KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Australasia: Student experiences

Read about King's student's experiences of studying abroad in Australasia, and find out what life is like studying as a King's student at a partner university.  Please note that although the content is very comprehensive, covering issues from housing to recommended activities, the Global Mobility team are able to help identify any further, more up-to-date information.

University of Melbourne

Diana Jaganjac, 2015-2016


The University of Melbourne boasts 22 discipline-specific faculties with courses available in over 100 subjects. The university is also the number one research university in Australia and spends $850 million on research every year. If you decide to study abroad at the University of Melbourne you will most certainly be in with a chance of being part of this research. The vast availability of courses means that whatever academic discipline you desire to study, it is likely that you will find it at Melbourne.

The main campus at the University of Melbourne is Parkville, which is located in the inner suburb north of Melbourne’s central business district. Parkville campus is the only campus where study abroad and exchange students are able to take classes. The campus is surrounded by green spaces and old historic buildings. The campus is pretty big and takes some time to navigate, however campus tours are available. There are a number of different entrances, with the student union right at the centre. The student union is surrounded by places to get food and drink and caters to all tastes and cuisines.


There are a number of different accommodation options available to you at the University of Melbourne. These include residential colleges which are catered, non-catered student halls, private student halls and private accommodation.

The residential student halls are part of the university’s culture, dating back to as early as 1887. Today, these colleges provide students with catered accommodation, tutors to help with academic studies and social events. Due to the level of support provided, residential student halls on campus are the most costly type of accommodation option, on average costing between $550 - $750 AUD/week.

Cheaper accommodation options include non-catered and private student halls. Some of the most popular for the University of Melbourne are Student Village Melbourne and RMIT Village Melbourne. The costs for these accommodation types are approximately $300 AUD/ week, and vary by room and location. For even cheaper accommodation, it is best to look in the private rented sector. However, this would involve moving into temporary accommodation in Melbourne until you were able to sort this out. Make sure to never transfer money from the UK to avoid scams.

Evening Events/Activities

The University of Melbourne hold a clubs and societies day at the start of term during which you are able to talk to the organisers of the clubs and societies and find out more about joining. It is very similar to our fresher’s fair at Kings. There are a variety of sports clubs and interest groups and there something available for everyone. This is also a really good way to make friends with people with similar interests as you and I would recommend it highly.

As well as clubs and societies, many of the halls of residence hold their own events. These can include things such as pool parties (yes, there is a pool), meals out, nights out, speed-meet events to meet fellow residents, cooking classes, yoga classes and many more! Make sure to take part in these if you are living in halls of residence. This is also a factor to think about when thinking about where you want to live whilst studying abroad. I would really recommend living in halls of residence for your first semester/only semester because the people you live with/who live in your building will become your study abroad family!

Of course, Melbourne has its fair share of clubs and bars, as well as some great and affordable student nights. Make sure to check out ABC in Melbourne central, this is a top spot everyone in town knows about! The great thing about Melbourne is that there are a number of districts with great places for a nice night. These include Fitzroy, St. Kilda, Melbourne central, Carlton, Richmond, North Melbourne and Southbank. I really enjoyed nights out in quirky rooftop bars with fantastic drinks! The drinking culture is slightly different in Melbourne to London; people will meet up in beer gardens and bars with outdoor areas as the weather permits it! Also, it is really important to mention that the law is different in Australia when drinking is involved. There is a no tolerance policy for drink driving and you have to be sober to drive. It is also illegal to drink anywhere but licensed establishments, so no drinking in parks or on your way to an event! You may be stopped by the police. The rules are there to protect you and your friends and do work really well. Good news though! Taxis are much cheaper in Melbourne compared to London! So you will always be able to afford to catch one home.


