Welcome to Melbourne! Here is some information that will come in handy during your semester, including details about your housing, what to do when you are sick, local transportation and more.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you keep TEAN’s contact details on you at all times in case of emergency. If your reason for calling/texting is not an emergency, please try to call/text during regular office hours (9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday)

Common Concerns: First few weeks

Common Concerns: First few weeks

As you start to get into the swing of things, we want to highlight some common concerns that may come up. We often see the same concerns raised each semester, so you’re not alone!

Feeling “disconnected” from the campus: This may happen for those living off-campus. As you go back and forth to campus for O Week you may feel isolated from the campus community. Don’t worry! As classes start, you’ll find that you aren’t actually on campus that much and end up really loving where you live. You definitely won’t regret living in off-campus!

Feelings of homesickness/anxiety: This is probably one of the most common concerns we hear during the first few weeks of the program. It is very normal to go through varying levels of homesickness. Some people may feel minor “pangs” of missing home and what is familiar, while others may feel fairly intense feelings of sadness and anxiety. The first week in your new home can be very overwhelming – you’re in a new city with new people, a new culture, new school, new everything – and it’s not uncommon to wonder if you have made the “right choice” to study abroad. These feelings will pass. When classes start and you get into a routine, you’ll start to feel more comfortable and confident in your new setting and the feelings of homesickness should start to lessen. That said, if they don’t please reach out and let us know. The universities have excellent counselors on campus who you can meet with and talk to. Also, please remember to take things day by day – you’re dealing with a lot of adjustments and often some exercise, eating well, getting lots of rest and talking to other students can help. You’ll probably find that lots of other people are feeling the same way but aren’t sharing how they feel. TEAN staff are also on campus often, at our coffee catch ups and other events, so do let us know if you want to talk. We can call and message to provide support also.  

Concerns with roommates: It’s not uncommon to wonder if you have been matched up with the right people in your housing. You may have clicked with someone at the TEAN Orientation who you’re not rooming with or may even be in your own room feeling isolated. Some of you may never have lived with roommates (or flatmates as we call them) before, so it’s a learning curve! Be open and make sure to communicate; share how you feel about things in an honest way. Set some apartment rules that you all agree on and discuss how to best bring up issues. You’re here just for approximately 100 sleeps – try not to let minor issues become major worries during the semester.

Some things are more expensive: Yes, the cost of eating/drinking/going out is often very expensive compared to what you might be used to. The best thing to do is plan a budget for the semester and stick to it. Buy food and cook at home, search online to get good travel deals for the trips you want to take, remember to always have a supply of food/snacks in your apartment for when you’re hungry during those late night study cram sessions as shops close early, AND take advantage of the FREE TEAN events we offer! The coffee breaks are a must – they include a drink, a free bite to eat and a chance to chat with us!

Getting used to the teaching style: First of all, don’t freak out when you get your first assessment grades back – they will seem very low to what you are used to. In Australia you earn points (starting at 0 and going up to 100), while in the U.S. you start at 100 and points are deducted. It is very hard to get very high grades (High Distinctions and Distinctions) in Australia. Assessment grades are often worth a larger percentage of your overall grade than what you are used to as well. There are no “weekly tests” in Australia. You may find that your mid-term exam carries a 50% weight. Because there usually aren’t regular tests or assignments, you may feel like you don’t have much to do then find yourself cramming for a test or rushing to prepare a paper. Set a study and school work schedule for the semester and stick to it, even when it may feel like you have a light workload. If you are struggling at any point, please go and see the academic staff. They are all there to help with an open door policy, but you need to take initiative and go to them.

Internet annoyances: The internet speed and data limits in Australia are not what you are used to in the U.S. We have fairly slow internet here and data limits so you aren’t able to stream and download shows all the time. The internet speed certainly takes a little time to get used to but hang in there – it’s just a more chilled out internet, all will be okay!



When you are sick you can make an appointment or visit one of the many walk-in clinics throughout the city.

