About Melbourne (Our Local Environment)
|There is much to love about Melbourne. Just ask the locals. This
sophisticated world city in the south-east corner of mainland Australia
inspires a deep passion in those lucky enough to live here. They love
its vibrant energy, staggering choice of restaurants, funky boutiques,
café-filled laneways, cool bars, unbeatable galleries, luscious parks
and village-like inner suburbs, each with its own special character.
a relatively modern city which is less than 200 years old, never sits
still. New futuristic designs add to the fascinating mix of
architecture and ensure the skyline is constantly changing. Melbourne
is very much about lifestyle. It is no huge surprise to residents that
their city has been named in an international poll as the world’s most
Melburnians embrace three things in particular:
They even embrace their notoriously changeable weather. A standing joke in Australia is that Melbourne can experience four seasons in a day. But, really, it’s just another example of how they have it all!
- Sport (Australian Rules football is almost a religion);
- Fashion (the look is chic with a dash of quirky); and
- Festivals (the calendar is packed year round).
Sometimes, the best part of visiting a new city is when you unexpectedly depart from the tourist trail and glimpse the city’s “real” side. While the big attractions can be great fun, often it’s the more subtle “insider” experiences that leave you feeling really satisfied.
Here is some inside information to help you discover Australia's second largest city (also the capital of Victoria).
Located at latitude 37 degrees 176 49' south longitude 144 degrees 176 58' east on the south-east edge of Australia, the city's 3.2 million residents enjoy a temperate climate influenced by its location at the apex of one of the world's largest bays, Port Phillip.
Focussed around a central business district, Melbourne's 8,800 sq km of suburbs spread more than 40 km to the south, are hemmed in by the picturesque Dandenong ranges 30 km to the east, extend up to 20 km to the north and sprawl across vast, flat basalt plains to the west.
Australian Eastern Standard Time is GMT plus 10 hours.
Daylight Savings - last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in March.
Winter - 9 hours, 32 minutes (June 21)
Summer - 14 hours, 47 minutes in summer (December 22)
Melbourne has a well-deserved reputation for its changing weather. Over the course of a day it can be possible to experience a little something of the four seasons. A tip for any visitor to Melbourne is to be prepared for anything – take an umbrella and wear shorts!
As a general rule, Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate with warm to hot summers, mild and sometimes balmy spring and autumns, and cool winters.
While Melbourne has a reputation for rain, the city actually receives less rainfall than either Brisbane or Sydney.
Melbourne is an excellent place to see the seasons change. In summer, most people head out to visit our golden beaches. In autumn it is possible to experience the glorious foliage of the many nineteenth century European-style parks that fringe the CBD. In winter, Melburnians enjoy the warmth of cosy cafes and bars. Spring is a time for renewal – a great time to head back into our parks and marvel at our fantastic range of
Melbourne has a temperate climate of mild temperatures with four distinct seasons free of extremes.
Average rainfall: 638.8 millimetres
(December to February) warm to
maximum temp 25°C (77°F)
minimum temp 14°C (57°F)
(March to May) mild
maximum temp 20°C (68°F)
minimum temp 11°C (52°F)
(June to August) cool to brisk
maximum temp 14°C (57°F)
minimum temp 7°C (45°F)
Spring (September to November) cool to
maximum temp 20°C (68°F)
minimum temp 10°C (50°F)
laneways are renowned for their intimacy, sense of intrigue,
convenience and visual charm. They weave an eccentric and chaotic
pattern across a city better known for its wide streets and regular
grid pattern. Many of the laneways have been upgraded with new
bluestone paving and street furniture.
One of the best ways to take in Melbourne’s laneways is to dine
alfresco at one of the many funky eateries. Hardware Lane, Centre
Place, Block Place, The Causeway, Degreaves Street and lanes either
side of the Chinatown strip all offer a great outdoor experience for
Tucked away in many of Melbourne’s laneways are also numerous bars. You
can find them on Meyers Place, Bennetts Lane, Bullens Lane, Sniders
Lane and Market Lane. Melbourne’s laneways wouldn’t be complete without
the opportunity to shop, so look out for unique items along the way.
