You have made the great decision to come to study in Melbourne. You have chosen a fantastic school, which will feel you welcome and give you that sense of community. Now it is time to explore the wonderful city of Melbourne. When people think of Australia, they generally think of Sydney and the Opera house and the Harbour Bridge. But Melbourne has a lot to offer and will make you fall in love with it straight away! You only have to be aware of what is has to offer! We have created a list for you to ensure that know the full potential of our wonderful city that we call our home!
1. The Public Transport System
Melbourne is famous for its tram system, especially as we are the only town with a free city tram that takes you to all the most important spots in the city. At some specific events, like White Night, transport is free all night, as well. It’s also to know that you cannot buy tickets on the tram, bus or train. You need to buy a Myki card, which you need to put money on and then touch on and off every time you jump on a tram, train, bus. Another thing that is very important to know about is all the major landmarks, especially when you want to catch up with friends and arrange a meeting point. So spots like Federation Square (Fed Square), Under the clocks (Clocks at Flinders Street Station) and Bourke Street Mall.
2. Education Options
When you come to Melbourne, you have some of the best universities in the world right at your doorstep (University of Melbourne ranked number 33 in the world). There are also a lot of opportunities to continue your academic career after your English Course- Vocational Courses or Higher Education Courses. Some ELICOS centres also have direct pathways to Vocational courses, just check with your agents.
Melbourne is a sport fanatic city! In fact, this is where Australian Rule Football first started! Australians are crazy about this sport and they affectionately call it “Footy”. If you meet a big group of people wearing Football Guernseys and scarves, you know they are heading to either Etihad Stadium or the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) to watch a footy game. The MCG is also used for Cricket matches (as the name suggests). This is the second sport that Aussies are crazy about. We love to play a game of backyard cricket with the family, especially on Christmas.
Melbourne is also the host of two international sporting events. At the beginning of the year (January), we have the Australian Tennis Open (try to get tickets early if you want to see some of the really good matches). And in March we host the first round of the Formula 1 on “the racecourse” in Albert Park, which is very close to the CBD.
Melbourne is very big on its food and café culture. This is good for you for two reasons. Firstly, to enjoy magnificent coffee and food in our renown restaurants. Secondly, to get a job as soon as you get here! There is a variety of restaurants in the CBD as well as the suburbs, so go and try your luck!
5. Free activities
Make sure to check what is happening in Melbourne during the time you are here! There is usually always something happening. We have many cultural festivals that usually take place at Federation Square – The Japanese festival, the Polish festival etc.
Check out http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/Pages/Home.aspx to see what you can do during your free time.
6. Main attractions
Now, you can’t come to Melbourne without seeing and visiting certain places! Don’t worry, we have created a short list for you.
1. National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
They always have some special exhibition on. The entry for the general part is free, only the special exhibitions require special payment.
2. The Royal Botanical Gardens
Just around the corner from the NGV are the Royal Botanical Gardens. On a wonderfully sunny day, there is nothing better than a relaxing stroll in the gardens.
3. Shrine of Remembrance
Once you have finished your morning stroll through the gardens, you can continue on to the Shrine of Remembrance and learn a bit about Australian History.
You cannot leave Australia without having taken a selfie with a kangaroo, a koala or other Australian wildlife. The best places to do this are:
Phillip Island, Maru Koala And Animal Park in Grantville (which is on the way to Phillip Island), Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo.
5. Health Care System
Australia has a very good health care system and is known for its advances in the medical sector. If you do fall sick while you are here, make sure you find a bulk billing doctor, because otherwise it will be very expensive for you. Also all of our public hospitals are very, very good but only go there if it is an emergency.
6. The weather
When you tell people that you are coming to Australia, they all expect the weather to be glorious- sunshine and heat every single day. As soon as you arrive in our wonderful city you will realise that that is not the case. Melbourne is notorious for its ever-changing weather. In the morning it can be sunny and warm, but two hours later a storm rolls in and the temperatures drops by 10 degrees, another two hours later the sun is back out and you can’t even imagine that it was stormy a short while ago. There is a song “Four seasons in one day” by Crowded House, which is dedicated to Melbourne’s weather.
When you live in Melbourne, you should ALWAYS carry an umbrella with you. Don’t let the sunshine fool you, it might start storming in 15 minutes!