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

Discover Adelaide Through the Eyes of International Students

This article is sponsored by University of South Australia

Welcome to Adelaide, a small yet energetic city that’s perfect for international students. Don’t be fooled by its size – Adelaide is full of life, with lively markets, beautiful coastlines and a variety of venues hosting events that cater to every interest.

Let’s explore Adelaide through the eyes of five international students from five different countries, each bringing their own distinct viewpoint of the city.

North Terrace and Rundle Mall with Manuel 

Manuel, a Bachelor of Architectural Studies student from Kenya studying at the University of South Australia (UniSA), takes us to North Terrace and Rundle Mall, two areas in Adelaide that are prime examples of the city’s renowned Victorian-style architecture.

North Terrace is a student favourite, especially for those at UniSA, thanks to its easy tram access. This area is known for its iconic buildings like Parliament House and Government House, which reflect Adelaide’s political history. It also houses cultural gems like the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the MOD., a futuristic museum of discovery.

Adjacent to North Terrace is Rundle Mall, Adelaide’s central hub for shopping and dining. Manuel sees it as a one-stop destination for everything you need. “I personally shop at Rundle Mall for everything from groceries to retail items, and I go to the food courts to try the variety of food there. It’s a really good place, very convenient and close by,” shares Manuel.

A notable feature in the mall is Adelaide Arcade, opened in 1885 and admired by architecture enthusiasts like Manuel for its unique design, particularly the skylight stretching from the entrance to the exit. Rundle Street, located at the ‘East End’ of Rundle Mall, is renowned for its quality dining and active nightlife. This bustling street is filled with job opportunities for students, and Manuel is one of many who work there.

Rundle Mall featuring the ‘Mall’s Balls’

Adelaide Oval and River Torrens with Gul

Now, let’s explore Adelaide with Gul, a Bachelor of Communication and Media student from India studying at UniSA. She shares with us two of her favourite spots in the city: Adelaide Oval and the River Torrens.

“Adelaide Oval is home to all things sports,” shares Gul. “You get to experience footy matches, cricket matches, music concerts.” 

Gul fondly remembers attending an Ed Sheeran concert at Adelaide Oval and also works part-time at the venue, highlighting its work opportunities for students. Beyond events, the Oval offers unique experiences like the thrilling roof climb, which Gul highly recommends for its breathtaking panoramic views of Adelaide and the ocean. This blend of entertainment and natural beauty makes the Oval a favourite destination for locals and visitors alike. Check out some of the upcoming events!

Nearby, you’ll find the tranquil River Torrens, a peaceful contrast to the excitement of the Oval. Gul enjoys quiet moments here, providing a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Located a short walk away from the UniSA City West and City East campuses, the River Torrens is perfect for students to enjoy leisurely walks, invigorating runs or even paddle boating, offering a serene environment for relaxation and outdoor fun.

Adelaide Oval and River Torrens

Central Market and Chinatown with Henry

Introducing Henry, a Brazilian student currently studying the Bachelor of Information Technology at UniSA and our knowledgeable guide to the bustling Adelaide Central Market.

Henry enthusiastically informs us that the market is “one of the largest markets in the entire Southern Hemisphere.”

It’s a hub of culinary delights, from the freshest fruits and seafood to the aroma of morning-baked bread that drifts through the air.

Henry eagerly shares his personal favourites within the market, starting with Con’s Fine Foods, a beloved family-owned establishment. Here, they offer a diverse selection of beef jerky, with Henry’s top recommendation being the herb and garlic flavour. Another must-visit spot on his list is Coco’s Fruit and Vegetables, which he describes as a “hidden gem” within the Central Market. Here, you can explore a global array of fruits like dragon fruit and mangosteens.

Henry also insists on making a pit stop at Saudade, which he describes as a “beautiful place where you can buy the best Portuguese tarts in the Adelaide Central Market.” 

After indulging your taste buds, he recommends taking a short stroll to Chinatown, where you’re greeted by “beautiful lion statues” at the entrance. As Henry says, Chinatown is a place where you can fully immerse yourself in the world of Chinese cuisine.

Adelaide Central Market

Mount Lofty with Alexandra

Alexandra, a Filipino Bachelor of Nursing student at UniSA, introduces us to Mount Lofty. Just a short drive from the city, here you’ll find hiking trails, stunning views of Adelaide and Australia’s native plants and animals.

The summit of Mount Lofty sits over 710 meters above sea level in the Adelaide Hills.

Alexandra explains, “You can reach Mount Lofty in less than 30 minutes by car or take a bus.”

There are various trails to explore, like the walk to Waterfall Gully or the Heysen Trail, or you can simply enjoy a leisurely walk in the native bushlands.

When you reach the summit, you’ll be treated to an amazing view of the Adelaide city skyline. Alexandra suggests, “It’s a great time to take pictures with friends or family and capture the native plants and animals of Adelaide.”

At the summit, there’s a café and shop with locally sourced Australian items that make great souvenirs. Alexandra mentions, “You can find locally sourced and Australian-made items at the café and shop for yourself or your friends.”

View from Mount Lofty Summit

Glenelg Beach with Charlene

Charlene, a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) student from Hong Kong SAR at UniSA, introduces us to the beautiful Glenelg Beach, a favourite among Adelaide’s city beaches. At Moseley Square and Jetty Road, precincts on the beachfront, you’ll find a variety of cafes, restaurants and shops. Charlene mentions her love for fish and chips, a popular choice for a beachside snack.

Glenelg Beach isn’t just about relaxing on the sand. Charlene shares that swimming is her favourite beach activity. For those who can’t swim, UniSA offers adult swimming lessons for AUD$20, making it easy for everyone to enjoy the water. But there’s more to do than just swimming.

“There’s still plenty to do at the beach, such as fishing, crabbing and also walking on the Jetty,” says Charlene.

Glenelg Beach

Connect with Adelaide students

Want insights on student life in Adelaide? Chat with UniSA student ambassadors – they can provide helpful tips and guidance for settling in. Use the UniSA Student Ambassador platform to connect and get started on your Adelaide experience.