If you’re a fan of coffee, culture and incredible food, you’ll love living in Melbourne. The Victorian capital is one of the most exciting and diverse in the country, offering a rich range of academic and employment prospects. Here are our top 10 reasons to live and study in Melbourne as an international student.
1. Melbourne is Australia’s most liveable city
Melbourne was ranked the #1 most liveable city in Australia and #10 in the world in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index for 2022. This list assesses 173 cities across the globe in the categories of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
There are many reasons why life in Melbourne is so highly valued: there are multiple public transport options, relatively low crime rates, and plenty of jobs. Plus, it offers an awesome arts and culture scene, first-rate universities and an easy lifestyle.
2. Melbourne features top-tier accommodation options
A key part of living in Melbourne is deciding where to live in Melbourne. In other words, you’ll need to choose the accommodation style best suited to your needs.
Fortunately, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Melbourne is home to a wide range of high-quality accommodation options designed to suit the student lifestyle, including purpose-built student accommodation. Student accommodation is a particularly popular option among international students as it offers a unique sense of support and community. Plus, student accommodation features incredible amenities that can hugely improve your international study experience.
3. Melbourne is home to world-class education providers and research facilities
Victoria is known as the Education State, so it should come as no surprise that Melbourne is very academic. According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, several of its universities sit within the top-ranked universities in Australia and the world. For example, The University of Melbourne and Monash University were both ranked in the top 10 universities in Australia (claiming the #2 and #6 positions, respectively) and in the top 100 universities in the world (claiming the #33 and #57 spots, respectively). These institutions also secured impressive positions in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2023.
When living in Melbourne, you’ll quickly recognise the city as a creative hub, home to world-class academics and an exciting entrepreneurial spirit. Before you know it, you’ll soon be thinking outside the box (and around it, above it and below it, too).
4. Melbourne’s laneway culture is rich, vivid and exciting
Melbourne’s winding alleyways are magical; they’ll probably make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a real-life Wonderland. The city is well-known across Australia for its vibrant laneway culture, which is brimming with bustling shopping arcades, wandering musicians, live music, quiet street-side book cafes… and the occasional secret street party!
If you’re in search of good food, take a wander down the colourful Centre Place, where you’ll find plenty of places to eat. For anyone into street art, a walk down the paint-splashed Hosier Lane will definitely inspire. Don’t forget your camera!
@insiderguides Melbourne’s street art is second to none – and it makes for an amazing addition to your Instragram feed. 📍 Hosier Lane, Melbourne. #melbourne #melbournestreetart #hosierlane #hosierlanestreetart #streetartistry ♬ It’s Called: Freefall (Sped Up) – Rainbow Kitten Surprise
5. The coffee is incredible
Can’t survive without your morning caffeine hit? If you’re a coffee-lover, we have great news: coffee culture in Melbourne runs deep. Thanks to Melbourne’s champion baristas, the friendly neighbourhood vibe and the locals’ love of supporting small businesses, Melbourne cafés serve up some of the best coffee in Australia – and perhaps even the world.
Read more: The Best Melbourne Cafés to Study In
6. It’s Australia’s ‘cultural capital’
Melbourne’s eccentricity, creativity and love of the arts are universally famous.
If you want to absorb some of Melbourne’s culture, check out the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Plus, the city is home to more underground arts movements, such as zine fairs (look out for Festival of the Photocopier), artist collectives, record stores, swing dancing clubs… the list goes on.
7. The community is hugely diverse
Melbourne is a melting pot of communities and is home to many different cultural celebrations. The Antipodes Festival, Melbourne Italian Festa, Chinese New Year, TET Festival, the Melbourne Fringe Festival and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival are just some of the options on offer. Plus, make sure to check out the neighbourhoods that sit around the CBD. You’ll find many different communities from all around the world in each one.
Read more: 6 Ways to Relieve Stress in Melbourne
8. The trams are a lot of fun
In Melbourne, trams are both a major form of public transport and one of the city’s most famous icons. Melbourne locals tend to express genuine warmth for their tram system. You can even visit the Melbourne Tram Museum to learn more about this beloved mode of transport!
As an international student, you may be eligible for 50 per cent off public transport with an International Student Travel Pass, so you can easily enjoy exploring the city.
Learn more about public transport in Melbourne.
9. Melbourne is a great place for start-ups
If you’re an international student looking to start your own business, living in Melbourne could be a smart move. There are many small business grants offered to ideas that display creativity, innovation, business readiness, financial viability and benefits to the city of Melbourne. Does that sound exciting? Well, it could be you!
10. Melbourne is home to breathtaking natural beauty
Like the great outdoors? Then you’ll love living in Melbourne! The city is home to a wide range of stunning outdoor settings, from beaches to parks and so much more.
Whether you’re keen to lounge in the sun at St Kilda Beach, have a picnic in the Fitzroy Gardens or take a stroll along the Yarra River, there’s no shortage of beautiful nature to explore.