5 Free Things to do in Melbourne This Winter

Southbank in Melbourne at dusk.

Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia, has many fun and free activities for students – even during the cold winter months.

Don’t let the chilly weather dampen your spirits! Here are five fantastic free things to do in Melbourne this winter that will keep you entertained, warm, and inspired.

1. Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Spanning 94 acres, this urban oasis is home to an impressive collection of native and exotic plants. Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque landscapes, spot native wildlife and stop by the Shrine of Remembrance for an amazing view of the city. During winter, the gardens showcase their winter-flowering plants, offering a unique and colourful experience. Don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket and some warm beverages for a cosy outdoor experience.

2. Discover Street Art in Hosier Lane

Melbourne’s vibrant street art scene is internationally renowned, and Hosier Lane is the epicentre and must-see spot. This iconic laneway boasts ever-changing murals, graffiti, and street installations created by local and international artists. Stroll along the cobbled lane, marvel at the creativity, and capture Instagram-worthy photos. The dynamic and colourful atmosphere of Hosier Lane is an immersive cultural experience, all for free.

3. Visit the National Gallery of Victoria

Step into a world of art and culture at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Australia’s oldest and most visited art museum, the NGV showcases an impressive collection of local and international artworks. Wander through the wide-ranging galleries and admire renowned masterpieces, contemporary installations, and thought-provoking exhibitions. The NGV often hosts free exhibitions, talks, and workshops, offering visitors the opportunity to engage with art and culture without spending a cent. Warm up your winter days with a visit to this cultural gem.

4. Explore the State Library of Victoria

Escape the winter chill and dive into the rich history and knowledge housed within the State Library of Victoria. Admire the magnificent Victorian era architecture while browsing through its extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and historical artifacts. Join a free guided tour to learn fascinating stories about Melbourne’s past or spend time reading in the infamous domed reading room.

5. Wander Through Queen Victoria Market

Take a trip to the Queen Victoria Market, the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere. From fresh produce to clothing, jewellery, and crafts, this bustling market has something for everyone. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the aisles, sample delicious food, browse the stalls and experience the true essence of Melbourne’s cultural and culinary diversity.

Melbourne has a wealth of free activities to keep you entertained during the winter months. Whether you prefer exploring the city’s natural beauty, immersing yourself in art and culture, or indulging in the vibrant market atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. Make the most of your winter in Melbourne with these five fantastic free experiences that will leave you with lasting memories.

Your Working Rights as an International Student in Australia

Student walks in to class and with books and headphones on.

Moving to another country for study is an exciting opportunity to meet new people and experience new things, while investing in your future. Like domestic students, most international students will need to work in some capacity when they study to afford basic living costs.

If you are planning on coming to Australia for study, then it’s important to understand your working rights. Knowing what you’re entitled to makes life easier and leaves more time to enjoy everything our beautiful country has to offer.

To make your transition to a new country as smooth as possible; we have answered some common questions about student-life in Australia and provided some resources for anyone who is already working and studying here.

Why should you study in Australia?

There’s plenty of reasons we are a top destination for travellers, professionals and students.

Australia has leading educational institutions and anytime spent studying here is going to boost your resume and provide the best training possible. Our education providers also have lower tuition fees than other English-speaking countries like the US and UK.

Did you know that Melbourne has been voted one of the best student cities globally? It’s no surprise, Melbourne is a vibrant and multicultural city with endless cuisines to choose from, weekly cultural events and hundreds of different languages spoken.

Melbourne was voted one of the best student cities based on:

·        desirability by students

·        affordability

·        diversity

·        safety, and

·        employment opportunities after graduation

Working as an international student in Australia

From July 2023, student visa holders will be entitled to work up to 48 hours per fortnight or 24 hours per week, and during semester break students can work unlimited hours. This means you can work as much as you want during the break to compensate for the reduced hours during the semester!

Please note that international students already working in the aged care sector are exempt from the 48 hours per fortnight work limit until 31 December 2023.

Your working rights

In Australia, employers have the responsibility to treat international students fairly and pay them according to government standards. Regardless of your visa status, all workers in Australia have the same basic rights.

In most cases, employers and workplaces in Australia are relaxed and fun places to work. They treat their employees fairly, provide good pay and the opportunity to make friends.

Resources for international students

Due to Australia’s large student population, there are plenty of resources and support services in place for international student workers. If you are interested in Melbourne, read the Embracia handbook for international students, we answer common questions like where to live and how to find an Education Agent.

