One of the many reasons you want to study in Australia is to experience the natural beauty and diverse experiences that this country offers. Thousands of people are drawn to Australia, enchanted by its pristine coastal areas, lush rainforests, and expansive red deserts—not to mention the world-class culinary delights paired with its renowned wines.
Not just the natural beauty, the cultural and artistic side of Australia is equally compelling. From the iconic Sydney Opera House to top-tier national galleries and museums, the students get a lot to experience here.
Australia, the land Down Under, has consistently been a top choice for international students. For Indian students specifically, this continent has become a promising land for education, offering an excellent blend of academic excellence, a myriad of recreational activities, diverse student communities, and ample opportunities for exploration.
In this article, we will explore the best student cities in Australia for international students, offering insights into universities, living expenses, and the top Australia destinations for students.
Best Cities in Australia for Students
When we talk about the best places to study in Australia, a few names stand out not just because of their educational institutions but also for the lifestyle, culture, and opportunities they offer.
Here is a curated list of the best cities for students in Australia as per the QS ranking. QS Ranks the best student cities in the world based on various factors, such as affordability, desirability, and student reviews. Listed below are the QS best student cities in Australia 2023.
QS World Ranking
Popularly known as the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne has continuously been considered one of the most liveable cities globally. Melbourne is not only a great place to live but is also home to various world-class universities that feature in the QS best student cities in Australia rankings. Apart from this, the city also offers diversity, safety, and a bustling nightlife with a very smooth operating transport system.
Top Universities in Melbourne
Living Expenses in Melbourne
Considering the living expenses, Melbourne has a moderately high standard of living and is also one of the most expensive Australian cities.
On average, an Indian student can expect a monthly expense of around AUD 1,500 to AUD 2,500 in Melbourne, depending on lifestyle.
So, students in Melbourne manage their budgets by opting for part-time work, taking advantage of student discounts and offers and seeking affordable entertainment and shopping options.
What can International Students do in Melbourne?
- Explore the famous laneways like Hosier Lane that showcase the creative spirit of the city.
- Attend events like the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and Moomba Festival that celebrate music, art, food, and multiculturalism and offer unparalleled entertainment.
- Relax or indulge in watersports at beaches like St Kilda, Brighton, and Elwood.
- Take a stroll, or have a picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Carlton Gardens, or the Fitzroy Gardens.
Next on the list is the largest city and economic and financial hub of Australia, Sydney. With the high quality of life coupled with the great outdoors, Sydney is one of the best Australia cities with a vibrant student life. Not only this but being the financial centre of the country, most of the Multinational Corporations have their headquarters in Sydney.
Top Universities in Sydney
Living Expenses in Sydney
The most populous city of Australia, Sydney, is known for its breathtaking harbour, iconic landmarks, and vibrant lifestyle. These perks come with a price, and Sydney is often considered one of the most expensive cities in the world.
On average, an Indian student can expect a monthly expense of around AUD 1,800 to AUD 3,000 or more, varying with personal lifestyle choices.
Despite the high cost of living, students can find ways to manage their expenses effectively by opting for part-time employment and availing of various student discounts. Not only this, the extensive public transportation network of Sydney also provides student concessions, making commuting more affordable.
What can International Students do in Sydney?
- Take a tour or catch a performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House.
- Experience the thrill of the Bridge Climb. Enjoy the panoramic views of the city and harbour at Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- Take a day trip to the Blue Mountains and explore waterfalls, hiking trails, and the Three Sisters rock formation.
- Check out live performances at the Enmore Theatre or the Capitol Theatre.
- Explore the vibrant Chinatown of Sydney for food, shopping, and cultural events.
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is the thriving hub for over 50,000 students, boasting 3 top reputed universities ranked globally. The city takes pride in its dynamic and student-friendly atmosphere and is also one of the most affordable places to live. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations that offers sunny and scenic beauty, iconic landmarks, and a strong sporting culture with some of the most famous beaches.
Top Universities in Brisbane
Living Expenses in Brisbane
A popular destination for international students, including those from India, Brisbane offers a more affordable cost of living compared to Sydney and Melbourne. So, Brisbane is one of the best options for students mindful of their budgets.
About the expenses, Indian students can expect to spend around AUD 1,200 to AUD 2,000 per month on living expenses in Brisbane, depending on their lifestyle and spending habits.
The best part is despite the low cost of living, Brisbane does not compromise on quality of life. The city offers a diverse community, a vibrant cultural scene, and numerous parks and outdoor recreational areas.
What Can International Students Do in Brisbane?
- Take a cruise, go kayaking, or stroll along the Brisbane River.
- Delve into Queensland's history, natural world, and innovations at Queensland Museum & Sciencentre.
- Attend the Brisbane Festival, an annual event that brings together music, art, and culture.
- Enjoy the vibrant nightlife with bars, clubs, and live music venues at Fortitude Valley.
- Celebrate Asian communities of Brisbane with food, music, and art at BrisAsia Festival.
Nested on the southern coastline, Adelaide is the fifth largest city in Australia. Full of pristine beaches and fascinating sights, Adelaide offers attractive wide boulevards, open spaces, and parklands. Also, be prepared for an enriching academic life, as universities in Adelaide are well known for preparing students for the international job market.
Top Universities in Adelaide
Living Expenses in Adelaide
Adelaide, celebrated for its artistic vibrancy and relaxed lifestyle, is increasingly becoming a preferred destination for international students. It has a more affordable cost of living compared to other major Australian cities while still providing a high standard of living and ample opportunities for career growth.