For all medical emergencies dial 000 for an ambulance or visit the emergency room of a nearby public hospital (which provides free emergency care to Australian residents).

St Vincent’s Hospital
41 Victoria Parade
Closest Melbourne public hospital – open 24 hours

If you have to buy medicine or see a doctor out of hours, hold onto your receipts as you can claim this back on your OSHC.

RMIT University

Being an urban campus that is spread throughout the city, does not have a specific on-campus clinic.

The RMIT website has a very comprehensive list of doctors they recommend throughout the city.

University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne has a health clinic on campus.

University of Melbourne Student Health Centre
138 Cardigan Street, Parkville
For appointments call: 03 8344 6904 or go online

Deakin University

For students studying at Deakin, you can take advantage of their on-campus clinic. For appointments call: 03 9244 5577 or go online.

Deakin Medical Centre
Building B, Level 2

Monash University

For students studying at Monash University, you can take advantage of their on-campus clinic. For appointments phone: 9905 3175 or use this link.

Monash Uni Medical Clinic
21 Chancellors Walk, Ground Floor

Health Insurance

Health Insurance

As part of your student visa you are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). This has been arranged through your university in Australia and each university will use a different OSHC provider.

To obtain your OSHC card you can go online to the website of your insurance provider and order the card. You can create an account on these sites and then request your card. You can then also log into the insurance via an app on your phone and download your insurance card that way. The phone app provides useful information such as location of doctors and how to make a claim. If you are having difficulty with this online, please see your OSHC provider on campus.

  • Medibank is the company that provides your OSHC
  • Medibank staff are on campus every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am – 4pm at RMIT Connect.
  • You can also contact them by calling 131 148 or via email oshc@medibank.com.au
    For more information visit the RMIT website.
University of Melbourne
  • Bupa is the company that provides your OSHC
  • Bupa staff are on campus every Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm at The University of Melbourne Student Health Centre.
  • You can also contact them by calling 138 146 or via email ia-oshc@unimelb.edu.au
    For more information visit the Bupa website.
Deakin University
  • Bupa is the company that provides your OSHC
  • You can contact them by calling 1800 888 942 or via email:  oshcdeakinuni@bupa.com.au
    For more information visit their website.
Monash University
  • AllianzGlobal Assistance is the company that provides your OSHC
  • You can contact them by calling +61 3 9902

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) will cover payments for:

  • Medical costs
  • Hospital care costs
  • Some prescription drugs
  • Emergency ambulance service
  • Pregnancy-related costs (some additional costs and conditions apply)

You will have:

  • Access to a 24-hour emergency helpline
  • On-campus support
  • Efficient direct billing and claiming processes

Accessing Money

Banking in Australia

Banks in Australia are generally open Monday – Friday (except public holidays) from 9:30am – 4pm. These hours may be extended on certain days and weekends depending on local conditions.

To open a bank account you will need to prove your identity by providing documents as part of the 100-point check process: passport, plus two other forms of identification (credit card, driver’s license, etc.)

The most common banks in Melbourne are listed below and there are branches and ATMs all over the city and around your university campus.

  • ANZ
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • National Australia Bank (NAB)
  • Westpac
  • Bank of Melbourne

Beware of fees when using other bank’s ATMs. For example, if you are an ANZ customer and use a Westpac ATM, you’ll be charged a fee. However customers of Commonwealth can use BankWest ATMs for free and these are at every 7-Eleven.

Groceries and Shopping

Groceries and Shopping

Shopping centers (malls) in the Melbourne city center are open at different times throughout the week. Best to check online for the opening and closing times of stores within these malls. The three biggest malls in the city center are Melbourne Central, The Emporium and The Q.V. Building.

For groceries and food supplies, you want to head to your nearest Coles or Woolworths, which are the two biggest supermarket chains in Australia. Throughout the city you’ll also find IGA Supermarkets (however these are small independent grocers and are usually a bit more expensive). Your cheapest option is Aldi supermarkets and there is one very close to Urbanest.

For homewares, basic clothing, school supplies (or anything else you’d usually find at a Walmart in the U.S.), you can go to Target and Big W.

