"I’ve travelled a lot and experienced many cities and I believe Melbourne is the best. I grew up in France and my family aren’t happy that I live so far away from them and I think happiness is the most important thing.

My brother lives in New Zealand and living away from France is a choice and opportunity for both of us. I have always tried to find new experiences.

I moved here five years ago, travelled around Australia for a while and at the end of the trip settled in Melbourne. I thought it was the happiest, most vibrant place, and had the most opportunity and international people of the cities I’d visited. You can travel all round the world without leaving the city as each suburb has its own community.

I started studying a Bachelor in Digital and Social Media at Collarts two years ago. Unfortunately it was during the pandemic so it was harsh. I worked as an Uber delivery driver so I still got to go out and get fresh air when many people had to stay at home. It was like a face-to-face date with the city."

"Melbourne has amazing people and cultural activities, which is important to me when I go out with friends. There’s always activities and new things to do. The CBD is a great central point and hub. The lifestyle is so convenient for studying and getting around without a car, so I thought if I can afford to live here then I should. I have rented an apartment opposite Southern Cross Station for two years, and before that I was in Southbank.

After my under-graduate degree I moved to Marseilles, in the south of France and worked as a communications manager for several brands for four years, but I got bored. Marseilles is a very diverse and cosmopolitan city, due to the many migrants who came in through the port but there is tension with the migrant communities. I don’t get that feeling in Melbourne – here everyone can live together.

I completed my studies in Australia in April and have been looking for work in my field but it's been difficult. I think because of the requirements of my visa it’s not that easy so I was supervising cleaning teams at CBD offices for a while. Recently, I was offered a job as a digital communications advisor.

I became a City of Melbourne My Melbourne student ambassador in November. Before that I participated in The Couch international student centre. This place is important for international students who feel alone and isolated, to escape study and meet new people. Some of the people I met have become close friends. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to help people and offer guidance as an ambassador - I wish I had someone helping me when I first moved here.

I still enjoy travelling in Australia. I’ve been to the Grampians and even experienced skiing in Australia, which is obviously very different to France. I went with people from Thailand who had never seen snow before and it was fun to share that moment with them.

A lot of people ask where they can get French food in the city. I tell them to go to my favourite French crepe restaurant, Roule Galette in Flinders Lane. This restaurant is very authentic for me and you get an 100 per cent French street food experience, and it’s good value.

I’m very passionate about Melbourne and finding new places and corners. The city is very alive."

Christopher Alory

International student program

The City of Melbourne welcomes students from all over the world to Melbourne to study. We provide a range of programs, events and support for international students.

The Couch - International Student Centre is dedicated to providing international students with a safe place to make friends, learn new skills, have fun, access free cooked meals, give back through volunteering, and connect with the local community through events and activities.

The Couch is an initiative of the City of Melbourne and the Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614 - find it at 69 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000.

Head to our international student page for more.