Aged Care College is located in Preston, Melbourne. Preston is part of
the Darebin Council, and is home to one of the largest, most diverse
communities anywhere in the State. Here, we celebrate our diverse
community and acknowledge our Aboriginal heritage.
Darebin encompasses the suburbs of Alphington, Bundoora, Fairfield,
Kingsbury, Northcote, Preston, Reservoir, Macleod and Thornbury.
The 53 square kilometres that make up the City of Darebin stretch from
Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs of Northcote and Fairfield out to
the traditional middle ring suburbs of Reservoir and Bundoora. With
over 55,000 properties, including 55,253 residences and 4,727
commercial/industrial properties, Darebin is among the largest, most
diverse communities anywhere in the State. Bordered by the Darebin and
Merri Creeks, the City of Darebin contains a diverse range of open
spaces, ranging from small, local parks up to major regional parklands
such as the All Nations Park in Northcote and Bundoora Park in
Bundoora. Added to this are environmentally sensitive areas such as the
Central Creek Grasslands, the Wildlife reserve at La Trobe University
and the Leamington Street Wetlands
Cost of Living (All prices are in $AUD)
Melbourne is one of the cheapest cities in which to live. Compared to other major Australian cities it provides a very high quality of life that is also affordable.
Melbourne’s attractive lifestyle and low cost of living are, in part, owing to its plentiful supply of reasonably priced, high-quality housing. Housing and rental costs are lower in Melbourne than in most other modern cities of the world.
Before lodging an application for a student visa students should consider whether they will have enough money to live in Melbourne as well as pay for air fares (including return), course tuition fees, overseas student health cover (OSHC) and all general expenses during their stay in Australia.
As a general guide, accommodation, food, transport, clothes and expenses could cost between AUD$9,000 to AUD$17,000 or more a year, depending on type of accommodation, location in Melbourne and lifestyle. For a married person with a dependent, he/she will need at least another $4,000 each year. If there are children, the living expenses required are approximately $3,000 for each child.
The lifestyle in Australia is safe and friendly. Australians have a high standard of living. The climate is pleasant, there is plenty of food and the vast natural resources in Australia enable most people to live well. Fruit, vegetables and meat are available fresh and at reasonable prices. Clothing and personal effects are usually good quality and available at a wide variety of prices. Below is a price table of typical daily items. This is only a guide. Remember that you can shop around for items such as clothing and shoes to find a cheaper source.
Approximate Costs for Food Personal Effects/Services
You should be aware that these amounts are only an indication of everyday expenses and do not include airfares, health insurance or the cost of the course
|Milk 1 litre $2.50
Bread 1 loaf $2.50
Apples 1 kg $2.50
Potatoes 1 kg $2.00
Beefsteak 1 kg $5.00
Eggs 1 dozen $3.50
Cereal $2.00 - $5.00
Fruit Juice 2 litres $4.00
Rice 1 kg $32.00
|Shoes 1 pair $70.00
Jeans 1 pair $80.00
Toothpaste 140g $2.50
Shampoo 500ml $2.50
Hairdresser $20.00 to $40.00
Cinema ticket $15.00
Public transport city an inner suburbs $6.80 for a day pass (Zone 1)
Melbourne has a well defined
transport system that includes Trains, Trams and Busses. There are various types of student
accommodation available off-campus and located close to Australasian Lawrence
Aged Care College.
In share houses, each person usually
has their own bedroom and shares the kitchen, bathroom and living areas. Rental
costs range from AU$140–AU$220 per person per week, depending on location and
facilities. Real estate agents offer a variety
of rental accommodation, including houses and apartments. The average weekly
rent ranges from AU$200–AU$300 for a one bedroom flat, and AU$250–AU$400 for a
two bedroom flat. Additional expenses for both share and rental accommodation
include: food, gas, electricity, transport and telephone calls.
There are many private hostels close
to ALACC, offering a furnished bedroom, shared bathroom, living and leisure
areas. Some hostels provide meals, while others provide kitchen facilities.
