International student guide to living in Australia

August 3, 2023 - 4 min read

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live and study in Australia? Australia is a vibrant country, full of rich culture, exciting cities and plenty of nature and wildlife. Undoubtedly, Australia is very different to most countries in the world. So, what’s it like for international students arriving in Australia for the first time?

Deakin University receives thousands of international students from all over the world. Located the in Australian state of Victoria, Deakin’s four campuses offer a unique lifestyle, located across three different cites, Melbourne, Geelong and Warrnambool.

Before arriving in Australia from India, business analytics student, Adyant thought of ‘beaches, wildlife and multiculturalism,’ when he thought of Australia. Psychology student Shruti from New Delhi, expected ‘kangaroos, diversity and completely opposite weather from where I come from.’ For many students, Australia was very similar to what they expected, with Adyant sharing ‘I’ve seen a lot of kangaroos. I went to Healesville Sanctuary and it was great to feed them through your hands.’

‘I love the location, how it’s close to the city but also in the suburbs.’ – Isabella

There were some surprises though. Ilias came to Melbourne from Paris, France and was surprised by the size of Melbourne, ‘Everything here is big. When I say big, it’s far bigger than I am used to seeing’. Nutrition science student Kathleen from Indonesia was surprised by the diversity of Melbourne, travelling to different suburbs she said, ‘I’ve been transported, this feels like Singapore, it doesn’t feel like I’m in Melbourne.’ Shruti agreed, the diversity helped her feel at home, ‘If I am missing something from India, I think I can find it in Melbourne, so I don’t really miss anything.’

Deakin Burwood Campus, Melbourne.

The Yarra River and Melbourne CBD.

Many students who come to study at Deakin University choose to live on campus at Deakin’s residences, known as ‘Res.’ Living on Res at the Deakin Burwood Campus, Study Abroad student Isabella says, ‘I love the location, how it’s close to the city but also in the suburbs.’ For Shruti, the community of students on Res have become her support network, ‘everyone on res is extremely helpful and the Residential Leaders on Res are absolutely amazing.’

Living on Res is not the only option though. Kathleen chose to find her own accommodation near campus. Coming from Jakarta, Indonesia, Kathleen was impressed by the public transportation in Melbourne and how it helped her live independently, ‘I don’t have to depend on people as much to go and do stuff. I can just know the tram is coming in ten minutes.’

‘It’s the best decision you will ever make.’ – Adyant

It is an exciting year ahead for students, with many exciting opportunities coming up in their studies and life in Australia. ‘In 2023 I want to try and improve my confidence, meeting a lot of people even if I’m not completely fluent in English,’ said Ilias. For Adyant, having already volunteered at the MCG this year, ‘I am looking forward to getting good grades, focusing on studies. I’m entering my third year so I’m looking for internships as well.’ Beginning her first year at Deakin, Shruti is taking the opportunity ‘to study more, grow more and get more involved at uni.’

Offering advice to students considering studying at Deakin in Australia, all students agreed it was a great choice, with Isabella and Ilias telling students to ‘just do it.’ Looking back on his time at Deakin Adyant said, ‘It’s the best decision you will ever make.’ Shruti advises students to ‘record your memories. When you leave your family behind and you come here, you’re definitely going to miss them so much, so go out with your parents before coming here and create memories.’

Quick links

Learn more about living in Melbourne

Learn more about Deakin’s residences 

Learn more about support for international students


Ask us a question close

Why study at Deakin?

As one of Australia's leading tertiary education providers, Deakin offers a personalised experience enhanced by world-class programs and innovative digital engagement. We lead by creating opportunities to live and work in a connected, evolving world.

#1 university in Australia for educational experience*
Top 1% of universities worldwide**
#1 university careers service in Australia^
Victoria's #1 university for teaching quality^^
#1 university in Victoria for student satisfaction#

* 2022 Student Experience Survey, based on undergraduate students, UA benchmark group Victorian universities.
** ARWU Rankings 2023
^^ 2022 Student Experience Survey, UA benchmark group Victorian universities.
# Australian Graduate Outcomes Survey 2016–2022 (GOS), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Make an enquiry

You can access our enquiry form here or by using the Learn More button at the bottom of this page.