Studying in regional areas of Australia

Many Indian students study at a university in one of Australia’s big cities. However, Australia is a big country and has many great universities in its regional areas and smaller cities.

Outside of Sydney and Melbourne, Australia has gorgeous coastal and inland regions with top-class campuses. It also has smaller capital cities that are more like regional towns where you would be very comfortable.

Why study in a regional area?

There are lots of great reasons to study in a regional part of Australia, such as:

Affordable lifestyle – It costs a lot less to live in a regional area.

Migration opportunities – These towns welcome migration and value your skills in their area.

Relaxation and recreation – Regional areas are less busy and often in scenic areas, like the beach or mountains. This provides a very relaxing lifestyle.

Low-stress academic environment – You won’t feel stressed when you study at regional institutions so you are sure to enjoy your studies more.

Excellence in education – Despite being smaller or further away from major cities, regional universities still have a top-class reputation.

Discover the ‘real Australia’ – You will meet different kinds of people and have a wider variety of experiences outside the big cities.

Less competitions for jobs – As most people forget to consider the regions when applying for jobs, you won’t have as much competition.

Higher minimum wages – Regional businesses often offer higher wages to attract skilled staff to the area.

Additional scholarships up to $15,000 – Institutions in the regions often offer scholarships to attract Indian and international students.

Additional post-study work visa – You may be able to get an additional work visa once you’ve completed your studies at a regional institution.

Great regional areas for study

Here are just some of the great regional locations you could live and study in:

Wollongong

This small, vibrant city is only a 1.5 -hour drive south of Sydney, New South Wales, but it feels a world away with its gorgeous surfing beaches and rock pools.

As well as the ocean, the Illawarra region is surrounded by a dramatic mountain range with forests, trails and cliffs all waiting to be explored.

The local university is nestled among plenty of student accommodation, entertainment facilities and transport, but you can easily get out and explore the mountains or the coast in your spare time.

Population309,849
Job opportunities in Wollongong

Administrative assistant

Medical administration

Administrative assistant

Construction manager

Cost of living$25,000 per year
Top institutionsUniversity of Wollongong
Study areas

Arts, Social Sciences & Humanities

Business & Law

Engineering & Information Sciences

Science, Medicine & Health

Newcastle

Newcastle is a harbour town a few hours north of Sydney, New South Wales. This town has a lot of history, great recreation opportunities and a world-class university.

The Bathers Way is a popular coastal walk between Nobbys Beach and Merewether Beach, with amazing scenic views. You’ll find lots of historical sites on the walk and an ideal spot for whale spotting.

Originally a working-class town, Newcastle has grown into a regional location with a vibrant nightlife, relaxed atmosphere and interesting people. It’s no wonder that Newcastle University has such a great reputation among Indian and international students.

Population457,192
Job opportunities in Newcastle

Tourism

Hospitality

Health services

Cost of living$25,000 per year
Top institutions

University of Newcastle

TAFE

Study areas

Accounting

Computer Science

Information Technology

Agricultural Science

Geelong

Geelong is the second-largest city in Victoria. Just over an hour south of Melbourne, you’ll find a very laid back town that is small enough that you could get to know everyone, but large enough to have every facility you need.

Deakin University is a university with a strong reputation for excellence, and it has a great campus in Geelong.

There are also plenty of rivers parks, wetlands and wildlife sanctuaries to explore in your spare time. Driving the Great Ocean Road is a must, as is a night out at the football.

Geelong is a great base for exploring one of the best-loved regions in the country.

Population259,000
Job opportunities in Geelong

Healthcare and social assistance

Education and training

Construction

Cost of living$25,000 per year
Top institutionsDeakin University
Study areas

Nursing

Teaching

Engineering

Cairns

Anyone who has been to Cairns will tell you what a special place it is. At the northern end of Queensland, this tropical oasis is a casual and friendly place to live.

There’s so much to do when you’re not studying – like sightseeing on the Great Barrier Reef, fishing, whale watching, driving through rainforests or exploring ancient cultural sites.

It’s impossible to feel stressed when you study in Cairns. There are enough shops, medical facilities and small businesses to meet all your requirements. But the streets are quieter and the weather is always warm. It’s also much less expensive than a large city like Sydney.

Both local universities have strong reputations for performance. If you dream of sunshine and beaches all year long, you should check out Cairns.

Population150,000
Job opportunities in Cairns

Travel tourism jobs

Registered nurses

Occupational therapist

Cost of living$16,200 per year
Top institutions

James Cook University

Central Queensland University

Study areas

Master of Engineering (Professional)

Master of Social Science

Bachelor of Education (Primary)

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

Gold Coast

At the other end of Queensland, down near the border of New South Wales, you’ll find a great coastal area with an international reputation for fun.

The Gold Coast is one of the largest cities in Australia that’s not a capital city. Only an hour south of Brisbane, international students love the Gold Coast for its beaches and nightlife.

Even though all the major facilities are nearby, your rent and other expenses will be quite low compared with the capital cities.

The Gold Coast is so popular that there are many education institutions to choose from. You will also be able to find job options on the coast if you want to increase your skills.

