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Victoria

As any Victorian will tell you, there's plenty to see and do no matter where you go within the state. Adding to this, students can choose from a huge range of education providers and high-quality courses in just about any discipline.

In this section, we discuss:

Living in Victoria

Living in Melbourne

Yarra River

Melbourne is known for its sprawling suburbs. The bustling city centre is dwarfed by the residential neighbourhoods that reach up to 40 km outside the city in all directions. The city's education providers are equally spread out, so there is no one area known for its dense student population.

Melbourne has a reputation for being artsy and slightly alternative, with a more casual ambience than bright and beautiful Sydney. In the CBD, trams glide up and down wide streets lined with shops and restaurants, but the real action is often to be found in the network of laneways that run between them. A night out can lead to some surprising discoveries as you stumble into one of the city's many hidden bars.

The inner-northern neighbourhoods of Fitzroy, Brunswick and Collingwood are home to many students and creative types. A great place to people-watch, these areas are full of grungy pubs with live bands and hip cafés offering huge all-day breakfasts. To the south of the Yarra River, suburbs such as South Yarra and Prahran set a somewhat classier tone, mixing bohemian flair with luxury stores and trendy nightspots. Summer or the sea air will draw you slightly further south to the beaches of St Kilda, home to Luna Park and the famous cake shops of Acland Street. For those looking to party, Brunswick Street in the north and Chapel Street in the south are popular destinations. Crown Casino, in the city's Southbank precinct, is another place to dance until the early hours, hosting several night clubs and bars, as well as numerous gaming rooms and restaurants.

Melbourne has a great deal to offer culturally, with countless cinemas, theatres and galleries and an active live music scene. A full calendar of arts and cultural events such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Fringe Festival, Writers Festival, Food and Wine Festival and Spring Fashion Week provide plenty of opportunities to take a rest from the books.

Cheap and tasty cuisine from around the world is plentiful thanks to Melbourne’s diverse population. Try Lygon Street for Italian, Lonsdale Street for Greek, Victoria Street for Vietnamese, Sydney Road for Middle-Eastern fare or Chinatown for yum cha. For grocery shopping, the Queen Victoria, South Melbourne and Prahran markets offer fresh food at great prices.

Wherever you go, you can’t escape sport in Melbourne — AFL dominates the newspapers almost all year round alongside cricket, rugby and soccer. Melbourne hosts a number of major sporting events, including the Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Spring Racing Carnival (including the Melbourne Cup) and the Formula One Grand Prix.

Housing

The median weekly rental price for a house in Melbourne is $375, with the median weekly rental price for a unit sitting at $350. In comparison, the median price of a house in Sydney is around $500 per week and in Brisbane is around $400.

The student rental market is very competitive. Visit your institution’s housing service for referrals or advice.

Note: Figures presented here are estimates and intended as a guide only. Prices vary between and within suburbs. Source: Australian Property Monitors, December 2013.

Transport

Melbourne is well connected by bus, tram and train networks. All full-time domestic undergraduate students can apply for a concession pass that entitles them to discounted fares. Myki electronic smart cards are used across the transport system. For more information, see Public Transport Victoria . Many students also get around using Melbourne’s many bike tracks. Institution campuses in the city centre generally don't offer student parking and private parking can be expensive. For those studying in the outer suburbs, access to a car or other form of personal transport may be necessary.

Climate

Melbourne is famous for experiencing four seasons in one day, so be prepared! The average maximum temperature in summer is 26°C, while the average maximum temperature in winter is 14°C. These temperatures vary widely, though, so don’t be surprised if a 35°C day crops up well before summer is in full swing.

Living in regional Victoria

Female taking photo of landscape

The lure of sea breezes may attract you to Victoria’s coastal towns, or the sunshine might see you heading north towards the Murray River. The choice between providers depends a little on your desire to live (or, if you are already a regional resident, to remain) in a certain area. You should also consider that some providers and campuses offer the opportunity to access fields of study not readily available in metropolitan areas, like outdoor education or health courses with a regional focus.

Regional campuses are usually smaller, which offers some advantages — the community feel means you are likely to know many of your fellow students. If you are after a big campus experience, consider your options carefully. Some regional campuses are in populous areas, so it won’t always be the case that you will know everyone in town as well as on campus. Regional Victorian study centres range from the seaside cities of Geelong and Warrnambool to the south, Mildura and Wodonga on the banks of the Murray River in the north, and charming central regional centres such as Bendigo and Ballarat.

Whichever campus you consider moving to, there are sure to be great lifestyle and leisure benefits once you are a resident. Major drawcards for regional Victorian universities include the relaxing lifestyle they offer, as well as their close proximity to some of the most beautiful areas of the state. Your university experience depends on where you live and the feel of the campus you attend. Research each town thoroughly to find out what it has to offer.

You might choose Geelong for its coastal lifestyle (with all the benefits of a large city) or opt for Ballarat, known for its history and culture as a gold rush town. Further north, Bendigo is another popular study destination. It hosts festivals such as the Victorian leg of Groovin' the Moo and is known for its thriving Chinese district and elaborate Chinese New Year celebrations. Closer to the New South Wales border, students enjoy the warmer climate and relaxed lifestyle of towns such as Mildura and Albury-Wodonga.

Housing

Using the Barwon and Loddon regions as an example, the median weekly rental price for a house is $330 and $300 respectively. For a unit, you can expect to pay weekly rental costs of $270 and $250 respectively. In comparison, the median price of a house in Melbourne is $375 per week.

The student rental market is very competitive. Visit your institution’s housing service for referrals or advice.

Note that figures presented here are intended as a guide only. Prices vary within and between towns. Source: Australian Property Monitors, December 2013.

Transport

Public transport is usually limited, although most large regional towns have a local bus system and all have train or bus access to major cities. Melbourne's myki smartcard system also operates in regional Victoria. Depending on where your campus is situated, access to a car or other form of personal transport may be required. You may well get by cruising along on a bike.

Climate

The climate across the state is quite varied. Coastal towns enjoy sea breezes and central Victoria tends to be a couple of degrees cooler in winter, while Mildura and Wodonga (situated on the New South Wales border) are usually several degrees warmer.

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