Study in Melbourne

About Australia

Australia is a natural wonderland of beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters, amazing ancient rock formations and pristine rain forests. It is an island continent and the word’s sixth largest country. It lies between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Australia has the lowest population density per square kilometer.

Australia is made up of six states and two territories, as follows:

Six States :

  • New South Wales
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western

Two Territories :

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Queensland Northern Territory

Australia Canberra is the capital city of Australia.

As of June 2013, the population of Australia is posted at 23.131M according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. More than half of the country’s population is living in two (2) states – New South Wales (32%) and Victoria (25%). Australia follows a federal system of government under which powers are distributed between the federal government and the states.

The country is multi-cultural and this is reflected in food, lifestyle and cultural practices. The important heritage of Australia is from its indigenous people. The diversity of influences creates a cultural environment in Australia that is lively, energized, innovative and outward looking.

Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year. The northern states of Australia are typically warm most of the time while the southern states experience cool winters.

About Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital city of the state of Victoria with an estimated population of 5713M as of March 2013. The City of Melbourne is home to about 105 thousand people.

Although the official language spoken is English, there are more than 100 languages spoken by the residents. The inhabitants of Melbourne are called Melbournians.

What is so great about Melbourne?

  • Melbourne has been ranked 4 times (in 2011, 2012 and 2013, 2014 and top three since 2009) as the “world’s most livable city” in ratings published by the Economist Intelligence.
  • Melbourne has been ranked the fifth most student-friendly city in the world in the QS Best Student City Rankings in 2013.
  • Melbourne has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature — we have more bookshops per head of population than anywhere else in Australia and more people borrow more books from libraries in Melbourne than anywhere else in Australia!

Melbourne is a truly multicultural city. Everything in Melbourne is within reach. Below is important information that can help you easily adapt as a local.

Multicultural Environment

The City of Melbourne is a diverse community with different groups of people residing, studying and working in its suburbs.

Our population springs from a wide variety of countries of origin, including Greece, Italy, China, Vietnam, New Zealand, Korea, Somalia, India, the United Kingdom and many more.

International students are also a significant part of our multicultural population.

 Multicultural Hub

The City of Melbourne’s Multicultural Hub is a friendly place, where people from Melbourne’s many different cultures can get together to work, share and learn in a safe and supportive environment. The Multicultural Hub is owned by the City of Melbourne and is managed by the Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES), Victoria’s largest local provider of multicultural support services.

Social Norms

Melbourne has a cultural and religious diversity. It is against the law to discriminate against someone on the basis of attributes such as age, gender, race, religious beliefs or activities, disability, lawful sexual activity/sexual orientation, parental or carer status, pregnancy or marital status etc.

Some examples of social norms in Australia include:

  • Be on time for classes and other appointments. Sometimes, there can be different expectations about the arrival time for social events. If you are unsure, it is wise to check with the host in advance.
  • It may often be impolite to ask about personal details such as income, marital status, race, sexuality or religion.
  • There are laws in Australia which prohibit smoking inside or near public buildings, including cafés, restaurants, bars and toilets as well as train stations and bus shelters.

Weather

Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate; Melbourne has four distinct seasons. Cool in Spring (September to November), warm to hot in Summer (December to February), mild in autumn (March to May) and the Winters (June to August) are cold and damp. Melbourne is known for its changeable weather conditions. It is often described as “four seasons in one day”.

Communication

Australians or Aussies as the locals say it, are generally informal in their speech and you may find they address people by their given names. Australians generally speak quickly, and some use slang words and phrases like “I reckon” which means “I think”. Australians, in general, are modest about their achievements. Non-verbal behaviour is very important too, for example making eye contact when speaking with others is considered respectful.

Getting around Melbourne

Traveling in Melbourne and around Australia is convenient. Public transport and facilities including buses, trams, trains, planes, domestic and international airports, coach and train stations, as well as bus and tram stops are available for public use.

Melbourne’s public transport system consists of bus, tram and train and is divided into two travel zones.

Zone 1 includes the city centre and Zone 2 includes the middle to outer suburbs of Melbourne. Regional areas are serviced by V/Line trains.

The system uses an automated ticketing system called Myki card which can be purchased at train stations, machines in trams, major tram stops and retail outlets displaying the Myki card flag.

There are no conductors, however you must ensure you have a validated ticket as inspectors (Authorized Officers) conduct random inspections. Fines start from $160. Please note, international students are ineligible for concession fares.

You can also catch a taxi on the street or book one by telephone. There are also taxi ranks in most busy locations, especially near railway stations, hotels and the airport.

At the ranks, taxis wait in a queue for passengers. Taxis are more expensive after 10pm and at weekends.

The city is well laid out with an extensive network of public transport including trams, buses and trains which can be accessed with one ticket.

For further information on public transport in Melbourne go to Public Transport Victoria’s website on: www.ptv.vic.gov.au .

Personal safety

Melbourne is a relatively safe place but we still highly recommend using common-sense and personal safety practices. Think Before is a student safety initiative that aims to make students more aware of safety when travelling at night.

There are many other online resources, including Safety Victoria and Victoria Police. There are also Protective Services Officers (PSO’s) who proactively patrol the train platform, car parks and surrounds dealing with anti-social behavior, property damage, alcohol and transport related offenses as they arise.

Banks

In Melbourne, payment for utilities, rent or groceries can be conveniently done through online transactions. There are a lot of banking organisations where you can open accounts. To name a few, National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia etc, Payment for course fees at NMEC can also be done by online transaction.

School going Kids

The Department of immigration and Citizenship(DIBP) requires dependents of international students to attend school in Australia. Children must be five years old or turning five before 30 April of that calendar year to be eligible to start school in Victoria. For more information about schooling, refer to the Victorian Government Schools International Student Program website.

Before your children enter Australia, you will need to provisionally enroll them in a school. Information about schools is available from the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.”

General Information

Upon Arrival in Australia – important things to remember to do

  • Call home
  • Settle into your accommodation
  • Contact NMC
  • Purchase household items and food
  • Enrol children in school (if applicable)
  • Attend student orientation
  • Request for a student ID card
  • Advise health insurance company of address & get card
  • Open a bank account
  • Attend course specific orientation sessions
  • Start classes
  • Apply for tax file number if seeking work
  • Get involved in student life and associations (eg music, sporting and cultural clubs).

Important Websites

  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection http://www.immi.gov.au
  • Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations http://www.deewr.gov.au
  • Student hotline: 1300 363 079
  • Study in Australia http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
  • The Australian Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students http://www.cricos.dest.gov.au
  • National Code 2007 http://www.aei.dest.gov.au/AEI/ESOS/NationalCodeOfPractice2007/Default.htm
  • IELTS http://www.ielts.org.au
  • City of Melbourne http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au