Five reasons why Melbourne is a great student city

16 February 2023

Melbourne is proud to be a student city. Our students help to shape our future and add to Melbourne’s energy and excitement. 

In 2022, Melbourne was recognised as Australia’s best student city, the eighth consecutive time we’ve achieved this ranking. That places us as the fifth-best student city in the world, compared with 115 cities across the world. 

Discover how Melbourne earned its reputation as a truly great student city. 

1. We’re the friendliest city in the world 

It takes a lot of courage to move across the world – away from friends and family – to pursue your dreams. But Melbourne is one of the safest and most welcoming places to find your feet. 

We were voted friendliest city in the world in 2022, and have a range of programs and support services to help new students settle in, and connect with our community. 

Meet new friends from across the world, find fulfilling employment and get advice to excel in your academic pursuits with Melbourne’s dedicated student support services: 

  • Visit the The Couch – International Student Centre to explore our jam-packed calendar of events, outings, behind-the-scenes tours, ticket giveaways to iconic Melbourne attractions and more. Get involved in social activities, grab a hot meal and make friends in your new city.   
  • Launch your year at the Lord Mayor’s Student Welcome in March, a free annual event that welcomes new students to the city, and celebrates international students’ contributions to Melbourne’s cultural life and diversity. Subscribe to the International Newsletter for updates on this and other international student events. 
  • Drop in to the Study Melbourne Student Centre. This is a dedicated student space for all international students in Victoria. The team provides support, events, connections, and opportunities. 
  • Try speed friendship conversations for international students to chat with potential friends from different universities for a few minutes at a time, and then move on to the next person.
  • Find a volunteer role. We engage some 2500 volunteers in different roles and programs. Come and meet new people and build your resume by gaining unique skills and experiences.  
Three people sitting at a table at an outdoor cafe working on their laptops while eating and drinking.
There’s so much to enjoy for international students studying in Melbourne

2. Melbourne is the most liveable city in Australia 

Not only are we friendly, we’ve also been recognised as one of the most liveable cities in the world. 

“Melbourne is your playground to navigate,” international student Akihiro Ratnayake said. 

“There are numerous opportunities around every corner just waiting to be explored.” 

Delight in our world-renowned dining, retail, arts and sporting scene, and expand your mind at some of the most prestigious universities in the world.  

As a celebrated 20-minute neighbourhood, Melbourne is the perfect city to explore on foot or via our extensive transport network.  

According to student Seng Doi, Melbourne’s charms are hard to resist. 

“Melbourne happened to be the very first overseas city I visited, and I instantly fell in love,” Seng said. 

“Personally, Melbourne’s diverse culture, richness in art and innovation, and its liveability made me choose to study here.” 

A person standing in front of a water fountain and statue in a park
International student Akihiro Ratnayake enjoying Melbourne’s parks

3. Melbourne is loved by other students 

Choosing a new home is no small task, which is why international student Don Doughty spoke to friends before deciding. 

“After asking mates who had returned to my hometown, Sabah, the overall perspective was Melbourne can help you adapt quicker in an environment that is initially foreign,” Don said. 

Melbourne ranks third in the global student voice indicator, which is based on former students – like Don – recommending the city to their peers as a destination of choice for an exceptional student experience.  

There’s no better judge than our students themselves, and anonymous comments collected from the survey show some of the reasons they love Melbourne: 

“Melbourne is very internationally diverse and student friendly. It is very easy to move around the city and there is always something interesting happening at any given time,” one student said. 

“I love the friendliness of locals and the vibrant culture on offer,” another said. 

A person seated at an outdoor table on a balcony, smiling with a drink on the table.
International student Don Doughty enjoying Melbourne’s cafe culture at Father’s Office

4. Melbourne is a city of possibility 

Whether you came here from around the corner or from across the world, you can feel confident about your future in this city.   

You only have to look up at the logos decorating our skyline to see the possibility that Melbourne holds for ambitious graduates. Not only are we home to a number of international company headquarters, Melbourne also accounts for 13 per cent of global digital marketplace unicorns. 

“As more employers learn about the skillsets and values international students bring, especially in this labour shortage crisis, I’m hopeful that the open positions can be filled with students,” Seng said. 

We’re attracting new investors and corporate headquarters through Invest Melbourne to see Melbourne become the nation’s business capital.   

With new spaces now available in the city, we are ready and raring to welcome new ventures and prosperity, providing future opportunities for today’s students to explore. 

A person standing in front of rainbow coloured traditionally styled pillars in a green outdoor area.
International student Seng Doi enjoying the National Gallery of Victoria

5. We support our international students 

We want to be the best global city for student experience. That’s why we’re advocating for greater pathways to post-study work and permanent residency for international students who complete degrees in Australia.    

Together with the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors, we’re asking the Australian Government to increase the duration of post-study work rights by allowing two additional years of stay for recent graduates with select degrees in areas of verified skills shortages.   

We also want to ensure students who maintain work over this period have a clear pathway to permanent residency.  

By changing visa conditions we will attract and retain smart and globally-connected talent and address current labour and skills shortages. 

We also support Victoria’s International Education Recovery Plan 2025 to elevate our state’s global reputation for education excellence.  

For more information visit International Students

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