Each Australian city has something different to offer travelers and especially students thinking about studying abroad. All major cities are located on the coast, but they all have different climates to consider. First, check to see what Australian universities may have partnerships with your school. Then think about what type of atmosphere you like to find the best Australian city for your study abroad experience. Cost of living is similar throughout the country, so if housing isn’t provided in your program, expect to pay at least $700 per month for rent in addition to your program fees.
Australia at a Glance
Domestic Population: 23,581,400 (2014)
Capital City: Canberra
Official Language: English
Currency: Australian Dollar
Area: 7,692,024 sq. km
Sydney is a popular choice when it comes to studying abroad because it has the most famous attractions in the country, like the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. There’s a thriving student scene at University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney, University of New South Wales and Macquarie University.
Sydney is also well located in relation to the rest of the country, with Canberra three hours away, the Blue Mountains less than two and Newcastle one hour away. You can also find cheap flights to Melbourne and beyond. Sydney is also home to big events like the Sydney Writer’s Festival, Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Sculpture By the Sea and Vivid Festival. Students can also enjoy the nightlife of Kings Cross and Darling Harbour when they need a break from classwork.
Rivaling Melbourne is known as Australia’s cultural capital, with iconic laneways and its trams cutting through the city center. Deakin University, Monash University, RMIT University, University of Melbourne and Victoria University are just a few of the schools that call the city home.
The city is very walkable and is known for having the best coffee anywhere. AFL is a sport bordering on a religion and the weather is fickle to the point of the saying “four seasons in a day.” Students can check out free museums like the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the National Gallery of Victoria or the State Library of Victoria. You’re also well located to some of the best wine regions in the country and the stunning Great Ocean Road.
The mining boom in the last few years has increased the cost of living in Perth, but the Western Australian capital is a unique place to study abroad. University of Western Australia, Curtin University of Technology, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and University of Notre Dame Australia are all based in Perth.
The city receives 8 hours of sun per day and has Indian Ocean beaches. And while Perth is very remote in terms of distance from other Australian destinations, it’s also near the Swan and Margaret River wineries. The region also boasts some of the best scuba diving and surfing in the world.
Known for sun and fun, the Gold Coast is another top choice for studying abroad, particularly in Surfers Paradise. Bond University, Griffith University, Southern Cross University are all based in the area and the nightclub scene keeps students happy. It’s located between the ocean and the river, so you’re never far away from water.
The Gold Coast is in Southern Queensland, halfway up the East Coast. It’s a great jumping off point for travels further north to Brisbane, Cairns and Cape Tribulation, or south to Byron Bay and Sydney.
As Queensland’s largest city, Brisbane has both the coastal location and the city lifestyle. While it doesn’t have a beach, you can hang out at Streets Beach on the river for a similar experience. University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and James Cook University all offer courses for students studying abroad.
Make a day trip to the Australia Zoo to learn about the country’s wildlife or check out the Queensland Art Gallery’s exhibits. You can party the night away in Fortitude Valley or learn about the history of Australia’s most famous beer at the XXXX Brewery.
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