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Study in Brisbane, Australia

Population: 3,000,000

City Overview

Brisbane used to be viewed as a poor relative to Sydney and Melbourne, with none of the former’s glamour or the latter’s charm. However, modern day Brisbane is a sleek, cosmopolitan city which attracts both tourists and expats with its laid-back community feel.

As the third most populous city in Australia and capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a popular destination for international students from around the world. The city has a particularly large number of students from the UK, New Zealand and India.

Education profile

Brisbane is a hub of education in Australia and is home to some of the country’s top-rated universities. You can study a graduate program in Brisbane at:
Australian universities also have a global reputation for quality of research, making them an attractive option for those looking to study postgraduate courses.

Most Masters degrees in Brisbane take one year to complete full time, with PhDs taking up to four years to finish.

Immigration and visas

If you want to study a graduate program in Brisbane you will need to acquire a temporary visa. This visa will allow you to study at an Australian institution and work unlimited hours whilst completing your postgraduate course, and will also allow dependent family to travel with you to Australia too.  

In order to obtain your student visa you will need to pay a visa charge at your nearest Australian Embassy, where you will also have to present:
  • A completed form 157A
  • The confirmation letter from the university where you will be studying
  • Four recent passport sized photographs
  • Copies of passport pages
  • Evidence that you have Overseas Student Health Cover for as long as you will be in the country
You can apply online for your visa via the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

Life in Brisbane

Brisbane is a major student city, with many international students, which creates a vibrant, youthful social scene. The tropical climate of Brisbane means residents spend most of their time outdoors, either hopping up to the beach on the Gold Coast or heading down to the south bank precinct of the Brisbane River.

The main nightlife area is Fortitude Valley – once a thriving red-light district – which has cleaned up its act and is now packed with trendy bars and restaurants, many of which are priced well within the student budget.

One of the highlights of the Brisbane calendar is the annual Brisbane Festival, which attracts thousands of locals and tourists each year.

Working in Brisbane

Brisbane has the largest economy of any city between Sydney and Singapore and has seen regular economic growth over the last decade, in part due a boom in resources.

Brisbane has seen growth in its information technology, financial services and SME business sector, but still retains healthy blue-collar industries, such as petroleum refining, paper milling and metalworking. This is a city which thrives on hard work.

Expats coming to work in the city often work for one of the numerous international companies located in Brisbane’s Central Business District, with clients including Flight Centre, Virgin Australia, Credit Union Australia and Boeing.


Brisbane is situated on the Gold Coast and is a great place to live. Most postgraduate students will live in university halls of accommodation to start with. However, private accommodation is plentiful and easy to get. Some of the most popular student suburbs include:
  • St Lucia
  • New Farm
  • West End
Expect to pay around AUS$140-$200 (£92-£131) per week for a room in a shared house.

Weather and Climate

Brisbane has a humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers and dry, warm winters. Temperatures regularly reach 30C in the hottest months between December and February, which is also the most common season for thunderstorms. Winters in Brisbane are mild with temperatures rarely dropping below 10C.

What to do next

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