City of Melbourne prepares to welcome international students back

Kaylah Joelle Baker

The City of Melbourne is preparing a multitude of activities to help ease the transition for international students ahead of O’Week, with this year marking a 33 per cent increase on student numbers seen last year.

More than 104,000 international students have chosen Victoria for their studies this year, with students from India making up the largest cohort, followed by students from China.

Melbourne is renowned for its student population, and it has been a hard task to reach pre-pandemic numbers, but already the city has seen a rise in pedestrian activity around city universities, and a 60 per cent increase in average weekday activity compared to last year.

It is for this reason that the council is ensuring the return for students is a welcoming one.

“As international students return to our shores, we want them to feel supported and appreciated, with a Melbourne experience that is overwhelmingly positive,” the council’s education and innovation portfolio lead Councillor Davydd Griffiths said.

“We're proud to work closely with our international student community to make them feel at home, showing them everything our great city has to offer, from our world-class restaurants to our spectacular events.”


To maintain our status as Australia’s number one student city, we must continue to explore new activities and advocacy work which improves the experience for all students.


The list of activities include:

  • The My Melbourne program – free tickets to iconic Melbourne events, such as the Moomba Festival, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, and the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
  • The Lord Mayor’s Student Welcome at the Queen Victoria Market’s Summer Night Market.
  • A speed-friendship session as part of Melbourne Conversations.
  • O-Week stalls, with councillors in attendance, at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne.
  • Melbourne International Student Conference in partnership with Meld Community.
  • Employment seminars and health and wellbeing sessions at The Couch International Student Centre.

Shortly after CBD News published its March edition, councillors were due to consider a report regarding the council’s “2023 priorities” for “making Melbourne the world’s best city for student experience” at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 21.

“Prior to the pandemic, more than 150,000 international students lived in Victoria, contributing $13.7 billion a year to the state’s economy. We're determined to get back to those levels by making Melbourne the world’s best city for student experience,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

“International students are part of the lifeblood of Melbourne, adding significantly to our city’s cultural vibrancy and atmosphere.”

“We know their strong return will also have significant economic benefits – creating jobs and driving up spending at city businesses.” 

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