Living in regional Australia has many benefits, and Ballarat, Victoria’s third-largest city is no exception. Located just over 100km west of Melbourne, Ballarat has a rich history, and offers a bustling cultural scene, exciting work opportunities, a close-knit community, and a whole list of things to keep you busy!
International students who live, study and work in Ballarat enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with short commute times, affordable housing and regional student benefits compared to studying in the larger capital cities.
Here are 7 benefits to studying, working and living in Ballarat as an international student.
Diverse job opportunities
With more and more people moving to Ballarat, the job market is booming, with high demand for graduates in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, IT, education and the arts. These exciting job opportunities will also become integral to supporting the local community ahead of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with many events being held in Ballarat that are expected to attract thousands of athletes and tourists to the region.
Come home to the most liveable regional city
A walk around the Lake? Breakfast at Jonny Aloo and a stroll down Sturt Street? Seize the day in Australia’s most liveable regional city with excellent public transport infrastructure around the city, parks, supermarkets, boutique shopping options and a vibrant foodie scene.
Federation University PhD student Nabila agrees. “If you’re an outdoor person, you are in luck. Ballarat is surrounded by beautiful forests and walking trails so that you can enjoy the scenery or have a cute picnic with friends,” she shares.
Ballarat’s cost of living is also substantially less than living in capital cities around Australia. Reduce rental stress by choosing from on-campus uni accommodation, share house, private rental or homestay options. Fedliving also offers commencing international students a $4,000 Fedliving scholarship to secure your on-campus accommodation, so that you can transition into university life with ease.
Get qualified at renowned education institutes
Home to two universities and one TAFE institution, Ballarat offers students a variety of high-quality tertiary education pathways. The two universities in Ballarat, Federation University Australia and Australian Catholic University, are highly-ranked institutions in both Australia and Victoria.
Federation University is developing a worldwide reputation: it was recently ranked in the top 250 young universities in the world as rated by Times Higher Education and is ranked number one in Victoria for undergraduate starting salary by the Good Universities Guide 2023.
Additionally, Federation University has been ranked number one in Victoria for skills development (undergraduate and postgraduate), student support (undergraduate) and social equity.
A connected education and workforce
It’s common for many universities to offer only brief internships or classroom assignments in their degrees. This isn’t the case at Federation University.
Federation University recently unveiled its co-operative model of learning, a first of its kind in Australia, which provides real-world experience to students so that graduates are ready to start work when they graduate. Students will learn beyond the classroom with employers such as IBM, Concentrix, Amazon Web Services, Westpac Bank and more.
Such experiences help Master of Engineering graduates like Imelda find employment sooner. ‘After I graduated, the experience from my course helped me to find work as a process technician at Ballarat Gold Mine’, said Imelda.
Being in a regional location, Ballarat has a smaller population than the big capital cities and you’ll find it’s much easier to connect with people and turn those connections into job opportunities.
The Young Professionals Network, run by Commerce Ballarat, offers many networking events throughout the year, where you can connect with like-minded people in the area and potentially land yourself a job.
They also offer numerous development events and other social activities, so it’s a great way to meet people if you’ve moved to Ballarat to study.
A welcoming community
While moving to a new place is exciting, it takes time to settle into a new home and make friends. Ballarat is known for having an exceptionally friendly and welcoming community, which has helped many international students settle into the town easier.
Ballarat is also a multicultural city that embraces diversity, with a growing number of migrants settling in the area. The Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council (BRMC) supports and advocates for the needs of diverse communities by organising events and initiatives that promote cultural awareness and understanding. Ballarat’s multiculturalism fosters a sense of community and inclusivity that benefits everyone who lives and works in the city.
Check out some of the upcoming events being held by the BRMC.
Stay longer with regional migration benefits
There are significant benefits for international students who live in and graduate from a regional area.
Ballarat is considered a category 3 regional area, and as such international graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible to access an additional two years in Australia on a post-study work visa. This is on top of the additional two years of post-study work rights already offered by the Australian Government to fill the employment shortage.
Don’t miss the chance to elevate your educational journey and transform your career prospects. Discover the incredible opportunities awaiting you at Federation University in Ballarat, where you’ll join a diverse and thriving community of students from around the world. Take the first step towards your bright future today and visit Federation University’s website.