Best Cities to Study

With its impressive presence in the QS Best Student Cities 2016 rankings, Australia emerges as a top-notch study abroad destination, boasting seven cities among the top 75. These captivating locations not only offer breathtaking landscapes but also provide students with exceptional educational opportunities.

The best student cities in Australia excel in various aspects, including Student Mix, Desirability, and Employer Activity. Two of these cities even secure coveted positions within the top five of the overall ranking, showcasing their exceptional appeal. While affordability remains a challenge in Australian cities, many students find the experience well worth the investment.

Prepare to be inspired as we introduce the seven premier student cities in Australia. Each city houses a minimum of two internationally acclaimed universities, ensuring a world-class education, while also offering a distinctive and unforgettable study abroad experience. Simply click on the city names below to discover more about these incredible destinations:

1. Melbourne

Melbourne, once again, secures its position as the runner-up in this year’s esteemed Best Student Cities ranking, narrowly surpassed only by Paris. And it’s no wonder why Melbourne shines brightly on the global stage. Known as the cultural hub of Australia, this city brims with an abundance of captivating experiences, particularly if you have an affinity for live music, comedy, or sporting events. With a remarkable presence of seven internationally acclaimed universities, Melbourne proudly achieves the highest score in the entire index for ‘student mix,’ showcasing its commitment to fostering a multicultural exchange that enriches student life. Surrounded by breathtaking beaches and offering an exceptional standard of living (as evidenced by its prestigious title as the world’s most livable city by The Economist), Melbourne also receives a commendable score for ‘desirability.’ In fact, Melbourne stands as Australia’s top-ranked city in both the ‘rankings’ and ’employer activity’ categories, exemplifying the unrivaled prestige of its education, even though it may come with a higher price tag.

2. Sydney

Sydney, Australia’s bustling metropolis and economic powerhouse, follows closely in the footsteps of Melbourne, securing the fourth spot in the highly regarded Best Student Cities index. While it may not claim the top position on our list of Australia’s best cities for students, Sydney effortlessly clinches the crown for ‘desirability’ across the entire index. This is attributed to its irresistible blend of a superb quality of life and an idyllic fusion of stunning beaches and verdant spaces. Impressively, Sydney also excels in the category of ‘student mix,’ with a quarter of students in its five globally recognized universities hailing from overseas. Beyond providing an enjoyable student experience, the city boasts the presence of esteemed universities, two of which have earned their place among the top 50 in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16. Recognizing this academic excellence, employers in Sydney demonstrate a keen interest, resulting in a notable score for ’employer activity.’

3. Canberra

Canberra, the capital city of Australia, has experienced a remarkable ascent in this year’s Best Student Cities ranking, leaping four places to secure the 17th position. What sets Canberra apart, much like other Australian cities, is its exceptional performance in the ‘student mix’ category, underscoring its thriving and globally diverse student community. With the distinguished Australian National University, ranked joint 19th in the QS World University Rankings®, calling Canberra home, it comes as no surprise that the city has become a magnet for students from across the globe. Canberra’s allure extends beyond academia, with its noteworthy performance in the ‘desirability’ category. While lacking the proximity to the seaside enjoyed by some of Australia’s major cities, Canberra compensates with a host of attractions, including its own picturesque man-made lake nestled in the city center and a myriad of nature reserves scattered throughout its surroundings.

4. Brisbane

Making its mark as one of this year’s standout contenders, Brisbane takes its place as the next entrant on our list of Australia’s premier student cities, ascending an impressive five spots to claim joint 18th position alongside Auckland. Renowned for its welcoming atmosphere, Brisbane boasts three prominent universities and a vibrant student population. However, this city is far from being a mere academic enclave; it has also established itself as a sought-after tourist destination and a major economic hub between Sydney and Singapore. Embodying the quintessential Australian experience, Brisbane seamlessly blends the best of both urban and outdoor lifestyles. Breathtaking beaches, a sun-drenched climate, and a passion for sports coexist harmoniously with a cosmopolitan city center teeming with trendy nightlife and a flourishing arts scene.

5. Adelaide

Securing its place as Australia’s fifth-largest city, Adelaide stands strong at the 26th spot in the esteemed Best Student Cities index. Nestled along the captivating southern coast, this city is renowned for its picturesque wide boulevards, expansive green spaces, and a city center that is easily navigable. Beyond its charming urban landscape, Adelaide enjoys proximity to stunning beaches and islands, while the nearby Adelaide Hills beckon with opportunities for invigorating hikes, scenic cycling routes, wildlife encounters, and the chance to savor some of Australia’s finest wines amidst the vineyards where they are meticulously crafted. Adelaide boasts the presence of three esteemed universities, all ranked within the top 550 in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16: the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, and Flinders University. Standing out in the “student mix” category, Adelaide takes pride in its large and diverse student community, contributing to its vibrant and inclusive educational environment.

6. Perth

Embracing its distinction as one of the most remote cities in Australia, our next top student city takes center stage on the Western coast, standing more than 2,000 miles apart from bustling metropolises like Sydney and Melbourne. Ranked 36th in the prestigious Best Student Cities index, Perth captures hearts with its irresistible allure, earning commendable scores in both “desirability” and “student mix.” As the vibrant capital of Western Australia, this city of over 2 million residents delivers all the cultural, gastronomic, and recreational treasures one would expect from a thriving state capital. Unveiling an enchanting climate and granting access to breathtaking beaches and expansive parklands, Perth paints a picture-perfect backdrop for an unforgettable student experience. Notably, three distinguished universities in Perth secure their positions in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16, with the University of Western Australia (UWA) leading the pack at an impressive 98th in the global standings.

7. Gold Coast

Concluding our lineup of top student cities in Australia, we present a hidden gem that may have eluded your radar but certainly deserves your attention. Emerging as a new entry in the renowned Best Student Cities index, the enchanting Gold Coast claims the 69th spot. Nestled in the heart of Queensland, south of the vibrant Brisbane, this coastal paradise beckons with its allure. Boasting an impressive 52 kilometers of pristine golden sands and basking in the warm embrace of 300 sun-drenched days each year, it’s no wonder that Gold Coast even flaunts a suburb aptly named ‘Surfer’s Paradise.’ Surfing enthusiasts and beach lovers alike will find themselves right at home in this coastal haven, and it comes as no surprise that Gold Coast secures its highest accolades in the coveted ‘desirability’ category of the esteemed QS Best Student Cities index. Beyond the gleaming skyscrapers that dot the coastline, a verdant rural hinterland awaits exploration. Referred to as the ‘green behind the gold,’ this lush subtropical rainforest encompasses three national parks, adorned with majestic mountains, natural rock formations, and breathtaking waterfalls, adding an enchanting touch to the region’s captivating tapestry.

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