5 questions every international student asks
Note: This article was originally published in October 2020.
You’re finally living the big adventure far from home. Seeing the sights, sampling the coffee and of course, working hard towards your degree.
Things are working out well for you. But you have questions, right?
1. Why is Melbourne so expensive?
Luckily, we have amazing (free) street art that slightly makes up for the cost of living. Image credit
We may have been voted ‘World’s Most Liveable City’ seven times in a row but the reality is this: the cost of living in Melbourne is high. That little line on your phone’s XE currency converter is rapidly heading down, down, down.
You’re sick of eating instant noodles and worried that your parents are going to call and tell you to catch the next plane home because the money they had saved for next semester’s fees is now several Aussie dollars short. And then you hear this one magical word: scholarship.
Swinburne offers scholarships for international students for a number of bachelor and master degrees, even foundation year and English language course! Want more good news? You don’t have to be a straight-A student to get one (although a few would help your chances).
2. How do I make friends with Melburnians?
Meet Razor, our mascot. He’s always up for a high-five, no matter how awkward.
Melbourne’s a foreign city. It’s only natural that you’d gravitate towards familiar people, food and languages. That’s why most of your friendship group is from your own country. And that’s great. But you also want the full Melbourne experience.
Making local friends isn’t always easy when you’re this far from home. But it’s not impossible. Not everyone likes going to pubs and clubs, or chatting to strangers at the bus stop. Luckily, there’s an easier way. Why not join a student club?
With clubs to interest almost everyone, you’ll find something that’s perfect for you. Here’s a taste, but there are many more to explore:
- If you like debating, Politically Speaking is a great club to learn about different ideologies and have your opinions heard.
- If you like urban culture, you’ll love the Academy of Street Dance where you can learn some new moves and make friends in the process!
- Melbourne is the home of Aussie-rules football. Why not try join the AFL Club, learn the rules, play the sport and head to a game at the MCG with your new mates?
3. Why does it take so long to get to uni?
We might be the only uni that can boast having our name on the train station sign.
You probably applied for uni from your home country. On the internet, everything looked close, but little did you know that getting around Melbourne might involve catching trains, trams and buses? Really not much fun on a cold winter day – you'll also learn about Melbourne’s famously unpredictable weather.
If you study at Swinburne, you won’t have to worry about travelling long distances, because you’ll be studying in the heart of the action. Swinburne's Hawthorn campus is only 10 minutes from Melbourne Central by train, has its own Glenferrie train station on campus, and is right next to some of Melbourne’s best food, bars, shops and parks.
4. Will I find a job in Melbourne after I graduate?
Jessica is studying a forensic psychology degree and doing a professional placement at NAB. You could too!
Swinburne is consistently ranked highly in Melbourne for employment after bachelor degree completion. In other words: you’re more likely to get a job by studying with us! Plus, powerful companies like BHP, ANZ, Telstra, Coles and Afterpay are all headquartered here in Melbourne.
There are lots of things you can do to improve your chances of finding a job. Our Careers and Employability team can help international students. You’ll get amazing advice from expert speakers, find out where to look for jobs, learn useful techniques for interviews and work towards overcoming cultural barriers.
Want to give your CV a boost? Start working in your field right now. We’ll help you look for an internship or professional placement. You’ll earn credit for your course, and in many cases, be paid for your work.
5. What's wrong with Melbourne's weather?
We can’t control the weather but there are so many other amazing things to love about Melbourne.
You haven’t lived in Melbourne until you’ve used an umbrella, scarf, sunglasses, sunscreen and thongs all in the same day. It’s true. Everyone knows that Melbourne is famous for having four seasons in one day.
Unfortunately, we can’t control our unpredictable weather (but try to love it – it’s always a great conversation starter). But we can guarantee great coffee, AFL, street art, laneways, parks, music, bars. And great universities. So why not make the switch to Swinburne today?
Keep on exploring
Support for international students
Scholarships for international students
International student stories