If you’re considering studying in Australia, the Sunshine Coast should be at the top of your list. Nestled on the coast of Queensland, this charming region is known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse population and high-quality education. As an international student, living on the Sunshine Coast offers numerous benefits, including a vibrant and multicultural community, affordable cost of living and so much more.
While there are countless amazing reasons to study and live on the Sunshine Coast, here are our top 10.
The Sunshine Coast is so named for a reason – because of its sunny and warm climate! The region has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers.
During the summer months (December to February), temperatures typically range from 20°C to 29°C, with heatwaves sometimes reaching over 30°C (86°F). The summer season is also known for its high levels of humidity and frequent rainfall.
In the winter months (June to August), you can expect temperatures usually from lows of 10°C to highs of 22°C. Despite the cooler weather, the winter season is still mild and comfortable, meaning you can still enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
A multicultural community
The Sunshine Coast has a diverse population, making it an ideal place for international students to immerse themselves in a multicultural community.
The Sunshine Coast Council even offers a Multicultural Welcome Hub on its website, complete with ample resources to help new arrivals settle in. Here you’ll find migrant stories, information on translation and interpretation services, and community groups you can join.
The Sunshine Coast has some of Australia’s best academic opportunities, housing the University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC) as well as vocational training providers, such as TAFE Queensland.
Named the top Queensland university in the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, UniSC has been long recognised for its commitment to sustainability and social equity. Additionally, according to the Good Universities Guide 2022/23, the university has 13 five-star ratings across key areas of student satisfaction, including teaching quality, overall experience, learner resources and student support.
Serving communities for 140 years, TAFE Queensland is one of the most renowned training providers in Australia and boasts an 89.9 per cent student satisfaction rate.
Famous for its stunning beaches, lush greenery and picturesque landscapes, there’s no shortage of beautiful outdoor sights to see on the Sunshine Coast.
The region houses some of the best beaches in Queensland, Kings Beach in Caloundra, Coolum Beach and Main Beach in Noosa.
While there, don’t skip a trip to Noosa National Park. This natural reserve covers 4,000 hectares and features stunning coastal views, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife. Its scenic coastal walks and beautiful beaches make it a hotspot among locals and tourists alike.
Without question, some of the most memorable sites on the Sunshine Coast can be found among the Glasshouse Mountains. Across these 11 peaks, you’ll find an array of walking tracks, waterholes, waterfalls and more – each one as breathtaking as the last.
Incredible food and drink
Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, delicious coffee or tasty cocktails, the Sunshine Coast has it all. The region has a thriving food and drink scene, with a wide range of cafés, restaurants, bars and breweries ready for you to explore.
As a starting point, check out any of the 25 best restaurants on the Sunshine Coast.
A hub for the arts
The coast is home to an amazing selection of art facilities along the art gallery trail.
On the trail, you’ll find the Caloundra Regional Gallery, the Montville Art Gallery, Ben Messina Photography, Art Nuvo and so many more. Whether you’re eager to see paintings, photography or anything in between, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for along this trail.
Easy access to major cities
The Sunshine Coast has the easy-going lifestyle that most regional areas are known for – but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy city life while living here.
The coast is a stone’s throw from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, both of which offer bustling amenities and a vibrant way of life.
The coast’s proximity to these major cities means it’s easier for you to explore more of the country during your time here.
Regional visa opportunities
Because the Sunshine Coast is a part of regional Australia, those who study here could be eligible to apply for certain visas.
For instance, while most international students are eligible for one Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa, eligible students who studied at a regional institution can receive a second one under the Post-Study Work stream. This means you could be permitted to stay in Australia for an extra one to two years if you study on the Sunshine Coast.
As an international student, you likely want to explore all the interesting – and eccentric – landmarks Australia has to offer. Lucky for you, you’ll find one of the most unique on the Sunshine Coast: the Big Pineapple!
Here you’ll find the titular giant pineapple, as well as a TreeTop Adventure course, zoo and souvenir shop. This diverse selection of activities means there’s something here for everyone.
The locals on the Sunshine Coast are known for their friendly and inclusive nature. As a result, international students will feel comfortable and at home in this community from the moment they arrive.
Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.