A taste of global culture
Australia’s most accessible multiculturalism has been captured in a big city which retains that “small-city feel”. Four main waves of migration have created a diversity where 140 nations live side by side. Hosting over a million international visitors each year, Melbourne is well placed as an international city. Melbourne’s leading educational institutions attract students from all over the world. Almost 55 per cent of students living and studying in the city are international students and almost 41 per cent of the inner city population was born outside of Australia. As a result international students will not feel out of place as visiting scholars. The Australian Government and many academic institutions provide scholarships and programs which are designed to enhance dialogue, cooperation and mutual respect and understanding between Australia and the international community.
The cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne is known for its art, music, cuisine, fashion, performance, design and creative ideas. Indeed the city is home to countless art galleries, museums, libraries, theatres, musical performances and live gigs. Coincidentally, Melbourne was the second city after Edinburgh to be named a UNESCO City of Literature. Within a student exchange program you also gain many opportunities to enjoy cultural experiences outside of the classroom. Evenings out, exploring a wide range of nightspots, up flights of stairs, down graffiti covered laneways, on rooftops or in an orchestra pit; you will never be short of options for a new cultural experience.
Heritage and cityscape
While the Melbourne of today presents a sense of community which respects diversity and change, the city still holds a reverence for its unique character and heritage. This is clearly reflected in the high levels of heritage protection dedicated towards ornate Victorian-era, Euro-style architecture. Heritage also protects the older carriages which make up the Melbourne’s iconic tram network. Contrasting with the vast 471 hectares of leafy green parkland throughout Melbourne, are the narrow winding labyrinthine laneways which sprawl away from the bustling corporate city centre. Laneway and café culture are also characteristic of the unique atmosphere found within Melbourne.
In welcoming you to Melbourne, it is important to also respectfully acknowledge the heritage of the land and its rightful ownership. The city is actually built on the traditional land of the Kulin Nation more commonly known by its European name “Melbourne”. The land has in the past been an important meeting place and location for events of social and cultural significance for the many traditional Indigenous Australian tribes which make up the Kulin Nation. The City of Melbourne respects this unique historical and cultural heritage and collaborates with its Indigenous community in the development of many strategies to support and expand Indigenous culture throughout Melbourne and beyond.
Combining the modern, international, cultural, heritage and indigenous aspects of Melbourne, we hope that international students will find it to be a welcoming, globally cultured and thought provoking city.
Article from Nicholas Metherall,
currently studying International Relations at LaTrobe University, Melbourne
 ^ "Cities Appointed to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network". UNESCO. Retrieved 4 August 2010.