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Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory has much to offer students, with a great lifestyle and a range of education providers covering all fields of study.

In this section, we discuss:

Living in the ACT

Lake Burley Griffin

Interstate students should feel at home amongst the city's diverse and largely imported population. Like its politicians and public servants, a significant proportion of Canberra's student body hails from outside the ACT.

Canberra is a friendly, liveable city within easy reach of the mountains, the coast and the bustling metropolis of Sydney. As the seat of government and home to Australia’s public service, it boasts the sophistication and cultural variety of bigger cities, but with a more relaxed pace. As you would expect from the nation’s capital, Canberra is full of museums, monuments and memorials, including Parliament House, the War Memorial, Questacon and the National Gallery of Australia.

For those seeking less intellectual pursuits, there are numerous sporting and leisure activities. Locals are passionate rugby fans and turn out in droves to support their teams, the Canberra Raiders and ACT Brumbies. Amateur sporting clubs of all kinds run weekend competitions, and the peaceful surrounds of Lake Burley Griffin are popular spots for students to enjoy some time out from study. While the nightlife may not be quite as lively as in Sydney or Melbourne, there are plenty of bars, nightclubs and live music venues. Annual events such as the National Folk Festival, Floriade, Groovin’ the Moo and the Summernats car show draw visitors from around Australia. For shopping on a student budget, try the city’s produce markets or factory outlets in nearby Fyshwick, where you can find everything from gourmet food to clothes and homewares.

Housing

The median weekly rental price for a three-bedroom house in Canberra is $460, while the average rental price for a one-bedroom unit sits at $410. In comparison, the median price of a three-bedroom house in Melbourne is around $375 a week and in Sydney is around $500.

The student rental market is very competitive. Visit your institution’s housing service for referrals or advice.

Note: Figures presented here are intended as a guide only. Prices vary within and between suburbs. Source: Australian Property Monitors, December 2013.

Transport

Canberra has a good bus network with weekday, evening and weekend services. The MyWay ticketing system enables ticket holders to ‘tag on and off’ as they travel using rechargeable pre-paid cards. MyWay tertiary student cards entitle students to travel at a discounted rate per trip. For more information, refer to the ACT Government’s Transport for Canberra website. Extensive bike paths make cycling to uni another option for many students.

Climate

The ACT has four distinctive seasons, with temperatures ranging from an average daily maximum of 9°C in July to 26°C in January.

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