7 Best Student Cities in Australia in 2023 - Mastersportal.com

7 Best Student Cities in Australia in 2023

Are you thinking about studying abroad in Australia? You will not only enjoy a highly cosmopolitan environment, or study in famous universities with excellent academic programmes, but you will also experience a vibrant city life, complemented by fantastic landscapes.

First, you can check out a list of ranked universities in Australia according to World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Then, have a look at best student cities in Australia, listed below, from a list made by QS Rankings. The friendliest student cities in Australia were chosen based on criteria, such as:

  • student diversity
  • university offerings and facilities
  • employability rate
  • overall cultural environment

Find Masters in Australia

1. Melbourne 

Melbourne is the top cultural centre of Australia and it also ranked on the list of the most liveable cities in the world. Having a diverse economy, many of Australia's largest corporations are headquartered in Melbourne and national organisations such as the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions have a local office here.

In Melbourne, you can complement your study with several leisure activities, such as attending live music events in numerous venues, seeing a comedy show or a sporting event (the Australian Open tennis and Formula One racing).

Unique attractions include the Eureka Tower, where you can have splendid views of the city from the 297th floor, the penguins at Port Phillip Bay, or the piers of the Mornington Peninsula where you can swim with seahorses.

Universities in Melbourne:

2. Sydney

More than 50,000 international students come to Sydney each year and among their top reasons is the high quality of life and the fact that Sydney always had high scores in terms of employability. With the largest economy in Australia, Sydney is also the financial centre of the country and the headquarter of several multinational corporations.

Sydney features five internationally ranked universities that offer worldwide recognised research degree programmes. With a great student mix, in Sydney, you can admire and walk around lovely beaches and many green spaces. Nightlife is full of possibilities, as numerous concerts and music events take place and the variety of bars cover wine bars or rooftop bars.

You can visit many museums, or see a play in several theatres, but check out Stables Theatre in Kings Cross area that hosts what is called “pay-what-you-can Mondays” events, where you can watch a play and the cost of a ticket is literally how much you want to pay for it.

While in Sydney, don’t miss out on the chance to explore the city’s unique nature and wildlife (watch closely koala bears and wild populations of kangaroos).

Universities in Sydney:

nightlife australia.jpg

3. Brisbane 

Welcoming around 50,000 international students each year, Brisbane is the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane is also called a “new-world” city and in addition to foreign students, the city counts many tourists, so overall you will feel a true multicultural environment.

Home to many universities out of which four are present in the QS world universities rankings, Brisbane is one of Australia’s most affordable places to study. Local universities charge low tuition fees and you can choose from over 9,000 degree courses offered at Bachelor, Master and PhD level.

Join the annual Buddha Birth Day festival, considered to be the world's largest, fly over the city in a hot air balloon, and explore Brisbane's Moreton Bay and Islands.

Universities in Brisbane:

4. Adelaide

As it covers a large and diverse student population, Adelaide is one of Australia’s greatest places to study abroad if you want to combine outstanding study opportunities with plenty of sporting activities, like hiking, cycling, trekking and climbing.

Adelaide blends an energetic urban life and picturesque natural surroundings and you can have fun at so many of the local festivals that are held here, like Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Festival of Ideas or Adelaide Writers' Week.

The surroundings of Adelaide are definitely worth a visit, so you should have a go at Barossa Valley – the best wine region in Australia, Kangaroo Island or swim with the dolphins in the Glenelg area.

Enjoy an enriching academic life, as universities in Adelaide are well known for preparing students for the international job market.

Universities in Adelaide:

5. Perth

Perth is a place loved by visitors due to its nice and warm climate, lovely beaches and the variety of cultural and social activities it offers.

Three universities from Perth are in the QS world university rankings (with University of Western Australia as the highest rank) and they are known to be very good in terms of supporting and encouraging the students’ social life. In Perth, student life is more concentrated around campus activities, since universities are placed at a significant distance from the city centre.

However, dare to discover some of the unique attractions you can find in Perth; visit the Scitech Discovery Centre in West Perth – an interactive science museum, Kings Park - one of the world's largest inner-city parks, Cottlesloe Beach and the Pinnacles– a desert landscape featuring weathered rock spires.

University in Perth:

6. Canberra

Canberra hosts around 35,000 students, 9,000 of whom are international students. You can enrol in one of the two local universities of Australia’s capital, including the top-ranked Australian National University.

The name of Canberra derived from the term ”canberry” that literally means meeting place and most of the international students population shares the opinion that the city is big enough to be interesting, yet small enough to not be hustling and overcrowded.

Canberra is home to many attractions, including a man-made lake right in the city centre and many nature reserves; see the Captain James Cook Memorial, the Black Mountain Tower or attend the annual Barassi International Australian Football Youth Tournament.

In Canberra, you can apply to one of its universities that include the top-ranked Australian National University.

University in Canberra:

university australia.jpg

7. Gold Coast

Housing campuses of four Australian universities, Gold Coast sums around 30,000 university students and is probably the best Australian city for partying and enjoying a thriving nightlife.

Gold Coast praises itself with 300 sunny days per year, it is one of the nicest places in the world where you can surf, but the city has other particular features; Gold Coast is surrounded by rural areas, mountains and you can also admire a few national parks.

Gold Coast is mainly a beach metropolis, known as one of the most desirable places in the world to live in. Regarding attractions, you can check out numerous theme parks including Dreamworld, Sea World, Tambourine Mountain Glow Worm Caves, Tree Top Walkway, or Infinity – an entertaining, interactive house with unique special effects and amazing illusions.

University in Gold Coast:

Australia has some of the best cities in the world for students, as they perfectly combine excellent teaching with fantastic leisure activities and you can also enjoy an overall safe environment.

Australia gathers some of the best and most prestigious universities in the world and it is an affordable destination, in terms of both tuition and costs, so there are enough reasons for anyone to choose to study here.

Check out up-to-date rankings from World University Ranking and Shanghai Ranking. Find out more about studying in Australia.

Compare Masters in Australia

Interesting programmes for you

Explore more than 90000 Master's programmes from all around the world with Studyportals.

All disciplines


Go to your profile page to get personalised recommendations!