Being an international student, focusing only on the metropolitan areas actually narrows down your options for studying in Australia. There are regional areas in Australia with a much more relaxed lifestyle and more benefits for students. If you are not too attached to the hustle and bustle of city life, this can be a really good option for applying to more universities in Australia. It is a relatively unexplored world with benefits that you might not be aware of. Let’s look at how this can be useful for you.
What are regional areas?
Major cities: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne
Cities and major regional centres: Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Canberra, New Castle, Lake Macquarie, Wollongong, Illawarra, Geelong, Hobbart. Living in these areas will give you priority processing for your visas and a one-year work visa after graduation.
Regional cities and all other regional areas: Every other city/area besides the ones listed above. In these areas, your visas will also be given priority and instead of a one year work visa after graduation, you will get a two year work visa. This will help you gain more points for PR in Australia.
There are many vocational education and higher education providers in these regional areas in Australia that can have benefits for an international student when it comes to their work and study visa. The Australian government has offered these incentives in order to develop regional areas and fulfil their need for skilled labour.
What are my options for universities in regional Australia?
If you are interested in applying to a university in regional Australia, then go through this list below and you can see which program suits your career goals the most
- University of Western Australia
- Curtin University
- Murdoch University
- Edith Cowan University
- Central Queensland University
- Flinders University
- University of Adelaide
- University of South Australia
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Central Queensland University
Benefits of studying in a regional area
As regional areas are not as expensive as the big cities, educational and living costs are much more affordable for international students. Compared to the general cost of living in Australia, this is very suitable for international students.
Besides this, international students are also offered scholarships (around 15,000 Australian dollars) in universities in regional areas, especially for Certificate 4 and doctoral studies.
These areas have close-knit communities but they are not underdeveloped and you can avail the healthcare and entertainment facilities that are present in metropolitan areas as well.
The average cost of living for an international student in a one bedroom apartment in Sydney is 2000- 2500 Australian dollars (AUD). Compare this with the estimated cost of living in these regional areas in Australia:
- Adelaide: 1500 – 1700 AUD
- Hobart, Tasmania: 1500 – 1700 AUD
- Perth: 1200 – 1500 AUD
- Darwin: 1200 – 1500 AUD
- Townville: 800 – 1200 AUD
- Cairns: 800 – 1200 AUD
Post-study work visa
After completing your education in a regional area in Australia, you can get a full-time work visa for a whole year.
You can also get 5 more points for living and studying in specified regional areas so this increases your chances of getting points for PR in Australia. When you study for at least 2 years in these areas, you will get a state sponsored visa SC190 PR or you will get the15 points required for the SC491 visa.
Employment in regional areas
Some universities in regional Australia offer courses that are relevant to that specific regional area. Try to go for such courses as they open you up to a number of employment opportunities in that area. They also provide students with specialised work training related to the local professions before they get a job in that area. As these places are also less populated, you will have greater chances of employment.
Smaller teacher to student ratio
As the class sizes are smaller in these universities, each student can have more focused attention from the faculty and gain better understanding of their curriculum. With smaller class sizes, you can also get to know your fellow students and build camaraderie.
Explore the flora and fauna
If you like exploring nature and the quiet, laid back atmosphere of the countryside, your university life will be perfect for a campus located in one of the regional areas in Australia.
Besides, this quiet will also help you focus on your academics better away from the noise of the city.
The home of the koala and kangaroo has an interesting terrain (from sandy beaches, to tropical forests and red deserts) that will never let you have a boring weekend during your campus life.
The natural wonders on this Island Nation will have you mesmerised. There will be a lot to explore in the beaches, mountains and forests located close to your campus. If you have wanderlust, this is the perfect place for you.
These universities have a number of advantages for international students but you still have to see what is within your financial range and your professional plans (regarding the career of your choice and reputation of the university). You can always book a session with one of our mentors at Edvise Hub and gain useful insight before making your decision.