 Top 10 Things:

1) Living at Student Village Melbourne

At Melbourne University there are a number of different accommodation options. These include living in residential colleges, in private student accommodation and also looking for a room as you would in London. Before I travelled to Melbourne I arranged my student accommodation at Student Village Melbourne. This is a privately rented student accommodation, consisting mostly of international students. As it is a new-build I was part of the first cohort of students to live at Student Village Melbourne. The social life was great as the accommodation organises events within the building and I made a lot of friends this way. There is a real sense of community at this accommodation. As well as this, facilities include a pool, a gym, a communal kitchen and rec room and music rooms. Living with international students is also great as it is easy to meet people who are interested in travelling, in exploring Melbourne and going out!


 2) Campus Life

Student village Melbourne is not located on Melbourne University campus but it is only a 10-minute walk to the main campus- Parkville. Parkville campus is really beautiful and a really nice place to chill out before or after classes. At both ends of the campus there are green spaces and the canteen area includes kiosks like Boost (great for a pick-me up before a lecture) and others selling food such as pizza, burgers, Chinese food, Thai food, vegetarian food and also vegan food!


3) Weather

The general stereotype for Australian weather is sun, sun and more sun. However, this is not necessarily always the case. In Melbourne, summer and winter seasons are quite prominent, and remember summer in Australia is around December time and winter around May. Temperatures in winter can get quite low and also weather such as rain and wind is not uncommon. This was something I was not aware of until I got to Melbourne and actually ended up having to buy some warmer clothes whilst there! That wasn’t necessarily the end of the world, as I love to shop, but it is something to consider. Weather in other parts of Australia doesn’t necessarily follow this trend. In Queensland, they experience tropical downpours during summer and milder temperatures during winter. The best times to travel to Queensland are during the winter. If you are travelling, make sure to research the regional weather, Australia is a massive country and regional weather differences are an important factor to consider!


4) Beaches

Stereotypes of Australian beaches include the perfect empty landscape, sandy beaches and rolling gorgeous waves. Although there are places like this- check out Cape Tribulation at Daintree Rainforest and also Byron Bay- other landscapes exist and are more common! Beaches in Sydney tend to be rockier and waves can be quiet violent- perfect for the swell. Also, the state of Victoria (where Melbourne is located) is not known for its beaches and beaches such as St. Kilda and Brighton beach are not the most aesthetic. Another thing to note is that beaches towards the north of Australia are very dangerous and you will not be able to swim in them! Risks include seawater crocs, sharks and the most vicious – box Jellyfish.


5) Travel

Travelling in Australia was the most memorable part of my trip; there are amazing things to see and some of the places I was lucky enough to visit include: The Great Barrier Reef, Byron Bay, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Brisbane, Noosa, Gympie, Fraser Island, Lady Musgrave Island, Airlie Beach and Cairns. During my travels I mostly stayed in hostels, these hostels are the cheapest accommodation but can sometimes still cost £15 a night on average. This is something to consider when travelling as you will also be paying rent for student accommodation in Melbourne. The academic term doesn’t begin at Melbourne until mid-February and I actually arrived in Melbourne in January and then spent a month travelling before the start of university. This was a great way to see Australia before being overcome with academic work and is something I would recommend doing if you are thinking about doing extensive travelling.  


6) Modules

Modules are relatively easy to sign-up to at Melbourne University. You will be able to sign-up using an online portal and all the course details are given on the University of Melbourne module handbook website. This is a catalogue of all the modules available at the university which you can filter by year, subject, level etc. It does take some time to narrow down the modules you want to apply to and I would suggest applying to maybe 1 or 2 more than you are required to take, and then drop them once you are at Melbourne. This is easily done using online forms and if you have any issues there is a student advice centre at Parkville campus. As well as this, make sure to check if any pre-requisite classes are required as this may limit you from signing up to a particular module. Another thing to mention is to take modules not available to you at King’s. I am a Geography student and I ended up taking a geography class, a computer science class, a marine biology class and a French beginner’s class. I feel as though my student experience has been greatly enriched by taking these classes and I worked hard at Melbourne to learn as much as I could whilst I was there. Although some students will opt to take much easier classes compared to the level of the classes they would take at home, I would only suggest doing this if it was a class you were really interested in. Studying abroad is a good opportunity for travel and also for making friends and going-out and exploring Melbourne, but the knowledge and life and study-skills you can gain from studying abroad is also something worth investing your time into.