Computer facilities may also be available. Weekly prices range from AU$220–AU$350. Extra costs may
include payment of a bond. A bond is a security deposit that is held until your
tenancy has finished. It will usually be refunded fully if you have no rental
arrears or you have not caused any damage to the premises.
Homestay is an excellent choice for
students wanting to experience living in an Australian home, while at the same
time improving their English. Students generally have their own furnished
bedroom and share living spaces with their homestay family. Weekly rates are
approximately AU$230. Meals are included; however telephone calls and travel
expenses are not. Your host family will help you learn about travelling to
classes by public transport.
Contact the Director of Studies if you would like assistance with
setting up possible homestay.
This option gives students the
chance to live with fellow students or on their own. However, there are several
issues to consider. In many cases, students need to sign a 12 month lease and
provide a bond and references. While this type of accommodation allows students
to be independent, they need to buy their own food, prepare meals and complete
other household tasks such as cleaning. Costs to rent a house are about $180.00
per week for a 3 bedroom home in the suburbs. A 2 bedroom flat is approximately
$120.00 per week. These prices do vary, however, depending upon location.
The above costs are generally for unfurnished
accommodation and costs would be higher for furnished accommodation. Please
note that all prices quoted are in Australian dollars and are subject to
Student Accommodation Sites
The following sites provide more information on student accommodation, however, Australasian Lawrence Aged Care College does not necessarily endorse them. Note that this list is not exhaustive.
205 Bell Street
Melbourne, VIC 3072
Telephone: +61 3 9485 0200
Fax:+61 3 9485 0180
Toll Free: 1800 006 493
800 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3072
Telephone: +61 3 9485 0200
Fax: +61 3 9485 0180
Toll Free: 1800 006 493
Vacancy Seeker is a web-based application allowing users to search for
and submit accommodation vacancies throughout Victoria. A number of
different accommodation types are listed including emergency,
transitional, supported and respite. Visit www.vacancyseeker.org.au for
Alternatively, contact our Australasian Lawrence Aged Care College for
assistance with finding the right accommodation for you. Please note
that we may need up to 28 days to secure your accommodation.
Info about Australia
Australian contemporary arts reflect the world's oldest continuous cultural traditions and also a diverse, multicultural society. Our visual and performing arts communities receive international acclaim for their vibrancy, originality and cutting-edge work in the arts, literature, stage and cinema, dance, classical music and contemporary Australian rock music.
The National Museum of Australia opened as part of Australia's Centenary of Federation celebrations in 2001. It is co-located with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in the nation's capital city of Canberra and adds to more than 1000 museums throughout Australia.
More than 100 ethnic groups are represented in Australia, making Australia one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Australia's dynamic multiculturalism can be attributed to its unique combination of Indigenous cultures, early European settlement and immigration from all parts of the world.
Australians value the wealth of cultural diversity and social sophistication that international students bring to our campuses and our communities. We take great care in looking after international students and helping them to adjust to the Australian way of life. International students also gain great benefits from their education in Australia and make lifelong friendships.
Although English is the official language, a host of other languages are spoken in Australia. As one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world many Australians are naturally fluent in other languages. More than 2.4 million Australians speak a language other than English at home. Within the education and training system about 15 per cent of those of working age studying for an educational qualification have English as a second language. More than 800,000 Australians speak a European Union language, apart from English, in the home. Another 800,000 Australians speak Asian language at home.
In Australia not only is there the opportunity to improve your English through specialist study in an English-speaking environment but all sectors of Australian education and training provide tuition in many other languages as well. English as it is spoken in Australia is very easily understood by nearly all people from other English-speaking nations.
While there are some minor differences in accent between the cities and country areas the difference is much less than you will find in America, Britain and Canada where French is also spoken. As you improve your English in Australia you will learn some of our slang, and have much fun explaining the meanings to your friends and relatives at home.
Australia is predominantly a Christian country however; all religions are represented in our multicultural society.
