International students at Victoria University are being encouraged to explore the best of Melbourne’s west, thanks to a new initiative launched by Western Melbourne Tourism in partnership with Get Lost Travel Group and Victoria University.

    Called ‘Hanging Local’ the program is designed to get international students at Victoria University out and about exploring their local neighbourhoods, making new friends and feeling more at home in Melbourne’s west.

    According to Richard Ponsford, Executive Officer from Western Melbourne Tourism, the collaborative project aims to broaden participants’ knowledge of local attractions across Melbourne’s west, in turn helping to generate greater travel dispersal within the region.

    “The Hanging Local program invites international students to get out and about exploring the wealth of tourism attractions, activities and amazing food experiences in Melbourne’s west via a selection of curated small group tours.”

    “They can then share their new-found knowledge with the broader student population, as well as with family and friends who visit throughout the year, ensuring the broader Melbourne’s west area is at the top of their must-visit list,” said Richard.

    Participants will visit sites and attractions such as Organ Pipes National Park, Williamstown Botanic Garden, iFly at Essendon Fields, the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre, Footscray Market, Werribee Open Range Zoo and the Victoria State Rose Garden.

    The program incorporates a mix of immersive experiences ranging from an Aussie Rules clinic with the Western Bulldogs, a Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Water Safety program, nature walks and picnics, conservation tours and photography workshops. Evening events and food and bar hops with other local students are also planned.

    Supported by Study Melbourne’s International Welfare Program, a Victorian Government initiative, Hanging Local kicks off in late-February to coincide with the start of the new university year.

    International VU students can choose from a selection of specially curated and subsidised group tours, which can be viewed at

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