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Study in Southport, Australia

Population: 55,000

City Overview

Southport is the southernmost port in the state of Queensland and part of the Gold Coast city. The Gold Coast is the most populous non-capital city in Australia and grew significantly in the 1980s, when it became a major tourist destination.

The Gold Coast consists of 57 kilometres of coastline with some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia and is a hub of international competitions.

Education profile

Southport’s only university is the prestigious Griffith University, which splits its five campuses all over Queensland. The university’s Gold Coast campus is located in Southport, which is also recognised as the central business district of the Gold Coast City. The campus is particularly famous for its Centre of Medicine and Oral Health. The campus is also home to the Queensland Institute of Business and Technology.

You can also study a graduate program in Southport at a smaller campus of the Central Queensland University.

Like most Australian universities, Griffith University has a global reputation for the quality of its research, making the institution an attractive option for those looking to study postgraduate courses.

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

Immigration and visas

In order to undertake a graduate program at Griffith University you will need to acquire a temporary visa. This visa will allow you to study at the institution and work unlimited hours whilst completing your postgraduate course, and will also allow dependent family members to accompany you whilst you are in the country.

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 Southport

The Gold Coast is a multicultural and vibrant place to live and is one of the most desirable places to live in Australia. Life in Southport revolves around the beach, with more than 35 miles of coastline to explore. Southport’s inland beach is particularly popular with students, as is Surfers Paradise Beach.

The Gold Coast region is big on theme and wildlife parks, with many extremely busy during peak season.  You should also consider heading to the top of the Q1 building (once the world’s tallest residential building) for views over the Gold Coast and along the coastline.

Working in Southport

Southport is recognised as the central business district of the Gold Coast in Australia and also has one of the area’s largest communities. Previously the tourism hub of the Gold Coast, Southport has now set itself apart as a business centre but still experiences lots of tourism.

The city is growing rapidly and has 18 high-rise tower block offices set for completion, which will house further businesses in the city.


Griffith University provides on-campus accommodation for all students at its campus in Southport, including gym, tennis courts and an athletics track. This is the easiest way to make friends and settle into life on the Gold Coast. However, private accommodation is available, but is generally expensive.

Expect to pay around AUS$140-$200 (£92-£131) per week for a room in a shared house. 

Weather and Climate

Situated on Australia’s Gold Coast, Southport has a humid subtropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year and regular rainfall. The hottest months are between December and February, where temperatures can regularly reach 30C, with the coldest and driest months between July and September.

What to do next

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