The Queen Vic Markets are a famous outdoor market in Melbourne known for fresh produce. The produce here will definitely be cheaper than what you would pay at the supermarket. The markets are very popular on the weekends but are also opened during the week. Head there around closing time to grab a bargain! See the website for their hours.

Post Office

Australia Post hours are usually Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm. Some branch offices may open on a Saturday morning. You can buy stamps at all Post Offices. Stamps can also be purchased at most newsagents and 7-Eleven stores.

The closest Post Office to Urbanest is at the following address:

Melbourne GPO Post Shop
260 Elizabeth Street

Clubs and Organizations

University Groups and Clubs

Dive into the campus culture and connect with other students by joining a club or student organization. Each of our partner universities in Australia offers a ton of different options and opportunities to suit a range of interests. Below, you’ll find examples of some of the most popular associations at different institutions plus links to find even more clubs for each school.

RMIT University

Whether you’re after adventure and new experiences, meeting new people, or if you just want to indulge in something you love, you can find a home with one of the many clubs offered at RMIT. See the full list here.

Hungry Minds
This club is for students who love literature and want to bring out their individual passion and creativity.

RMIT Woodworking Club
This club focuses on woodworking, making, crafting and design.

Outdoors Club
One of the largest and most active clubs, the Outdoors Club runs regular excursions for students to get outside.

University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne offers over 100 clubs that span a variety of interests. See the full list here.

International Students Travel Group
This group organizes day tours to various locations in Melbourne, like museums, galleries, etc., so international students can gain more insight into their new host city.

Consistently Amazing Kitchen Endeavors (CAKE)
This club brings together people who enjoy baking and other types of cooking.

Wildlife Conservation Society
This club supports wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability by fostering connections between people and wildlife through awareness, understanding and experience.

Want to meet local students? The Student Exchange Society (MUSEX) brings together incoming study abroad and exchange students with local students who have completed or are about to go study abroad through fun events like picnics, cruises and surf outings.

Deakin University

From sport, health and personal development to religious, political and course-specific groups, there are more than 120 clubs and societies across Deakin campuses. Find a full list of clubs here.

Deakin Dragons Sports Club
This organization allows students with no experience to participate in sports, including popular Aussie sports like netball.

Deakin Social Club
Deakin Social Club offers a diverse range of events and activities, creating a welcoming environment for students to connect and build friendships.

Deakin Outdoors Club
Get out and explore some of the beautiful parks around Victoria. The club also runs weekend trips.

Multicultural Club
Want to meet local students? Check out the Social Club (listed above) and the Multicultural Club, both of which promote inclusivity and eliminate social barriers.

Monash University

Join the vibrant student club community! Find a full list of clubs here.

Muggles, Monash
For all Harry Potter fans!

Boardgames Society
Play some games with this group that runs weekly game nights throughout the semester.

Creative Writers
Open to all writers, this club holds monthly social events and weekly meetings that can include collaborative workshopping, themes and guest speakers.

Want to meet local students? Overseas and Exchange Club, Monash (MOVE) provides a local buddy program for exchange students and runs about two dozen events each semester so you can meet other like-minded students from different cultures.

Academic Resources

Campus Academic Resources

Your host university offers academic resources on campus to help support your learning needs and thrive in your courses. If you need help with a certain subject, guidance on exam writing or additional academic support, just take a look below.

University of Melbourne

There are a number of available academic resources including exam preparation, writing workshops, time management guidance and study tips. You can see all resources and schedule a one-on-one appointment here.

Deakin University

Whether you want to improve your general study skills or need help on a difficult assignment, there are plenty of academic resources available. You can read about all the resources here. You can also connect with a tutor here.

RMIT University

RMIT offers a number of exam and assignment resources. This includes exam preparation tips, online learning labs, peer mentoring and STEM workshops. You can read more about the available resources and set up an appointment here. Students can also hire a tutor for specific academic support in their field of study. You can read more here.

