The Meld Guide to Studying in Australia

WE’VE published numerous stories through the years to help international students make a smooth transition to their new life overseas, and we’ve compiled the best of them into a nifty little guide!

The Meld Guide to Studying in Australia


When you’ve only got 20kg of luggage allowance, how do you choose what to pack? And, is a rice cooker really more expensive to purchase in Australia? Here, we dispense some useful advice complete with humorous true stories.

Photo: Pablo Barrios

Photo: Pablo Barrios

Tips for moving into your first rental property
Looking for a place to stay can be a stressful experience, and it’s something you’ll probably have to do more than once in your time overseas. Here are some factors you should take into consideration when looking for a property to rent, and tips to make it that little bit easier.

Graphic: Vera Lam

How to spot a rental scam
Beware too of online scammers and dodgy landlords. This is a must read, as we reveal the common ruses used by unscrupulous operators to take advantage of vulnerable students. Learn to sniff out a rental scam from a mile away, and learn from other international students who share their real-life experiences in the comments section. You may also be interested to read about one student’s homestay horror story and how he found his way out.



It’s after having lived overseas that many students come to appreciate how much effort goes into keeping the apartment as spick and span as mum does back home. How do you make your bed properly? How do you fold your clothes in a snap? We bring you five how-to videos for everyday living.

Are your possessions secure? Safety tips for international students
Do you know thieves tend to be most active during the beginning of the semester? At least that’s what the statistics show. Find out why universities are like “supermarkets for the bad people” during this time of the year, and how you can safeguard your possessions.

Graphic: Vera Lam

It’s hard to imagine life without the internet these days. We use it to stay in touch, for school, entertainment, and pretty much everything else. To help you get connected as soon as possible, we’ve deciphered the jargon surrounding broadband internet plans in Australia and offer some advice on choosing one.

Photo: Chris Gordon

Photo: Chris Gordon

Money matters

Not all international students are so lucky to enjoy an all-expense paid study trip, and many do look for part-time jobs to help pay the bills. Some do it for some extra spending money, and others do it simply for the experience or to kill time. But whichever way, it pays to know the working conditions that apply to your student visa, even before you start looking for work.

It’s a story we’ve heard many times – students living off a diet of instant noodles because they’ve splurged on everything else but the necessities. It doesn’t have to be this way. Learn how to take stock of your dollars and cents, without giving up all of life’s little luxuries.

Photo: Mokra

Photo: Mokra


Australian slang for dummies
Wondering what terms like “arvo”, “maccas” or “suss” mean? One international student has compiled a list of 10 phrases that could save you from potential embarrassment in front of your Aussie peers.

The trouble with getting along – is it us or them?
Getting to know your Aussie schoolmates is often easier said than done. In this heartfelt piece, we discuss accents, the fear of making a fool of ourselves, and being a strange face in a foreign land.

Photo: Diane Leow


On a more light-hearted note, here’s a fun activity for students studying in Melbourne to do. Go on a self-guided walking tour to acquaint yourself with one of the most liveable cities in the world. Document your journey with photos, and share it with your friends and family back home. Students studying in other states, why not come up with your own itinerary and grab e a few friends  to share the journey with you!

Eat your way around Sydney
Here’s one for you Sydneysiders – if you can’t take a walking tour around Melbourne, you can sure eat your way around Sydney! We bring you 10 of our top spots to hit up.

Photo: Yu Cheng Chong

Health and well-being

How to be thrifty and eat healthy
It’s true, many students tend to put on heaps of weight in their first year. Eating out all the time will take a toll on your body, as will a constant diet of fast food, affordable as it may be. We show you that healthy eating isn’t impossible, or expensive. It’s simply a matter of making good food choices and cooking smart.

Staying safe in the summer sunshine
The rays from the sun are especially harsh down-under, and it’s important to be, as the locals call it, “sun-smart”. This is especially important during the hot summer months, but the habits are worth keeping every other day of the year too.

There is one comment

  1. Jennie Bickmore-Brand

    May i add my welcome to Melbourne and Australia new International students and to those who have chosen to return… hope your 2013 is all you would want. i am not sure how you can feel more at home but i heard a great tip from Arrow on Swanston once which i pass on.. Make a Friend, Be a Friend, Keep a Friend. i spent 12 months overseas teaching in my early thirties and the friends i made then are still friends and help me see my neighbourhood is quite large really! Take care and find a friend. JennieBB

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