Why Brisbane for International Students?

June 13, 2023
Brisbane house price growth in the last 10 years

Key takeaways:

    • Brisbane is a welcoming and diverse city with reliable resources to support international students.

    • It offers affordable living expenses, student discounts, quality education at world-class universities as well as a vibrant lifestyle and cultural scene.

    • It also provides easy transportation access, job opportunities and networking events for international students.

So, why Brisbane for international students? One of the most popular choices for overseas university attendees, Australia’s third most populous city offers everything an international student could hope for: a welcoming environment, world-class universities, a vibrant lifestyle, easy transportation within the city as well as the affordable costs of living in Brisbane.

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, but choosing the right destination and preparing for your move as an international student is crucial for your success. In this blog post, we’ll explore what makes Brisbane the ideal location for international students.

Welcoming Environment for International Students

Brisbane is one of the best cities to live in Australia as an international student. It is a city that celebrates diversity. 21.7% of its population are people born outside Australia and 16% speak a language other than English at home. The city’s subtropical climate offers warm to hot temperatures throughout the year, making it a comfortable place to live and study. As the capital of Queensland, Brisbane has an efficient public transportation system that connects the city center with various accommodation options for international students.

IDP Australia offers reliable resources to international students relocating to Brisbane, providing application assistance, visa assistance, and help in selecting accommodation. The city’s South Bank suburb, located along the Brisbane River, offers a conducive lifestyle catering to international students’ needs.

Orientation Day

The Brisbane Welcomes International Students Festival is Australia’s largest city orientation day, designed to welcome international students to the bustling city of Brisbane. This event sets the tone for a supportive and inclusive atmosphere, ensuring that students from all corners of the globe feel at home in this diverse city.

In addition to the festival, the Lord Mayor’s International Students Friendship Ceremony is held annually, further showcasing the city’s commitment to embracing its international student population. These events provide opportunities for students to mingle, make friends, and settle into their new environment with ease.

Support Services

Brisbane offers a variety of support services to international students, including English conversation classes, social meetings, activities, and excursions. Additionally, students can access counseling, academic skills support, accommodation assistance, airport pick-up, campus life, career development, and employment services.

An International Student Hotline is available for students facing issues related to safety, study, work, or accommodation.

Affordability: Cost of Living and Student Discounts

Why Brisbane for International Students

One of the major concerns for international students is the cost of living in Australia. Brisbane is one of the cheapest major cities in Australia for international students, with estimated monthly expenses ranging from approximately AU$1,728 to AU$2,448. Careful budgeting and taking advantage of student discounts can help students save even more.

In addition to affordable living costs, Brisbane offers numerous student discounts at various retailers and institutions. These discounts can help students save on fitness, food, entertainment, and public transportation, allowing them to enjoy everything the city has to offer without breaking the bank.

Living Expenses

The living expenses in Brisbane may vary depending on one’s lifestyle, accommodation needs, and spending habits. On average, a single person in Brisbane incurs a monthly living expense of $1500. Rent, utilities, and groceries are some of the major components of living expenses.

Renting in Australia as a student is a popular choice and often more affordable than most student accommodation on campus. And yes, international students can live off campus in Brisbane—so you’re free to find cheap houses for rent in Brisbane of your own choosing. When you’re ready to find a rental property, Soho will help you find the best home for you via our property match feature. You can also explore the cheapest student accommodation in Brisbane to find the best option for you.

To give you a rough idea of grocery expenses in Brisbane, the average monthly cost of groceries for an individual is around $170. Prices are in line with the average Australian price, and shopping at farmers’ markets or buying items in large quantities when they are discounted can help save on food shopping costs.

Student Discounts

Brisbane offers a wide range of student discounts, from 33% off Dominos to 25% off Microsoft products, and 50% off public transportation fares. Additionally, many gyms offer student discounts or concessions with the necessary documentation, and some cinemas have reward programs that provide discounts for tickets, popcorn, and drinks upon joining.

These discounts can significantly reduce the overall cost of living for international students in Brisbane.

Quality Education and World-Class Universities

Why Brisbane for International Students

Brisbane is home to numerous prestigious educational institutions, such as Griffith University, Central Queensland University, James Cook University, University of Southern Queensland, The University of Queensland, and the Queensland University of Technology. These universities are regarded as some of the best in the world. These institutions offer a wide range of courses, including Law, Medicine, Business, Marketing, Tourism, IT, and Biotechnology.

