In the beautiful Queensland countryside, you’ll find the thriving regional centre of Toowoomba. Located in the middle of the stunning Darling Downs, living in Toowoomba offers a host of benefits to international students in Australia. Whether you’re seeking world-class educational providers, a laid-back lifestyle or urban convenience, you will find it all in this charming regional hub.
So, if you’re still wondering “Is Toowoomba a good place to live?”, the answer is a resounding yes. Here are the 10 most awesome reasons to consider studying and living in Toowoomba.
As an international student, it’s perfectly normal to have a strict budget – and it’s important to stay on top of it. While living in Toowoomba, you’ll generally find that housing costs are lower than in surrounding larger cities, like Brisbane or Gold Coast. However, income levels for young adults are actually higher. This means there’s an affordability advantage for students and new graduates who choose to live and work in Toowoomba.
Endless outdoor pursuits
When you’re not studying, you can explore a variety of fun outdoor activities in Toowoomba. There are several parks, such as Laurel Bank Park and Clewley Park, located in and around the city. The city also boasts plenty of open green spaces, hiking and camping opportunities, walking and cycling tracks, and gardens.
Plus, Toowoomba weather is slightly cooler climate than the rest of Queensland, making it more comfortable to be outdoors for longer periods of time. Here you’ll enjoy an average temperature of 28°C in the summer and 15°C in the winter.
Access to leading educational institutions
Toowoomba is home to several high-quality education providers that offer modern facilities and great courses to choose from.
For example, the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) has been awarded a five-star rating for graduate starting salaries in the Good Universities’ Guide 2023. It was also ranked in the top 100 in the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2022.
Additionally, TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus boasts state-of-the-art training facilities, designed to simulate real workplaces. This allows students to gain on-the-job experience while they study. The institution also offers a wide range of study areas and accessible pathways to higher education, so you can make your educational dreams a reality.
A booming food and drink scene
If you consider yourself a foodie, you’ll love Toowoomba. The food and beverage industry in this charming city is now well-established, with new trendy cafés, bakeries, breweries and wine bars popping up everywhere.
4 Brothers Brewing prides itself on custom craft beers inspired by the local area, while The Baker’s Duck delivers decadent gourmet baked goods.
You’ll find excellent coffee at Urban Grounds Café, Ground Up Espresso and Sweet Talk Coffee.
Keen for a cheeky cocktail? Head to Cork & Lever, Santé Cocktail Bar or rooftop bar Muller Bros to sip away and soak up the amazing views.
Toowoomba is Queensland’s Garden City
Known as Queensland’s Garden City, you’ll find over 150 gardens across Toowoomba. One of the most beloved is the famous Japanese Garden, which is located next to the UniSQ campus. The Garden is the perfect place to relax, explore diverse plant life or learn about the unique story behind its inception.
Every year, people from all over Australia come for the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. During this celebration, the city’s public gardens feature beautiful flowery displays, as well as incredible entertainment and events that include unique outdoor art created by local artists. Each night of the festival, you can take twilight tours and discover the secret world of the parklands at night. There are also parade floats, foodie treats, trails, displays and community activities for you to explore.
A diverse and inclusive community
With a population of over 170,000, Toowoomba has a small but diverse and multicultural community.
According to the 2021 Census, nearly 20 per cent of Toowoomba’s residents were born outside Australia, with the majority of these individuals originating from England, New Zealand, Iraq, India and the Philippines. As a result, inclusivity is a top priority for residents.
When you choose Toowoomba, there’s no doubt that you’ll feel welcomed, supported and encouraged throughout your study journey – no matter where you’re from.
Toowoomba has prioritised infrastructure, new development and public transport, so it’s easy to get around and explore the city. While it is a regional area, you’ll feel connected to city living with all the vibrant amenities.
One of these amenities is a public library that features state-of-the-art technology and modern facilities. These invaluable resources are free for students to use from Tuesday to Saturday. You’ll also find all the conveniences of urban living in this beautiful countryside setting, including various shopping options, sports and wellness facilities, entertainment providers, and medical centres.
Opportunities for travel
When you live in Toowoomba, travelling around Queensland – and the rest of Australia – is a breeze. You can get the train to Brisbane in under four hours and fly there in less than 45 minutes. You can also head to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, two iconic beach cities with everything you could want in a holiday.
If you’d like, you can even visit Northern NSW for a quick getaway. There, you’ll find the stunning Mount Warning, the famous Tweed Regional Gallery, as well as backpacker favourite Byron Bay. These spots feature stunning sites and some of the best waves to be surfed in all of Australia.
If you’re hoping to travel a little further, you can fly directly to cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville and Cairns from Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.
The Australian Government has designated Toowoomba as a regional area, meaning there are excellent incentives offered to international students who decide to study here.
Since 2021, Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders (post-study workstream) who have graduated from a regional educational institution and have lived in regional Australia on their first TGV have been eligible for a second TGV.
A balanced lifestyle
Sometimes, it can be hard to choose between the bright lights of the city and the calming ambience of a regional town. Lucky for you, Toowoomba has both.
When you study here, you’ll enjoy the tranquil country life while having the ability to explore larger cities. Immerse yourself in the laid-back surfer community by day and head to a vibrant bar by night.
In Toowoomba, you don’t have to pick one or the other – you can have it all.
Image courtesy of Tourism & Events Queensland.