Guest Post by Marie Nieves
Australia has become one of the most popular countries in the world for study, which is not surprising, considering its reputation for great weather, unbeatable beaches but most importantly – the high quality of education and standard of living.
Not all Australian cities are the same, however, and you should choose the right one based on your own personal preferences – are you going there to do a bit of study while you party, or do a bit of partying while you study? Are you keen to go the beach all-year round or maybe save money while living further away and just making the odd weekend trip? These are some things you should consider and hopefully this article will help you make your decision!
Culture, Entertainment + Lifestyle
If you really want to be in the heart of the action, however, nothing beats Inner Sydney or Melbourne. Rolling out of bed onto Bondi, Bronte or Coogee beaches followed by world class cafe breakfast and coffee, a decently priced take-away lunch and a harbourside dinner overlooking the Opera House kicking off a long night on George St or Kings Cross (keeping mindful of lockout laws…) is hard to beat for the more adventurous international student! For the more introverted intellectuals there is Newtown with its Bohemian culture (down the road from the University of Sydney) and the inner west region in general with its small bars regularly featuring local rock bands.
What Melbourne lacks in oceanside beaches (although St. Kilda with its tamer waters and beach houses is more than beautiful enough) it makes up for in culture and sport. It’s often speculated that not being blessed with the natural beauty of Sydney has led Melbourne to develop its own intellectual and cultural beauty, and the lane way cafes and restaurants and trams will soothe the hearts of homesick Europeans in particular. Not to mention that the grid layout of city streets makes a lot more sense to a newcomer than the mess that is Sydney’s CBD!
Having said all of that, it is unfair to suggest that cities and towns outside of these two lack culture and entertainment – Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and now even the Gold Coast are all large cities by global standards in their own right and have world-class restaurants, cafes and night spots of their own which should be sufficient for anyone but those with an insatiable appetite for constant and varying entertainment. And smaller towns like Newcastle, Canberra, Wollongong and Geelong all have their own attractions and are a short drive away from bigger cities for weekend adventures in any case!
Cost of Living
It must be said that the Australian lifestyle doesn’t come cheap – particularly in the bigger cities like Sydney or those with a high average income like Canberra (home of the public service) and Perth (results of the mining boom which hasn’t been so glamorous for those not involved in the mining industry).
Again, it is a matter of preference – if you’re looking to keep your spending low and aren’t too fussed about being in the constant hustle and bustle of a global city, you’d do well to avoid inner Sydney or Melbourne and perhaps go for something like Adelaide, Brisbane or even Darwin (if you like 30-degree temperatures all year-round!). Smaller cities with universities are also a great option (e.g. Wollongong and Newcastle are both a short drive from Sydney and nice towns with beautiful beaches in their own right).
If you’re looking for affordable student accommodation in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth or any other Australian cities, it might be best to bunk up with flatmates initially in order to save on costs and have some ready-made companions available to either share local knowledge with you or explore and learn together.
Best of luck with your study adventure in Australia, you will be sure to enjoy it regardless of location!
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger and adventure enthusiast who loves unusual trips, gadgets and photography. She is also the editor of High Style Life.