So, you are looking forward to continuing your higher studies in Australia. And you are only considering main cities as your studying options? Have you considered regional Australia? Studying at a university in a smaller city or town in Australia offers some appealing benefits which attract thousands of international students every year.
Lower Cost of Living
Opting for education in regional Australia offers significant advantages to international students. Firstly, the cost of living in smaller towns and communities is considerably lower compared to major cities. Rent, food, and transportation expenses are often more affordable, enabling you to lead a comfortable lifestyle without straining your finances.
For instance, studying in Sydney at the University of New South Wales, on-campus accommodation is around AUD 750 per week, whereas at Wollongong University in Wollongong (a small but well-developed town) the cost of on-campus accommodation is roughly AUD 500 per week. Thus, you can save around AUD 1,000 per month while studying at Wollongong.
The lower costs mean you can focus on your studies without financial stress. And with a smaller number of students in a class at regional universities, you’ll get more personal attention and support from your professors. Overall, regional Australia provides an amazing experience at an affordable price. Savings will allow you to develop to gain valuable life skills and immerse yourself in a new culture. It’s a win-win!
Career Opportunities in Rural Areas
There are many career opportunities in rural and regional Australia, especially in healthcare, education, agriculture, and tourism. As populations in rural areas age, the demand for healthcare workers is increasing. There are also many jobs for teachers in regional schools. If you study agriculture or environmental science, you’ll find work on farms and in natural resource management. Tourism is a major industry in many country towns, so there are openings in hospitality, tour guides, and visitor services.
Studying in regional Australia, students will be able to access the Regional Occupations List which has more jobs compared to non-regional lists. Also, international graduates with a bachelor or higher qualification from a regional institution will be eligible to access an additional year in Australia on a post-work visa.
Don’t assume you have to live in a big city to have a successful career. Rural and regional Australia offers rewarding jobs, lower costs of living, natural surroundings, and community spirit. An added benefit is that there may be less competition for jobs in smaller towns. You can gain valuable work experience in a rural setting that provides a pathway to career success.
Pathway to Permanent Residency
As an international student studying in regional Australia, you’ll have leverage while applying for a permanent residency after your graduation. The Visa pathways offered by the Australian government like the Skilled Regional visa (subclass 491) and Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) provide a direct route to PR for those living and working in regional areas.
To be eligible for subclass 491, you need to be nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency. The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 visa allows you to live, work and study anywhere in regional Australia for 5 years before applying for PR. The Skilled Employer Sponsored Visa 494 (Provisional) visa provides a provisional pathway to PR in just 3 years. These regional visas often have lower point requirements and shorter processing times compared to other skilled visas.
To apply for subclass 491, you need at least 65 points. By studying in regional Australia, you can gain an additional 5 points. Now cities like Gold Coast, Perth, Canberra, Newcastle and Wollongong are considered regional hence studying in these major regional areas can help you gain those additional points as well.
By gaining valuable work experience in regional areas of Australia you will strengthen your case for permanent residency down the road. The Australian government is actively trying to boost populations in rural and remote areas, so studying and working in the regions gives you a leg up.
Experience a New Culture
Living in regional Australia allows you to immerse yourself in a culture far different from city life. You’ll get to know the locals and experience a tight-knit community feel. Some benefits include:
- Friendlier, more personal interactions with locals. People tend to be more relaxed and have more time for meaningful conversations. Also, you will be able to develop good social contacts which will be of great help for your employment or PR application in future.
- Exposure to local events like rodeos, agricultural shows and festivals that celebrate the region’s heritage.
- Stunning natural scenery and outdoor activities most city-dwellers rarely get to enjoy like stargazing due to little light pollution.
Overall, living in regional Australia offers a cultural experience, unlike any city. You’ll form connections with welcoming locals and gain an appreciation for a simpler way of life. The natural beauty and slower pace of regional life are appealing to many international students seeking an authentic Australian adventure.
Top Universities to Study according to Regional Areas in Australia
|New South Wales (NSW)
|Western Australia (WA)
So, there you have it, plenty of compelling reasons why studying in regional Australia should be on your radar. The smaller class sizes, lower costs of living, and opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture are all appealing factors that set regional campuses apart. While the big cities certainly have their charms, don’t discount the benefits of going off the beaten path. Studying in a regional area will allow you to gain life experiences that simply aren’t possible in a bustling metropolis. Open your mind to new adventures in places you never imagined exploring. You may just find that the road less travelled leads you to opportunities and insights you never knew you were looking for. Take a chance on a regional campus—you won’t regret it.