Apply for Australia Student Visa: Consider Regional Areas First

What Is Regional Australia?


The Australian Government defines regional Australia as anywhere outside of the major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. A substantial portion of Australia is classified as regional. Many students have a preconception of regional Australia being small rural villages and farms. However, it is full of life and includes vibrant cities such as Perth and Adelaide. Regional Australia is home to more than 9 million Australians. There are regional areas in every state, including larger cities such as Perth in Western Australia and Adelaide in South Australia.


Benefits of Studying In Regional Australia
Some of the advantages of studying in regional Australia are:


Migration Opportunities

Studying in regional Australia can open up a lot of migration opportunities, which would be unavailable if you study in a major city. Regional area incentives include priority visa processing times and access to the Regional Occupational List. Students studying in regional areas will receive priority during region-specific designated area migration agreements (DAMA) negotiations. International graduates with a bachelor's or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible for an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa. If you are to apply for permanent residency after your studies, you will receive an extra 5 points on your skilled migration visa application points test if you live and study in a regional area.


More Visa Options

Once your studies are complete, there are more opportunities for sponsorship and pathways to PR. It is often easier to gain sponsorship and apply for PR from a regional area. While job growth and opportunities in the major cities are not increasing at the moment, regional Australia is booming, with a 13% increase in job opportunities across a variety of industries. Some of the best careers for international students are located in regional Australia, including dentistry, engineering and healthcare.


Lower Cost Of Living

Australia can be an expensive place to study, with the cost of rent in major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne being exceptionally high. However, regional areas provide a more affordable cost of living, including lower accommodation and food costs. While living in regional Australia, you will often benefit from cheaper public transport and less traffic. On-campus accommodation for students at the University of New South Wales (major city – Sydney) can cost $750 a week. Whereas accommodation at the University of Wollongong (major regional centre – NSW) can be less than $500 a week. Students can save over $350 a week on rent alone. A lower cost of living can decrease the financial pressure you face during studying.


More Part-Time Job Opportunities

Most students need to subsidise their studies by taking up a part-time job. Competition can be very high in main cities, whereas applying in a local suburb within regional areas can lead to a better chance of securing a part-time job. Students who study in regional universities will be eligible to access an additional year or 2 (depending on the university's location) to work in Australia after graduation.

Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV) holders who have graduated from a regional university and lived in regional Australia on their first Temporary Graduate visa are eligible for a second visa. The only condition is that they must remain in a regional area during their visa process.

International students who have studied in cities and major regional centres such as Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Sunshine Coast and Hobart are considered Category 2. These students are eligible for an additional year visa. While international students that have studied in regional centres and other regional areas such as Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Ballarat and Townsville are eligible for 2 additional years on their visas. This provides a great opportunity for students to extend their stay in Australia and gain valuable work experience.


More Specialised Courses

Studying in regional Australia opens the doors to certain types of courses that are only available in these locations. For example, the University of Tasmania's Marine courses is unique and only available in Tasmania. Many regional universities offer a range of disciplines, with many tailored to the local area. University campuses in Far North Queensland feature tropical studies, while remote areas also have significantly fewer dentists than major cities. The shortage of regional dental workers has made dentistry a popular course option in regional Australia.


Relaxed Lifestyle

Many regional cities have facilities and entertainment similar to those in major cities, such as restaurants, cinemas, bars and shopping centres. There is also the opportunity to integrate and be part of a community. Being part of a community can be a great support while studying abroad and provide job opportunities. By studying in regional Australia, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

If an outdoor lifestyle appeals to you, studying in a regional area would be fitting. In regional areas, you can take advantage of local hikes, beaches and reconnect with nature.


1. Tasmania

5. New South Wales

- University of Tasmania

- University of Wollongong

2. South Australia

- The University of Newcastle

- The University of Adelaide

- University of New England

- University of South Australia

- Southern Cross University

- Flinders University

6. Queensland

3. Western Australia

- University of Southern Queensland

- The University of Western Australia

- University of the Sunshine Coast

- Curtin University

- Central Queensland University

- Murdoch University

7. Australian Capital Territory

- Edith Cowan University

- Australian National University

4. Victoria

8. Northern Territory

- Deakin University (Geelong)

- Charles Darwin University

- La Trobe University (Bendigo)


- Australian Catholic University (Ballarat)


Are you planning to study in Australia in the upcoming intake? Then contact our expert counsellors at any branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). You can also take free online counselling through our website. For more information or any queries, you can mail us at application02@meridean.org or call us at our toll-free no. 1800-1230-00011.

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