Monash University

Whether it is preparing for exams or learning strategies to give a more effective presentation, Monash offers a number of resources to help improve study skills. You can read more about the available resources and set up an appointment here. Students can also hire a tutor for specific academic support in their field of study. You can read more here.

Sports and Fitness

Sports and Fitness

Australians love to stay active.Keep reading to see what on-campus gyms, fitness classes and sports facilities your host university offers.

University of Melbourne

With facilities considered some of the best in Melbourne, students can access new state of the art equipment and a number of fitness classes. Learn more about the fitness center and membership options here.

Deakin University

DeakinActive at the Deakin University Burwood Campus is defined by world class equipment and a range of group fitness classes. Membership fees can be from $11-$17 AUD a week. Learn more here.

RMIT University

The RMIT Sports Center offers state of the art cardio equipment, a number of group fitness classes (some of them free!), a cycling studio, squash courts and much more. Membership is around $50-$100 AUD a month. Find more about membership fees and the fitness center here.

Monash University

The Clayton Health and Fitness Center offers students a wide range of functional training equipment, pin loaded strength training equipment, free weight training equipment and a number of group classes. You can read more about the fitness center and membership fees here.

University of Notre Dame – Sydney

The University of Notre Dame offers a state-of-the-art gymnasium features and array of aerobic machines, weight machines, and free weights. Memberships range from $30-$115 AUD. Learn more here.

University of Wollongong

Students can sign up for a membership with UniActive for about $40 AUD a month. This provides access to the campus gym, outdoor heated swimming pool, multiple sports halls and outdoor courts. Learn more here.

Dining and Errands

Dining and Errands

From on-campus canteens and convenience stores to nearby restaurants, cafes and grocery stores, there are plenty of places to find food and stock up on necessities. Scroll down to see where to go shopping, eat out and run errands around your university.

University of Melbourne

There are many chain grocery stores within a few blocks of campus in the Melbourne CBD, including Aldi, NQR (Not Quite Right) and IGA. Coles and Woolworths, two of the most popular grocery store chains in Australia, are also in close proximity to campus.

Deakin University

There are plenty of cafes and international cuisine options on campus. Some highlights are Corner Cafe, Fusion and 123 Sushi. You can also hop on a tram for five minutes to get to Burwood One, a shopping center with a 24-hour supermarket, gym, food court and free undercover parking. A short bus ride will take you to Box Hill Central, a local shopping mall or Chadstone, which is the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere. You can read more here.

RMIT University

There are a few Asian grocery stores within a couple of blocks of campus in addition to Coles, one of Australia’s major chain supermarkets. Coles Melbourne Central is also only two blocks from campus. There are a number of cafes and restaurants on campus as well. Some highlights are Kaki Lima and Tam Tam. You can read more here.

Monash University

Grocery stores and a variety of cafes are located in the heart of the Clayton Campus. The Monash Merchant is a fine food and grocery store. You can also explore all of the campus’ cheap eats here and find a full list of all food available here. Highlights include The Den, Coffee Point and Gong Cha.

Finding a Job

Getting a Job

When you are inquiring or applying for a job, it is always best to inquire in person. Ask to speak with the manager. This shows you are confident and have initiative, and
they will take your inquiry more seriously.

When inquiring about positions available in cafes, restaurants or bars, it is best to inquire during slow service periods. Most have a lunch and dinner service, which can
get very busy and stressful for staff, so they are less likely to take the time to help you, or will assume you don’t have any experience in the industry.

If you do get a job and you need to get a Tax File Number – you can arrange that online, see the following website.


Always bring several copies of your current resume (called a CV in Australia) with you when you apply. Most venues don’t have application forms, so you will need to take (and leave) a copy of your resume for staff to pass onto management. Cafés, bars and restaurants are mainly interested in work history that involves customer service, sales or hospitality experience, but often a positive and bubbly personality is just as important.


Your availability is very important to employers. The more days you are available to work, the more likely you’ll get a job. Friday and Saturdays tend to be the busiest times for a lot of venues and if you’re not available on weekends, most places won’t consider your application.

