Culture card gives overseas students a key to Melbourne city

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Melbourne, May 25 (ANI): Victoria's 165,000 international students are set for a cultural boost thanks to a new card designed to enhance their way of life while studying down under.

The Culture Card - launched today by Skills and Workforce Participation Minister Bronwyn Pike, Committee for Melbourne CEO Andrew MacLeod and North Melbourne Football Club Captain Drew Petrie - will give international students living in Victoria a virtual key to some of the state's best attractions.

Speaking at the National Sports Museum at the MCG, Ms Pike said the Culture Card would ensure international students get the best from their study experience in Victoria.

"The Culture Card will be available free to every international student living in Victoria," she said.

"The card will help students get a better understanding of Victoria's culture, our obsession with sport and food, and our interests in zoos, parks and gardens.

"Some of Victoria's best organisations will provide Culture Card holders with great offers, including the AFL, Cricket Victoria, Melbourne Cricket Club, Museums Victoria, Zoos Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens, the Arts Centre, Melbourne Aquarium and the Shrine of Remembrance.

"One of the upcoming events is a behind-the-scenes tour at the MCG where students will visit the player's rooms and walk onto the hallowed turf for a handball clinic.

"There are also tours of the Queen Victoria Market and the Melbourne Golden Mile."

Ms Pike said the Culture Card was part of the Brumby Labor Government's plan to ensure international students get a warm welcome when they arrive in Victoria. "That's why in September last year we launched the $14 million Thinking Global - Victoria's Action Plan for International Education," she said.

"Through this we have launched the Student Welcome Desk at Melbourne International Airport, the Study Melbourne website and the 24-hour International Student Care Service in Carlton', Ms Pike said. "Combined with the Culture Card, we now have a suite of services that are providing international students with the support, information and assistance they need."

Mr MacLeod said Culture Cards would be distributed through universities and education providers when international students first arrived in Melbourne.

"The Brumby Government provided $100,000 through the Thinking Global Action Plan to the Committee for Melbourne to deliver the Culture Card," he said. "The card is a great example of government and community working together to deliver a program that will ensure international students get the best from studying in Victoria."

From today, students can register online for a Culture Card and keep up to date with offers at www.culturecardvictoria.com.au (ANI)

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