Brisbane is the Capital of “the sunshine state”: Queensland. It is famous for its excellent weather, a vibrant river-side city hub and an outdoorsy, easy-going population.
1. Great Outdoors
Brisbane is truly where urban Australia meets the northern rainforests. There are over 2,000 parks and more than 2500 species, making Brisbane Australia’s most biodiverse city, and with over 300 sunny days in a year, you’ll want to spend every day outside, exploring this unique city. From the Riverlife Adventure Centre, you can kayak or paddle board down the Brisbane River, abseil or climb the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, hire a bike or rollerblades, and much more. At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the oldest and largest koala sanctuary in Australia, you can spend the afternoon hanging out with one of Australia’s most iconic species.
You definitely can’t leave Brisbane without going on a whale-watching cruise from Moreton Bay, or hand feeding bottle-nose dolphins at Tangalooma Marine Education and Conservation Centre on Moreton Island. Even in this urban hub you’re never far away from the Australian wildlife.
2. Vibrant Cultural Scene
You’ll never be short of new food to try in Brisbane. Numerous food and drink markets operate year-round, offering an array of global cuisine (ever tried Japanese pizza?) and craft beers. If you’re looking for something central, you can’t get more central than Southbank. This 17-hectacre parkland lies beside the river in the heart of the city. There are plenty of gardens to stroll through and coffee shops to visit and a supreme man-made swimming lagoon. Major cultural institutions, such as Australia’s largest public Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), the city library and the state museum, border the park. With sunshine all year round, there’s no end to the festival season – live music events happen year round and with such variety there’s something for every taste.
3. Top-ranked Universities
Brisbane is home to three globally ranked universities – The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Griffith University. The University of Queensland is especially notable – ranked 5th in Australia and 50th worldwide by QS World University Rankings 2023. It is situated in a beautiful part of the city – south of the centre and surrounded on all sides by the Brisbane River. Its campus is vast, with three lakes, an aquatic centre, tennis courts, eight athletics ovals, and facilities for elite rowing.
4. Diverse and Welcoming City
Brisbane is loved by the students that choose to study there. It is ranked the 3rd best Student City in Australia in the QS world rankings and 22nd worldwide. Its residents are very diverse, with 21.7% born outside Australia and 16% speaking a language other than English at home and the locals couldn’t be more welcoming to international students. More than 80,000 international students from 140 different nations call Brisbane home, and they’re all invited to the Brisbane Welcomes International Students Festival every year. Forget Fresher’s Week, Brisbane greets its new international students with a city-wide festival. Students are shown everything Brisbane has to offer with food and live music, followed by the chance to network at the annual Lord Mayor’s International Students Friendship Ceremony.
5. Affordable Cost of Living
Brisbane is known as one of the most affordable cities in Australia. Cheaper than both Sydney and Melbourne without compromising on quality of life, it makes it ideal for students and young professionals. Students typically live in the inner suburbs which are well connected to the city centre by public transport. Cycling is very popular and the glorious weather plus plenty of cycle paths with great views make it a great choice for students. Don’t want the hassle of buying your own bike? Not a problem – as a student in Brisbane, you get a 25% discount when you hire a bike with City Cycle. A free bus service also runs within the city centre and free ferry services are available between Southbank and Kangaroo Point.
6. Amazing Adventures on Your Doorstep
One of the best things about studying in Brisbane is all the amazing experiences you can have while you’re not studying. Brisbane is a gateway for some of the most popular destinations in the world. What better way to spend your weekends and breaks than surfing, snorkelling and sunning on stunning coastlines or hiking and mountain biking through dense rainforest? Queensland is well connected by a network of long-haul coaches. To the north, an overnight bus will have you waking up to the pristine white sands of Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, swimming with rays and lemon sharks. Or a quick morning trip south could have you having brunch in the hippie surf haven, Byron Bay. UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Gondwana Rainforests, are only a day trip away. Queensland has endless sights to explore and you’ll have a blast trying to see them all.
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