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  1. Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its also home to world renowned universities like the Monash University and University of Melbourne. Public Transportation: There are approximately 300 bus routes in operation with a varying range of service frequencies. With 500 trams on 28 routes, and 1,813 tram stops Melbourne has the world’s largest tram network. Melbourne’s metro train network consists of 16 railway lines. Buy a Myki smartcard for flexible travel between trains, trams and buses. You’ll be able to use public transport in and around the city for just a few hours or all day. Crime: Australia is one of the safest countries in the world; but every big city has its unsafe areas. Places like Bourke Street, Flinders Street Station, and Gray Street all have a reputation for being unsafe after evening. Its best to stay out of the streets at night and if you need to move around in the night, its recommended you have a few people with you. Weather: Melbourne enjoys warm summers and crisp winters. With its variable climate, faces Summer from December to February, chills out June to August (winter). Summer temperatures fluctuate between 14–25.3°C. In winter, average temperatures range from 6.5–14.2°C and it snows in the north-east of Victoria. Popular Student Locations: Berwick Caulfield Collingwood Docklands Abbotsford Northcote Housing Options There are various options to consider in respect to student accommodation (both on-campus and off-campus). Following are some of the most prevalent housing options that are available to students looking for housing: On-Campus Housing University Residence Halls: Hostels or Dormitories that are managed by the University. These options are provide expedient access to the amenities rendered by the college on its campus. Off-Campus Housing Halls of Residence: Some Universities tie up with public housing societies and run off-campus Residence Halls. Residence halls can be privately owned as well. These dormitories provide rooms in large housing societies, these rooms can be personal or shared by 3–4 people depending on the size of the accommodation. The amenity lounges for these hostels are common and used by everyone that lives in the student society. Private Student Housing: This kind of accommodation is off campus. Most students share rooms in this scenario.You can also find studio apartments — These kinds of apartments typically consist of one large room which serves as the living, dining, and bedroom. Home Stay Accommodation: Under age students who are not eligible to live alone opt for this kind of housing. They stay with a family. These accommodations are in close proximity to the campus grounds. Generally on-campus accommodations are limited in number and also relatively expensive as compared to off-campus accommodations and also have restrictions in place. Most international students applying for higher studies opt for off-campus accommodation to save extra Rental Costs as this is a major part of the total living expense. Student housing options with furnishing are usually a little expensive than their unfurnished counterparts. Hence it is suggested that you opt for an unfurnished apartment and rent or free-cycle the furniture as per your needs. Renting furniture costs can go upto AUS$100 to AUS$200 per month. You can rent furniture via these services — PABS Furniture Rental, Living Edge Furniture Rental. Security is an important aspect of choosing an accommodation. Some housing societies provide additional security by gating its premises and prohibiting entry to outsiders. Automatic burglar alarms are also an additional feature you can look for safety. Guidelines to Choose a Roommate: Ask yourself these questions while deciding on your roommate: Do they have a reliable source of income to pay rent and utility bills? Do they have pets? Can you trust them to be around your personal belongings? Are they willing to sign a lease and abide by the terms and conditions? How do you plan to split up home responsibilities? Who will they have over as guests? Usually, room sharing is closed over Whatsapp groups or social media. Amenities to Look for Apartment Amenities: Wifi, Microwave, Heater, Refrigerator, Storage, Washer, Dryer, Fireplace. These amenities are basic needs and it is strongly suggested that you look for an accommodations that fulfil the basic appliances and services. Community Amenities: Swimming pool, Fitness Centre, Study Area, Garage, Courtyard, Bike Storage, Public Transportation, Laundry, Pet Policy Common Issues Bed Bugs — These are common. To prevent bed bugs you can avoid using used/old mattresses. Commuting — Here’s a link to sort you out in Melbourne. Language or cross cultural barriers — Certain accommodations provide single community housing. Leasing Terms Deposit: Is a security fee that is paid to the landlord in terms of a fixed amount of money. Deposit is refundable at the end of your stay tenure. Average amount for deposits is (or in some cases one month’s rent). Application Fee: A fixed amount ranging from AUS$25 per person to AUS$75 per person can be charged in some apartments. This is a non-refundable amount even if you have paid it already and then cancelled the booking. Pet Charges: Varies from apartment to apartment. Can range from AUS$10 to AUS$20 per month per pet. Lease Duration: In formal leasing agreements, rental periods typically break down accordingly: 21 Weeks 44 Weeks 51 Weeks Usually a longer leasing period will significantly drop your monthly rent amount. Abandoning a lease can mean serious financial and legal consequences. Agreement Document Requirements: Following are the documents required to process the rental agreement Passport (mandatory) Visa (mandatory) Bank Statement (in certain cases) The agreement needs to be attested (digitally signed or hand-signed soft copy) along with the verification documents for each of the boarders mentioned on the lease agreement. Rent and Utility Pricing For Single Room—AUS$200 to AUS$300 For Double/Shared Room — AUS$150 to AUS$200 Studio — AUS$235 to AUS$350 Popular Apartments (links here are clickable) Park Lane House_: _AUS$160 - AUS$235 Burwood House_: _AUS$171 Greenwood House_: _AUS$176 - AUS$245 Federation House_: _AUS$150 - AUS$240
  2. Hello everyone! My girlfriend and I have been together since the start of 2012, just past our 3rd anniversary recently. We both are currently studying and will be finished with classes by the end of this year. I'm an Australian resident and citizen by birth and my girlfriend is an international student from Chennai, India. She studies in visual media and has/is putting such immense amounts of effort in to further educating and refining her skills in the area to hopefully get employment here in Australia, however the industry is heavily contract bound meaning a full time secure position may be quite difficult. We have both discussed partner visas and the prospect of marriage without any indication of being uncomfortable about it; we want to remain together in Australia. The idea of a partner visa brings to mind more security in remaining together, a work visa could be based upon contract and if work dries up, then so does her visa. We are both mid 20's and do not have the ability to live together because of the expensive cost of living, and the price of university (once out of uni we will be living together ASAP). However we do spend lots of time together at each other’s house. I’m currently living with my parents, and she is currently sharing a house with a roommate. Not living together also makes a partner visa seem impossible, we want to live together, and have briefly during stints where i have house sat for family friends. I have looked online and tried to get my head around the whole thing but it’s so confusing and beurocratically depressing. Giving proof of our relationship is more than easy due to friends, family, documents and messages. We have thought recently of registering our relationship in hope if we go down the path of a partner visa, it would give a lot greater of a chance. However just like everything else it costs insane amount of money and is just as beurocratic as visas. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for us on what we can do, if there is anything we can do. We don’t want to break up because of ridiculous government legislation and rules. Thank you for taking the time to read my case, any help is much appreciated! Lucas
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