Australians respect the freedom of people to practice their choice of religion. Churches, mosques, temples and Synagogues are located in most major cities. Some universities have their own spiritual groups on campus
Clean, Safe, Cosmopolitan
Students from all over the world come to Australia to take advantage of our world-class education and enjoy our friendly hospitality and cultural diversity. Australia has low crime rates and strict gun control laws providing a safe environment in which to learn and travel. With one of the highest standards of living in the world, Australia offers modern transport systems, convenient telecommunications, cosmopolitan shopping complexes and excellent health services.
Visitors from many parts of the world are attracted by Australia's spectacular natural environment and the distinctive personality and friendliness of the Australian people. Australia is rich in the arts and is keen to preserve and display its diverse cultural heritage.
Australians are also environmentally conscious and keen to preserve the country's natural beauty and scenery. Our Clean Up Australia campaign is being adopted worldwide.
Australia has a very good health care system. All Australians pay a Medicare levy (additional tax) to fund the public health system and ensure everyone gets access to public system doctors, hospitals and other health care services. People who pay extra into a private health insurance fund receive certain privileges when they use private health care services. As well as the usual services available in just about any Australian suburb or town, most Australian institutions also provide special health care services and advice for students.
International students studying in Australia are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their student visa. See the information on overseas student health cover on page 1 of this prospectus.
There are requirements for compulsory school attendance for children or dependents of international students. In Victoria it is compulsory for children to attend school until the age of 16. The choice of schools includes public schools, private schools and religious schools. People over the age of 16 can continue to attend school until they have completed year 12. Dependents of persons holding a student visa may be required to pay full fees in any school, college or university that they enrol in whilst in Australia.
Australia has a fantastic variety of food. Our top quality meat, fish, fruits and vegetables are exported to markets all around the globe. There is a large range of fruit and vegetables available at Australian produce markets. You should have no difficulty in finding the foods that you are used to at home.
You can sample almost every type of cuisine available throughout the world in our many restaurants. There are elegant restaurants or typical Aussie pubs. Ethnic restaurants offer cuisines from all around the world. Good food at reasonable prices can be found at bistros or cafes. And for those who like takeaway, most of the major global fast food chains are well represented. The adventurous can try some of our 'bush tucker'.
The electrical current in Australia is 240/250 volts AC, 50 cycles. The Australian three pin plug is extremely safe. Adaptors are usually required for most foreign appliances. A transformer may be required if you bring an appliance from overseas that operates on a different voltage.
one of the highest standards of living in the world, Australia offers
modern transport systems. Australia has an extensive public transport
system that includes trains, buses, tramways, ferries, two major
national airlines and a number of regional airlines. Metropolitan areas
are divided into zones and your ticket type and cost depends on which
zone you are going to travel in and for how long. Tickets can be bought
at train stations, on buses and trams and at news-agencies. Tourist
students may drive in Australia on a valid overseas drivers license but
if the document is not in the English language the visitor must carry a
translation with the permit. An international driving license is not
sufficient by itself.
taxicabs operate in all major cities and towns. You will find taxi
ranks at transport terminals, main hotels or shopping centres or you
can hail taxis in the street. A light and sign on the roof indicates if
a cab is vacant. There is a minimum charge on hiring and then a charge
per kilometre travelled. Taxi drivers do not have to be tipped.
Australia has a modern telecommunications system with mobile and internet access generally available at low cost. Public telephones are available at all Post Offices, shopping centres and are often situated on street corners. Public pay phones accept a variety of coins and Phone cards. Phone cards are pre-paid for use in public pay phones and can be purchased at a large number of retail outlets in denominations of A$5, A$10, A$20 and A$50. Credit phones take most major credit cards such as American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Diners International and can be found at international and domestic airports, central city locations and hotels. Mobile phones are very popular and can be purchased from a number of retailers.
Sports and Recreation
Australians are very keen on sport and outdoor activities and have gained a worldwide reputation, both as individuals and as teams. Hosting the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the Australian Open Tennis Championship and the Grand Prix Motor Race highlights Australia as a leading destination for international events.
Australia has more than 120 national sporting organisations and thousands of state, regional and club bodies. It is estimated that 6.5 million people, about a third of the population, are registered sports participants. While there are over 120 sporting organisations, Australians also take part in bushwalking, fishing, boating and water sports.
