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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to Melbourne

Chapel Street

This article is sponsored by Campus Melbourne

Melbourne has long been a popular destination for international students looking for an amazing study-abroad experience. 

But what can you expect when you actually make the move? What’s the weather really like, and how can you get around on a student budget? To find out what living here is really like, we spoke to a current international student, Mallika Vaddi. 

Read on to discover the top ten things you need to know before moving to Melbourne!

1. It really is a great place for students

As the home to many world-class educational institutions, it’s not hard to see why the third most liveable city in the world is a desirable study location. 

Mallika says she was happy to learn that it was ranked among the best student cities in the world! Melbourne has been named #1 in Australia and #4 worldwide based on a wide range of factors, including diversity, employment outcomes, affordability and student reviews. 

2. Be prepared for warm weather…

Summer happens between December and February in the Southern Hemisphere. While in Melbourne, you can expect to enjoy a warm, dry summer with lots of sunny days.

“The climate is almost similar to India,” says Mallika.

To prepare for warmer days, make sure you have plenty of cool, lightweight clothing. Occasionally, the temperature can get to over 30°C, so it’s a good idea to read up on staying safe in hot weather

3. …And for the cold!

Mallika adds that you should prepare for cooler weather, too. During winter, average temperatures in Melbourne range from 6.5°C to 14°C, so while it’s not bitterly cold, you’ll definitely need some warm clothing!

Before the cold months start, ensure you have a few jumpers and a high-quality jacket, plus warm pants, socks and shoes. If you don’t already own cold-weather clothing, don’t worry about purchasing items and bringing them from home – you can buy them when you arrive in Australia and save on luggage space. 

4. You’ll be safe and secure

One thing Mallika highlights is how safe she feels in Melbourne, even when travelling around at night.

Indeed, according to the 2021 Economist Safe Cities Index, Melbourne is the ninth safest city in the world. This makes it easy to relax and enjoy your stay!

5. It’s a vibrant, multicultural place

Did you know that Melbourne, home to over 140 cultures, is one of the most multicultural cities in Australia? No matter where you’re from, you can be sure you’ll receive a friendly welcome here. 

“I like how Melbourne is diverse in culture,” explains Mallika.

She says meeting new people from many different countries has expanded her worldview and made her more open-minded.  

6. The accommodation is awesome!

During her time in Melbourne, Mallika has loved staying in student accommodation. 

Campus Melbourne has been nothing short of fantastic,” Mallika explains. “The place is amazing for students. There is a swimming pool, an eatery, a movie room and a gym. The reception is available 24/7 if there is an issue or emergency.”

7. You don’t need a car!

Melbourne’s comprehensive network of trams, trains and buses means you’ll have no trouble getting wherever you want to go. 

“There are trams and train stations nearby to my accommodation, and it makes my travel easy,” adds Mallika. 

@insiderguides If you’ve recently arrived in the city, you might be wondering how to take the tram in Melbourne 🚃 Well, we’re here to explain it in less than a minute! #melbourneaustralia #melbourne #melbourneaustralia🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺 #insiderguides #internationalstudents #melbournetram #publictransport #trammelbourne #melbournepublictransport ♬ Young Folks – Shindig Society

To use public transport, you’ll have to purchase a myki card. Many international students are also eligible for an International Student Travel Pass, which is a great way to save money on your commute!

8. The locals are friendly

“My favourite thing about living in Melbourne is meeting people,” Mallika explains, and it’s not hard to see why.

Locals in Melbourne pride themselves on being warm and welcoming to people from all over the world, so you can expect to see lots of friendly faces and find some excellent new friends. 

9. You’ll see some cool native wildlife!

Before she moved to Australia, Mallika had heard that kangaroos hop up and down the streets, and she was lucky enough to see this for herself in Melbourne!

Even though you might not see a kangaroo in your street, you’ll still probably spot a few cool native animals. Keep an eye out for the brightly coloured crimson rosella and the adorable common ringtail possum

If you’d like to see some native animals, don’t miss a trip to Melbourne Zoo!

10. There’s so much to do and see!

Mallika says she loves Melbourne’s lively and vibrant atmosphere, and it’s not hard to see why! With loads of arts and culture, sports, festivals and fun events throughout the year, there’s truly something for everyone. 

While you’re here, make sure you visit the city’s amazing markets, get back to nature with the many green spaces and take advantage of some of the fantastic free events!