7 Reasons Why International Students Are Choosing to Study in Brisbane | Top Universities

7 Reasons Why International Students Are Choosing to Study in Brisbane

By Stephanie L

Updated April 6, 2021 Updated April 6, 2021

Sponsored by The University of Queensland

When you think of Australia, what’s the first thing that springs to mind? Kangaroos, maybe? (Sorry, we couldn’t resist)! Perhaps you think of golden beaches, all-year-round sunshine, the Great Barrier Reef, koala bears, or even surfing?

You wouldn’t be wrong, but there is more to Australia than the stereotypes suggest. Why else would almost 800,000 students travel Down Under to pursue their studies? We took a closer look at Brisbane, located in the Sunshine State of Queensland, to see what makes it the place to be when it comes to studying abroad.

A warm and friendly welcome awaits  

Home to over 200 nationalities and 220 languages, Brisbane is a melting pot of cultures where you can be sure to expect a warm welcome.

In fact, the city ranked fourth in the QS Best Student Cities 2019 for student mix with 36 percent of its student population coming from overseas, while the City Welcome Festival is the country’s largest orientation festival for international students.

“People are as friendly as they can get, [whether it’s a] perfect stranger or newly-made friends. Everyone is approachable, friendly and helpful,” said University of Queensland (UQ) Civil Engineering student Moin Mushfiqur Rahman.

It’s home to one of Australia’s most sustainable universities

With never-ending news reports of wildfires, melting icecaps and increasing global temperatures, climate change is an issue taken seriously by a growing number of students around the world, and so The University of Queensland and Brisbane are both making strides in combatting the issue and embracing clean, green living.

In August 2019, the university rolled out a new initiative called ‘UQ Unwrapped’, which aims to reduce the university’s plastic footprint. Last year, it also won the 2019 Green Gown Awards Australasia and 2030 Climate Action category for its ‘100 percent renewable by 2020’ solar farm initiative. Also, this year it hopes to set the world standard by becoming energy neutral.

It’s also a top student city

Friends drinking

With lower average living costs than other Australian student cities, as well as well-renowned universities, a great urban and outdoor lifestyle culture and a buzzing student atmosphere, it’s no surprise Brisbane ranked 22nd in the QS Best Student Cities 2019.

“Brisbane has its own vibe where it's very chill and yet somehow it sustains the balance of the city as well,” said Cherie Cheah, a Journalism and Mass Communication student at The University of Queensland.

“One of my favorite places in Brisbane would be West End. It has an attitude of its own where there are many intriguing things to see and explore, from thrift shops to antique bookstores. There is always something new to discover.”

Coffee and café culture is a massive part of Brisbane and the local mentality. While breakfast and brunch is a nice meal that’s affordable for students. Once you’re in Brisbane, don’t forget to check out some of these favorite study hotspots where you can meet with friends, relax or get a caffeine fix:

  • Brisbane Botanical Gardens
  • Roma Street Parkland
  • Campos Coffee
  • New Farm Park
  • Bonsai Botanika – a Japanese fusion café
  • Coffee Anthology

You’re in the right place to tick off your bucket list

Friends surfing on the beach

If sun, sand and surf is how you want to spend your free weekends there really is no doubting the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast’s merits as top adventure destinations. Home to some of the world’s most famous beaches around an hour’s drive away, Brisbane is a springboard to surfer’s paradise.

Not forgetting the rainforests and mountain ranges that also make Queensland famous, you’ll find the novelty of adventure never fades here whether you want to find the perfect snorkel spot at Noosa Main Beach, hike up Brisbane’s inner city mountain, Mount Coot-Tha, or explore d’Aguilar National Park.

Ameya Deshmukh, who’s currently studying the Master of Communication for Social Change at UQ told us about some of her favorite things to do and places to see when she’s not studying.

“Some of my favorite activities including hiking at Mount Coot-Tha, exploring cuisines from around the world at Northshore Eat-Street, cycling around the Brisbane river loop and spending evenings witnessing the beauty of sunset with panoramic views of the city from Kangaroo Point Cliffs,” she said. 

The University of Queensland even offers courses with field trips to some of Australia’s most important and natural sites, including the Great Barrier Reef, Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island, outback Queensland and Fraser Island.

You can experience the best of both worlds with the city’s famous urban and outdoor lifestyle balance

Pink flower display

From the miles of nearby golden shoreline and lush subtropical rainforests to cosmopolitan downtown, Brisbane offers a range of lifestyle options like no other Australian city. Roof-top bars and riverside gardens are in abundance, while Brisbane’s most loved outdoor leisure space South Bank Parklands features its very own beach-style lagoon which offers a little slice of paradise in the inner city.

Free outdoor concerts are also a thing at weekends. As a student this is one way to keep your bank account happy and still have a great time. The only thing you’ll need to pay for is the picnic and drinks you bring with you.

And if you haven’t figured it out already, outdoor living and sport is an integral part of Brisbane’s culture. Day or night, you can expect to see runners and cyclists doing their thing along the river promenade. Occasionally, free fitness classes are held at Brisbane’s South Bank so there’s no excuse to not give it a go and be part of the action at least once!

And finally, you can make friends with the locals…

Koala bear in Australia

And no, we don’t mean tarantulas or spiders (unless that’s what you like).

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary. Here you’ll get the chance to get up close and personal with koala bears, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats and even a platypus!

Oh, and did we mention the average 283 days of sunshine Brisbane gets each year?

Lead image credit: Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally published in February 2020 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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