7) Australia Day and Australian Culture

Australia Day is a national holiday celebrated every year on the 26th of January and celebrates contemporary Australian life including their landscape, diversity, society and Australia’s future. On Australia day, over 12 million people attend community events or celebrate with friends and family. Australia day is a great opportunity to experience contemporary Australian culture and learn more about your study abroad country. On Australia day, Student Village Melbourne held a barbeque and pool party and this was a great opportunity to hang out with fellow residents.

Contemporary Australian culture is popularly known as being all about barbies (BBQs), kicking back and chilling out in the sun. Although I would agree that generally in Australia people are more chilled out than in London, it is important to remember that Australia is a world away from Europe and is actually closer to Asia and places like New Zealand, Fiji and Bali. Therefore, although the image we have of white Australians in Australia is true, Australia is a multi-cultural place and there are residents from all over the world. As well as this, it is important to remember the aboriginal communities of Australia. Although it is unlikely you will come across many people with an aboriginal background in Melbourne, it is important to understand their place within Australian society. The aboriginal community in Australia have a complex cultural identity and have experienced great loss in terms of identity, of people and of land. As a response to this, Australia celebrates ‘National Sorry Day’ in which residents remember the stolen generations of the aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities. I found it interesting to learn about how much this history plays a role in Australian culture, as well as Australian academic culture. A number of my modules referred to this history, and I am sure other modules do also.

australia day

8) Food

There are many great food places in Melbourne, and the most popular time for food is definitely brunch time! There are some great brunch places around Melbourne University and also not too far away from Student Village Melbourne. These include Seven Seeds Speciality Coffee, Market Coffee and stalls and pop-ups at Queen Victoria Market. However, if you do want to venture further afield one of my favourite places was called Auction Rooms in North Melbourne. As well as this, great restaurants can be found on Lygon Street (otherwise known as little Italy) and by Flinders Street Station where there are a number of small laneways (check out Degraves Street) with idyllic outdoor seating areas lit by candle-light. Perfect for a romantic night out with your better half… or your closest friends (in my case). Otherwise, the cheapest supermarkets in Melbourne include Aldi, Coles and Woolworths. Cole and Woolworths can be found at Melbourne central and also on Lygon Street. Aldi was the closest supermarket to me at Student Village Melbourne and was great for doing a big food shop as I wouldn’t have to carry my shopping bags for too long. Aside from this, you can grab snacks on campus and also fresh fruit and vegetables (and amazing jam doughnuts) at Queen Victoria Market.


9) Wildlife

Australia is bursting with amazing wildlife from the mainstream koalas, kangaroos and wallabies to the less popular Tasmanian pademelon and echidna and platypus. As a geography student I loved exploring Australia and finding these animals in the wild. One highlight was travelling to the Grampians and feeding kangaroos in the wild. Of course, I also did not forget about marine wildlife and went scuba-diving and managed to find both Dory and Nemo in their wild habitats. Little did I know that Dory is actually a massive fish… they do not accurately portray this in the film. Nemo was quite hard to find and luckily for me I had an amazing scuba-instructor with me who knew exactly where we had to go. It was also my first time ever scuba-diving (it isn’t cheap) but I feel privileged to have been able to do it at the Great Barrier Reef only a few months before it was pronounced dead!

As well as scuba-diving, I also snorkelled and swam with a green sea turtle, which was awesome and probably the highlight of the highlights. I would 100% recommend exploring marine life in Australia. As well as all of this, I also visited an animal sanctuary called Healesville sanctuary where they house lots of different animal species and look after threatened species through recovery programs. This was a great day out.


