Where to study in Australia

17 April 2019

Studying and living in Australia is something that many international students aspire to, with the Australian higher education system ranking in the top 10 around the world (U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems 2019). Over one million students enrol in Australian universities each year, and around a quarter of these arrive from overseas (Australian Department of Education 2018).

Australia is home to some of the world’s most liveable cities. Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are the largest, and all three offer a fantastic student lifestyle that balances culture and opportunities with outdoor activities. They also boast some of the best universities in Australia for international students.

When you’re choosing the best place to study, find out about your study options, the local culture and the key attractions that make each city unique. To help you decide where to study in Australia, take a look at our guides to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.


The capital of Queensland, Brisbane ranks 21st in the world for Best Student Cities (QS Best Student Cities 2018). With more than 280 days of sunshine each year, it’s known for its warm weather, long summers and friendly, multicultural communities. As Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane has a growing population of around 2.4 million, with over a quarter of residents born overseas, and is less crowded than Sydney and Melbourne.

Brisbane is a centre of excellence for technology, innovation and environmental sustainability. The quality of student accommodation is world class, and affordable too, with one of the lowest costs of living compared to other Australian cities. Study opportunities are excellent and, at CSU Study Centre Brisbane, postgraduates can choose to study for a Master of Information Technology or a Master of Professional Accounting.

Brisbane’s laid-back lifestyle makes it an appealing place to live. There’s lots going on but the pace is slower than the bigger cities. The independent stores, music venues and good value restaurants in Fortitude Valley are popular with students. You’ve also got the plazas and promenades by the river in South Bank, the famous Botanical Gardens, more than 2000 parks, and Australia’s largest gallery of modern art.

To explore more of Queensland, the beaches and clear waters of Moreton Island and Stradbroke Island are a day trip away from the city. South of Brisbane, the Gold Coast is famous for surfing and nightlife, or the beautiful Sunshine Coast is north of the city. From Brisbane, you can easily experience other top Australian attractions, like Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.

Find out more about living in Brisbane


Brisbane has a sunny, sub-tropical climate.

  • Average summer temperatures range from 22°C (72°F) to 30°C (86°F)
  • Average winter temperatures range from 10°C (50°F) to 21°C (70°F)

Getting around

Buses, ferries and rail services can take you across the city and beyond. You could also hire a bike through the council bike hire scheme and travel around the city on dedicated cycle paths. Brisbane International Airport is the third busiest in Australia. It’s located 20 kilometres from the city centre.

Why choose Brisbane?

Study for your master’s at CSU Study Centre Brisbane and enjoy sunny weather, friendly communities and a laidback outdoor lifestyle.


Melbourne is widely regarded as one of the world’s safest cities to live and study in. With a multicultural population of around 4.9 million, it ranks third in the world for Best Student Cities (QS Best Student Cities 2018) and was named the second most liveable city in the world for seven consecutive years (the Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2017).

As one of the best places to study in Australia, students are attracted by Melbourne’s diverse culture, great city lifestyle and easy access to the coast and countryside. CSU Study Centre Melbourne is located in the Central Business District, so you can make the most of this exciting city while studying one of 16 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in accounting, commerce, business and IT.

Known as Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne is a stylish city with vintage markets, independent boutiques and more than 100 art galleries. It has a distinct European feel, with a vibrant café culture, arts and fashion scene, green parks and narrow streets called ‘laneways'. Melbourne also has a fantastic music scene and regular arts festivals.

One of Australia’s most multicultural cities, you’ll be living alongside people from across the world. This diversity makes it a fantastic destination for food; head to Chinatown for dumpling bars, Fitzroy, Carlton and Collingwood for the best brunch spots, Lonsdale Street has delicious Greek food, and ‘Little Italy’ has the best pasta you'll find outside Europe. Other neighbourhoods are known for their unique culture and attractions; visit the independent boutiques and vintage stores in Fitzroy, watch a cricket match at Richmond’s MCG stadium, and relax on the beaches in St Kilda.

To explore beyond the city, the state of Victoria has fantastic national parks for hiking and camping – Great Otway and the Grampians National Parks are particularly popular. On weekends, you could visit the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island, or take a road trip along the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles.

Find out more about living in Melbourne


Melbourne has a more temperate climate which can vary throughout the day.

  • Average summer temperatures range from 14°C (57°F) to 25°C (77°F)
  • Average winter temperatures range from 7°C (45°F) to 14°C (57°F)

Getting around

Melbourne’s public transport network extends from the city in all directions, making it easy and affordable to get around and visit the surrounding areas. Trams, trains, buses and cycling are all good ways to travel, with the CSU Study Centre Melbourne situated in the free tram zone. Melbourne’s international airport is the second busiest in Australia. From here, you can fly to many Australian cities and worldwide destinations.

Why choose Melbourne?

Study at the largest CSU Study Centre and enjoy European culture, delicious food, cultural neighbourhoods and laneway cafes.


Ranked in the top five most liveable cities in the world (the Economist Intelligence Unit Rankings 2018), Sydney is Australia’s largest city and economic hub, located in one of the worlds most beautiful natural harbours. With a population of around 5.1 million, it’s the busiest city in Australia.

In this popular city for students, you’ll have access to Australia’s largest business hub for networking, internships and job opportunities. At CSU Study Centre Sydney, you can choose between 16 undergraduate and postgraduate study options that focus on business, accounting, commerce and IT. CSU’s central location also means you’ll have a fantastic choice of cafes, shops and restaurants on your doorstep. A great city for shopping, Sydney has lots of big brand name shops, independent boutiques and a popular coffee shop culture.

Sydney has a cosmopolitan culture and beautiful scenery. There’s always something to do and see here, from museums, theatres and sports venues, to award-winning restaurants and world-class surfing. The city draws visitors from across the globe with its famous sights and attractions. The Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are two of Australia’s most iconic sights, and you can see more famous landmarks by taking the Manly Ferry across the natural harbour.

Manly and Bondi are two of the city’s best-known city beaches, and there’s a huge choice of other bays, parks and public gardens for more outdoor activities. After class, you could learn to surf, meet friends for a BBQ or enjoy safe swimming in an ocean pool, man-made swimming pools that are filled by the tide.

For an easy day trip, you could take a train to the Blue Mountains, a World Heritage area of forests, waterfalls and canyons.

Find out more about living in Sydney 


Typical weather in Sydney is warm and sunny, but not humid.

  • Average summer temperatures range from 16°C (61°F) to 25°C (77°F)
  • Average winter temperatures range from and 9°C (49°F) to 17°C (63°F)

Getting around

Sydney has Australia’s largest public transport system. This includes trains, light rail, buses and ferries. It also has Australia’s largest airport, with direct flights to all the main Australian tourist destinations and international cities.

Why choose Sydney?

Study in the heart of the business district at CSU Study Centre Sydney, and enjoy big city living, world-famous sights and stunning beaches.

For more advice on choosing the best place for you to study in Australia, speak to one of our student advisors.

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