Geelong is a fantastic choice for international students who want to live in a city full of opportunities. Located in Victoria, this regional hub is incredibly laidback and offers an outstanding study/work and life balance. With great places to study, a welcoming and vibrant community and good prospects for both students and graduates, there’s good reason Geelong is becoming increasingly popular among international students.
Top study facilities
If you’re wondering where to study in Geelong, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to reputable and internationally recognised educational institutions. Geelong is home to The Gordon Institute of TAFE – Victoria’s largest regional stand-alone TAFE – which has been a top choice for international students for decades, with the institute is celebrating 100 years of providing quality international education in 2020. The Gordon offers full-time courses across areas like Building Design and Construction, Nursing, Cookery and Hospitality, Early Childhood Education and Care and Laboratory Technology, just to name a few. Courses are hands-on instead of being mostly theory-focused, which means you can enter the workforce with practical skills and the confidence to do the job. The Gordon courses also offer pathway options to university, which allows you to gain credit points for your bachelor course and have the skills to work in your preferred industry whilst studying at university.
Deakin University is another excellent choice. This world-class institution has numerous awards to its name, flexible study options and career support throughout your study journey.
Regional migration opportunities
While still close to Melbourne (the distance is only 75km), Geelong is classified as a regional area for migration purposes, which brings with it the opportunity to live and work in Australia for longer.
In Australia, Temporary Graduate visas are available to recent international student graduates. By graduating from a regional campus of a registered educational institution with a higher education or postgraduate qualification, you may be able to get a second Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) and access regional migration schemes.
International student initiatives
Since the pandemic hit, the City of Greater Geelong, in collaboration with Study Geelong, has implemented a range of initiatives to make life easier and more comfortable for international students living in the city.
One of those initiatives is the International Friends Program, which links international students with a community member or family based on their interests or area of study. There are plans for this to be an ongoing program (extending beyond the pandemic), with an overall aim to reduce isolation and create connections for international students in the local community.
Whether it’s part-time work while you’re still studying, internships with local companies or kickstarting your career with a full-time position, Geelong offers different options.
Geelong is noted as a significant service and industrial manufacturing centre for the Barwon South West region. Geelong has long been a hub for manufacturing and engineering, (traditionally in the automotive and textiles industries, but moving more recently to advanced manufacturing and renewable energy), and is experiencing growth across several other fields including health, professional services, finance and insurance, education, research and engineering.
As well, the following industries have regular employment opportunities if you’re looking for part-time and casual work while you study: retail, hospitality, tourism, agriculture, sales and telemarketing, administration and clerical work, and tutoring.
Geelong even has its own careers app to help you source local employment. To download the Geelong Careers app, visit the App Store or Google Play. Alternatively, you can check if your institution offers careers support. The Gordon’s Skills and Jobs Centre offers free employment support and help with job applications, course advice, general career information and the latest updates on what’s happening in industries across Australia.
Plenty of places to live (and many of them incredibly affordable)
Geelong offers a variety of affordable housing options and has a lower cost of living. The accommodation choices are endless, with everything from on-campus accommodation and local homestays with Australian families to private and temporary accommodation available.
The City of Greater Geelong is also currently working on the Armstrong Creek urban growth area. This sustainable community will offer new residents and international students an attractive location for living and working.
No matter your decision on where to live in Geelong – be it right in the centre of the city or in one of the outer suburbs – you are sure to find affordable options and friendly locals who make a home away from home as an international student all the more enjoyable.
Culture in Geelong
The quality of life in Geelong not only attracts international students, but it also means lots of Melburnians are choosing to relocate to the city. Geelong is proud to offer a diverse range of arts and culture events and activities to enjoy.
With fascinating public artwork to admire along Geelong’s boardwalk, renowned art galleries to wander through and multicultural festivals like Pako Festa to attend, your downtime in Geelong will be packed with cultural fun.
And if you weren’t already convinced that Geelong is a great place to live, it’s also a city thriving in the design space, boasting the title of Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design. Naturally, that means lots of creative events to experience throughout the year.
Explore Geelong and much more
Aside from endless things to do in Geelong, the surrounding areas also have an abundance of attractions. Geelong is known as the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula, a region bounded by Port Phillip Bay’s sandy beaches and the ocean waters of Bass Strait. You can also use the city as a starting point for your journey along the famous Great Ocean Road.
The Bellarine is famed for many things, but is renowned as a culinary destination offering a generous collection of farm gates and dining establishments. The area is also packed with beautiful beaches and historic towns that are waiting to be explored.