10) Reflections from home

A lot of students will tell you that studying abroad was the best experience of their lives, and it is easy to see why. There are so many opportunities for great amazing things such as travel, experiencing new food, meeting new people, discovering a new place, learning within a new curriculum and developing yourself academically. The most important thing for me was learning how to cultivate my independence, and a lot of that had to do with the people around me and my own decision to seize every opportunity available to me. Whilst in Australia I managed to gain funding for an independent geographical project which now also forms part of my dissertation for my third year at King’s. As well as this, I set myself up with job interviews for the summer after I returned from Australia to make sure I had something planned to do over the summer holidays in the UK. This worked out great and I ended up spending a month working in central London. I have always been an independent person and I knew this, but having to act upon it during my time studying abroad has reinforced this for me and given me greater confidence in my own abilities.


Abi Yates, 2013-2014

Top Ten Things

1) Food: As a bit of a food fanatic, I loved trying out all the different cafes and restaurants Melbourne had to offer and I was not disappointed! Some of my favourite places include: Toast, Errol Street, which does an amazing brunch and gave me a free cupcake on my birthday, Little Richards, next to RMIT village, where you can find great food at great prices with great staff, and Dumplings where $15 will get you all you can eat! The best meal to have in Melbourne is their speciality: the Parma. Breaded chicken topped with ham, tomato sauce and cheese, this dish is a must-have. I would recommend a visit to the Albion Hotel at Melbourne Docks, which offers different parma recipes so you can try a classic or mix it up with something a little different.

2) Festivals: The music scene in Australia is very underrated – not only does the country have its own talented musicians gigging around, including Chet Faker, Vance Joy and Flume, but there is also a long selection of festivals for all music tastes which have the reputation to pull major global artists. I attended: Listen Out, where I saw Disclosure and Duke Dumont; Field Day, where I saw Flume and A$AP Rocky, and Soundwave, where I saw Green Day and Bowling for Soup. Stereosonic was my personal favourite, where I saw Above and Beyond, Afrojack, Calvin Harris and Armin Van Buuren. Be prepared for lots of sunglasses and snap caps and men who got #shreddedforstereo. There is also Future Music Festival which last year boasts Macklemore and Pharrell as headliners, as well as Strawberry Fields, Big Day Out and Falls Festival.

3) Melbourne Cup: Melbourne Cup is an event held over four days every year and is similar to the Derby in England. You get all dressed up, drink in the summer sun and place bets on the races. Remember your fascinators.

4) Travelling: I took advantage of the three and a half month summer holiday to go travelling around Australia and South East Asia. In total, I spent 4 days in Tasmania, 10 days in Bali, 2 weeks in Sydney and 6 weeks travelling up the east coast to Cairns. As a popular gap year destination, there are plenty of activities to do and travel companies to help you do it. I used Peter Pans Adventure Travel and was able to book all my excursions, travel and accommodation in one go, so I had no need to worry about where I was staying or what I was doing: my trip was all planned out exactly how I wanted it to. A highlight for me was Fraser Island: I went on the 3day/2night camping safaris, where we drove in 4x4s around the island to beautiful locations such as the Champagne pools, Lake MacKenzie and Indian Head during the day, and played games around the campfire under the stars at night.

5) Goon: Unfortunately, alcohol in Australia is very expensive, so be prepared to be introduced to the beauty that is goon – fortified wine at $14 for 5litres.

6) University BBQs: Whilst studying at the University of Melbourne, there was no need to ever bring a lunch to campus. Societies love putting on BBQs for students every day, so grab yourself a free hot dog and beverage! One thing I found funny though was that Australians do not seem to have hot dog buns, instead you’ll be provided with a slice of bread… Intriguing…

7) Sport: Melbourne has rich supply of sporting events. The MCG is a brilliant place to catch a Footy game, but there is also the Boxing Day cricket. The Australian tennis open also occurs in Melbourne, as does the Formula 1.

8) Wildlife: Australia has vibrant and diverse wildlife and have great conservations and zoos. I would definitely recommend a couple of places:

Australia zoo – founded by Steve Urwin, this zoo has great crocodiles with an impressive show. Furthermore, as it is in Queensland, there are opportunities to hold the wildlife: koalas, baby crocodiles and snakes.