Did you know that skilled workers are needed for both the Aged Care and Childcare industry in Australia? Embracia Education offers accredited courses in Aged Care and Childcare that equip students with everything they need to secure employment after graduation. If you want to start a rewarding career in a new country, check out the courses we have starting soon.

Did you know that skilled workers are needed for both the Aged Care and Childcare industry in Australia? Embracia Education offers accredited courses in Aged Care and Childcare that equip students with everything they need to secure employment after graduation. If you want to start a rewarding career in a new country, check out the courses we have starting soon.

Student Story: Jocelyn Toma Cruz

Jocelyn student at Embracia Education

Embracia Education Student Jocelyn

We sat down with a former Embracia Education student to talk about her student journey and experience studying with us. Jocelyn agreed to share her story and we couldn’t be prouder of her success since moving to Australia for study.

Jocelyn has a background in healthcare and previously completed her Bachelor of Science (Nursing) in her home country. Jocelyn explains that despite having a university degree, it was still difficult to secure work in the Philippines.

“In 2010, there was an influx of nursing applicants, there was little opportunity in the Philippines, especially for those who just graduated. Because of this, I decided to move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to look for job opportunities. I worked as a sales associate for four years. Although the work is not in the nursing field, it gave me an opportunity to experience service delivery in a foreign country.”

Moving to the UAE was an important step for Jocelyn who describes herself as a passionate and adventurous person. She was able to gain important skills and insight into what living in another country was like. Jocelyn eventually returned home to pursue nursing and secured employment at a hospital in Laguna.

“After I finished my UAE work contract, I went back to the Philippines and pursued my Nursing profession. I worked in Global Care Medical Centre of Bay, one of the leading and technologically advanced hospitals in Laguna. I handled the medical records under the support services department for three years.”

This is when Jocelyn discovered her passion for aged care. She wanted to know more about a professional career in aged care and what health services the elderly needed most. In order to work in the industry, she decided to embark on another overseas adventure.

“When I was working in the hospital in my country, I saw a lot of elderly patients visit the hospital. Seeing them made me remember why I took up nursing. It restored a lot of my drive and passion and made me realise I wanted to learn more about aged care.”

Jocelyn researched aged care in Australia and then contacted an education agent about where to study in Melbourne. Education agents help international students find the right education provider before they move to Australia. Agents are a free service that provide expert knowledge, assist with visa applications and offer advice on the best option for you.

“My agent gave me three providers to choose from, I researched all of them. Embracia Education was my first choice because they have their own facility. I thought that would help a lot with my studies and enhance my skills.  I started the course online in February 2021. I was granted a student visa in April 2022 and arrived in Australia on May 17, 2022.”

After Jocelyn arrived in Australia, she had already completed some learning units online and commenced her placement at an Embracia home. This was the perfect opportunity to apply her new knowledge and get hands on experience. Her Trainer also worked in this Embracia home and provided extra support during the placement.

“The quality of Embracia Education is very good because they have their own homes that further shape your learning. The staff in management, the other carers and especially my assessor were so supportive. You understand the importance of taking care of the elderly.”

Jocelyn graduated from Embracia Education in late 2022 with a Certificate IV in Ageing Support. She looks forward to continuing her studies in aged care and is currently enrolled in a Certificate III in Pathology Collection. If all goes to plan, she hopes to complete a Diploma of Nursing and become an Enrolled Nurse.

“I am looking forward to achieving my goals and I’m very much eager to continue my study in Australia and complete a Diploma in Nursing to become an Enrolled Nurse. My favourite part about working in aged care is when you help residents with tasks or when they want someone to listen to their stories and thoughts to reduce the stress they feel.”

Lilian is our lead educator for aged care courses and had the pleasure of teaching Jocelyn. Lilian also recommended her for a job position at the Embracia Moonee Valley home while she was studying. Lilian continues to support Jocelyn in her studies and career at the Moonee Valley home. She has this to say,

“Despite the challenges of Covid-19, this did not deter Jocelyn as she committed to all her study requirements. I was impressed with her work ethic; she is a very hardworking student. She was doing her course on top of her full-time work in the hospital medical records department. We saw a bright future for her and employed her as an unqualified assistant shortly upon arrival.  She is a valuable staff member and she has proved us right. I advised her to continue with further studies as I can see a great future ahead for her.”

If you are interested in starting a career in aged care, you can find information on the courses we offer here.