Perfectly situated between rainforests, the Aussie Outback, incredible beaches and the Great Barrier Reef, the Queensland capital of Brisbane receives more than 283 days of sunshine per year. The city’s two million residents enjoy a relaxed, outdoors-focused lifestyle, and it is also home to three globally-recognised universities: the University of Queensland (UQ), the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Griffith University.

More and more international students seem to be embracing Brisbane’s charms, with the city sitting in 22nd place in the global QS Best Student Cities rankings this year. Here are six educational and professional benefits of studying in the Sunshine Capital.

Love what you’re learning

If you’re looking for a university that will support your passion, Brisbane could be the place for you. The University of Queensland has a reputation for teaching excellence and has won more Australian Awards for University Teaching than any other institution in Australia. UQ also focuses on supporting early-career research for its students and academics; it has attracted an impressive amount of Australian Research Council funding in this area over the past few years.

Study in the heart of medical research in Australia

As many developed countries confront the challenges of an ageing population, health professionals are in higher demand than ever. In Brisbane, you can take your first steps towards a career in medical research. UQ hosts eight research institutes, including the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation – one of the largest medical research institutes in the Southern Hemisphere. At QIMR Berghofer, another Brisbane-based medical research institute focused on cancer, infectious diseases, mental health and chronic disorders, researchers publish two scientific papers per day on average.

Business is booming

Brisbane is Australia’s fastest-growing capital city for employment, with opportunities in industries like construction, engineering, education and health. However, there is also strong growth in business, as business services make up more than one-quarter of the Brisbane economy. Luckily for Queensland University of Technology students, the QUT Business School is ranked in the top 1% of business schools worldwide. Jobs are on offer in Brisbane in fields including architecture, consultancy, design, and legal services.

Jump into the future

Sometimes, youth can work to your advantage. Thanks to cutting-edge research and innovative teaching strategies, two of Brisbane’s universities under 50 years old have raced into the international spotlight. QUT is among the top-20 young universities in the world in both the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings and the QS Top 50 Under 50. The University is particularly highly ranked for subjects like communication and media studies, nursing, architecture, art and design, civil and structural engineering. Similarly, in its short 40-year history, Griffith has become a leading research-intensive university, ranking in the top 2% of universities worldwide.

Stress less

Despite its growing popularity, Brisbane is still one of Australia’s cheapest major cities to live in. According to Numbeo, rent prices are up to 40% lower in Brisbane than in Sydney. Students here are able to pursue their study and career goals without the huge financial pressures that can exist in other capital cities.

Kickstart your startup

Over the past five years, Brisbane’s startup scene has taken off and the city has become a top destination for Australian entrepreneurs. In 2017, Brisbane was home to 15.2% of startup offices in Australia, coming in second only to the much larger city of Sydney. If you’re hoping to create your own business in the technology sphere, Brisbane offers an established network of fellow entrepreneurs, plus solid infrastructure including coworking spaces and government support schemes.