Centre Place in Melbourne
Centre Place in Melbourne
Centre Place in Melbourne

Pros and Cons of Living in Melbourne

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Melbourne, Australia.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Melbourne?

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Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Melbourne responded:

"This city is a highly developed financial city with a high level of education, convenient transportation and a high quality of life.Healthcare and banking are well developed.Elegant environment, suitable for tourism," remarked another expat in Melbourne.

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What do expats in Melbourne appreciate most about the local culture?

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"The Australians I know have strong ties with family and friends, that's a great thing. I also like how Melbourne is a very multicultural and therefore colourful city. I love the parks here, and the surrounding countryside. Even though I've had trouble making proper friends, many Australians have still made a real effort into making sure I am invited along to things, which has helped in making me feel more welcome," said another expat in Melbourne.

What do expats find most challenging?

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"Superficiality, materialism, ignorance. Particularly young people = self-involved," remarked another expat in Melbourne.

"There's a very strong and quite patriotic culture here and an obsession with watching football. I battle with the culture of 'rules and regulations', especially as a migrant who has to comply with all sorts of silly things (that cost a lot of money). It seems that these aren't really questioned, nor the amount of money that it costs to do certain things here for anyone, almost like they were a self-explanatory given. Market thinking has never come natural to me, but it's definitely strong here. My impression is that Melbourne is very 'work and play' oriented, something that for me is a real challenge as it's just not how I approach life. The biggest challenge has been in meeting people. To me it seems like a lot of things aren't spoken about (often? with people you don't know so well?), primarily feelings and difficulties or opinions on culture/politics. I've felt pretty rejected here as the Australians I have met so far have expressed very little interest in me as a person and my background, and instead seem to expect me to just fit into their Aussie lifestyle like my life has just begun here. The friendships I have here are still very much functional and centred around practical things like talking about jobs and what each of us is doing at the moment. I feel extremely lonely here with that, and like I have had next to no 'real' conversations in the year I've been here. The beginning was the toughest as I felt that people around me that I met here simply weren't interested in my difficulties in settling here. I felt so utterly alone and like people experienced me as a burden if I wasn't just happy and excited to be here and getting on with things from day one. It's not that I don't like people here, I think it's just a way of thinking and communicating that I can't seem to find my way into," explained one expat living in Melbourne.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Centre Place in Melbourne
William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Melbourne, AustraliaGuide to Living in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Melbourne

Australia Forum Australia Forum
Join our Australia forum to meet other people living in Melbourne, Australia.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Melbourne.

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Information about healthcare and hospitals in Australia.

Melbourne, AustraliaMoving to Melbourne, Australia

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Melbourne: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Melbourne, AustraliaPros and Cons of Living in Melbourne, Australia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Melbourne, Australia.

Real Estate MelbourneHomes for Sale & Apartments for Rent in Melbourne

Real estate listings in Melbourne.

Melbourne, AustraliaExpats Talk about Living in Melbourne

Expats share their experiences living in Melbourne, Australia and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

Expat Report: Culture Shock in Melbourne

An Austrian who moved to Australia shares her experiences with culture shock. Unfortunately, she hasn't grown to love life in Australia and finds younger locals superficial and self involved.

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