Taronga zoo – situated in Sydney, you need to take a ferry and a cable car to the zoo, which gives beautiful views of the city before you even arrive. The zoo has great land space and they live off the land – collecting food supplies on the grounds.

Philip Island – this island can be found a couple of hours outside of Melbourne so would require a car or excursion booking, but it is well worth the trip as it is home to Little Penguins. Waiting on steps by the beach, it’s brilliant to watch the penguins come in from the sea at dusk to their homes in the marshes.

9) Nightlife: In Melbourne, there is a great selection of bars, pubs and clubs to choose from whatever you fancy, and with plenty of student nights hosted throughout the week, there is never a dull night!

10) Friends: This amazing experience wouldn’t have been half as fun if I hadn’t have met the amazing people that I did. Australians in general are very welcoming and friendly but I was so fortunate to meet a group of people that were funny, inclusive, generous, thoughtful, kind. It was a pleasure to meet them all and I know we will all remain life long friends.    


Residential colleges

The University of Melbourne offers residential colleges as accommodation for its students. However, as these places required an application essay and had fees starting from $22,000 for 36 weeks, I went for a different option. I stayed for 6 months at RMIT village: an intercollegiate hall of residence for around 400 students, walking distance from Melbourne University, which was very convenient. I applied independently and was confirmed a place before I arrived in Melbourne which I think was the smart thing to do: I had no need to worry about accommodation and the airport pick up service provided by Melbourne University was able to take me straight to the door. There are few single rooms available, so I was provided a shared room and I was pleasantly surprised about how spacious it was. Between my roommate and I, we had a shared kitchen to cook our own meals, and a bathroom with a bath and shower; then our own clothing space, single bed, desk and TV. To aid with privacy, we had a dividing ‘wall’ which could slide open and lock close as we wished, as well as doors with locks. As the residence is a converted hotel, there are many unusual facilities, which were real perks. There is a heated pool, a gym, washing facilities, 2 lounge spaces with TVs and the glasshouse with a TV, pool table and communal kitchen.

There is also a great study room with a printer and an attached restaurant with great tasting, cheap food and a good-looking owner called Carl. On the downside, Internet was not provided free of charge so I had to pay an addition $30 a month for a limited amount of data. I also had to purchase a welcome pack for kitchen utensils, crockery, towels and bedding which cost $400. Although the fees were still not cheap, this option worked extremely well for me and I would definitely recommend it. There is a wonderful atmosphere and there are so many people to meet and make friends with. There is also a security desk, similar to King’s halls, with guards 24/7 which is very reassuring for parents. The accommodation appoints Residence Assistants (RAs) who organise activities and provide support for students. One great activity is O-week (or re-O-week, depending on when you arrive), which is a week of trips, parties, BBQs and events held to welcome new arrivals.  For my second semester, I decided to move out of RMIT village with a friend, into a nearby apartment which was cheaper yet had more space. Due to close proximity to the university, there are plenty of options and landlords welcome student applications. I ended up on the same road as 15 friends in 5 different houses, which was brilliant as people were always around so we were constantly having fun – O’Shan Crew Forever.   


The academic year

The University of Melbourne splits its academic year into two semesters. In order to meet King’s credit requirements, 4 modules are taken each semester, known to Unimelb students as ‘subjects’. Typically, 3 course-related subjects are taken with one breadth module, which may not necessarily be related to your course. This was a great feature as it gives students the opportunity to explore a different area of study and try something completely new. Some examples include ‘Australia in the Wine World’ and ‘Going places – travelling smarter’. All subject information can be found in the handbook: handbook.unimelb.edu.au. Subject selection should have been made before arrival at the university, however during enrolment, which is carried out with a university representative, there are opportunities to edit them.

