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 of life 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 living in a regional area.
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?!
There are high chances you’ll source employment locally upon completion of your studies – something that isn’t always as easy in cities. If you are studying part-time, you can also work locally doing fruit-picking or farm work. The number of job opportunities may be lower in regional areas; however, there are also fewer people to compete with for that dream job. It’s often easier to build meaningful connections with people in regional communities too, so tap into your network when you seek work.
Incentives for regional study
The Australian Government has some incentives to encourage international students to study and live in regional Australia. From skilled visas that provide a pathway to permanent residence to additional points on the Skilled Migration Points Test – there are now more opportunities than ever for those who choose to study in regional Australia.
Sense of community
Often, what draws people to studying in regional Australia is the sense of community. When you enrol in a course with a smaller institution, you’ll likely know the names of everyone in your class and develop a strong bond with your classmates. This helps create a ‘home away from home’ sense of belonging, making it easier to find friends, settle in, and join a significant support network.
Meet Caspar, a student of Early Childhood Education and Care at South Regional TAFE in Bunbury, WA
Caspar began his pathway to the CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) at Bunbury campus, South Regional TAFE (RTO 52790). He hails from Taiwan, where he worked as a high school teacher. Caspar relocated to Australia to study a course related to his profession; hence why he picked Early Childhood Education and Care.
As someone who isn’t a big fan of city life, Caspar decided to study in regional Western Australia. With the other international students in his course, he enjoyed being able to chat about similar experiences including visas and employment opportunities.
Super committed to attending his classes, Caspar commuted from Dunsborough (where he lived) to Bunbury (about an hour’s scenic drive) and described the journey as “truly refreshing.”
When asked about the advantages of living in a regional area, Caspar says: “As a student of ECEC, it’s easier to find a job here than it would be in urban areas as it’s more competitive there.”
Caspar was the only male in his course and appreciated the support he received from tutors. “The lecturers always made sure every student was supported and offered spare time after class to discuss and to clarify the assessment – especially to international students,” he says.
He received the Certificate of Excellence in both his Certificate III and Diploma. “I was also the winner of International Student of the Year 2020 of South Regional TAFE,” he says.
Now, Caspar works at a day-care centre in Busselton as a qualified early childhood educator. He enjoys the random conversations he has with the children he teaches and is amazed at how they use their imaginations.
Caspar says the South West of Australia is a fantastic place to live. “If you ever decide to study at TAFE Bunbury, there are plenty of useful resources and friendly staff to turn to. In addition, do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone as that is exactly how your life begins.