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Queensland

Not only does Queensland offer fun in the sun, it also provides a huge range of education providers and courses, including a number of local specialties.

In this section, we discuss:

Living in Queensland

Living in Brisbane

Brisbane

Located in one of Australia's fastest-growing states, Brisbane is home to around 2.2 million people. Situated on the Brisbane river, the heart of the city is overflowing with boutiques, restaurants and nightspots. The city is in a great location, sandwiched between the Sunshine Coast to the north and the Gold Coast to the south. Golden beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, rainforests and amusement parks are only a drive away.

Many students relocate to Brisbane, creating a lively young student scene.The sub-tropical climate means that most of the fun stuff happens outdoors, and you'll certainly see people making the most of the warm weather year-round. A popular spot is the South Bank precinct on the Brisbane River, where you will find groups of people walking, cycling and exercising; relaxing in the Botanic Gardens; or having a swim at the man-made beach.

Fortitude Valley — once a red-light district — is now a thriving nightspot, packed with bars, restaurants and cafés. ‘The Valley’ is the cultural hub of the city and plays host to the annual Valley Fiesta — a free all-ages music festival held in the local streets. There is also a Chinatown district, with cheap dining options scattered around the city to cater for student budgets.

Brisbane also has a great arts scene, with festivals and events happening throughout the year. The Brisbane Festival attracts thousands of locals and visitors each year, who flock to see Riverfire — a magnificent fireworks display held on the banks of the Brisbane River. The city's Cultural Precinct in Southbank is home to a number of galleries, museums and performing arts centres, including the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and the Queensland Museum. Sports fans can cheer for the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba or catch a game of rugby league with the Brisbane Broncos.

Check out where your campus is and evaluate your budget before you decide whether to live in the inner city or further out. Students tend to congregate in areas close to their university, so you'll find big student communities around the inner-city suburbs and the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus. Toowong and Indooropilly are both close to the Valley and well serviced by public transport, while the West End is a fusion of cultures, with great restaurants and cafés.

Housing

The median weekly rental price for a house in Brisbane is $400, while the median weekly rental price for a unit is $375. In comparison, the median weekly rental price of a house in Sydney is $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 within and between suburbs vary. Source: Australian Property Monitors, December 2013.

Transport

All full-time students receive a public transport concession card. An electronic ‘go’ card can be used on bus, train and ferry services across south-east Queensland. NightLink bus and train services operate on Friday and Saturday nights, along with a FlatFare taxi service. For more information about public transport in Queensland, see Translink . Access to a form of personal transport may be required if driving is your preferred method or if you plan to live outside central Brisbane.

Climate

Brisbane has a sub-tropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. The average daily maximum temperature is 29°C in summer and 21°C in winter.

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Living in regional Queensland

Beach

Regional Queensland stretches from the northern tropical city of Cairns and the expanse of Central Queensland, right down past the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast near the New South Wales border. Campuses are primarily situated on the coast, or slightly inland.

Many interstate and international students are lured to Queensland with the dream of sunshine, laying on the beach or hiking through lush rainforests — not to mention the great educational opportunities. With its number of tertiary education providers, regional Queensland is not limited in its options.

Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage rainforests, and offers a wide range of study programs to students. You could also consider studying in Townsville — Australia’s largest tropical beachside city — or in Hervey Bay, which is on the doorstop of World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.

The Gold Coast, situated between northern New South Wales and Brisbane, is Queensland's second largest city and Australia's largest non-capital city. The city is known for its long stretch of golden beaches, which host a number of annual events, including surfing's Quicksilver and Roxy Pro. The 'coast' is also known for its theme parks and the thriving nightlife of Surfers Paradise.

Major growth is occurring in regional areas, with around half of Queensland’s population situated outside of Brisbane. Completing your degree in these areas can mean a smaller student population and possibly smaller class sizes, resulting in a more personal atmosphere.

Make sure to research each town based on its merits. If you already know a town well you have to check whether your preferred course is offered, and if you can afford or want to live in that location. Your favourite holiday location may not be the best study option for you.

That being said, rest assured that wherever you study in regional Queensland, you will be close to some spectacular natural wonders. Most campuses are within a short drive to golden beaches.

Housing

The cost of housing varies in the regional hubs, ranging from $360 per week for a house in Far North Queensland to $420 per week on the Gold Coast. In comparison, the median rental price of a house in Brisbane is $400 a week.

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

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

Transport

All full-time students receive a concession card. Public transport is easier to access in the major towns, but access to a car or other form of personal transport is generally required. The price of petrol and need for a vehicle usually increase as you head away from the city areas.

Climate

Regional Queensland has humid summers with high rainfall. In Cairns, the average maximum temperature in summer is 31°C, while in Townsville and Gold Coast it is around 30°C.

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