About Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory (or ACT) is the home of Australia’s capital, Canberra. The territory is located within the Southern Plateau region of New South Wales.
Canberra itself is quite a cosmopolitan town with fun things going on, including sporting events and festivals. It is also very cultural, with many museums and historical sites to explore. It also has the highest income level in Australia.
The ACT has a lot of offer international students, including a great quality of life, health care, diverse job opportunities, a safe place to live and world-class universities. For that reason, the QS Best Student Cities Rankings ranked Canberra in the top 25 best student cities in 2018.
Geography & climate
The Australian Capital Territory is located in the south-eastern region of New South Wales. It is only a small territory at 88 kilometres from north to south and 30 kilometres from east to West – a total of 2358 square kilometres.
Much of the territory outside Canberra’s city is hills, mountains and plains. In fact, 45% of the ACT is Namadgi National Park.
Despite being inland, the ACT actually provides many great swimming sites, including the Murrumbidgee River, Cotter Dam, Black Mountain, Gibraltar Falls, Pine Island, Point Hill Crossing, Casuarina Sands, Kambah Pool Reserve and Uriarra Crossing.
Overall, the ACT’s climate is very dry and tends to be cooler. Summers usually get to around 27 degrees Celsius, while winters can get to only 11 degrees. It is possible to get snow on the mountain ranges.
The ACT can also be windy and get frequent rain, especially in the west and in the mountains.
The Australian Capital Territory has a small population of 419,200 – only 1.6% of the total Australian population. Most residents are of English, Australian, Irish, Scottish and Chinese ancestry.
In Australia, residents have three types of healthcare available to them:
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- private health insurance.
Medicare is run by the Australian Government, and is mainly for Australian permanent residents and citizens, as well as New Zealand citizens. The scheme covers 70% of a person’s healthcare costs.
However, international students in Australia can access Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC). This health cover is mandatory to keep students safe while they study in Australia.
Canberra has a very strong economy due to its increasing population, steady employment rate and stable housing market.
Most people who live and work in Canberra are employed by the government, particularly in the healthcare and social assistance sectors, which make up 12.6% of the ACT’s total employment.
Other industries with high employment rates are construction and trades, professional services, education, defence, sports and recreation, and arts.
As unemployment in the ACT is fairly low and incomes are high, residents tend to have more disposable income than other states and territories.
Studying in the ACT
In 2018, QS Best Student City Rankings considered Canberra one of the top 25 best student cities in the world – and for good reason.
With its strong economy, high employment rate, safe environment and great quality of life, the ACT is a popular place for international students. In fact, Canberra has more higher education students than any other Australian city. Additionally, 1 in 6 people in Canberra either study or work at a university.
One reason is that the ACT has a great range of world-class research and education universities and institutions. All of the ACT’s education institutions provide high-quality courses for international students, as well as domestic students.
Universities in the ACT
- University of Canberra
- Australian National University
- Australian Catholic University
- Charles Sturt University
- University of New South Wales
Colleges and TAFEs in the ACT
- Canberra Institute of Technology
- Canberra University College
- Royal Military College, Duntroon
- Alliance College of Australia