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Top Australian Student Cities

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With its beautiful weather, stunning sights and spectacular beaches, Australia is a popular destination for both tourists and students. Although studying in Australia is not cheap it is home to a number of the top 100 universities in rankings such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and is an amazing country to study in.

See our dedicated guide to Study in Australia.


Sydney is currently the most popular of the Australian student cities with its wide selection of educational institutions and a strong international community. Sydney is Australia’s financial and economic hub, making it a great place to study in relation to employability opportunities if you wanted to continue living in Australia after completing your studies.

The quality of living in Sydney is outstanding and as a student there you can make the most of the wide variety of culture on offer. With stunning views, plenty of social opportunities and recreational activities it is perfect for any student wishing to make the most of their time outside of studies. The cities stunning attractions include its harbour, famous opera house and a number of green areas which can be found throughout the city, including the Royal National Park. To top it off the beach is just a short distance away, where you can soak up the sun and catch a few waves.

Thanks to the number of universities in Sydney, there is a large and diverse student community to be discovered. These universities include: the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology, Macquarie University and the University of Western Sydney.
Sydney not only ranks well as a top student city, but also features in the top ten most liveable cities on the planet in The Economist’s Liveability Ranking and Overview.


Not much further behind Sydney as one of the top Australian student cities, is Melbourne. Melbourne has a strong student community with a great deal of international diversity. As a student in Melbourne you can again take advantage of strong employer relations in the area if you choose to continue living in Australia upon completion of your studies.

Like Sydney, the quality of living in Melbourne is spectacular, which goes some way to explain why the cities are ranked so closely as top student cities. Melbourne has been called Australia’s cultural capital due to the nature of attractions available in the city. These include the iconic Yarra Trams, the small cafes (Melbourne takes its coffee very seriously) and The Australian Ballet company. The stunning views and beautiful beaches are matched by its nightlife and cultural events, so if you’re looking for the student nightlife and laid back afternoons on the beach (when you aren’t busy studying of course) then Melbourne could be the perfect Australian city for you to study.

The diverse student community found in Melbourne can again be attributed to the number of universities found in the city, including; the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Deakin University, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology, La Trobe University and Victoria University.


Brisbane is home to three major universities, this means it has one of the highest students to population ratios of any city in the world. As the third largest city in Australia, Brisbane has seen a rapid growth over the past decade as Australian resources has enjoyed a recent boom.

Not only is Brisbane a popular city for study but it is also a very popular tourist destination due to its location near the Gold Coast, which has some of the most famous beaches in the world. What more could you want from a study location? What about the excellent balance between outdoor and urban living? With its beaches, amazing sunny weather and spectacular sporting culture you have plenty of things to do outdoors. And as a student you can take advantage of the trendy nightlife which can be found in the Cosmopolitan downtown district; where you will also find a wonderful arts scene if you are looking for an all round cultural revelation.

With its three universities Brisbane offers great opportunities for education in a wide variety of subjects. Universities to be found in Brisbane include; the University of Queensland, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology.


In comparison to the other top student cities of Australia, Perth is the most different and unique to be discovered. Like the others it too has great quality of living available and beautiful surroundings to admire, but it is the quieter of the cities featured.

Although it is the capital of Western Australia and the fourth largest city in Australia it is also one of the world’s most isolated cities, and one of the most desirable cities in which to live. Its population is just over 1.5 million and boasts a high proportion of students in relation to that.

Perth, just like other cities in Australia is home to spectacular beaches and parklands which could become a regular relaxation place for a stressed student. But it is also home to an array of other activities, including great cultural and culinary experiences and many recreational activities such as cricket at the WACA Ground (an Australian favourite) or Penguin Island, home to a colony of Little Penguins.

Although more isolated than the other cities, Perth is home to a number of universities, including; the University of Western Australia, Murdoch University and Curtin University.


The National Capital may be home to the Australian National University – one of the highest ranking Australian universities, but it is one of the lower ranking student cities of the country. Although it is not within walking distance of any beaches it does offer other beautiful and interesting attractions, including Lake Burley Griffin – a man made lake in the centre of Canberra and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex – part of NASA’s Deep Space Network.

There is a relatively large and diverse student community to be found in Canberra and it is a great city to choose when considering the employability of graduates upon completion of their education. Although it is the capital of Australia, Canberra is only home to two universities; Australian National University and the University of Canberra.


This is the fifth largest city in size to be found in Australia and is definitely the most appropriate of the Australian cities if you are looking for sports, recreation and outdoor activities. Adelaide is home to beautiful beaches, splendid islands and copious amounts of wildlife to be gazed upon.

If you’re a more active student and enjoy recreational activities the Adelaide Hills are the perfect place for cycling, hiking and wildlife watching. If you prefer to watch sport than partake, then why not watch a cricket match at the Adelaide Oval.

Adelaide is home to three universities, including; the University of Adelaide, Finders University and University of South Australia.

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