Preston offers spacious surroundings suitable for social, sporting and other outdoor activities. We are also centrally located for students to experience the sophistication of our cities and excitement of our entertainment facilities including cinema, local theatre, sporting venues, arts centres and much more. There are plenty of opportunities for international students to have an enjoyable time with friends.
During semester breaks, you may like to venture beyond the capital cities to experience more of Australia's spectacular natural environment and great national parks, The Great Ocean Road, The Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu, Uluru and the Tasmanian Wilderness.
Many department stores, supermarkets and specialist shops have electronic transfer terminals (EFTPOS) where cash withdrawals can also be made in addition to purchasing goods.
|Money and Banks
Australian currency is
the only legal tender in Australia. When you first arrive, money from
other countries can be changed at the exchange facilities located at
international airports, banks and major hotels. Travellers cheques are
easier to use if already in Australian dollars, however, banks will
cash travellers cheques in virtually any currency. Major hotels and
some shops, depending on individual store policy, will cash travellers
It is a good idea to
set up an Australian bank account. You will need to provide your visa
and evidence of residency. Banking services in Australia are extremely
competitive. Over 20 local and numerous international banking groups
are represented in Australia. All major banks have a branch in cities
and regional centres. Most shopping centres have Automatic Teller
Machines (ATM) facilities. These machines can be used for deposits and,
in many instances, withdrawals 24 hours a day.
Normal bank trading hours
9.30 am 4.00 pm Monday to Thursday
9.30 am 5.00 pm Friday
Some banks are open Saturday mornings
Credit Cards are widely accepted around Australia. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Diners International, MasterCard, Visa and their affiliates.
Australia uses a dollars and cents system of decimal currency with 100 cents in a dollar. The bank notes in use are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins used are the silver coloured 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent and the gold coloured $1 and $2 coins.
Australia's development of the polymer (plastic) banknote heralds the introduction of advanced banknote technology for the new millennium and rewrites world standards in design. Not only does this leading-edge polymer technology offer immense security benefits but its concepts of cleanliness, environmental responsibility and recyclability set an example for the world to follow.
Tipping is not the general custom in Australia and service charges are not added to accounts by hotels and restaurants. In better-class restaurants, it is usual to tip food and drink waiters up to 10 per cent of the bill for good service.
Porters have set charges at railway terminals, but not at hotels. However, at any time, tipping is a matter of individual choice.
A Good Choice for Study
There are more than 50,000 overseas students studying in Australia and each year approximately 15,000 students from the Asia Pacific region arrive in Australia to continue their education. They have chosen Australia for several reasons:
- Australia has a high quality education system, the equal of any country in the world
- Australia offers traditional education in reputable schools, colleges and universities
- Awards from Australian institutions of higher education are recognized internationally
- Australian universities, colleges and schools have established networks of support to help overseas students
- The Australian education system includes informality and accessibility of academic staff, the availability of computers, small group tutorials and close supervision
- Living costs and tuition costs compare well with other countries and most overseas students are permitted to work part-time.
- Australia is a safe, stable country with a pleasant climate.
Australia Welcomes Overseas Students
Overseas students are welcomed in Australia because they:
- Contribute to the development of people and Institutions both in their home country and in Australia.
- Contribute to the Australia's research capability
- Develop cultural, educational and economic links between Australians and people of other nations.
Australia has a long history of involvement in international education development, staff and student exchange programs and scholarships.
In Australia, much emphasis is placed upon private (individual) study along the lines of assignments, on research and learning to analyse data and present arguments about subject matter, and on being willing to defend one's argument. All these involve heavy use of libraries, intensive note taking in lectures, and active participation in the learning process (as opposed to passive listening and rote learning). To be a successful student in Australia, you will need to adapt to these methods of learning, but most education institutions in Australia are very willing to help as they offer counselling services and assistance to develop effective study skills. Our trainers have vast experience teaching overseas students, they understand the difficulties in getting used to different study methods and they will be patient in helping you to develop new skills.