Melbourne Transport

Melbourne Transport

To ride the tram and train outside of the city center, you’ll need to purchase a MYKI card and then add credit to the card. The MYKI card is $7 and can be purchased and refilled at all major train stations and 7-Elevens. You can also refill your MYKI card at any MYKI terminal which are situated at every tram stop.

When you get on a tram you will ‘tap on’, but tapping your MYKI card onto the card reader at the doors of every tram. Make sure you tap on, as random inspectors can board the tram or be waiting at tram stops and will fine you on the spot if you don’t have a valid ticket.

For more information on the MYKI fares, visit their website.

However, using the trams within the city center is free and is a great way to get around town. The free tram zones are clearly indicated. If you start your journey in a free tram zone and travel outside of the city, the conductor will announce that you are about to leave the free tram zone. Ensure you ‘tap on’ to avoid a possible fine!

Two great apps to download to help you navigate public transport around the city are:

  • PTV (Public Transport Victoria) – Helps plan a journey using trains and trams.
  • tramTRACKER – Gives you live updates of the trams arriving and departing at stops closest to you

Alternatively visit the Public Transport Victoria website – for all your public transport needs.

Airport Transport

Apart from cabs and Ubers, the most common way of getting to and from the airport is using the Skybus.
The Skybus departs from Southern Cross Station, will cost you $36 return ($18 one way) and runs every 10 minutes. The trip takes between 20-30 minutes from the airport. Click here for more information on timetables.

If you are traveling with a group, a cab or Uber might be a better alternative and will cost you around $70 one way.

Student Housing

Student Housing

TEAN has carefully developed a good relationship with its accommodation providers and we want you to have a great time this semester, but ​please remember to respect this apartment and the neighbors at all times​. When you arrive, the staff will run you through an orientation of the building which will include some housekeeping rules.

You are each personally responsible for the condition of your own room. Any damages occurring in your room will be billed to you accordingly. As a household, you are all responsible for the ‘common areas’ (eg. living room, kitchen, shared bathrooms, etc.), and for keeping the apartment clean and tidy for the duration. Any damages occurring to the common areas will be billed/shared by the household members.

To ensure you keep your apartment in good condition, your local TEAN staff may be making monthly inspections, or more frequently if deemed necessary. You will be notified at least 24 hours in advance of these inspections.

Mailing Address

At Urbanest you will have a mailbox to receive mail. Here is the address you will use if you plan to accept anything via post. Ensure to include your name and apartment numbers.

[Your Name]
Urbanest Melbourne Central
[Apt Number] 316 La Trobe St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

At Deakin you will have a mail box to receive mail. Here is the address you will use if you plan to accept anything via post:

[Your Name]
Deakin Residential Services
Burwood Units and Apartments
[Apt Number] 70 Elgar Road
Burwood, VIC 3125

At Monash the address you use is:

[Your Name]
[Apt Number] Howitt Hall
60 College Way
Monash University
Clayton, VIC 3168

Lost Passport

Lost Passport

If your passport is lost or stolen you must report it to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and/or local police as soon as possible.

The U.S. Consulate in Melbourne
553 St Kilda Road
Phone: 9526 0769
Email: melbourneACS@state.gov

  1. Get a copy of the police report or report number.
  2. Advise your local TEAN staff member
  3. Contact your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to replace your passport.
  4. More information here.

Remember, your passport is your most important legal document while you are overseas. Guard your passport carefully.

Important Contact Info


To contact the police, fire depart or for an ambulance in case of emergencies: 000

TEAN Staff

Ange Hart
Resident Assistant – Melbourne
0424 074 607 or ange.hart@teanabroad.org

Other Resources

Travel Resources


Tipping is not compulsory in Australia and you are not expected to leave a tip. Hospitality staff, including servers and bartenders, receive a good hourly wage, so they do not need tips to supplement their income (as of July 2018, the minimum wage in Australia was $18.90). Though not expected, tips are always appreciated, so you can tip if you feel the service was excellent.

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