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Study in Sydney, Australia

Population: 4,600,000

City Overview

Welcome to Sydney, most populous city in Australia, capital of New South Wales and one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. This is the city of the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach and Sydney Cricket Ground.

Sydney brims with history, culture, nature, art and fashion. It’s forty beaches and multiple tourist attractions means you will never be short of something to do in the city.

With more than 10million visitors each year, Sydney is used to welcoming tourists, expats and international students. It is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth, with a third of its population born overseas. This diversity is reflected in the restaurants, bars and art scene throughout the city – something that will make settling into a graduate program in Sydney easier for international students.

Education profile

Sydney is home to some of Australia’s best places to study a postgraduate course and is also the site of Australia’s first ever university, the University of Australia. You can also study a graduate program in Sydney 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 Sydney 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 in Sydney 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 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 Sydney

Life as a postgraduate student in Sydney will be what you make of it. Sydney has something for everyone. Sporty? Get your fix of rugby, cricket, soccer or swimming at the beach or park, where locals will be happy for you to join in. If culture is more your thing, Sydney has many internationally-recognised museums and galleries, such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Whatever your interests, Sydneysiders are friendly and welcoming people. Expect a quick chat over your morning coffee, a few cheeky comments at the beach or a handful of very close new friends after a night out on Oxford Street.

Whatever the rest of Australia may say, Sydneysiders know the truth – this is Australia’s best city.

Working in Sydney

Sydney is the main economic and financial hub of Australia and is one its wealthiest cities, providing 25% of Australia’s total GDP. As with many other major cities around the world, Sydney moved away from manufacturing and production in the 1980s to focus on the services and information sectors.

Of the ten largest companies in Australia, four are headquartered in Sydney – Caltex Australia, the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and Woolworths.

Sydney also benefits greatly from tourism, with more than 10million visitors each year, helping to establish retail outlets and restaurant scenes in different neighbourhoods. A significant proportion of these visitors stay in Australia to work, whether temporarily or long-term as expats.


Most students coming to study in Sydney opt to live in university accommodation at first, as this is the easiest way of finding somewhere to live, meeting other students and getting into student life. However, Sydney offers adventurous postgraduates plenty of other options when it comes to finding flats and the chance to mingle with tourists and other students.

Popular student areas in Sydney include:
  • Newtown
  • Stanmore
  • Glebe
  • Darlinghurst
Expect to pay around AUS$140-$200 (£92-£131) per week for a room in a shared house. 

Weather and Climate

Sydney has a temperate climate, with hot summers and very mild winters. The main summer months fall between November and February, when temperatures can reach 35C. The coldest months are June and July, when temperatures can drop to around 8C, but are more likely to hover around 10C.  Rainfall is spread fairly equally throughout the year.

What to do next

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