Study in Melbourne

About Australia

Australia is a natural wonderland of beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters, amazing ancient rock formations and pristine rain forests. It is an island continent and the word’s sixth largest country. It lies between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Australia has the lowest population density per square kilometer.

Australia is made up of six states and two territories, as follows:

Six States :

  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

Two Territories :

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Northern Territory

Canberra is the capital city of Australia.

As of 2020, the population of Australia is posted at 25M according to Australian Bureau of Statistics. More than half of the country’s population is living in two (2) states – New South Wales and Victoria. Australia follows a federal system of government under which powers are distributed between the federal government and the states.

The country is multi-cultural and this is reflected in food, lifestyle and cultural practices. The important heritage of Australia is from its indigenous people. The diversity of influences creates a cultural environment in Australia that is lively, energized, innovative and outward looking.

Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year. The northern states of Australia are typically warm most of the time while the southern states experiences cool winters.

About Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria with a population of over 4.8 million which accounts for 19.05% of national population in 2020. It ranks second most populated state in Australia after Sydney. Although the official language spoken is English, there are more than 100 languages spoken by the residents. The inhabitants of Melbourne are called Melburnians.

What is so great about Melbourne?

  • Melbourne has been ranked as the “world’s most livable city” in the Economist Intelligence Unit for seven years in running since 2011
  • Melbourne has been ranked the third most student-friendly city in the world in the QS Best Student City Rankings in 2013
  • Melbourne has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature — we have more bookshops per head of population than anywhere else in Australia and more people borrow more books from libraries in Melbourne than anywhere else in Australia!

Melbourne is a truly multicultural city. Everything in Melbourne is within reach. Below are important information that can help you easily adapt as a local.

Multicultural Environment

The City of Melbourne is a diverse community with different groups of people residing, studying and working in its suburbs. Our population springs from a wide variety of countries of origin, including Greece, Italy, China, Vietnam, New Zealand, Korea, Somalia, India, the United Kingdom, and many more. International students are also a significant part of our multicultural population.

Multicultural Hub

The City of Melbourne’s Multicultural Hub is a friendly place, where people from Melbourne’s many different cultures can get together to work, share and learn in a safe and supportive environment. The Multicultural Hub is owned by the City of Melbourne and is managed by the Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES), Victoria’s largest local provider of multicultural support services.

Social Norms

Melbourne has a cultural and religious diversity. It is against the law to discriminate against someone on the basis of attributes such as age, gender, race, religious beliefs or activities, disability, lawful sexual activity/sexual orientation, parental or career status, pregnancy or marital status etc.

Some examples of social norms in Australia include:

  • Be on time for classes and other appointments. Sometimes, there can be different expectations about the arrival time for social events. If you are unsure, it is wise to check with the host in advance.
  • It may often be impolite to ask about personal details such as income, marital status, race, sexuality or religion.
  • There are laws in Australia which prohibit smoking inside or near public buildings, including cafés, restaurants, bars and toilets as well as train stations and bus shelters.

Weather

Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate; Melbourne has four distinct seasons. Cool in spring (September to November), warm to hot in summer (December to February), mild in autumn (March to May) and the winters (June to August) are cold and damp. Melbourne is known for its changeable weather condition. It is often described as “four seasons in one day”.

Getting around Melbourne

Traveling in Melbourne and around Australia is convenient. Public transport and facilities including buses, trams, trains, planes, domestic and international airports, coach and train stations as well as bus and tram stops are available for public use.

Melbourne’s public transport system consists of bus, tram and train and is divided into two travel zones. Zone 1 includes the city centre and Zone 2 includes the middle to outer suburbs of Melbourne. Regional areas are serviced by V/Line trains.

The system uses an automated ticketing system called Mykicard and can be purchased at train stations, machines in trams, major tram stops and retail outlets displaying the Mykicard flag. There are no conductors; however, you must ensure you have a validated ticket as inspectors (Authorized Officers) conduct random inspections. Fines start from $160. Please note international students are ineligible for concession fares.

You can also catch a taxi on the street or book prior by telephone. There are also taxi ranks in most busy locations, especially near railway stations, hotels, and the airport. At the ranks, taxis wait in a queue for passengers. Taxis are more expensive after 9pm and at weekends.

The city is well laid out with an extensive network of public transport including trams, buses and trains which can be accessed with one ticket. For further information on public transport in Melbourne go to Public Transport Victoria’s website on www.ptv.vic.gov.au

Communication

Australians or Aussies as the local say it, are generally informal in their speech and you may find they address people by their given names. Australians generally speak quickly, and some use slang words and phrases like “I reckon” which means “I think”. Australians, in general, are modest about their achievements. Non-verbal behaviour is very important too, for example making eye contact when speaking with others is considered respectful.

Personal safety

Melbourne is relatively safe place, but we still highly recommend using common-sense as personal safety practices. Think Before is a student safety initiative that aims to make students more aware of safety when travelling at night.

There are many other online resources, including Safety Victoria and Victoria Police. There are also Protective Services Officers (PSO) to proactively patrol the train platform, car parks and surrounds, dealing with anti-social behavior, property damage, alcohol and transport related offenses as they arise.

Banks

In Melbourne, payment for utilities, rents, groceries can be conveniently done through online transactions. There are a lot of banking organisations where you can open accounts. To name a few, National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Payment for course fees at NMEC can also be done by online transaction.

Living Costs in Melbourne

Melbourne is a reasonably priced city, providing good quality affordable living. Students will need a minimum of AUD$21,000 per year (excluding tuition fees) to cover living expenses. This will cover accommodation, food, telephone calls, health care, transport, books, clothing and entertainment. The exact amount will vary according to each student’s lifestyle.

Fruit, vegetables and meat are available fresh and at reasonable prices. Clothing and personal effects are usually good quality and available at a wide variety of prices.

Employment

You are not allowed to work until you have started your course. You can work up to 40 hours a fortnight while your course is in session (excluding any work undertaken as a registered component of your course of study or training) and you can work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. However, you should be aware that work may not be readily available, and they should not depend on this form of income for support.

For further information, call the Department of Home Affairs enquiry line on 131 881, or go to
https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/contact-us/telephone.

Students wishing to undertake paid employment will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN), which is a number used by the Australian Tax Office to identify people when they pay tax. A TFN can be obtained by going to the local post office and asking for an application form, or by visiting www.ato.gov.au, clicking on “For individuals” and following the links. A TFN should be kept in a safe place and not disclosed to anyone other than an employer or bank.

Employment Rights

There are a number of external agencies that can assist with employment related issues:

Work safe Victoria & Occupational Health: Work safe Victoria is the manager of Victoria’s workplace safety system and provides information on work cover and workplace occupational health & safety issues. For more information, please visit the website:  https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/occupational-health-and-safety-act-and-regulations.

Equal Opportunity Commission

Receives complaints from people who feel they have been treated unfairly, have been discriminated against or is experiencing sexual harassment. For more information, please visit: https://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/ or phone 1300 292153.

Australian Taxation Office

Provides information on taxation and superannuation issues. For more details, please visit: https://www.ato.gov.au/ or phone 132 861 for an appointment.

Job Watch

Investigates exploitation in employment and training and handles complaints and inquiries from the general public regarding annual leave, notice pay, sick leave, redundancy pay and related issues. For further detail information, please visit: http://jobwatch.org.au/ or phone  03 9662 1933 or 1800 331 617.

Fair Work Australia

FWA functions broadly to facilitate agreement making between employers and employees about wages and conditions, and to ensure that a safety net of fair minimum wages and conditions is established and maintained. For more information, please  check http://www.fairwork.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx