If you’re seeking a study sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of Australia’s busy metropolitan capital cities, then Geelong could be the perfect place for you, providing affordable living and life by the water only an hour’s drive from Melbourne.
Geelong is a beautiful city that’s popular with students. Living in Geelong, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained, from lounging by the beach to weekend road-trips along the Great Ocean Road. Keep reading for all the reasons you should consider a move to Victoria’s second-largest city.
Home to a gorgeous waterfront
Geelong’s waterfront is one of the main reasons that it’s such a great city. Dotted along the waterfront, better known as the Geelong Hub, you’ll find trendy cafes and bars, serving up everything from brunch to evening cocktails. You’ll also find it hard to miss the iconic Carousel, which is the ideal place to soak up the front views of Corio Bay.
Geelong is home to Deakin University, one of the world’s leading universities. It boasts a reputation for being innovative and cutting-edge, particularly in research, with structured courses to suit student needs. It also offers excellent online learning resources and many flexible study options. With two Geelong locations, you can choose to study at the Waterfront Campus or the Waurn Ponds Campus. The university is rated Australia’s favourite public university by tertiary students, and offers courses on business, design, health sciences and information technology, leading Australia with its top-quality facilities.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider, The Gordon Institute of TAFE is one of Victoria’s largest TAFE campuses, helping students develop practical skills in a hands-on environment.
Students are drawn to Geelong because of its affordable cost of living. Renting accommodation in Geelong is over thirty-six per cent cheaper than in Melbourne. You can choose to rent a house with a garden and it’s likely to cost the same as a small apartment in Melbourne. The journey from Geelong to Melbourne is only an hour by car, or a little over an hour by train, so lots of local Australians choose to live in Geelong and commute to Melbourne for work. This makes weekend trips to the city really easy.
Excellent dining experiences
You’ll be happy to know that Geelong has dining options to suit anyone’s needs. Head to Driftwood Café for coffee so good that it rivals what’s on offer in Melbourne or enjoy a cool drink at Bathers Geelong, overlooking Eastern Beach. Murphys is another great eatery, with their classic restaurant and beautiful sky garden, or check out Wah Wah Gee and indulge in a themed banquet with friends. Geelong West’s Pakington Street, or ‘Pako’ if you ask the locals, is also buzzing with cafes and bars, with options for every budget. For affordable dine-at-home experiences, there are supermarkets, fresh-food markets and specialty Asian and Indian supermarkets where you can find imported goods from these countries, including spices and sauces.
Close to the Great Ocean Road
With Geelong as your starting point, road trips have never been easier! Located just outside of Geelong is the start of the famous Great Ocean Road. The closest stop from Geelong is Torquay, where you can check out world-class surfing on the famed Bells Beach. Famous for its rugged, natural beauty, sea stacks, and surfing culture, the Great Ocean Road is Australia’s most beautiful coastal drive and when you live in Geelong, you’ll have it on your doorstep.
An abundance of arts and culture
You don’t need to live in Melbourne to experience Australia’s thriving arts and culture scene. Geelong Arts Centre is home to Geelong’s creative industries, showcasing a range of live performances each year. Geelong Gallery displays 20th century Australian and European artwork, while Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, known as ‘The Dome’ to locals, is a great place to see the latest technologies and a great collection of historical archives.
There’s something to be said for living in Geelong, where the pace is a little slower than in Melbourne’s inner hub. Visit one of Geelong’s many art galleries, markets and spas or simply spend an afternoon soaking up the sun by the beach. Enjoy mingling with the friendly locals of this vibrant city and you’ll soon feel right at home.
Fun events to enjoy
Throughout the year, Geelong puts on a host of exciting events, including local AFL (Australian Football League) matches, the Australian International Airshow, which attracts thousands of people each year, and the Multicultural Pako Festa, a free event that celebrates cultural diversity. To keep up to date with the latest events in Geelong, click here.
Geelong’s unemployment rate is below the national average and there are many job opportunities for you while you’re studying, and beyond. Thirty per cent of Geelong’s workforce are post-graduate professionals and many work in Geelong’s trending career industries, which include healthcare, construction, advanced manufacturing and information technology. Retail trade is the second-largest industry, so there are plenty of jobs to take for support while you study.
Geelong is also considered a regional area, meaning that those on a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream may be able to add at least another year to their stay. With a smaller population than Melbourne city, there is also less competition to secure employment. For more information on living and studying in a regional area, click here.
Sports scene and exploring the great outdoors
Geelong is an ideal choice for those who love getting active and enjoy a city’s sporting scene. You can stay active by taking a bike ride along some of the city’s bike tracks or swimming in the sea baths at Eastern Beach. Geelong is also home to the famous Geelong Football Club, nicknamed the Geelong Cats. During footy season, make sure to watch a game at Kardinia Park and cheer on the Cats with a group of friends.
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