I know, I know. If one more person asks who your footy team is, you’re going to flip. If you choose to do a high school program in Melbourne though, you’re going to have to come up with an answer fast— it is Australia’s sports capital, after all! As the 7-year reigning champ of World’s Most Livable City, Melbourne has it all. Great food, world-class sports, and festival after festival after festival. High school programs in Melbourne ranging from a week to a few months will give you a taste of this dazzling city and open your eyes to the possibilities your life can take.
What you need to know before high school programs in Melbourne
Stylish and sporty, artsy and accessible, Melbourne attracts high school students looking to boost their college applications or simply try something new. Participants of any program gain confidence, learn new skills, appreciate diversity, and get more of an insight into the potential they can reach in an increasingly global society.
Popular high school programs in Melbourne. There are tons of ways to get to know Melbourne. Most high school students opt for homestays or student exchange. You’ll live with a carefully selected host family and be included as one of the family. You can attend academic programs if you’re there during the school year, and on holidays you’ll join up with other international students for activities and excursions in and around the city. High school study in Australia has never looked so appealing, eh mate?!
Another option is experiential learning. This type of programs encourages students to learn from experience, and then take time to reflect on what they learned and how they can implement it going forward.
How long are typical high school programs in Melbourne? High school programs in Melbourne can range anywhere from 1-2 weeks to 7-12 months, and both have their own perks and drawbacks. Short programs are great for those with a smaller budget or a smaller window in which to travel, and they can also be combined with other destinations for a more varied experience. The downside is you’ll probably be more insulated in your group and have less of a chance to meet locals and develop a relationship with them and the city itself.
Long programs give you this chance to dive deeper into the culture, make stronger friendships, and call a new place home.
Teen life in Melbourne
It can be compared to Paris and New York, but don’t be mistaken— Melbourne is a city all its own. Narrow lanes intertwine the larger grid of streets and breath life into the city in the form of street art, world-renowned eateries, and vintage shops that reek of coolness.
The first stop is one that you’ll be making many times before you leave: the Queen Victoria Market. It’s the largest open-air market south of the equator, and there are literally hundreds of stalls with food from Spain to Sri Lanka. Melbourne is known as a foodie destination, and you almost need to make an effort not to eat well! Later you can visit the penguins at St. Kilda Pier, ride a roller coaster at Luna Park, or pick up a slice of baked cheesecake at Europa Cake Shop.
You’re also spoiled for choices when it comes to high school study in Australia. You can experience, either personally or vicariously, what makes Melbourne so attractive to sports enthusiasts. There are tons of pick-up games for you to join and make some new mates, but if you’re there at the right time you’ll also be privy to the Melbourne Cup, Australian Grand Prix, and international cricket matches.
Inside Scoop for High School Students in Melbourne
Melbourne is safe and very easy to get around. Many residents drive cars, but as a high school student you’ll probably make good use of public transport. The cable tram network dates from the 1870s, and though locals sometimes complain, it’s actually one of the best compared to the rest of the country. You can buy a myki card from any newsagent or train station, and you’ll have to touch on every time you board. Make sure to touch off if you’re taking a train.
Be prepared for any kind of weather; rain can always be just 10 min away! It’s not unusual to carry sunglasses, an umbrella, and an extra jacket, just for one afternoon. Melbourne weather changes so frequently there’s a running joke that Melbourne is one of the few places you can get frostbite on your sunburn.
If rain pops up at any notice, so too do festivals. Melburnians love to get outside and get together. So don’t stay holed up, even if homesickness calls. Get out and join in the fun— you won’t regret it!
Melbourne’s social fabric is stitched with sport, art, and culinary expertise. As a high school student abroad you can add your own square to this diverse quilt. Living in another country is a powerful engine for personal growth, and a great way to get your adult life off to a head start!
For other ways to experience the land down under, read our comprehensive guide on high school programs in Australia.