5 reasons to study on the Gold Coast | Top Universities

5 reasons to study on the Gold Coast

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Chloe Lane

Updated May 21, 2024



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Famous for its 57km of golden coastline, ancient rainforests and its friendly, welcoming atmosphere, every year thousands of students from more than 130 countries choose to study on Australia’s Gold Coast.

If you’re looking for a taste of the Aussie lifestyle, here are five reasons why the Gold Coast is the place to study!

Its research-intensive universities are some of the best in the world

In addition to all the beauty the city has to offer, it also happens to be surrounded by some of the greatest higher education institutions not only in Australia, but in the world.

Three of the Gold Coast’s schools have been featured in this year’s QS World University Rankings including Griffith University, Bond University, and Southern Cross University.

Griffith University, located in South East Queensland, hosts more than 50,000 students across five campuses. The largest of these campuses is in Southport, which has seen significant growth and development including the opening of the Griffith Health Centre, the launch of the Griffith Business School building, and the opening of Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland.

The university has also been closely involved in several scientific breakthroughs. Amongst many other accolades, a world-leading malaria vaccine is being manufactured at the university’s Institute for Glycomics; the university is leading research into the use of robots to improve the quality of life for dementia patients at the Menzies Health Institute Queensland; and the university has taken the first picture of a shadow of an atom in its Griffith Centre for Quantam Dynamis.

In the south of the Gold Coast is Bond University, a private university praised for its small class sizes, innovative teaching and extensive industry engagement. Students are taught through interactive, discussion-based lessons, which are sure to make use of the latest learning technology.

Alongside its high-quality teaching, the school is also renowned for its research, leading a national £6.9 million (˜AU$14 million) sports science project. Additionally, the school’s stem cell research programme is close to restoring sight to patients with macular degeneration.

Southern Cross University is located next to Gold Coast Airport in Southeast Queensland. Due to its ideal location, the school has partnered with a local aviation vocational education provider to allow the study of a Bachelor of Business and Enterprise (Aviation Management).

The school also offers state of the art health and science laboratories and has 14 areas rated ‘above world standard’ by the prestigious Excellence in Research for Australia assessment.

Graduates can work on the Gold Coast for up to three years after university

Graduates can work on the Gold Coast for up to three years after university

If, like many graduates before you, you decide you’re not ready to leave the Gold Coast after university, you don’t have to! Through the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) you are able to enjoy three-year post-study work rights, along with plenty of other benefits.

The visa will also offer you access to additional regional visas, priority processing of visa applications and bonus points towards skilled migration to Australia.

This gives studying on the Gold Coast a unique advantage above other Australian cities, such as Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney where you can only legally work for up to two years after graduating.

Working on the Gold Coast after graduation will allow you to benefit from the wide range of job opportunities available in sectors such as tourism, research, manufacturing, IT, the marine industry and the health industry, amongst others.

The Gold Coast is more affordable than other major Australian cities

If all of this sounds too good to be true, be prepared to learn another major benefit of studying on the Gold Coast: it’s cheaper than other major Australian cities. In the latest QS Best Student Cities, it was named the most affordable Australian city featured, ranking 98th worldwide.

According to Numbeo, a single person living on the Gold Coast would need around £713 (˜AU$1,270), compared to around £755 (˜AU$1,345) in Brisbane. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Gold Coast would set you back around £1,018 (˜AU$1,814), in comparison to £1,471 (˜AU$2,620) in Sydney’s city center.

In fact, Study Gold Coast estimates that student accommodation in Gold Coast would cost significantly less, at only £450 per month (˜AU$800) – so you won’t have to break the bank!

Experience all the benefits of a major city, but with a much smaller population

Experience all the benefits of a major city, but with a much smaller population

The Gold Coast offers all of the benefits of a major city – employment opportunities, diversity and endless activities – with only a fraction of the people.

According to the latest QS Student Cities data, the Gold Coast contains a population of around 638,000 people, compared to Sydney’s 5.2 million and Melbourne’s five million.

Residents of the Gold Coast are generally an extremely friendly and welcoming bunch. They love being outside and enjoying the beauty and the weather that the Gold Coast has to offer.

Despite the city’s smaller population, it’s recognised for its multicultural environment, offering many international cuisines and even an annual festival celebrating its cultural diversity. 

The universities in the Gold Coast each have their own diverse communities, with 19 percent of the city’s students coming from other countries.

The laid-back lifestyle will make you never want to leave

The laid-back lifestyle will make you never want to leave

If your idea of a perfect study abroad destination involves a beautiful natural environment, there’s no better place than the Gold Coast.

Many people choose to study on the Gold Coast for its change of pace. Life is generally a lot slower. There’s always time to take in the beautiful beaches, waterfalls and mountains, to go on hikes and to soak up the sun.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a bit faster paced, surfing is a popular activity amongst students and local residents alike. The city also contains thrilling theme parts and a vibrant cultural scene with cafes, restaurants and festivals dotted all around.

Nestled within the city is a host of World Heritage rainforests and national parks, which serve as the home for hundreds of species of wildlife and plants, while also acting as a great place to view magnificent waterfalls on scenic walking trails.

And what’s more – due to Australia’s sub-tropical climate, the sun is almost always shining, with an average yearly temperature of 29 degrees° Celsius and an average of 300 days of sunshine each year!

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