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The Benefits of Studying (and Working) in Cairns

Cairns, Australia is a stunning, tropical paradise, nestled between the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, two of Australia’s most famous World Heritage-listed sites. When you work and study in Cairns, you’ll reap a host of rewards, from incredible employment opportunities to affordable living. Read on to discover the greatest benefits of living in this Australian oasis.

Study at world-class institutions

Cairns is home to two universities (CQUniversity and James Cook University), a TAFE, private VET providers, and English Language Schools. 

CQUniversity Australia is one of the fastest-growing universities in Australia, boasting a multimillion-dollar campus with high-tech classrooms and purpose-built labs. James Cook University (JCU) is also internationally renowned for its smaller class sizes, access to leading academics, professional networking opportunities, scholarships and much more. 

Year after year, both education providers rank among the best in the world. For instance, JCU is the #1 university in the world for marine and freshwater biology and was ranked #2 in the world for biodiversity conservation in the 2017 Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR). In the State of Australian University Research 2018-19: ERA National Report, CQU was recognised for conducting world-class research in 22 different research categories. CQU also ranked in the top two per cent of universities globally for graduate employability in the QS World University Ranking: Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.

Support resources for new graduates

Those who study in Cairns enjoy exceptional professional support throughout their studies. Cairns’ institutions employ faculty members with direct connections to industry leaders, offering students a head start in their careers through networking and exposure. 

However, this support doesn’t end when students graduate. On the contrary, many Cairns’ education providers continue to offer services and resources to students to help them secure a job after they’ve completed their studies.

For example, CQUniversity students can feel secure in their future thanks to the institution’s Graduate Guarantee. Under this initiative, if you haven’t secured part-time or full-time employment in your field of study within six months of finishing your course, you will be eligible to apply for a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Entrepreneurship at no extra cost. 

Additionally, TAFE Queensland features a Graduate Resources hub on its website, packed with helpful information for alumni who have recently entered the workforce.

No matter where you study in Cairns, you’re sure to receive ample support from the moment you start your course and long after you finish.

Stay longer in Australia with regional migration incentives 

Are you hoping to stay in Australia long-term after you graduate? Studying in Cairns could be an excellent step in that direction!

Cairns is considered a regional destination for migration purposes and international students who study at regional institutions are eligible for certain migration perks, such as a second Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa. This means that you may be eligible to live, work and explore this spectacular part of Australia for an additional one to two years (on top of the two to four years granted on your first Temporary Graduate visa). 

Additionally, when you study in a regional area, you become eligible for skilled migration visas. Check out the Australian Government’s regional migration programs here

Gain more funding opportunities

Similarly, when you choose to study in Cairns, you become eligible for additional funding opportunities. Again, this is because Cairns qualifies as a regional area and there are certain scholarship programs targeted specifically at international students studying in these regions. For example, the Destination Australia Program offers up to $15,000 in funding per year to domestic and international students pursuing their education in regional destinations.

Build your professional network

Cairns is a friendly, multicultural city with a close-knit community of 150,000 people. Because the population is smaller, it’s easier to make new connections and leave a lasting impact in Cairns. In short, when you choose to study in Cairns, you’ll enjoy easier and more meaningful networking opportunities.

Plus, there are plenty of industry networking opportunities offered by several local organisations. Whether you’re looking for support, advice or collaboration, you’ll have no trouble finding workshops and events to attend.

Expand your horizons with a career in hospitality, tourism or retail

Did you know that Cairns welcomes roughly 2.5 million tourists every year? Since so many people from around the world choose to holiday in Cairns, it should come as no surprise that the city boasts thriving hospitality, tourism and retail sectors.

So, if you’re interested in launching a career in any of these industries, Cairns is the place to be. Whether it’s in a shop, resort, bar or hotel in Cairns – or perhaps even something a little more adventurous like a tour boat or a wildlife sanctuary! – you’ll have abundant and diverse work opportunities. This is a great chance to build your resume and discover what type of work you enjoy.

Unparalleled quality of life

Living in Cairns means that you will spend your time immersed in breathtaking nature, warm temperatures and year-round sunshine. Cairns also boasts a vibrant nightlife, a significantly lower cost-of-living estimate than other major Australian cities, access to some of the most picturesque natural landscapes in the world, and once in a lifetime experiences. This combination means that students in Cairns will benefit from an outstanding quality of life.

Read more about living in Cairns at the links below:

10 Awesome Reasons to Live in Cairns

Discover Cairns in Pictures

What to do in Cairns

Photos courtesy of Tourism & Events Queensland.