When you choose to study in Melbourne, you’re selecting one of the most vibrant, multicultural cities in Australia as your second home. To ensure this next chapter of your life begins on the right foot, preparation is key. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you know how to prepare and make the most of your student journey in Melbourne.

How to prepare

Your studies

To succeed in your studies, it’s important to know what to expect. Overall, student life in Australia is a balanced combination of challenging and easy-going. Your classes will typically involve a mix of lectures, tutorials and workshops.

A lecture is a formal presentation by a professor or instructor, typically to a large group of students. Tutorials usually involve smaller groups of students meeting to discuss course content and assessments. Workshops are also typically conducted in smaller groups but tend to entail more participatory elements or practical application of course knowledge or skills.

Assessments will often include written exams, essays and reports of various kinds. Because your studies will be relatively demanding, you’ll need to be independent and manage your time well. Fortunately, you’ll still have plenty of time to make friends and enjoy your new home.

What to bring from home

It’s best to limit what you bring from home, so your luggage doesn’t exceed your airline’s weight limit. Make sure to bring any important documents (printed, if possible), medications, your laptop and chargers, and a few personal mementos from home with you.

You will be able to buy most necessities here, such as clothes, furniture, bedding and study supplies. Australia has very strict border security, so make sure you don’t bring any food, organic materials or other restricted items into the country.


Melbourne is known for its diverse weather and its four distinct seasons; it’s often said that you can experience them all in a single day. This means you’ll need to be prepared for all kinds of weather changes. In addition to the other essentials listed above, you’ll want to ensure you pack the necessary supplies or buy them shortly after arriving, such as an umbrella, a raincoat and footwear to suit different climates.

Throughout the year, you can enjoy a variety of fun seasonal activities. For instance, summer is the perfect season to visit any of Melbourne’s beautiful beaches. Every autumn, the city comes alive with excitement and anticipation at the Formula 1 Grand Prix – the only F1 race that takes place in Australia! Winter is ideal for sports fans as this is the height of Australian Football League (AFL) season. Finally, you can enjoy the spring by strolling around the Botanic Gardens, soaking in the sights of blooming flora and other foliage.


One of the first things you will need to do as an international student is find somewhere to live. Melbourne has many different housing options for students, including private rentals, on-campus accommodation and homestays.

Renting privately in a sharehouse is one of the cheapest options, but keep in mind that you may need to buy your own furniture. Bills may or may not be included in private rental fees, so you may have to budget for these separately.

On-campus accommodation, such as residential colleges or purpose-built student accommodation, is a great option if you are moving from overseas. While it’s typically more expensive than renting privately, it offers many advantages, such as central locations, furnished rooms and all-inclusive fees (which include rent, internet and other bills). It’s also a great way to meet other students sharing the same room or building as you.

A homestay involves living with a local family. This is an excellent way to meet new people and have an authentic Australian experience. Arrangements vary, but meals may be included in the cost.

It’s a good idea to contact your education provider to see what advice and information they can give you about finding suitable accommodation. Most institutions will have a housing service that can help you find the perfect place to live.

Some important things to keep in mind are your budget, whether you are willing to share with others and how you will travel to your campus. For more information about finding accommodation in Melbourne, check out our student accommodation guide.

Making the most of your experience

Meet fellow students

Making new friends is an important part of student life in Melbourne, especially for international students. Attending your classes is a great way to make friends with people who share the same interests. It’s also an excellent idea to join clubs or societies and keep an eye out for social events for new students to start building your community.

Embrace opportunities

Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and say yes to things. Whether it’s enjoying a coffee with a new classmate, volunteering at a local organisation or trying food you’ve never eaten before, keeping an open mind will help you achieve your best international study experience.

Keep a record

Finally, it’s a great idea to record your experiences in Melbourne. You could do this by writing in a journal, taking photos or even writing a blog. With these keepsakes, you’ll be better able to remember the wonderful experience of studying in Melbourne.

For more information about preparing for your international study adventure, check out our international student arrival checklist.