Victoria 101: Helping international students feel at home

The Andrews Labor Government is providing new support for international students to help them thrive in Victoria as student numbers continue to grow.

The Study Melbourne Inclusion Program is backing 15 projects to support student wellbeing and foster a strong connection to the community.

Melbourne Victory is partnering with the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association and the City of Melbourne to deliver the Student Football Club, a project that will recruit more than 150 international students to train and play.

Benefits will include building greater personal connections through club and competition and harnessing opportunities to practice language skills. Members of the Melbourne Victory Student Football Club will also develop skills and experience in club administration, boosting their employability.


Other successful projects under the Study Melbourne Inclusion Program include the development of a dedicated international student support service in Geelong, an art-inspired language exchange at the NGV and an awareness raising and training program focusing on international students’ work rights.

Since its inception in 2015, the program has funded 134 projects and supported more than 230,000 students while building the capacity for student associations and other organisations to better assist international students.

The program is a part of Victoria’s International Education Recovery Plan 2025, which is driving sustainable recovery and growth in international education and attracting more students to Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Melbourne has cemented its position as Australia’s best student city, ranked on affordability, quality of life, the standard of universities, diversity and desirability, and moved up one spot in the world rankings to fifth position.

International student numbers in Victoria have doubled since borders reopened in December 2021 and now total more than 140,000. International education is Victoria’s largest services export, and the sector plays an important role in the state’s economic growth and supporting local jobs.

ABF media

For more information about Study Melbourne Inclusion Programs for 2023, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Trade and Investment Tim Pallas

“We’re making sure our international students can make the personal and community connections that allow them to feel right at home in Victoria.”

“International students make a massive contribution to our community and economy and it’s fantastic to see their numbers continue to grow.”

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Sheena Watt

“Melbourne is such a vibrant multicultural place and it’s initiatives like the Student Football Club that allow students from around the world to immerse themselves in the community.”

Quote attributable to international student Sarah Karlik

“Soccer has connected me with friends all over the world. As an intentional student in Melbourne, my team welcomed me into a new community, helping to fully immerse myself into Melbourne culture.”


Source: Premier of Victoria

Also read: Stronger education, trade and tourism ties between Victoria and China


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