According to predictions by the International Education Advisory Council, the number of international students choosing to study in Australia will rise a further 30 percent by 2020. The attraction is easy to comprehend due to the high quality of our tertiary education institutions and multicultural community. Affordability is a stumbling block for many, but with universities located in all major cities and many regional locations, there are study lifestyle options to suit most budgets.
Many international students are familiar with our largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, but become discouraged when they find out about associated living and accommodation costs. International students want to experience the culture, explore their surroundings and enjoy social interaction, but many have little spare change after paying rent and commuting to university. Here are some Australian locations that offer the best the country has to offer, without breaking the bank.
Adelaide – the capital of South Australia
Adelaide is the cheapest of all Australian mainland state capitals to live in. Nestled on the coast with some amazing beaches, and close to Australia’s largest wine growing region, Adelaide is a hidden gem. Modern integrated transport systems link the entire city, and independent accommodation options and homestay opportunities abound. The University of Adelaide is among the top 1% of all universities, followed closely behind by the University of South Australia and Flinders University.
The Gold Coast
Situated on an expanse of glorious coastline only one hour south of Brisbane, the Gold Coast is an Australian growth hotspot. The area is hip and happening, with an abundance of cafes, bars, nightlife and expansive natural attractions in the nearby hinterland. Highly regarded university campuses have sprung up to cater to the needs of local and international students. Bond University, Griffith University and Southern Cross University are all well worth investigating.
Hobart – the capital of Tasmania
The natural beauty of Tasmania extends to Hobart and surrounds, with the relatively small population of just over 200,000 blending in as part of a natural wonderland. It’s also the cheapest of all Australian capital cities for students to live in. There is heritage and history here too, as Australia’s second oldest city, and the gleaming white sand on Tasmanian beaches is legendary. The University of Tasmania has proven itself as an international student destination, with one in five students coming from overseas.
Located just 80 km south of Sydney, Wollongong is a great option for students who want to be close to Australia’s most international and multicultural city, without the high associated cost of living. Wollongong has grown to become a lively and appealing city, with the backdrop of nearby Kangaroo Valley and fringed by great surf beaches. The University of Wollongong is highly regarded internationally for its quality academic and research programs. Students in Wollongong take advantage of the free bus service from the city to the university, or walk and cycle on relatively uncrowded streets. The money saved on accommodation in Wollongong will be appreciated on the occasional visit to see the sights of nearby Sydney.
Australia is a land of contrasts, but the quality of tertiary institutions is consistently high around the nation. In order to attract students from overseas, Australia needs to compliment student expectations with a lifestyle experience they share with friends back home. Ongoing affordability for international students is a key factor in continuing the international student trend.