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10 Awesome Reasons to Live in Armidale

This article is sponsored by University of New England

As an international student, choosing where to study is more than just about the university or college; it’s also about the city and what it offers.

Somewhere that provides high-quality education and a lifestyle that facilitates both personal growth and leisure is ideal – and you can find exactly that in Armidale, nestled in the heart of the New England region of New South Wales. We take you through this charming city and all the reasons why it’s the perfect destination for international students.

1. Prestigious educational institutions: Home to UNE

Armidale is home to prestigious education providers, most notably the University of New England (UNE), which offers an enlightening academic journey with a focus on excellence and research. UNE maintains a low student-to-teacher ratio, fostering personalised attention and impactful relationships with professors. The university excels in cutting-edge programs in agriculture, business, and nursing, taught by industry experts. 

Its dynamic student life includes diverse clubs and events spanning sports, arts, culture, and academics. The English Language Centre provides a direct pathway for international students. 

UNE graduate, Jesta Masuku, can attest to this. “UNE has a great academic environment, access to unlimited learning resources, exposure to leading academic staff in a university of international reputation,” they share.

Image: UNE Armidale campus

2. Affordable living

Armidale, an affordable haven compared to Australia’s bustling metros, offers a high standard of living without breaking the bank. Its cost of living is considerably less than that of cities like Sydney or Melbourne, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious students. Cheaper housing, transportation, food and entertainment are all within easy reach, as are UNE’s affordable and conveniently located student accommodation. To further assist international students, the University of New England offers a variety of bursaries and has a dedicated support team to guide students through the financial aid process.

Check out the cost of living in Armidale on UNE’s website.

Image: UNE student accommodation

3. Friendly and welcoming community

Armidale is renowned for its warm and friendly community, providing a comforting sense of belonging for international students. This welcoming nature is reflected in the city’s diverse range of community events and festivals, which provide excellent opportunities for students to mingle with locals and other international students. Furthermore, UNE’s International Student support services ensure that every international student is well looked after, from academic support to settling in.

UNE Science graduate, Christopher Manchishi Kanyama, praised the supportive environment. “The student Contact Officer and the International Office have ensured my safety, health and academic needs are met. I have made great friends from all over the world during my stay in Armidale,” he shared. 

4. Natural beauty and outdoor activities

Armidale’s geographical location, tucked within beautiful national parks and waterfalls, offers an oasis of outdoor activities. When you’re not hitting the books, you can hit the trails, go bushwalking in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park or enjoy picnics by the stunning Dangars Falls. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities for cycling, rock climbing and bird watching. For the ultimate thrill-seekers, UNE even has its own Outdoor Adventure Club

Armidale’s seasonal climates give rise to spectacular displays of colour, from vivid autumn leaves to vibrant spring blooms, truly making Armidale a living canvas of natural beauty.

Image: Mountain biking in Armidale

5. Employment opportunities

Beyond academics, Armidale offers ample part-time employment opportunities that can complement your study schedule. The city council has big plans to add 4,000 jobs by 2040, with a goal of 1,000 new jobs in just the next five years. These job openings allow students to gain practical experience, develop transferable skills and earn a little extra income. In addition, the university provides comprehensive career support services, such as job-search assistance, employability workshops, internships and career counselling.

6. A hub for arts and culture

Armidale is a cultural hub with a vibrant arts scene. The New England Conservatorium, which hosts a myriad of music programs, and the New England Regional Art Museum, which houses significant Australian art collections, serve as cultural pillars. Armidale’s Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place showcases diverse Indigenous arts and culture, offering educational tours and workshops. This combination of music, visual arts and Indigenous heritage creates an engaging and dynamic cultural environment in Armidale. These enriching experiences reflect Armidale’s dedication to cultural preservation and artistic excellence, making it an inspiring destination for art enthusiasts and students alike. UNE also regularly hosts cultural events to enhance the student experience and personal growth.

Image: New England Regional Art Museum

7. Exciting food scene

Armidale’s culinary landscape is a delightful blend of local and global cuisines. Whether you prefer a quick bite, a leisurely brunch, a fine dining experience or cooking at home with fresh ingredients, Armidale’s diverse food scene caters to all. The city offers a vibrant café culture, perfect for relaxed study sessions or social gatherings, and a diverse selection of restaurants for evening dining, many of which source ingredients locally. Be sure to check out Tattersalls Restaurant & Pizza Garden, Azka Tapas Restaurant & Bar and The Goldfish Bowl

Additionally, the Armidale Farmers’ Markets provide fresh local produce, promoting a healthy, sustainable lifestyle while supporting local farmers. 

8. Cultural diversity

Armidale is truly a multicultural city, a melting pot of different cultures, traditions, and perspectives. As an international student, you’ll enjoy a rich, diverse environment where your cultural background is not only welcomed but celebrated. UNE hosts students from over 70 nations. This diversity contributes to a broad worldview, fostering mutual respect and understanding among students of different nationalities. Celebrations like Harmony Day and UNE’s Culture Fest offer opportunities to share your culture and learn about others, enriching your overseas study experience.

“Studying at UNE has broadened my perspective and I have experienced different cultures from the local and international students,” shares international UNE graduate, Ali Al-Hamzah.

Image: Culture Fest at UNE

9. Compact city with easy accessibility

Unlike larger metropolitan cities, Armidale’s compact size makes for an easy, stress-free lifestyle. Everything you need, from university facilities, grocery stores and healthcare centres, is within a short distance, saving you both time and money. Plus, the city’s public transport system is reliable and student-friendly, with discounted fares for students. Whether you’re heading to a lecture, meeting friends in the city centre, or exploring the stunning local scenery, you’ll find getting around in Armidale a breeze.

UNE graduate, Cornelia Cohrs liked the idea of studying in a small community. “I chose to continue my studies at UNE as I love the beautiful city of Armidale. I enjoy living in a smaller city where people are more personal and supportive.”

10. Regional migration benefits

Looking for a way to stay in Australia longer? Look no further than Armidale! This regional gem offers a plethora of migration benefits for those who want to stay after graduation. By studying in Armidale, you’ll not only have access to quality education, but also the opportunity to extend your stay in Australia by an extra two years once your student visa expires. And that’s not all – the Australian Government has also recently announced an additional two years of post-study work rights for international graduates with eligible qualifications

Ready to explore more about the enriching student life in Armidale? Visit UNE’s website now to embark on your dream educational adventure.

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