I found that there were some differences between the level of difficulty at each year: some aspects of my second year modules were the same as my first year modules at King’s. Therefore I took a selection of both second and third year modules. As a Biochemistry student, teaching for my science subjects was very similar to King’s, which was beneficial as there was no need to adjust to changes in teaching style. My subjects were taught with a combination of lectures and tutorials. Most subjects assigned worksheets to test our knowledge the answers for which were then walked through in the tutorial, however the tutorial felt more like a lecture – there were no small group discussions. Some subjects only had lectures and there were no workshops, however the lecturers were all very approachable and so if I had any queries or problems, I felt comfortable emailing them for some guidance. The library was very supportive: not only is there a Bachelor of Arts library with 5 floors of study space and resources, but there was also a Biomedical library for science students with a more appropriate book access. Within each library, there were support-staff for academic help, which was a great relief whenever I had problems with enrolment or was stressed from exams.


Assessment differs for each subject: there may be coursework, practical assessment, presentations or written exams. For my subjects, the majority of my assessment (70-80% of my mark) was by written exams. Luckily though, exams are held at the end of each semester, so there was no end of year exams and so no fear of having to revise lectures from 10 months ago. I really liked this exam structure as it lessened the pressure. No one likes exams but on the plus point, they are held in the most beautiful architectural building: the Exhibition Building in Carlton, so at least you have a nice view!

My favourite subject was ‘Drugs that Shape Society’. This was a breadth subject and although it was related to my degree, it was part of the Arts school. This meant I had to write essays, which I hadn’t done in years! It was definitely a shock as I had little to no experience, however I really enjoyed the tutorials as we were able to debate and discuss and use persuasive language – something I never did in my Pharmacology classes at King’s. I felt like the subject broadened my knowledge, enabling me to look at my degree subjects from a different aspect and develop different skills.

Weekend Activities

The Resident Assistants (RAs) at my accommodation were always putting on events to keep us entertained. As if O-week wasn’t enough, with 7 days of activities, tours and parties, the village hosts various events throughout each month, including movie marathons, FIFA tournaments and gatherings for Melbourne’s major events such as the AFL grand footy final and Melbourne Cup. Every year, the RA team also organise a ‘Village Ball’, which is a great opportunity to get dressed up and have unlimited food and alcohol with your ticket purchase.

At the university itself, every semester both a sports fair and a society fair are hosted where new students can sign up to join. Societies include: book club, course-specific clubs and religious clubs. With impressive sports facilities there is a great range of sports available including cycling, football, hockey and surfing. I took this chance to sign up for the Lacrosse team. I had never played the sport before but the team were very welcoming and taught me the rules and how to play. A highlight of this experience was joining the team on a road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide (which took an entire day) in order to play a game against Adelaide University. Both teams thought it would be a great idea to go out partying the night before, resulting in us playing our games hungover and drinking Bloody Marys in the 35°C weather.

Attractions in Melbourne

Back in Melbourne, there are plenty of attractions which are worth visiting. An obvious choice is Melbourne Zoo and Aquarium which are great fun for when you first arrive, especially with student discounts. Melbourne Central can be found in the middle of the CBD and has it all: shopping, restaurants and cinema though watch out for high prices. A favourite place of mine is Federation Square; there you can find the beautiful Central station and St. Paul’s Cathedral. There is also the Australian Centre for the Moving Image where I attended an exhibition on famous Hollywood Costumes. Bourke Street is Australia’s version of Oxford High Street: with a great selection of shops and busking entertainment with recent appearances including Vance Joy, Passenger and local Melbourne bands.

For a more relaxed, sunny day, a trip to the beach might be in the cards. Two great beaches on offer in Melbourne include St Kilda and Brighton (pictured below) which have easy tram access. St Kilda also has the Luna Park which is a mini-fairground.


Melbourne has a brilliant nightlife with most places having a student night at some point during the week. These are some of my favourite places to go:

  • Turf, Flemington Road; Monday nights are extremely popular with students with the RMIT village residents attending almost every week. Must get there early to secure entry and take advantage of the $12 jug of beer offer.