For the Indian students planning to study in Adelaide, the living expenses can range between AUD 1,000 - AUD 1,800, depending on their preferences and lifestyle choices.
To further manage their living expenses, students in Adelaide often engage in part-time work, which is readily available across various sectors. Overall, Adelaide stands out as a student-friendly city, making it an attractive option for Indian students seeking quality education and a memorable overseas experience.
What Can International Students Do in Adelaide?
- Attend popular festivals like the Adelaide Fringe Festival, WOMADelaide, and Adelaide Festival.
- Explore the Art Gallery of South Australia and other local galleries.
- Take day trips to places like Victor Harbor or the Adelaide Hills.
- See Australian wildlife at Cleland Wildlife Park or on Kangaroo Island.
- Relax or have a picnic in the Botanic Gardens or other city parks.
The next best city in our list of best cities for students is Perth. Located in Western Australia, Perth stands out as a premier student destination, boasting an impressive 265 sunny days per year. In contrast to other cities, student life in Perth is deeply integrated around campus activities as most universities are away from the city center.
Top Universities in Perth
- The University of Western Australia
- Curtin University
- Murdoch University
- Edith Cowan University
Living Expenses in Perth
Perth is again an increasingly popular destination for international students, including those from India. The city offers a balanced cost of living, providing affordability while maintaining a high standard of living.
For Indian students considering Perth, the estimated monthly living expenses range from AUD 1,200 to AUD 2,000, varying based on personal choices and lifestyle.
Again, students can maximize their budgets through part-time employment opportunities, which are plentiful here. The city also provides a range of student discounts and offers, affordable public transportation, and numerous budget-friendly entertainment and dining options.
What can International Students do in Perth?
- Explore historical sites like Fremantle Prison and the Perth Mint.
- Try out surfing, snorkelling, or even skydiving for the more adventurous.
- Visit the Swan Valley for its wineries, breweries, and gourmet food.
- Attend a cricket match at the WACA Ground or an Australian Rules Football game.
- Enjoy the outdoors in Kings Park, one of the largest inner-city parks.
Being the capital city of Australia, Canberra is home to the most reputed universities in Australia. Being one of the safest and cheapest cities in Australia, Canberra hosts more than 35,000 students every year. Located around 170 miles from Sydney, Canberra's reputation in student city rankings stands strong, all thanks to its rich assortment of cultural, leisure, and culinary offerings.
Top Universities in Canberra
- The Australian National University
- University of Canberra
- The Canberra Institute of Technology
Living Expenses in Canberra
Canberra, the tranquil capital city of Australia, has gained popularity among international students. All credit goes to its excellent educational institutions and high quality of life. While the cost of living in Canberra is relatively moderate, students enjoy a serene and secure environment with ample career opportunities.
Indian students planning their education in Canberra should budget for monthly living expenses of AUD 1,200 to AUD 2,000, with variations depending on their lifestyle preferences.
Again, like every other city in Australia, Perth also offers the opportunity for students to take up part-time work and opt for student discounts and offers, affordable public transport, and a wide array of cost-effective entertainment and dining options to manage their expenses.
What can International Students do in Canberra?
- Visit the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, and the National Museum of Australia.
- Participate in events like the Canberra International Film Festival and the National Multicultural Festival.
- Explore the Parliament House, Old Parliament House, and other historical landmarks.
- Visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens to see a vast collection of Australian flora.
- Enjoy outdoor activities in nature reserves like Tidbinbilla and Namadgi National Park.
The final and the best one in our list of best cities in Australia for Indian students is the Gold Coast. Renowned as a vibrant student destination, it stands proudly as the sixth-largest city in Australia. Situated along the stunning eastern coastline, Gold Coast offers a picturesque setting with its expansive beaches, lush hinterlands, and a city center bustling with adventurous lifestyles.
Top Universities in Gold Coast
- Bond University
- Southern Cross University
Living Expenses in Gold Coast
Famed for its stunning beaches and vibrant lifestyle, Gold Coast is fast becoming a preferred destination for international students. The city combines affordability with a high quality of life, offering a unique living experience.
Indian students planning to study in the Gold Coast can expect monthly living expenses to range between AUD 1,200 and AUD 2,000, depending on personal habits and lifestyle choices.
Again, if required, students may opt for part-time work and take advantage of the student discounts and offers in Australia, affordable public transport, and budget-friendly entertainment and dining options.
What can International Students do on the Gold Coast?
- Explore the hinterland and national parks, such as Lamington National Park, for hiking and bushwalking.
- Visit popular theme parks like Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, and Dreamworld.
- Experience the vibrant nightlife at Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants.
- Engage in watersports like jet-skiing, parasailing, and kayaking.
- Visit shopping centres like the Pacific Fair and Robina Town Centre.
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Which city is best for Indian students in Australia?
There is not a single option for the best city as it depends on various factors. However, the top five cities for Indian students in Australia are Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide.
Are Australian cities affordable for international students?
Australia isn't as affordable as most European countries. On average, International students in Australia need around $1,400 to $2,500 per month for living expenses. However, there are part-time work opportunities and student discounts and offers in Australia that students can avail to manage their budget.
Do international students get scholarships in Australia?
Australia offers many scholarships for international students. The grant depends on the type of scholarship, and students have to demonstrate their merit for the scholarship they are applying for.
Which is the most expensive student city in Australia for international students?
Sydney is the most expensive student city in Australia for international students.
Which Australian city has the most Indian students?
Melbourne has the highest number of Indian students.