From famous brunch cafes to a world-class education, Melbourne has it all

By Tessa Shaw

What do students look for when seeking an international education? PhiRapatch (Pete) Palalikit shares his story as an international student from Thailand.


We live in an increasingly international world, one where we travel interstate for work, have colleagues from far-flung corners of the word, and social media makes it easy for us to discover the trendiest restaurants in Geneva, or where Momo is hiding. Continual discovery and successful learning of new ideas and concepts is beneficial to developing life skills, and businesses are increasingly placing value in global ideas and employees who bring with them the competitive edge of an international experience.

It is little wonder then, that on top of seeking an education from the world’s top universities, students are now turning their attention overseas, in order to gain this international experience prior to commencing their careers.

Pete Palalikit from Thailand is one such student. After attending an international high school in Bangkok, he moved across the world to Canada to study a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He then joined The Neilson Company where he worked for two years before once again hopping on a plane, this time all the way to Melbourne, to pursue a Master of Management at Melbourne Business School (MBS).

“MBS is quite well-known around the world and is the number one business school in Australia,” Palalikit says. “And having actually now been a part of the school, I can see why.”

He then broke into a smile as he revealed another reason for choosing to come to Melbourne. “I also chose Melbourne because it is the most liveable city in the world and is famous for its amazing brunches, which I am a big fan of!”

Palalikit says he hopes to be able to harness the skills and concepts that have been taught through the Master of Management to eventually work for his family, and even lead it. He recognises that while it is important that businesses not only keep up with the times, but are able to think ahead of the curve. “I am confident that the Master of Management at MBS will further develop my business knowledge,” he says. "Combining my prior experience in marketing will be very useful in running the family business.”

“The University of Melbourne delivers a very solid education – our lecturers are very highly qualified, and as students, we are provided with lots of resources to enhance our learning, and the learning environment is extremely comfortable.”

One such resource that Palalikit tapped into was the work-integrated learning subject, the Melbourne Business Practicum. Together with three other students, he was placed in Heuristics Investment Systems, a boutique fin-tech company, which sells investment software to super-funds and larger investment institutions to assist with financial decision-making.

“We were asked to study the feasibility of developing and selling robo-advisory software that is able to take into consideration an investor’s degree of risk aversion to then help with deciding on which stocks and bonds to invest in,” Palalikit explains. “To do this, we had two weeks to build a version of the software, run the feasibility test, and identify potential end-users for the Heuristics Investment Systems.”

Another benefit of studying at MBS, Palalikit has since also discovered, like many of his fellow students, is being part of the cohort itself. “The connection that you get as you encounter people from different walks of life and from all over the world is truly one-of-a-kind,” Palalikit says.

Palalikit is now a firm believer in learning from his peers, and says he is pleasantly surprised by how much he has been able to do so here at MBS. “When I first arrived, I thought that the learning experience would be very similar to my undergraduate education,” he shares. “In fact, there is so much more to learn at this level and because of the way we are taught here, learning is not limited to (what’s in) textbooks, but also from (interacting with) classmates and lecturers, who are all extremely knowledgeable.”

“There is so much that you can learn from people around you. I did not expect this – the experience I have had at MBS has been totally worth the move to Melbourne.” Pete Palalikit

Palalikit also says that as an international student, he feels very supported and welcome. “In particular, my classmates have been awesome. As locals they know all the best places to hang out in, they’ve taken me around to explore the city, to experience Melbourne the way locals do.”

Palalikit’s favourite things about Melbourne? He says:

  • The food! Due to the multicultural city, you will never miss your home food as it is likely that you will be able to find it here.
  • The culture here is rich and diverse; it is ideal for those who want to learn and meet people from all over the world. In addition, Melburnians are very approachable and interested in learning about other cultures.
  • Everyone here is friendly. In fact, when you ask for directions, you are also sometimes given advice on places of interest to visit if they realise you are from out of town!

Want to learn more?

Find out more about MBS Enrichment Programs.

We host a number of information session in Australia and around the world!

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