad, and was accepted for programs in other countries, but decided to come to Melbourne because it celebrates diversity. Everywhere you go, you can see representation from cultures all across the world, and I think that is what makes the city beautiful. Although it is far from home, Melbourne has offered me the chance to learn and grow into a global citizen.

Victoria is considered the education state of Australia, so couple that with a really attractive course of study, and I was already packing my bags!

What do you love about Melbourne?

I love that there is something for everyone. Whether you´re interested in surfing, snowboarding, crochet, botany, or anything in between, you are bound to find a community group that enjoys it too.

I love the long, warm summer days in Melbourne, and how easy it is to walk and wander around the city. As an international student, I love how this city gave me a blank slate in which I could pursue many new and exciting interests.

What made you feel warm and welcomed when you first arrived in Melbourne?

Melburnians were very welcoming, despite the fact that I arrived just before the pandemic hit. I would say that the people in Melbourne, particularly my neighbours and friends, were the main reason why I didn't feel as isolated when everything shut down.

Clayton and Mulgrave will always be homey suburbs for me, as they are close to Monash University and have a very family-focused vibe. Queen Victoria Market is one of my favourite spots for a Sunday shop, their Night Market is one of my favourite winter activities.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Melbourne to study?

With so many awesome options, it is easy to lose track of what you want out of your experience abroad. My suggestion is to plan it out. Moving abroad can be daunting, but having a plan made me feel more assured that I was building towards a purposeful goal. Visualise who you want to be in Melbourne. What kind of place would you like to live in? What do you imagine yourself doing when you're not studying? What is your budget? What are your priorities? And based on that, start doing your research. There are many resources online that will help you bring that vision to life.

Is there anything you wish you knew before moving to Melbourne?

I learnt how to budget once I arrived, but that is an essential skill for international students in Melbourne. Living in the city can get expensive, so familiarising yourself with things like claiming your tax, setting a super account, and managing costs can really make a difference in your budget.

Other than that, I wish I knew how to cook my favourite Mexican dishes before moving! My grandma would always cook for me and I'd love to recreate her praise-worthy antojitos.

I would recommend studying in Melbourne because…

Melbourne is a place for learning. The city is full of students like you, but it also offers plenty of chances to learn outside of class. You indirectly learn about different ways of speaking, eating, living...  If you're hungry for learning, this is the place for you.

Once you have completed your course, what are your plans? Are you going to stay in Australia?

I will see where the wind takes me! On one side, I am keen on going back to my hometown and putting everything that I've studied to good use. On the other, there are plenty of opportunities for me to settle in Melbourne for life. I truly want to make a difference that improves the life of others and the state of our environments, so I'll go wherever that opportunity arises. In the short term, I plan on travelling around Australia after I graduate.

Why study in Melbourne? 

If you enjoyed reading about Elisa’s experiences, you’d love studying in Melbourne. 

Choose Melbourne for your study destination and you could find yourself welcomed by supportive locals while meeting many more diverse people from across the globe. 

Just like Elisa described, Melbourne truly has something for everyone. No matter what your interests are, you can find your tribe in Melbourne and never run out of things to do. 

Thank you, Elisa for sharing your experience studying in Melbourne.