Life in Melbourne

With a population nearing five million people, Melbourne is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city. The University's main campus is located in Parkville, a suburb that is approximately two kilometers from the city centre. The inner-city suburbs surrounding the University are diverse. Some are quiet, some are surrounded by parkland, some are surrounded by bars and cafes. The city itself offers a vibrant lifestyle.

Melbourne offers a wide range of sporting and cultural activities. Aussie Rules football, the Australian Open tennis tournament, Grand Prix motor race and the world-famous Melbourne Cup attract large crowds. The arts feature prominently with world-class festivals and cultural activities throughout the year.

Getting around

Melbourne is well-serviced by public transport with trams, trains and buses available. For information regarding timetables, maps, tram stops, train stations, bus route, fares and concessions visit Public Transport Victoria (PTV).

Riding a bicycle is a great way to save money and keep fit. Cyclists find the Bicycle Victoria website useful for information on rules and regulations, purchasing bikes and accessories, safety and path maps.


Rental prices vary considerably in Melbourne. In order to choose the right housing option, you need to consider the cost of living in Melbourne, your budget and whether you require additional financial support.

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Things to consider

Choosing the right type of accommodation for the duration of your studies is a delicate balance. This page outlines some of the types of things you may want to think about.

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Setting up house

Once you've chosen a suitable place, you may need to:

  • Arrange utility connections (electricity, water, gas) and internet. The State Government of Victoria has a very useful website called Victorian Energy Compare for comparing electricity and gas providers. The Tenants Union of Victoria (TUV) produces a range of useful fact sheets, including one on utility charges.
  • Buy furniture and electrical appliances (there are many places that sell discount or second-hand furniture and appliances)
  • Buy essential items (cups and plates, storage containers, cleaning products). Op shops and variety stores (found on most shopping strips and plazas) are good places to get these items cheaply
  • Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant
  • Consider contents insurance – if you have expensive items such as a musical instrument or computer equipment, contents insurance may be a good choice.

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If it is your first time living on your own, it will take you some time to adjust to your independence and develop life skills such as:

  • learning to cook and having a well-balanced diet
  • managing your money and time
  • living with housemates
  • taking care of your health (physical and mental)