Having your family with you in Melbourne can help you settle into the student life, but there are some things you should consider when deciding to bring them over with you. You should think about:

  • the impact on your own studies if your family is unable to adjust to life in Melbourne
  • whether family members who do not speak English may have additional challenges adjusting to life in Melbourne
  • whether your children will be able to adjust to schooling in Melbourne and re-adjust upon their return home.

We highly recommend that you complete your first semester of study before you bring your family to Melbourne. This will give you some time to adjust to life and study in Melbourne, find somewhere to live and organise child care or schooling if you have children.


Ensure you have sufficient funds to support your family for the duration of their stay in Melbourne.

Costs you will need to consider include:

  • airfares for your family to and from Australia
  • Overseas Student Health Cover for all family members
  • higher rent for a larger home
  • living expenses for dependants, including extra costs for food, clothing and other necessities
  • additional transport costs within Melbourne, such as public transport fares
  • child care and schooling.


Check if there are any restrictions to visas for you and your family by contacting the Department of Home Affairs or the Australian diplomatic mission in your country. 

Note that your student visa assessment criteria may change if your family is accompanying you to Australia.


Arrangements for child care must be made for children under the age of five if a trusted person is unable to care for them. Child care arrangements must be made prior to any child arriving in Australia. There are long waiting lists at many child care centres and placements are not guaranteed.

We have a limited number of spaces in our on-campus child care facilities. You can also use a database of local child care centres or search using the Yellow Pages

Your local city council in Melbourne may also be able to assist with child care options. 

When selecting a child care centre, make sure it is a government-approved facility. You can find information about child care in the state of Victoria from the Victorian Government's Child Care Services website.


If you bring children aged between five and 17 years of age to Australia, they must be enrolled in school. Arrangements for enrolment must be made prior to a child arriving in Australia.

Selecting a school

For a complete list of Victorian primary and secondary schools, as well as information about fees, applications and enrolment, visit Victorian Government Schools. Applications to non-government schools must be made directly to the school of your choice.

School fees

If you enrol your child in a government school, you may be exempt from paying full tuition fees. For non-government schools and tertiary institutions, you will be charged full tuition fees. 

If you are enrolled as a postgraduate research student, the Victorian Government may provide an exemption from tuition fees in Victorian government primary and secondary schools for your children.

Things to know before your journey