Life & The Cost of Living in Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is the perfect setting for your overseas experience, with a rich academic and social community set on an outstanding campus in the heart of the city.

The University of Melbourne has been a central part of the city of Melbourne from its earliest days. It’s hard to say where the central business district stops and the University begins. Our Parkville campus is a city within a city – it even has its own postcode. With cafes, 12 libraries, gyms, specialty stores, a small supermarket – alongside a seasonal farmers’ market – spread across a mix of historic sandstone buildings and state of the art facilities, you’ll never have to leave. The Parkville campus is situated within a renowned knowledge precinct, which includes eight hospitals, many leading research institutes and a wide range of knowledge-based industries.

At our Southbank campus, situated in Melbourne’s lively creative arts precinct – which itself is in the centre of Australia’s cultural capital – you’ll find the University’s acclaimed music and visual and performing arts faculty. Southbank campus is purpose-built for the creative arts, and features sound and dance stages, animation studios, cinemas and visual arts studios. It sits alongside the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Theatre Company, Melbourne Recital Centre, the Australia Ballet, Chunky Move dance company, the Arts Centre and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

Program Fee Set and billed by Home Institution Set and billed by Home Institution Includes: tuition, bespoke orientation program Australia’s Place, related academic programming, program sponsored excursions and the services of the onsite program staff.
Medical Insurance Included in Program Fee 415 AUD (278 USD approx.) All student visa holders to Australia need to have Overseas Student Health Cover.
Accommodation Fee Direct Student Cost Rate varies by accommodation options: 11,508-18,717 AUD per semester (7,727- 12,564.72 USD approx.). Accommodation fees will depend on which University of Melbourne accommodation option students decide to stay with. CASA Melbourne has arrangements in place with Little Hall, International House and Ormond College, each offering unique student experiences. Students also have the option of staying at other University of Melbourne accommodation facilities or affiliated residential colleges. CASA Melbourne staff can assist students in deciding which accommodation option best suits their needs.
Immigration/Visa Direct Student Cost 710 AUD (475 USD approx.) Additional costs may apply when required to complete medical examinations. All students need to apply for a valid visa prior to their departures to Australia.
Meals/Food* Direct Student Cost 140–280 AUD per week (100-195 USD approx.)
Transportation (public)* Direct Student Cost 30 AUD per week (20 USD approx.)
Phone and Internet (mobile data)* Direct Student Cost 15 – 30 AUD per week
  • Please note that these costs will vary widely depending on individual budgets and lifestyle. These are approximate costs from previous students which includes a combination of buying and making food. (Please note that meal plans are not offered at Melbourne, but there are many options for eating on campus.)
  • More information about studying and living in Melbourne


Melbourne has the world’s largest tram network, as well as an extensive system of trains and buses.


Your myki card is your ticket to travel on trains, trams and buses in Melbourne and some areas of regional Victoria. You can purchase a myki from one of over 800 retail outlets throughout Victoria, such as 7-Eleven stores. Visit the Public Transport Victoria website for information about how to buy and top-up a myki.

Plan your journey

You can use the Public Transport Victoria Journey Planner for personalised instructions for tram, train and bus connections for travelling to any University of Melbourne campus.

There are also several useful Smart Phone apps that can assist you in journey planning and public transport timetabling:

Free tram zone

Tram travel is free in Melbourne’s central business district and inner city. There are signs on the tram stops to tell you where the free tram zone begins and ends. Most tram drivers also announce when you are entering or leaving the free tram zone. Please note that the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus does not currently fall in the free tram zone.


Cycling is a popular, environmentally friendly and cheap way to travel around Melbourne. The University supports cycling by providing secure bicycle parking, repair stands and bike maintenance workshops.

The University’s Parkville campus is in a central location, with good access provided by multiple bike lanes. There are over 2,100 bicycle parks available at campus, 300 of which are in secure bicycle hubs. Hubs offer enclosed bicycle hoops, CCTV and access control to provide protection and peace of mind. Hub access is free for all University staff and students, but you will need to sign up to use them.

Please note that in Melbourne, you must wear a helmet and follow the road rules. If you ride at night, you must have bike lights.