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A guide to Melbourne’s suburbs for the newly arrived international student

NEW to Melbourne and wonder what the city has in store for those consumed by wanderlust? Here’s a little guide from Trinity College Foundation Studies students Alvianty Sumantri, Darshan Bhambhani and Nam King Heang.

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Melbourne is so much more than the CBD and for a majority of newly arrived international students who reside within the city, part of the fun of discovering a new city is seeing what wonders lie within the suburbs surrounding the city.

Each suburb has its own unique qualities that make it different from the rest so for first-time international students who want to get a head-start on exploring, here’s what you can expect from just a small handful of Melbourne’s iconic suburbs.

St Kilda

Located in Melbourne’s south-east, St Kilda is only a half-hour tram ride away from the city. The beachy suburb is a great place for a short getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

St Kilda is especially scenic during the summer as its beautiful beach will have you know, and its famous Luna Park – an amusement park with a storied history in Melbourne – is also a great place to go for a ride.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even go skydiving (prices are, understandably, quite pricey but this is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime chance)!

Once you’re done with the outdoors fun, take a walk along Acland St and settle into a nice cafe or restaurant to dine on some great food and desserts!

South Yarra

Image supplied by TCFS students.

Toorak Rd at the magic hour… | Image supplied by TCFS students.

There are plenty of places to shop in Melbourne but why do it in a shopping mall when you can do it all along Chapel St?

South Yarra’s famous street is known as a haven for those looking for designer items to wear. If you’re into sneakers and hip-hop fashion, check out Fly Kicks, or if you’re into something more sophisticated, there’s the Country Road on the corner of Chapel St and Toorak Rd. These are but two choices among many, so do walk up and along the Chapel to find new brands and designers that you wanna sport!

Prahran Market and the Chapel St Bazaar are also interesting places to spend time in – the market offers plenty in the way of gourmet food and fresh produce while the bazaar’s fascinating worlds of hand-made goods and pre-loved items will have you in vintage heaven.

The suburb is super easy to reach. Literally just catch a train from the city that’s heading to South Yarra station and you’re all set!

Richmond

What’s interesting about Richmond is that it’s split into two distinct areas. There’s the Victoria St end which consists of mostly Asian eateries and grocers while down towards Bridge Rd and Swan St you’ll find some of the more Australian locales.

If you’re into having a Vietnamese, Chinese or Korean dining experience, there’s plenty to choose from in Richmond’s Victoria St. Recommendations include the famous I Love Pho, Minh Tan 2 and Seoul Soul. For brunches, head out to Top Paddock, Union Dining, The Bridge Hotel, Public House or Amsterdam Cafe.

If you want to discover new tunes, Richmond’s iconic Corner Hotel is home to some awesome bands, local and international, who play almost every night.

Finally there’s the IKEA at Victoria Gardens which will no doubt satisfy students looking for affordable furnishings to adorn their home. It’s also a nice place to just kill time given how big it is.

Students can reach Richmond via tram along the 109 or 12. Alternatively, you can take a train to either Richmond Station or North Richmond Station as well (note that North Richmond Station is closer to Victoria St while Richmond Station is closer to Swan St).

Footscray

Image supplied by TCFS students.

Bike along Maribyrnong river in Footscray. | Image supplied by TCFS students.

For a true sense of Australia’s multicultural environment, look no further than Footscray. With various communities of people residing in the suburb, this culturally diverse suburb isn’t so far away from the city and is full of beautiful sceneries.

Footscray Market offers plenty of seafood and colourful vegetables for those looking for some fresh produce. Stores selling ingredients for Indian, Vietnamese and Western cuisines can also be found here.

Footscray Park is a nice place to rest and relax as well – take a walk or ride a bike alongside the beautiful Maribyrnong River if you have the time. Otherwise, if you’re not into getting a bit of exercise perhaps visit the astounding Heavenly Queen Temple where you can light an incense and make a wish to the huge statue to the Heavenly Queen (also known as ‘Mazu’, Lin Mo Liang) before you leave.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via meld@meldmagazine.com.au.

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  1. Darshan I’m so proud

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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