Bringing your family to Melbourne

If you plan to bring your family with you to Melbourne, there are a number of requirements you must consider. 

When deciding whether to bring your family to Melbourne, you are encouraged to consider:

  • 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 on their return home. 

We strongly recommend you complete your first semester of study before you bring your family to Melbourne. This will give you time to adjust to life and study in Melbourne, to find somewhere to live, and to organise childcare 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.

Children in Australia

Child care

Arrangements for child care must be made for children under the age of five if your spouse 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 childcare centres and placements are not guaranteed.

Swinburne has a limited number of spaces in our on-campus childcare facilities. You can also use a database of local childcare centres or search using the Yellow Pages

The local city council where you live may be able to assist with child care options. 

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


If you have children between five and 17 years of age who you plan to bring to Australia, you must enrol them in school. Arrangements for enrolment must be made prior to any 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 the Victorian Government Schools website

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 will be enrolled as a postgraduate research student at Swinburne, the Victorian Government may provide exemption from tuition fees in Victorian government primary and secondary schools for your children.