Download our guides Your Next Career Accommodation Money and banking Cost of living Visas Employment Health and safety Language Life in Australia Studying Getting around Travel Advertise

First Impressions: Your Guide to Adelaide from a City Newbie

This article is sponsored by University of South Australia

Adelaide is a top pick for students from around the world, offering excellent education and a lifestyle that blends city excitement with natural beauty.

We caught up with Peixuan, who has recently moved from Beijing, China, to Adelaide, where he’s pursuing a Bachelor of Secondary Education (Honours) at the University of South Australia (UniSA). He shares his insights on why Adelaide is the ideal spot for your studies as well as tips on making the most of your experience in this beautiful city.

Why Adelaide?

“Why Adelaide?” you might ask. Well, Peixuan was looking for something completely different from the fast-paced life he knew in Beijing. “I chose to study in Adelaide because I wanted to experience a different type of city” he shares. Upon arriving, he was pleasantly surprised by Adelaide’s unique blend of characteristics. The compact yet lively city centre, coupled with expansive suburban areas, was a stark contrast to what he had grown up with. He admires the cleanliness of Adelaide’s streets and its magnificent architectural buildings, giving him a positive first impression upon arrival.

And why UniSA? His decision became clear after attending a university exhibition, where he had the opportunity to discuss his ambitions with a UniSA staff member. “I liked what [the staff] had to say about UniSA,” he shares. “It seemed like a great place to get an Honours degree in Education.” 

Adelaide’s welcoming community

Peixuan was immediately impressed by the friendly nature of Adelaide’s vibrant and multicultural community.

“The people are passionate. They always give you a smile or a warm welcome,” he shares. He highlights how the city’s inviting atmosphere made him feel right at home. This sense of connection wasn’t just limited to the city’s streets but was also a big part of his experience with UniSA staff.

Having dealt with initial visa challenges, Peixuan found a reliable support system at UniSA. “The UniSA staff supported me with my visa. I had some problems and I needed to wait. I was very anxious,” he remembers, grateful for the guidance and reassurance during those stressful moments. Peixuan encourages other students to reach out to their university’s international support services, especially when they’re new to the country. This initial support has left Peixuan feeling optimistic about the help he’ll receive from UniSA staff as he adjusts to his new environment.

Settling in and finding accommodation

Finding a place to live in Adelaide turned out to be simpler than Peixuan expected. “If you want to find a house or a student apartment, it is quite easy compared to other cities,” he says. Peixuan chose a student apartment close to UniSA for its convenience and the sense of community it offers. “It’s very convenient. To cook there, to study there or just relax,”. He enjoys the perfect balance between private and communal spaces that his accommodation provides.

Living with a local student has been an added bonus for Peixuan, providing him with a glimpse into Australian culture and everyday life. This living arrangement has not only helped him adjust to a new country but has also enriched his understanding of the local culture and customs, making his transition to life in Adelaide smoother and more enjoyable.

Exploring Adelaide

Upon his arrival in Adelaide, Peixuan wasted no time in getting to know his new city, exploring everything from the serene Henley Beach to the historic State Library and the lively Rundle Mall. These spots capture the essence of Adelaide’s unique natural beauty, rich culture and bustling shopping scene. While Peixuan still has much more he wants to explore, his eagerness to do so highlights a valuable tip for new students: getting to know your city can really enrich your international study journey.

Read more: Discover Adelaide Through the Eyes of International Students

Engaging with campus life

Getting involved in campus life is key for international students like Peixuan to feel settled and make friends in a new country. Peixuan is looking forward to joining UniSA’s student clubs to enhance his English and communication skills. “I want to attend clubs so I can be around people who communicate in English,” he says.

UniSA has more than 90 student clubs and societies, spanning academic, cultural, and sports interests. These clubs are perfect for students looking to practice their English, discover new interests and make friends. 

Peixuan has made the most of Orientation where he attended UniSA’s International Welcome Reception, an event that’s all about making sure new international students feel at home in Adelaide and the university. The event had hundreds of international students from more than 50 countries attend and was a great opportunity for students to enjoy Aussie treats, play interactive games, hear from senior management, and learn about the services available at UniSA. It’s a fantastic example of how events like this can help you adjust to Adelaide through familiarising yourself with both the academic and social aspects of university.