Nestled in a coastal, cultural nook of Southern Australia is the country’s second largest city, Melbourne. Melbourne has been ranked the world’s most livable city (i.e. deadly wildlife is minimal) five years running and the competition doesn’t stand a chance. Melbourne rates highly in tourism, sports and entertainment, healthcare, and, most notably, education. The city is home to top degree programs and universities making it one of the best, if not the best place for international students to earn a degree in Australia. Whatever your academic interests, there is a degree program in Melbourne that can launch you to your highest potential.
Degree Programs in Melbourne
The quality and abundance of educational opportunities in Melbourne has ignited a rapid increase in the number of international students studying in the city. No matter what stage of your education you are in, there is a degree program in Melbourne that will satisfy your inner “conch” (slang for a conscientious or studious person).
You can earn either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Melbourne and some schools even offer programs that equate to an associate’s degree. Deakin University, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, and Monash University are just a few of the seven public universities that call Melbourne home. Accounting, communications, computer science, and physics degrees are among the most popular areas of study in Melbourne for international students.
Degree programs in Melbourne vary in length, depending on the type of degree, but most are capped at three years. Courses are taught in English, but you will most definitely graduate with a minor in Aussie slang. Many universities offers courses that are flexible to suit the career objectives of a wide variety of students. The Australian’s practical approach to learning emphasizes real-world experience and professional practice, so students get practical experience right away in their first year of study (i.e. engineering students build, education students teach). Further, students graduate job-ready and equipped with the skills sought by employers in an increasingly competitive global workplace.
If you’re deadset on the namesake, the University of Melbourne campus is spacious, green, and located within walking distance to downtown Melbourne. The University of Melbourne was the only university in the state of Victoria for over one hundred years; hence, the strong academic basis for all the humanities, sciences, and professions. The University of Melbourne also uses The Melbourne Model, an innovative approach to learning and providing students with an opportunity to study specific disciplines in depth, with the opportunity to undertake subjects from other areas. The model leads to access to exceptional academic enrichment opportunities such as internships and industry projects.
Life in Melbourne
So we know studying is fun and all, but when you want to shed your “conch” shell and let your hair down, Melbourne will be there to ensure you have a good time. The climate, waterfront location, and nightlife make it one of the most vibrant destinations in Australia. The city celebrates a wide variety of annual cultural events and festivals of all types, including Moomba, Australia's largest free community festival.
The city has a stylish, edgy, and easy-going personality. Street art and sticky-carpeted band venues fuse with sophisticated museums and chic rooftop eateries. Melbourne is best experienced in a local’s shoes, living and breathing in the coolness surrounding its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals, and people that inexplicably transcend its borders.
Sports are crucial to the fabric of the town; deciding what team you root for is a decision not to be taken lightly. Melburnians are passionate about footy (Aussie rules football), cricket, and horse racing, so make sure to spend an afternoon relaxing with your mates at a match or perfect your “hat-a-tude” and place a bet on your favorite horse (the one we know you picked because it had the coolest name).
To get some fresh air and escape the city life for a day, take a road trip down the Great Ocean Road. It’s one of the world’s most beautiful coastal roads that inevitably leads to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Places of special interest include Bell's Beach, home to the famous World Surfing Championships, which is less than two hours outside of Melbourne.
Accommodation & Visas
Most international students live in dorms when they begin earning a degree in Melbourne, and then opt to find off campus housing later in their studies. However, housing is expensive in Melbourne, so living with roommates is usually necessary for students. Homestays are occasionally offered to students during shorter degree programs in Melbourne, which provide students with an irreplaceably immersive experience.
You will need to obtain a student visa in order to earn a degree in Melbourne, and it is best to get the ball rolling as early as possible to avoid any predicaments. Most universities offer application and pre-departure assistance, and will help you through the visa process to make sure you have completed the appropriate forms and visa requirements. To learn more about the student visa process, check out GoAbroad’s Australian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Travail to Prevail. Traveling is not always as appealing as the picture on the cover of the study abroad brochure. The word travel is derived from the word travail, which means painful or laborious effort. Meaningful travel promises trials, but meaningful travel also promises a giant helping of strength, confidence, and courage you didn’t know you had in you.
Cost. Living in the land down under doesn’t come cheap, but you will definitely get your money’s worth. Besides, living the broke college student life builds character and provides a platform for gratefulness. In the future, when your degree in Melbourne provides you with a swanky career, you will be able to look back and laugh at the times you had to use your tennis racquet as a colander.
Interact. Your ability to adapt in new situations and be able to clearly communicate is a rare and valuable life skill that will enhance your education and professional skills. Interacting with people from all over the world who are in the same boat as you is one of the most valuable parts of earning your degree abroad; it also gives you a great head start to the necessary evil of networking.
The common misconception that everything in Australia can kill you is farfetched. Earning a degree abroad in Melbourne provides you with a life changing opportunity, a promise of purpose, and fulfilled passion. Traveling meaningfully won’t kill you. The only thing more deadly than the animals is complacency.