Known for its vibrant laneways, cultural diversity and world-class education options, there’s so much to love about Melbourne (and that’s not to mention the fact that it’s regularly voted the world’s most liveable city). If you’re looking to study abroad, here are ten reasons why Melbourne might just be the ideal pick.
1. It’s very multicultural
Melbourne has an incredibly diverse population, with people from all corners of the globe setting up residence here. In fact, the city is home to over 140 different cultures from around the world.
“Almost half of all Victorians today have a parent who was born overseas, with over 2.2 million Victorians having a heritage from a non-English speaking country,” says Eddie Micallef, Chairperson of Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV), the state’s peak advocacy body for ethnic and multicultural communities.
“Currently, more than 1.5 million Victorians speak one of 260 languages other than English at home. These contemporary attributes of our multicultural society reinforce the value of a cohesive, interactive and inclusive multicultural society.”
Not only will you meet people from a variety of different backgrounds, but you’ll also get the opportunity to experience a huge range of multicultural events and celebrations in Melbourne.
2. Safety is high, while crime is low
Australia is generally a safe place to live, and Melbourne is no exception. The city ranks high for safety, while crime rates are typically low, which makes it a great city to live, study and work.
However, you should always take precautions with your possessions and personal safety as you would anywhere else in the world. We have a wealth of resources on staying safe in Melbourne, covering everything from heat and fire safety, to travel security and beach/water safety.
3. The city boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene
Melbourne’s dynamic arts and culture scene is world-famous, and each year the city enjoys a packed calendar of events and festivals that span film, fashion, music, art, food and much more. Highlights include Moomba Festival, Melbourne Fashion Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and Melbourne Comedy Festival, but you’re bound to find several other events that pique your interest.
And that’s not to mention the regular arts and culture offerings like cinemas, live music venues, galleries, and theatres… the list is endless!
4. It’s a city made for sports fanatics
The city is equally mad about sports and boasts a busy sporting calendar. From the Australian Grand Prix to the Australian Open and Melbourne Cup, there’s no shortage of exciting sporting events to experience year-round. There are also plenty of regular matches spanning sports like AFL (Australian Rules football), cricket, football/soccer, and basketball.
Even if you’re not into sport, you’ll be blown away by the incredible atmosphere that sweeps through Melbourne during the sporting season, particularly on the AFL’s Grand Final Weekend every September.
5. It’s home to some of the world’s top universities
Melbourne is home to six of the world’s best universities, along with plenty of globally renowned academics and researchers. And that’s not to mention the many TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes, VET providers, private colleges and English schools located across the city.
Campuses in Melbourne also focus on positive student experiences, with excellent support services in place for international students across accommodation, employment, legal, and even meeting new people.
6. You can travel in all directions
No study experience would be complete without travel, both around Melbourne and beyond. Because Victoria’s a relatively compact state, there are lots of great day trips and longer holidays close to Melbourne.
The iconic Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic drives, and it’s only 90 minutes from the Melbourne CBD. If you love cute animals (who doesn’t?!), then don’t miss the opportunity to see the famed penguin parade on Phillip Island, or visit the Yarra Valley to sample wines from local wineries.
7. The city enjoys a varied climate
Melbourne has warm summers, lovely springs, mild autumns and cold winters. Many international students like Melbourne’s varied climate in comparison to northern parts of Australia where it can be scorching, especially during summer months.
Melbourne is also known for having four seasons in one day, where you can experience the weather transition from sunny to rainy in mere minutes. Melburnians reckon it keeps life exciting!
8. You can get out in nature
Despite containing a relatively bustling CBD, Melbourne has lots of beautiful inner-city parks and gardens. Stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens and check out over 8,500 plant species, spot brushtail possums at Treasury Gardens, or explore vintage cottages and conservatories at Fitzroy Gardens. Melbourne Zoo is also located right near the centre of the city.
Further afield, Victoria offers plenty of great nature experiences, hikes, national parks and wildlife spots. Places like Warrandyte, the Dandenong Ranges and the Grampians National Park are all perfect for getting out in nature, while Healesville Sanctuary lets you get up close and personal with Aussie critters.
9. Public transport is incredibly efficient (and sometimes free!)
Melbourne’s public transport system is one of the best in Australia, with a sprawling 250km of tram lines passing through the CBD and surrounds. The city also has a Free Tram Zone extending from Queen Victoria Market to Docklands, which lets you hop on and off as you like – and it’s entirely free!
Aside from trams, the city has an extensive network of trains and buses servicing the outer suburbs. Here’s the full lowdown on getting around the city stress-free.
10. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to employment
Melbourne is widely considered the tech capital of Australia, and is home to more than half of Australia’s top 20 technology companies. Other growing fields in Victoria include creative industries, tourism and events, sustainability and new energy, and professional services like finance, insurance and engineering. The start-up scene is booming too, with over 2,700 start-ups and a sector that’s growing by 23% each year.
So, if it’s a city packed to the brim with opportunities and possibilities you’re looking for, Melbourne is the place for you!