Living in Melbourne

Melbourne is a world-renowned cultural, artistic, financial and communications centre served by an international airport, a cargo and passenger seaport, and rail links to neighbouring States. Melbourne is also the shopping capital of Australia and offers some of Australia’s biggest shopping complexes as well as sophisticated, exclusive boutiques and a host of lively and popular markets and has been voted the “world’s second most liveable” city in the world. The city centre features are:

  • Melbourne star
  • Eureka sky deck
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Crown Casino
  • Saint Kilda beach
  • Theatres, galleries, cinemas, shopping centres, theme parks, libraries and arts centres

Living Costs

  • The cost of living in Melbourne varies depending on your lifestyle.
  • We estimate that students should budget for approximately $13,000 – $15,000 per year for living expenses, excluding tuition fees. This covers accommodation, food, and transport but does not allow for luxuries, entertainment, or a car.
  • Theatres, galleries, cinemas, shopping centres, theme parks, libraries and arts centres

Work while studying

Work while you study Australian Immigration laws allow students to work for a limited number of hours while studying on a student visa in Australia. Students can currently work 40 hours per fortnight during the College’s study periods and work full-time during breaks. However, work is not always easy to find and under no circumstances can students rely on income earned in Australia to pay tuition fees.  For more information, please visit

Rates of Pay

The rates of pay vary from place to place. You could expect, for the above jobs, to receive anywhere from A$12 – A$20 per hour. Most of the above jobs are easy to come by and do not always require a high level of English. However, there may be downsides such as:

  • Rate of pay may be less than for a native speaker
  • Student visa regulations (full-time study and maximum hours work, per week)
  • You can only work outside school hours and on weekends

Tax File Number (TFN)

Once you have work rights (or Working Holiday Maker Visa) you can then start looking for a job. You will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) for taxation purposes. If you start work before you get your TFN, you have 28 days to provide your TFN to your employer.

How to apply for a Tax File Number

Apply online here: TFN application form and follow instructions.

Alternatively, you can visit the Australian Taxation Office. Call 13 28 61 to make an appointment.

* If you do not have a Tax File Number, you may have more tax withheld than necessary.

When you stop work, ask your employer for a payment summary (total income/tax withheld), as you will need this payment summary to complete your tax return. You must lodge a tax return before you leave Australia.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

Address:    100 Market Street (Centrepoint Tower), City

Enquiry Line:       132 861

Open:        Monday – Friday

Hours:       8:30am – 4:30pm