Australia’s high Education Index, ranked second highest in the world in 2018, reflects the country’s commitment to providing top-notch education.

The appeal of Brisbane’s relaxed lifestyle and breathtaking natural beauty by the coast, combined with the presence of renowned educational institutions, has contributed to a rise in international student enrollment in the city. Studying in Brisbane not only provides students with a high-quality education, but also an unforgettable experience in a city that has so much to offer.

Top Universities

The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and Griffith University are considered the top universities in Brisbane. The University of Queensland, one of the oldest universities in Brisbane, is widely deemed the most prominent university in the city. It offers a wide range of courses and boasts a strong research focus.

Queensland University of Technology provides an extensive selection of courses, such as engineering, business, and health sciences. Griffith University, on the other hand, stands out in providing a variety of courses in the creative arts, including music, film, and design.

Courses Offered

Why Brisbane for International Students

Universities in Brisbane provide a range of diploma programs, Bachelor’s degrees, Bachelor dual degree programs, graduate certificates, Master’s degrees, and research degrees. The courses available differ by university and faculty, but encompass Business, Economics & Law, Engineering, Architecture & Information Technology, Health & Behavior Sciences, Humanities & Social Sciences, Medicine, Science, and more.

Unique offerings include Marine Biology courses with classes conducted on islands and courses to enhance health and wellbeing. International students have a wide array of options to choose from, ensuring an enriching educational experience in Brisbane.

Vibrant Lifestyle and Cultural Scene

Why Brisbane for International Students

Brisbane boasts a dynamic lifestyle and cultural atmosphere, with frequent festivals, exhibitions, and performances, as well as proximity to several tourist attractions. The city offers a wide variety of cafes and restaurants with various cuisines from across the globe, as well as numerous bars, clubs, and pubs to cater to diverse interests.

In addition to its thriving arts and music scene, Brisbane is also surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast nearby. These factors come together to create a vibrant lifestyle that international students can enjoy while pursuing their academic goals.

Festivals and Events

There’s never a dull moment in Brisbane, as international students can attend a variety of events, live music and festivals throughout the year. From classical music, opera, and ballet performances that cost an average of $90-$150 per ticket to the more affordable local band gigs costing around $60 at larger venues and less at intimate ones, there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget.

Other festivities include cultural events, food festivals, and art exhibitions that showcase the city’s creative spirit. These events provide opportunities for students to immerse themselves in the local culture, make new friends, and create lasting memories during their time in Brisbane.

Tourist Destinations

Brisbane offers a plethora of tourist destinations, such as South Bank Parklands, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Mount Coot-Tha Summit Lookout, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha, and City Botanic Gardens. Additionally, nearby tourist destinations include two of the world’s largest sand islands and sub-tropical hinterland rainforests, namely the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coasts.

International students can easily explore these attractions during weekends and breaks, providing a well-rounded experience of life in and around Brisbane.

Easy Transportation and Accessible City Layout

Why Brisbane for International Students

Navigating a new city can be challenging, but Brisbane’s public transportation system makes it easy for international students to get around. The city is safe and secure, with a simple-to-traverse public transportation system that includes buses, trains, trams, taxis, and bikes.

The go card, which facilitates seamless travel on all TransLink bus, ferry, and rail services within south-east Queensland, is highly recommended for use on the Brisbane metropolitan network. With a 50% discount on public transportation fares for international students, commuting within the city is both convenient and affordable.

Public Transport

Brisbane’s public transportation system is accessible and affordable for international students. The go card, which can be obtained from retailers and QR stations, online or by telephone, makes it easy to travel on all TransLink bus, ferry, and rail services within south-east Queensland. The international student concession fare for public transport in Brisbane is between $1.35 and $1.69 per trip, making it cost-effective for daily commutes.

In addition to regular public transportation options, Brisbane also offers free transportation services like the City Loop and Spring Hill Loop bus services, as well as the City Hopper ferry service. These services provide easy access to popular destinations in the Central Business District and Spring Hill precincts, further enhancing the convenience of living and studying in Brisbane.

Bicycle Paths

For those who prefer an eco-friendly and active mode of transportation, Brisbane boasts an extensive network of bikeways and shared pathways, including the Bulimba Creek Bikeway, the longest bikeway in the city. Several inner-city rides are available as well, such as the Teneriffe Boardwalk, Kangaroo Point Bikeway, and the Bicentennial Bikeway.

