student financial aid
Melbourne has recently announced their incentive programme for students looking to study there. Source: Andreas Solaro / AFP

If you’re travelling to Melbourne, Australia for your studies, you’re in luck. Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, has recently announced student financial aids and incentive programmes to lure international students to the Victorian capital, including free tickets to events and attractions, wellness and wellbeing support, and employment advice.

These will add to the various perks that already exist for international students. We’ve compiled Melbourne’s list of incentive programmes for students below:

Online and in-person events and programmes

Melbourne offers a range of online and in-person events and programmes for international students, and warmly invite students who are currently overseas to feel welcome to participate in online events. This will help develop and maintain your connection with the city and the international student community in Melbourne. Here’s a calendar of what’s on for international students.

Exploring Melbourne

Explore the best Melbourne has to offer and meet other international students. On offer are attractions, events, behind-the-scenes tours, ticket giveaways and more. Find out more about the Experience Melbourne programme here.

Conversation Club with City of Melbourne Libraries

Meet and connect with new people, practise your English language conversation skills and stay in touch via the City of Melbourne Libraries’ online Conversation Club. All sessions are facilitated by a native speaker and are free. Learn more about it here.

Welcome Dinner Project

The Welcome Dinner Project runs programmes that help migrants, international students, asylum seekers and refugees to connect with established Australians. Bring a dish from your culture to share with new friends in local homes and community spaces. Feel touched and entertained by stories of life, love and change from people of diverse backgrounds.

It’s free to join. To attend or host the next welcome dinner in your area, sign up at Welcome Dinner Project.

Legal advice webinars

When the need arises, Melbourne runs legal advice webinars covering topics such as the rights of international students and 485 visas. Past legal advice webinars were run in partnership with Clothier Anderson Immigration Lawyers.

Melbourne International Student Guides

Come in and collect your free Melbourne International Student Guide by Insider Guides from the City of Melbourne Visitor Centres, or from one of the City of Melbourne Libraries. Download Melbourne International Student Guide online. The guides are filled with useful and fun information to help you make the most of your experience as an international student in Melbourne.

Legal information for international students

If you need legal advice, try to first speak with the legal advisers at your university, college or school. The support staff at the Study Melbourne Student Centre may be able to connect you with employment or accommodation lawyers through their free clinics.

You can also check out Inner Melbourne Community Legal’s free, multi-lingual International Student Legal Information Resource. It is translated into English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.

If you are experiencing any problems with your accommodation, you can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria for assistance.

Overseas Students Ombudsman

The Overseas Students Ombudsman investigates complaints that overseas students have with private education and training in Australia. The Ombudsman’s services are free, independent and impartial. Complaints about public education, which includes most universities, should be directed to state and territory ombudsmen.

student financial aid

Victoria is offering international student financial aid for those experiencing financial hardship Source: William West/AFP

Victoria student financial aid

Victoria is offering international student financial aid for those experiencing financial hardship for emergency payment assistance through the Victorian Government’s Extreme Hardship Support Programme.

The incentive programme is for temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants who are unable to access the Australian Government’s income support, and have zero or very little income, savings or community support. Please visit the Australian Red Cross to apply.