  • New Guernica, Little Collins Street; Thursday’s offer free entry and $2 pots!

  • Asian beer café, Melbourne Central; $1 champagne on a Thursday

  • Rats, Brown Alley; Some weeks, this nightclub runs a $5 night - $5 entry and $5 spirits.

  • Brunswick Street; There are so many options at Brunswick street, known for its indie pubs and quirky bar. A favourite of ours was Naked for Satan which boasts a selection of different flavoured vodka and a viewing deck with great scope of the city.

  • For those into Sport (or hunky men running around), catch a game at the impressive MCG stadium. A student ticket ~$25.

Reflections from home

Now that I am back home, I have realised that my time abroad was the best year of my life and that Australia is definitely a place I wish to return to. I have become an independent person, exploring by myself and managing my finances. If I were to do this process again, I would have liked to be more informed about the cost of moving abroad: the visa, the health insurance, the high price of accommodation. These unexpected costs would not have stopped me from applying, but I could have prepared myself (and my savings account) better.

I remained a studious person, achieving high module grades, which is slightly frustrating as they do not transfer so do not count to my degree. This must be greatly considered when thinking about studying abroad – my final year is now worth 82% of my degree. I think in the future this should be amended. Despite this, there is not one thing I would change about my year abroad. This was the best experience of my life and I hope to live in Melbourne permanently in the future. For those thinking about studying abroad, my recommendation would be to do your research – unless you fully invest in the place you are applying for, it is easy to become homesick and get into a rut. Thorough research can begin excitement and ensure that this is something you want to do, so you can make the most of your time abroad.

Kaitlyn Mak, 2012-2013


There are generally three types of accommodations in Melbourne: residential colleges, private halls and housings, all have their advantages and are popular among the students.

Residential colleges

Residential colleges are part of/run by University of Melbourne and consist of 11 different halls; all vary in size and location, most of which located in an arc around the cricket oval at the northern edge of the campus, known as College Crescent. They are pretty much in the campus and generally are only 5-15 minutes of walking distance from classes depending on where your class takes place. The furthest college, Whitney College, is also only 15 minutes walking distance from Parkville campus.

Residential Colleges are the only type of accommodation in Melbourne that offers meal plan (catered). They offer three meals per day, with take-away lunch available if you are busy during lunchtime.

There are also tutors in each college that can offer academic help and guidance. Depending on the subjects you do, it may be possible to have tutorials running once every week that you have to attend if it is offered in your college, or optional if it is from other colleges.

College life is more structured and you are expected to participate in certain activities such as Halls (dinner which everyone has to wear gowns and eat together). There are also other activities and events such as balls, annul cruises, sports and intercollegiate events that happen throughout the year. As you are living with the others it is easy to make friends, enjoy different activities without worrying about other problems such as bills and food, as well as getting help for your study.

The only down side would be the price: residential colleges are probably the most expensive type of accommodation and can cost around AUD$552 to 712 (£312 to 402) per week, but most people genuinely enjoy college life and it is definitely a unique experience.

Tip: Take a careful look at the internet limit of the different college as it varies significantly. Although with the colleges that are located in the College Crescent it is possible to connect to the Unimelb wifi system but it is not guaranteed. I believe that Whitley College is the only college that offers unlimited access.

Further information on the residential colleges can be found online.

Private Halls and Housings

There are different types of accommodation and housing available in Melbourne. Most people stay in student apartments such as Unilodges and RMIT village, which provide accommodation in various locations within the city. It is also possible to find private housing and studios close to the university: studio apartments close to the Parkville campus generally cost around $270 (£150) per week, while sharing housing are generally cheaper than studios.

Most courses are based in the main campus (Parkville) and therefore it would be very convenient to live in the surrounding area. There are a lot of students living in Caltron and Parkville, which is close to the university, and also just a short walk or a short tram ride from the city. However, tram rides are quite expensive it might be worth it to get your own bike, which is a very popular option among students. As the campus is only just around 20-30 minutes’ walk from the city centre, many students also find it convenient to live in city centre, though the rent would be higher.

