Just a 90-minute drive from Brisbane and two hours to the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast, the city of Toowoomba offers a little bit of everything, including world-class education providers, a laid-back lifestyle, urban convenience and plenty of options for lovers of the outdoors.
Toowoomba is an inland city located in southern Queensland, which is in the north-eastern corner of Australia. This thriving regional centre might be situated in the Queensland countryside, but it is Australia’s second-most populous inland city and home to around 160,000 people.
Getting to Toowoomba
Toowoomba has its own airport, Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, which runs both domestic and international connecting flights. The airport is a convenient distance from the city centre, located just 15 kilometres, or a 25-minute drive, away.
QantasLink runs direct flights to Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport from Sydney Airport, which connects to several international destinations. Airnorth runs domestic flights from Melbourne and Townsville, as well as connecting flights from Darwin. Regional Express (Rex) Airlines flies to Toowoomba from Brisbane, Charleville, Quilpie, Windorah, Birdsville, Bedourie, Boulia, Thargomindah, St George, Cunnamulla and Mount Isa (this also means you can have fun travelling to other beautiful regional areas while you study!).
The flight from Brisbane to Toowoomba is just 40 minutes. Flights from Sydney often go through Brisbane, so the total time for your journey may vary, although the fastest time is around five hours. There are direct flights from Melbourne that are just over two hours.
Education providers in Toowoomba
Toowoomba is a region renowned for its study options, home to a broad range of high-quality institutions delivering all types of learning. With excellent facilities across the city, as well as big ambitions for further student-focused services, Toowoomba is a top destination for students of all ages and course levels.
TAFE Queensland’s large Toowoomba campus boasts well-equipped training facilities designed to simulate real workplaces, so you can gain on-the-job experience while you study. The institution has diplomas, certificates, advanced diplomas and associate degrees across a comprehensive range of study areas, including aged care, agriculture, automotive, building, business, child care, community services, crime and justice, electrotechnology, engineering, general education, graphic design, hairdressing and beauty, horticulture, hospitality and cookery, IT, nursing, photography, and resources and mining.
The main campus for the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) offers study pathways, bachelor degrees and postgraduate study. USQ has a five-star rating for internationalisation and employability from Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and has been ranked number one in Australia for graduate starting salaries three years in a row according to the Good Universities Guide 2020.
Over 25 other registered training organisations can be found in the area, including the new flight training academy at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport. Aviation students can now learn to fly through the Qantas Group’s Pilot Academy, which has the capacity to train 250 new pilots each year. These pilots will help the wider industry meet the increasing demand for skilled aviators, which is estimated at nearly 800,000 new pilots needed over the next 20 years.
For anyone looking for schooling options, there are 50 primary and secondary (high) schools in Toowoomba.
Why study in Toowoomba?
Toowoomba is a great place for international students. Many institutions now have dedicated international student services to help you on your journey to studying, living and working in Australia, and the city of Toowoomba values its multicultural community. Around 14% of the population was born outside Australia.
Toowoomba has a brand-new public library in the city featuring state-of-the-art technology and modern facilities. You’ll also find all the conveniences of urban living in Toowoomba, including varied shopping options, affordable accommodation, public transport, sports and wellness facilities, cafes and restaurants, entertainment providers and medical centres.
Toowoomba is a designated regional area, so there are excellent incentives offered to international students who decide to study here. From 2021, Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) holders (post-study work stream) who have graduated from a regional educational institution and have lived in regional Australia on their first TVG will be eligible for a second TGV. The initiative will provide an additional incentive for international students to study at a regional institution and to live in regional areas after they complete their degrees. You can find out more about these incentives here.
When you’re not studying, your outdoor leisure options in Toowoomba are endless. National parks border the city and provide scenic getaways to clear your mind, while the city itself is full of open green spaces, walking and cycling tracks, parks and gardens. Because Toowoomba is known as Queensland’s ‘Garden City’, you’ll find over 150 parks and gardens to enjoy. The famous Japanese Gardens are next to the USQ campus and offer a tranquil place to take some time out or to discover the unique story behind this gorgeous space.