If you want to live and study in a regional area where something is always happening, the Gold Coast might be perfect for you.

Population600,485
Job opportunities on the Gold Coast

Registered nurse

Agricultural scientist

Biomedical engineer

Pharmacist

Cost of living$16,000 per year
Top institutions

Bond university

Griffith university

Southern cross university 

Study areas

Bachelor of Nursing

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

Bachelor of Architectural Design

Exciting, smaller capital cities

Although they’re not necessarily regional, these Australian capital cities are much smaller than Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. For many students, they’re the perfect size – a town with all the amenities you need, but with less traffic and expense.

You won’t feel lost in these smaller capital cities – you’ll just feel home.

Canberra

Canberra is the capital of Australia and is located in the Australian Capital Territory. Australia’s federal government sits in Canberra.

It’s the largest inland city in Australia, located 3 hours south-west of Sydney and 6–7 hours north-east of Melbourne.

Canberra is a quiet, easy-going place to live with lots of culture to explore, like museums and historical sites. Most people who work in Canberra are in government positions. It has the highest income level of any city in Australia.

Canberra is home to several first-class educational institutions, which is why so many international students choose to study here. If you prefer cooler weather and a quieter environment, you will enjoy living and studying in this region.

Population420,087
Job opportunities in CanberraGovernment
Cost of living$25,000 per year
Top institutions

Canberra Institute of Technology

UNSW Canberra

University of Canberra

Australian Catholic University

Adelaide

Adelaide is another Australian capital city that is large enough to have everything but small enough to feel like you belong. It consistently ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the world and is famous for its festivals.

As Adelaide is a smaller city, it costs far less to live in than Sydney or Melbourne. So it’s ideal for students. Its universities often rank in the top 2% globally.

In your spare time, you’ll have many great places to explore, including churches, museums, beaches, wineries, and hinterland areas. In summer it’s quite hot and in winter quite cold, so you’ll definitely get the whole Australian experience living in Adelaide.

Population1,354,000
Job opportunities in AdelaideRegistered nurse
Agricultural scientist
Biomedical engineer
Pharmacist
Cost of living$15,840 a year
Top institutionsUniversity of Adelaide
Torrens University
Flinders University
Study areasBachelor of Nursing
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
Bachelor of Architectural Design

Darwin

Of all the regional areas to live and study in Australia, Darwin is definitely the most laid back and relaxing. Located right at the top of Australia, in the Northern Territory, you’re surrounded by nature even at your institution, Charles Darwin University.

When you’re not studying, you can explore the deserts, swimming holes and beaches, as it’s warm (and often quite hot) all year round. There are also lots of cultural sites to discover – some that are tens of thousands of years old – and historical museums to visit.

Due to Darwin’s vibrant cultural, sporting, entertainment and tourism sectors, you should have no trouble finding a job if you decide to work while you study.

If you want to live in a warmer climate with a laid-back attitude, you’ll love Darwin.

Population140,000
Job opportunities in Darwin

Administration and office support

Health and medical professional

Agriculture

Cost of living$29,556 per year
Top institutionsCharles Darwin University
Study areas

Master of Information Technology(Software Engineering)

Bachelor of Nursing

Bachelor of Social work

Perth

Perth is the capital of Western Australia and is ideal if you’re looking for a regional area with a city feel.

Perth has a lovely vibe with friendly people, lots of nightlife and amenities and a nice climate. It also has a lot of scenery, as a lovely river winds its way through the city. If you drive only a little way out of the city, you will find hinterland and beaches to explore.

One popular destination is the Margaret River region, only a few hours south of Perth, where you can be surrounded by breathtaking scenery, fabulous wineries and historical towns.

Perth is a nice homely city with lots of job opportunities, but without the hustle and bustle of Sydney.

PopulationAlmost 2 million
Job opportunities in Perth

Hospitality jobs

Housekeeping jobs

Retail jobs

Cost of living$16,000 per year
Top institutions

Curtin University of Technology

Edith Cowan University

Murdoch University

University of Western Australia

Study areas

Marketing Courses

Nursing

Project Management

Travel and Tourism

Tasmania

Tasmania is actually a state, rather than a city, but it’s a very small one. It’s actually an island at the bottom of Australia, and it’s a wonderful place full of scenic wonder and unspoiled beauty.

Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania – a friendly and safe town where Indian and international students can have an authentic Australian study experience.

You’ll quickly realise that Tasmania is a bit unique. It’s very inexpensive and clean, and full of people who love adventure and outdoor life, like mountain-biking, boating and diving.

It also has a wealth of history, with many cultural sites to explore. Of course, it can also get very cold being so far south, so it’s perfect for students who prefer cooler climates.

Tasmania is an easy place to live, study, work and get around in. You’ll feel at home immediately.

Population525, 678
Job opportunities in Tasmania

Family support worker

Electrical engineer

Enrolled nurse

Registered nurse

Cost of living$18, 610 per year
Top institutions

University of Tasmania

TasTAFE

Study areas

Bachelor of Nursing

Master of Logistic Management 

Master of Social Work

Want to know more about Australia’s regions?

If you’re unsure where to live in Australia, we can help you narrow down your options. Contact us and we will answer all your questions.

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