Anyone who has been nurturing a desire to study in Australia has probably almost, always, thought about the universities in Melbourne or Sydney or Brisbane. Only a handful, if any, think of the regional universities. This is especially true of international students, and the regional universities mostly end up enrolling only the local students from that region.
However, with the competition reaching the ‘fierce’ levels, one must make an exhaustive study of all the available options, even those that seem far-reaching and those that seem downright ridiculous!
When it comes to Australia, the country has placed itself among the top choices for potential MBA, MS, and Ph.D. students. What’s more interesting is that the smaller towns and countrysides are gradually gaining popularity among students who aspire to wish to do their MS, MBAs and PhDs in Australia. The Australian countryside can offer you a wholesome experience, while not compromising on the quality of education or exposure. While there are a number of international-level educational institutions, there are also numerous other benefits that will appeal to you based on the type of person you are and the type of experience you are looking for.
Before looking at the advantages of studying in regional areas, let us understand what a regional area is. Technically, regional areas are places that are outside the metropolitan zones. So we can say all places other than Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are regional areas which will include Perth, Gold Coast, and the country’s capital Canberra too.
1. An Extra Year of Post Study Work Visa: International students studying at universities in the regional areas will get a year extra to work full-time after they graduate.
2. Specialised Courses Catering to Local Professions: There are quite well-equipped schools and universities in regional areas which offer courses that hold more relevance to the local professions, in addition to the popular courses. For example, university campuses in the coastal regions of New South Wales offer specialised courses in Marine Biology, while those in the wine-making regions of Adelaide offer special degree courses in winemaking. Furthermore, there are also several medical and dental schools that hope to train students and retain them to work in the respective regions.
3. Smaller Classes: You are warrantied more personalised tutoring since the class sizes are smaller in regional universities.
4. Cost of Living: This is a given. As it is anywhere else in the world, the smaller towns and countrysides in Australia will be lighter on your pocket as compared to the cities.
5. Financial Aid: ‘Destination Australia’ is a special scholarship for international students who enrol in regional universities. With a grant of around 15,000 AUD per year, this scheme supports students studying courses from the Certificate IV level to the Doctoral level. In addition to this, there are several scholarships offered by the universities in a bid to attract more students.
6. Improved Chances of Migration: If you have plans to work and settle in Australia, you should also know that regional areas will give you additional brownie points. As per the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s points test for skilled migration, people studying and living in regional areas will be granted 5 extra points when moving for permanent residency.
7. A Relaxed Lifestyle: Away from the hustle-bustle of the cities, regional Australia provides a perfect ambiance for a relaxed lifestyle. Now, that doesn’t mean these areas are backward, mind you! You will find all facilities and amenities, right from healthcare to entertainment. The only difference is in the pace of life, which is a little laid back. Moreover, the relatively smaller population will make you feel like a part of a close-knit community.
8. An Opportunity to Explore Australia: Australia has always been world-famous for its natural beauty. From the magnificent deserts, sandy beaches, and mountains to the wilderness and outback, there are places that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. The regional university campuses are away from the cities and possibly closer to these interesting destinations, which will improve your access to these exotic locations.
This may not be an easy decision to make. However, consider the following factors before making the decision:
1. Availability of your preferred courses
2. Reputation of the universities
3. Cost of living
5. Job opportunities
If you have made your decision, then here is a little compilation of the cities and the universities that could be your top choice:
1. University of Western Australia
2. Curtin University
3. Murdoch University
4. Edith Cowan University
5. Central Queensland University
1. Bond University
2. Griffith University
3. Southern Cross University
1. Flinders University
2. University of Adelaide
3. University of South Australia
4. Carnegie Mellon University
5. Central Queensland University
1. Australian National University
2. University of Canberra
University of Tasmania
University of Wollongong
University of Newcastle
1. Charles Darwin University Cairns
2. Central Queensland University
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