Melbourne Student Survival Guide: Food, Jobs, Studying, Transport & More | University College

Melbourne student survival guide

Melbourne is the perfect place to study and live for students. There’s such a variety of cultures and heaps of restaurants, cafes and places to work, study and connect with friends. To get the most of your student experience we have collated a student survival guide for you!

Food and Drink 

Coffee! The staple to every student’s morning, and the biggest provider of energy and motivation. Melbourne’s culture is fuelled by coffee. It is hard to go down a street and not find a café. University College is situated near Lygon Street, the home of many of the best cafes in Melbourne. Our student favourites are Aperitivo where students can grab a large coffee for $3, in comparison to the $5 you would pay everywhere else. 

If you are after the Melbourne café experience Heart Attack and Vine is your place, with a moody aesthetic, and lovely pastries and panini for breakfast or lunch. The University of Melbourne also has heaps of cafes on campus. Standing Room is located right next to the design library and makes excellent coffee and pastries for a snack to get you through that three-hour lecture. Axil coffee roasters is located conveniently close to UC and is on the way to the commerce building, making it an ideal pit stop.

Lygon Street is a must visit if you like Italian food – it’s not called Melbourne’s Little Italy for nothing. One of our student favourites is The Heart of Carlton, which offers the best cheap meals. Here you can get pasta, soup and baguettes for only $5, and their cosy little shop also sells beautiful flowers to jazz up your room. For a night out, we recommend Johnny’s Green Room, a rooftop bar overlooking the city, with cocktails and $10 pizzas on a Monday night. 

However, Tiamo takes the cake for the best restaurant on Lygon. It is one of the oldest restaurants on the street, with superb pizza, pasta and salads and all for a decent price, this is the best place for lunch or dinner with parents and friends.

Finding a Job

UC’s convenient location makes it ideal for finding a job at a restaurant, bar, or boutique. Places like The Cornish Arms in Brunswick are great for student jobs. The Cornish is on the number 19 tram line that runs past College, and many UC students already work there, so it is safe and easy to get home after a shift. There are also heaps of cafes in the area, so if you fancy yourself as a barista, you will easily be able to find employment.

We are also positioned right near the CBD, where there are lots of stores and fashion boutiques looking for workers. With more flexible hours during the day, retail is a great industry for students.


Studying can also offer a great way to link up with friends. Melbourne university students have access to many different libraries such as the Baillieu, the design library and the electronic resource centre, which is open until 12am. All of these have collaborative working spaces as well as quiet areas to focus on those university assignments. 

The State Library, located in the CBD, is also a beautiful place to study. The ambience of studying makes it impossible not to focus here, and there are many great cafes nearby.  

There is also a library on the University College campus, which is open 24/7 if you want to study closer to home. There is no need to buy university textbooks, as the University of Melbourne library has all of them available for free online, and UC stocks hard copies of most core textbooks. You can also download all Microsoft programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel via your university account.

Public Transport 

Living at UC is super convenient because we are the closest college to the number 19 tram line, which takes you straight into the city (where travel is free). The 19 will also get you to Brunswick’s shopping street, where you’ll find Barkly Square Shopping Centre.

Student Discounts

Yo-chi, arguably the best frozen yogurt in Melbourne, has the occasional student deal. During certain weeks each university has a day where their students can get a free yogurt. You need to keep an eye on the Instagram page to stay updated.

Our favourite drinking hole is The Shaw Davy (aka Slums), where you can get $5 drinks on a Wednesday night. It’s our regular place to hang out with friends and interact with people from the other colleges. 

Cinema Nova, located in Lygon Court, also does $10 movies on a Monday night, which is a great way to catch up on new and old blockbusters, and unwind from studying.

Melbourne residential college students also get the University of Melbourne gym membership included in their fees, however if you prefer to exercise at home, UC has its own gym with a cardio and weights room. UC is also right next to Princess Park, where students love to go for a run or to kick the footy.


The University of Melbourne offers a free health service for its students, located in Cardigan Street. Here you can book an appointment with a variety of GP’s who can help you with anything from women’s and sexual health to mental health and vaccinations. The caring and understanding community, specifically designed for student needs, means you are in safe hands. UC also has its own Student Wellbeing Coordinator on site, who you can book an appointment with to talk through any mental health concerns.