Student life in Melbourne

Student life in Melbourne
Updated 2022-10-27 07:54

Time and time again, Melbourne has been named one of the most livable cities in the world. Melbourne is a popular city for students, both local and international, and is a safe and vibrant city that offers world-class study options, a fascinating cultural scene, great food and a wide range of activities. Despite Melbourne's high cost of living, students still find ways to make ends meet.

Student jobs in Melbourne

Melbourne requires a substantial budget when it comes to accommodation, so most students work on the side. Normally students are allowed to work up to 40 hours a fortnight during the semester and unlimited hours during the vacations.

But to address labor shortages, the government has temporarily relaxed the working hours for student visas. Students will be able to work before the start of their course and will also be able to work more than 40 hours per fortnight in any sector of the economy.

Accommodation in Melbourne

Melbourne is the second most expensive city for accommodation, after Sydney. According to the Victorian Government's Department of Health and Social Services, the median weekly cost of rent in the Melbourne metropolitan area is $430. But it is still possible to find cheap student accommodation in the city, especially if you opt for a studio or shared apartment.

Melbourne universities offer student housing, some of which may also include meals. These are dotted around the city, from Box Hill, Brunswick East, Burwood, Carlton, Footscray, Hawthorn to the CBD in Melbourne.

Typically the average price per week is between $300 and $750 but you'll have to act fast because you won't be the only student looking for the best deals.

There are also homestays which are an ideal way for international students to settle in a city abroad, perfect for getting acquainted with Australian life and learning from your host family. Typically, the cost ranges from $220 to $355 per week, depending on meals and whether you share a room.

Note that sharing an apartment or room can cost $200 to $350 per week, depending on location, but it is the best way to meet people. Flatmates and Flatmate Finders are excellent sites for finding roommates.


Melbourne has a jam-packed calendar of different activities to keep any student busy and entertained. Student life may be very expensive, but don't forget that as a student you are entitled to student discounts (read on to find out more), and there is no shortage of fun and free activities in Melbourne.

Weekly markets are very popular with students, especially because they are free. The National Gallery of Victoria offers free or discounted admission, as do the State Library of Victoria and the Melbourne Immigration Museum. 

Study Melbourne is an indispensable guide that will keep you informed about student events, such as lectures, sports events, English clubs, and legal services in and around Melbourne. Plus, when the weather is nice, you can enjoy the many parks and beautiful beaches in South Melbourne, all for free!

Cost of Living

As with most Australian cities, tuition and living costs in Melbourne can be relatively high. Tuition fees depend on the university and the program of study, but on average a Bachelor's degree costs between $15,000 and $33,000 per year. Knowing the average cost of living will help you prepare and budget for your daily life.

The Department of the Interior (DHA) estimates that an international student needs approximately $21,041 per year for living expenses. These expenses are in addition to tuition and fees and include such things as your housing, food, books, transportation and other costs.

As previously mentioned, international students are now allowed to work more than 40 hours per week if they wish, and local students can receive financial assistance from the government to help them during their studies.

Student discounts

Being a student can have very good sides, whether you are local or international you are entitled to discounts. These discounts are effective on:

Most of these discounts require only the presentation of a student ID card, which is carried by all students enrolled at a university. Some of these discounts may require a special card.

The application of an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is very useful for international students. It is recognized in over 130 countries (including Australia) and all you will need is proof of full-time study. With this card you will be eligible for discounts on transportation, online shopping, hostels and more.

Be sure to check with your university's student administration office for more information. International students can also save up to 50% on travel cards in Melbourne by completing an online application. Health cards allow students to receive discounts on dental care and bills, however, in most cases you will need to be an Australian resident to proceed with this benefit.

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