Further information on accommodation can be found online and you can book by following this link.

Tip: You can book a free airport pick-up upon your arrival to Melbourne from the university website, helpful when it is your first time in Melbourne with loads of luggage with you for the semester.

Tip: Although international students can not apply for a student myki (equivilent to our oyster card), Exchange students can actually apply for one; remember to do so as it saves you a lot of money on tram and train rides!

Important things to consider when choosing your accommodation:

  • Price range (residential colleges are quite expensive)

  •  Location

  •  Distance to the nearest tram stop

  •  Catered/self-catered

  • Internet (internet can be quite expensive in Melbourne)

  •  Your lifestyle (If you prefer spending time on your own or if you enjoy time hangout with others)



Modules are referred to as “subjects” in University of Melbourne. You will need to take four subjects each semester; students in University of Melbourne normally would need to choose three subjects in their own discipline and one “breath” subject, which is a subject that is outside of their course. As an exchange student this may not be necessarily but they do offer interesting subjects such as wines of the world and marine science. It allows you to learn things that are different from what you are studying, but it is important to consult with your study abroad advisor on your subject choices before you choose anything that is completely different.

Choosing subjects

Subjects are considered in “levels” while normally level one is equivalent to year one subjects and level two as year two. Although that means as a year two student we should take level two subjects, many of the subjects in UniMelb have prerequisites that you will have to meet, usually the level one core subject of the course which the level two subject is following up on. If you are staying in UniMelb for the whole year, it may be useful to take some core level one subjects in the first semester that leads to the level two subjects of your choice in the second semester. If you are studying here for one semester only, subject coordinators usually would be happy to include you in their subjects if you explain your situation to them.

Another problem you would face when choosing subjects is the time it is offered. As their academic year is different than ours, you may find some of the subjects you want to take in semester 2 (our first semester), require prerequisites subjects that are offered in semester 1. Many level core level one subjects are offered in both semesters. It is very important to structure your timetable carefully so that you can study the subjects you prefer. Short-term subjects are offered in February and July which is outside of the two official semester; it is therefore important to check the commence date of the subjects when choosing.

Each subject would normally consist of 2-3 hours of lectures and 2-3 hours of tutorials each week. With the large amount of contact hours clashes are inevitable; you can check the timetable of any subject on the handbook website. Recordings of each lecture are available online so that you will be able to listen to them online even if your lecture or tutorial time clashes. However, do not let this be your excuse to skip all the lectures! Students generally absorb knowledge quicker when they are physically there and lecturers in UniMelb are very friendly, which makes lectures to be great opportunities to interact with the lecturers.

Tip: Although lecture times are fixed most of the tutorials have time slots which you can choose from. Take note of when the date time slot selection is open so that you can choose the best time that suits you. It is possible to pack all the tutorials in a day or two and have a few days off every week! You can also sit in on any lectures and change your study plan easily on the first week to have a taste of the subject and find the ones you want to do.


Assessment is usually conducted by a combination of exams, practicals, or written assignments. Different subjects would have very different structure of assessment. Depending on the subject you are taking, you may get mid-semester exams, exams or no exams at all. Assessments can range from weekly online quizzes, to fieldwork report that is worth 70% of the subject. You can check the structure of assessment in the handbook website.

Tip: Hard copies are typically required for written assessments so make sure you know where the pigeon trays of the department are before the submission date to avoid any last minute panicking as the campus is quite big!

Academic help

At the University of Melbourne, lecturers are generally friendly and it is common to discuss your academics with your lecturer or tutor. There are no personal tutors; therefore you would typically discuss any academic matters relating to your courses with the relevant lecturer or tutor. Apart from their office hours, it is also common to communicate with the lecturers and tutors via emails, and they tend to reply quickly.   

Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses.
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.

Next steps

View a prospectus

Learn more about the degree programmes on offer at King's.

Undergraduate prospectus

Postgraduate guide