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The Benefits of Studying in a Regional Area in Australia

So, you’ve decided to study in Australia – an excellent choice! Often the hardest decision isn’t what to study, but where to study in Australia. While many international students look to bigger cities with larger universities, others prefer the slower pace in regional areas. Have you thought about studying in regional Australia? Read on to explore the many benefits of studying away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities.  

The benefits of studying in regional Australia

Affordable cost of living

The cost of living in regional areas is generally lower than in urban areas. Bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne have increased demand for rent, meaning that accommodation in these cities is expensive. So, whether you want to live in student accommodation or a shared house, consider how much you could save by residing in a regional area. Cheaper accommodation costs mean you won’t need to break the bank to live a comfortable lifestyle.

Relaxed lifestyle

Australia is known for its laidback lifestyle with a ‘no worries’ attitude. Studying and living in a regional area will give you a fantastic opportunity to experience this Australian attitude. Explore like a local in your spare time with endless pristine sandy beaches, rolling hills and iconic ‘bush’ – so much beauty to discover. What more could you ask for from your international study experience?!

Employment opportunities 

Regional areas are home to a diverse range of job opportunities across various sectors, from hospitality to healthcare to agriculture. For example, if you are studying part-time, you can work locally doing fruit-picking or farm work. The number of job opportunities may be lower in regional areas; however, there are typically fewer people to compete with for that dream job. Additionally, living in a smaller community often makes it easier to build meaningful connections with people and build your network. 

Migration incentives for regional study

The Australian Government has some incentives to encourage international students to study and live in regional Australia. Studying in regional Australia can add an extra one or two years to a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa, depending on the regional area you reside in. 

You can also receive points for studying in a regional area on the Skilled Migration points test, which is an essential step in obtaining certain long-term visas. Obtaining a degree from a regional institution while living in that regional area contributes five points to the test. This is on top of the five points you get for obtaining a degree from an Australian education provider in general. 

Learn more about studying in regional Australia and what this means for your visa.

Strong sense of community

Oftentimes, what draws people to study in regional Australia is the sense of community. Small cities and towns are tight-knit, meaning that it is easier to form connections with those around you and find that ‘home away from home’ sense of belonging. People who live in regional areas are known for being warm and friendly, and you’ll feel this from the moment you arrive. Plus, with more and more people moving to regional towns, these destinations are continually growing and bursting with life.

A personalised class environment

When you enrol in a course with a smaller institution, you’ll likely enjoy smaller class sizes. As a result, you’ll have a better chance of getting to know everyone in your class and developing strong bonds with your classmates and teachers. Additionally, when your class sizes are smaller, your learning becomes more personalised. Teachers have more time to provide individualised feedback to each student, which can often lead to better learning outcomes. 

Access to special scholarships

When you choose to study in regional Australia, you become eligible to apply for significant amounts of funding. The Australian Government offers multiple scholarships to study in regional Australia, with the Destination Australia Program being the most relevant for international students. The program offers up to $15,000 in funding per year to its recipients.

Many regional universities in Australia, as well as TAFE and VET providers, offer their own institution-specific scholarships. Be sure to have a look on your education provider’s website to learn more about these funding opportunities. 

Proximity to natural wonders

Regional areas in Australia are home to natural gems that are sure to take your breath away. There is a long list of regional areas that boast incredible natural wonders, such as beaches, hiking trails, waterfalls and rainforests. 

Additionally, these wonders are more secluded and less beaten down by tourists, allowing for an intimate experience with nature on study breaks and weekend adventures. For example, the cosy town of Port Macquarie is home to an idyllic coastal walk, while the inland regional hub of Wagga Wagga features beautiful riverbanks.