Cycling around the city not only helps students save on transportation costs, but also allows them to discover Brisbane’s beautiful scenery and hidden gems at their own pace.

Job Opportunities for International Students

Why Brisbane for International Students

Working part-time while studying in Brisbane can help international students gain valuable experience and cover some of their living expenses. The city is a hub for many businesses. A variety of industries, like business services, construction, education, finance, government, health, manufacturing, mining, retail, and transport, offer economic opportunities for all. This variety provides ample opportunities for international students to find part-time jobs that suit their skills and interests.

Networking plays a crucial role in securing job opportunities, and Brisbane offers numerous networking events for international students, including university events, student clubs and organizations, career events, and online groups and communities. By actively engaging in these events and communities, students can build connections with potential employers and peers, increasing their chances of finding part-time work and future career opportunities.

Part-Time Work

International students in Brisbane are authorized to undertake part-time employment for up to 20 hours per week. This allows students to earn extra money while gaining valuable work experience. Part-time job opportunities can be found in various industries, such as construction, hospitality, and childcare.

When seeking part-time employment, it is important for students to choose positions that will be beneficial to their career. However, even positions that are not directly related to their field of study can provide transferable skills that will be advantageous and look impressive on their resume.

The average remuneration for international students working in Brisbane is typically higher than the minimum wage.

Networking Opportunities

International students in Brisbane can take advantage of various networking opportunities provided by universities, student clubs and organizations, and career events. Universities host events such as orientation days, career fairs, and networking events, allowing students to connect with potential employers and industry professionals.

Student clubs and organizations focused on sports, culture, and academics provide additional opportunities for students to build connections with like-minded peers. Online groups and communities also offer platforms for students to connect with others in a professional manner, further enhancing their networking opportunities.


In conclusion, Brisbane is an ideal destination for international students seeking a welcoming environment, world-class education, affordable living, vibrant lifestyle, and easy transportation. With a range of top-tier universities offering diverse courses, plentiful part-time job opportunities, and numerous networking events, Brisbane provides a well-rounded and fulfilling experience for students from around the world.

As you embark on your journey to study abroad, consider Brisbane as your destination of choice. With its unique blend of high-quality education, multicultural atmosphere, and exciting lifestyle, Brisbane is sure to leave a lasting impression on your life and future career. So pack your bags and get ready to discover what makes Brisbane the perfect city for international students!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Brisbane for international students?

Brisbane offers international students an array of opportunities to grow, with various educational and work opportunities. With top-tier universities, excellent research programs and a vibrant cultural scene, Brisbane is one of Australia’s most attractive cities for international students.

With its stunning natural surroundings, friendly locals, modern infrastructure and low cost of living, Brisbane provides international students with a great range of choices for an ideal study destination. From engaging educational opportunities to outstanding recreational activities, Brisbane has something for everyone. Thus, Brisbane makes a perfect choice for international students seeking an enriching and culturally diverse experience.

Why is Queensland good for international students?

Queensland offers international students a great combination of vibrant cities, beautiful landscapes, and world-class educational institutions, making it an attractive and desirable place to study. Its unique cultural mix, exciting recreational opportunities, and friendly environment make it a top choice for those looking for quality education.

Combined with its Indigenous cultures and an abundance of recreational opportunities, Queensland is an ideal destination for international students, offering a diverse range of experiences. It is an attractive and desirable destination for quality education.

Why does Brisbane have good education?

With excellent universities, world-class education providers, and a commitment to providing a high quality of life, it’s easy to see why Brisbane is well-regarded for its educational opportunities. The city offers a rich variety of options for all kinds of learners, from traditional degrees to specialized vocational training courses.

Furthermore, the cost of living in Brisbane is low compared to other large cities, making it an ideal place to pursue educational goals.

Why should you choose Australia for international students?

For international students, Australia is an attractive destination offering many advantages. Its excellent universities are renowned for quality teaching and research, and its beautiful natural environment offers plenty of recreational opportunities.

Furthermore, the country provides a supportive atmosphere where students can study without feeling unsafe or intimidated. As such, you should choose Australia for your international studies to experience all these wonderful benefits.

How much it costs to live in Brisbane as an international student?

As an international student in Brisbane, it can be expensive to cover your living costs. According to advice from current students, monthly rent for on-campus accommodation is around $1,760 AUD, while private student housing is much more economical at $556 AUD per month.

Ultimately, the cost of living in Brisbane depends on individual lifestyle choices.

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