Australia’s second-largest city is a bustling swirl of skyscrapers, enchanting laneways, historic monuments and culture. Nature is just a step away with St. Kilda Beach, the Great Ocean Road and Grampians Mountain range all nearby. Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria in the Southeast of the country.
Sydney may have the bigger name, but don’t tell Melbournians that; they’ll be quick to let you know that their city, the original capital of Australia, is friendlier and has a more robust cultural scene.
With outstanding infrastructure, education, culture, environment, healthcare and stability, it comes as no surprise Melbourne is often ranked at the top of the most livable cities in the world. (The Economist Intelligence Unit)
With 150 biotechnology companies, 13 medical research institutions and nine universities, Melbourne is the leader of Australia’s biotechnology sector. Topics being researched in Melbourne are wide-ranging from medicinal discovery and pharmaceutical manufacturing, to environmental conservation and agriculture studies, to developing and testing new communications and computer technologies. Interns in biotechnology provide scientific and technical support to exciting research projects.
The information technology sector is quite large in Melbourne. In fact, 31% of all information, communication and technology jobs in Australia are based here. Historically, Melbourne has long been the scene for important technological developments. The top-level country code .au was invented here and Melbourne IT, a global leader in domain name registration services was also founded in Melbourne. IT internships in Melbourne encompass fields including telecommunications, computer software engineering, internet consulting and computer maintenance.
With nearly two million international tourists visiting annually, tourists spend around 19.2 AUS billion in the city. In addition to cultural sights, museums and nature, the city also hosts the Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Open, drawing in sports fans from around the world. Interns in the tourism industry are needed to support a wide variety of fields, including marketing, the hotel business, event management and more.
The spirit of Melbourne is distinctive, with outdoor graffiti galleries, funky laneways and a robust art scene. Indeed, Melbourne is a highly creative city, and many of the country’s architectural, fashion design, graphic design and multimedia firms are based here. There are more than 4,000 design consultancies in the city, and many seek interns to help with production and creation.
Melbourne is Australia's fashion capital. The city is home to many designers who create a variety of fashions from street wear and catwalk clothing designs to unique jewelry and footware.The city is also host to Melbourne Spring Fashion Week which draws designers from around the world. Interns in the fashion industry are needed to help produce fashion events as well as aid in the fashion design process.
Melbourne is Australia's second-largest city, and that means its home to a large collection of public relations firms that represent the country's top businesses and brands. Many of the city's PR firms also service top Fortune 500 and global companies. Interns in public relations can gain experience writing press releases, pitching story ideas to media contacts and producing social media content.
Planning Your Trip
Are you ready for Melbourne? There may be some logistical concerns you hadn't thought to address.
When and Where to Look for an Internship
Internships are available in Melbourne throughout the year. The city is home to nine universities, and internships are often a part of the curriculum for many students. Therefore, many local businesses are familiar with and eager to have interns and offer semester-long or summer internships.
Even so, it's best to start applying at least three months before you plan on starting your internship. We also recommend applying for your working holiday visa as soon as possible -- fortunately, you can apply for your visa before you get the internship, so try and get a head start.
If you're going through an internship program provider, they'll help you with the logistics of getting a visa (emphasis on help, not give) and with an internship placement in Melbourne. Decide early on if you want to go this route so you can plan accordingly.
Visas for Interning in Melbourne
Visitors who wish to intern in Australia will need to obtain an Australian Working Holiday Visa. This visa allows young people to work and travel in Australia for up to one year. A student visa will also allow you to do an unpaid internship. To apply for this visa, visit the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Cost of Living in Melbourne
While Melbourne may be one of the most livable cities in the world, it is also one of the most expensive. Most local students chose to live at home while studying at University, so dorms and housing placements are not very common. A one bedroom apartment in the city center will cost $1,640 a month, while an apartment in the suburbs will be nearly $1,300.
Prices for other basic living expenses are comparable to those in the United States. A local beer will cost you around $6 while a meal at an in-expensive restaurant will run $11. Many internships in Melbourne do offer stipends to help offset these costs. More information and details can be found at Numbeo.
Work Culture in Melbourne
- Etiquette: In Australia the workplace is fairly casual, however, structure and hierarchy are also important. Being friendly and down-to-earth with co-workers and business partners is valued in line with timely results. Aggressive behavior or bragging is frowned upon. Australians place great emphasis on work-life balance.
- Language: G’Day mate. How ya going? She’ll be right. English is the official language of Australia, however, with so many slang terms and euphamisms, at times listening to Australians speak can seem as if it is a foreign language. Australian co-workers may give you a hard time about not understanding the slang at first, but with a little research and practice, you’ll catch on quickly and be ready to grab your togs and head to the beach during the arvo with your new mates.
- Networking: In such casual work environments, networking is often an important, though informal process. Lunches, dinners and happy hour gatherings are a common way to build relationships with business contacts. Be sure to not come off as too aggressive during such occasions.
Work and Labor Laws in Melbourne
With an Australian Work and Holiday visa, you're eligible to stay in Australia for up to 12 months and work in Australia for up to six months with each employer. If you want to stay past your internship as a paid employee, you'll need your employer to sponsor you.