Known for its rich history, beautiful coastline, and countless entertainment options, Adelaide is a superb student destination. Named after Queen Adelaide, the city preserves a strong heritage of its traditional Kaurna custodians and the Kaurna language.
The city is surrounded by serene parklands to relax in your free time but also has a bustling city centre with plenty of department stores, restaurants, and cafes. If you’re contemplating studying in Adelaide, this article will provide you with all the information you need to get started on this journey.
Top Reasons to Study in Adelaide
Are you still not sure if Adelaide is the right place for you? We don’t blame you, choosing a place to study is a tough decision. Take a look at these top reasons why we think Adelaide is a wonderful city that is worth choosing as your new home throughout your studies.
- Adelaide is the cosmopolitan and coastal capital of South Australia. As a state known for its diverse cultures and experiences, you’ll find that these blend harmoniously in its capital Adelaide.
- Adelaide is the first and only UNESCO City of Music in Australia. In 2015, the city was acknowledged for its vibrant music, culture and history. Each year, Adelaide contributes more than 62.5 million Australian dollars to the region’s economy through various cultural events.
- Adelaide prioritises healthcare and has one of the most expensive hospital buildings in the world. The construction and equipment of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, also known as “the Rah”, cost around US $2.4 billion.
- Adelaide has an enjoyable Mediterranean-like climate. The city experiences mild winters and warm, dry summers, with more than 2,500 hours of sunshine yearly.
- Adelaide is known as the “City of Churches” for its religious tolerance. Some may think the city bears this nickname for having a notable number of churches. However, one of the city’s founding pillars was of religious tolerance, therefore the name is derived from the existence of denominations at the time when the city was founded.
- Adelaide is a festival-goer’s heaven. Each year, you’ll find a fully booked calendar of cultural events throughout the city. Some famous festivals and events include the Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Rally, Tasting Australia, Royal Adelaide Show, and many more.
- Adelaide’s urban planning is impeccable. Planned to be a city within a park, Adelaide is enclosed by more than 700 hectares of parkland, with the River Torrens running through the city centre.
Best Universities in Adelaide
Adelaide is relatively small compared to other popular student cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, making it easier to get around and become part of the community. Moreover, you’ll find some excellent tertiary education institutions.
Below you’ll find some of the best and most popular universities in Adelaide:
The University of Adelaide
As one of Australia’s most respected research universities, the University of Adelaide is ranked in the top 200 global universities. Established in 1874, this university has a history of excellence and is the best university in South Australia. The University of Adelaide is associated with five out of all 15 Nobel laureates of Australia.
Here, you can find a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and research programs which are divided into three main academic faculties:
- Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics
- Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
- Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology
University of South Australia
Established in 1991, the University of South Australia is another leading South Australian university. With more than 230,000 graduates and numerous achievements, this university offers various undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programs in topics ranging from aviation to psychology, education, nursing, and more.
The University of South Australia consists of seven academic units:
- UniSA Allied Health & Human Performance
- UniSA Business
- UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
- UniSA Creative
- UniSA Education Futures
- UniSA Justice & Society
- UniSA STEM
Another excellent South Australian university, Flinders University, spans more than 50 years of achievements in education and research. Home to thousands of international students, Flinders offers various admission pathways in undergraduate, postgraduate, and higher-degree by research programs.
This university is structured into six main colleges:
- Business, Government and Law
- Education, Psychology and Social Work
- Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
- Medicine and Public Health
- Nursing and Health Sciences
- Science and Engineering
Torrens University Australia
Torrents University is a private international university and vocational registered training organisation with multiple campuses across Australia. This university’s Wakefield Street and Pulteney Street campuses in Adelaide are equipped with the latest digital technology and learning tools.
Their courses are structured into the following main areas:
- English Language
- Higher Degrees by Research
Student Life in Adelaide
Ranked among the top 50 student cities worldwide in 2022, Adelaide is the perfect place for international students. With a population of 1.3 million, the city is a vibrant student hub with plenty of activities and opportunities to support its students.
If you plan to move to Adelaide for your studies, StudyAdelaide will be a valuable resource. This government-supported office provides a wide range of free events and an inbound familiarisation program to help you adjust to the city and make new friends along the way. Whether you need help with your English language skills or support with finding employment, it is most likely that StudyAdelaide will have an upcoming event for it. It is also worth checking university-provided resources such as student orientation weeks, career fairs, etc.
Food, Drink, and Entertainment
Adelaide also has a thriving nightlife and restaurant scene that is waiting to be explored. Some of the best restaurants in the city include Africola for North African cuisine, Bollywood Grill & Jasmin Indian Restaurant for Indian food, Spicy Sichuan Adelaide by China Chilli for Chinese dishes, Francesco’s Osteria & Osteria Oggi for delicious Italian food, and Windy Point Restaurant for some modern Australian cuisine and amazing views of the city.
For coffee and delicious brunch spots, check out Crack Kitchen, The Pantry On Egmont, Mister sunshine’s, and Frankly Bagels. Some nice pubs and nightclubs in Adelaide include Therapy Cocktail Bar, Mary’s Poppin, Jive, Electric Circle, and Distill.
Working While Studying
Numerous global companies such as Microsoft, BHP and PwC have their headquarters in Adelaide. Because of the smaller community in comparison to bigger cities in Australia, here you’ll have more opportunities to find jobs through word of mouth and talking to business owners. Many students here work part-time to finance their studies and accommodation. Here’s a guide on how to find student jobs in Australia.
Top Things To See and Do in Adelaide
Although you won’t be a tourist once you settle down in the city, it’s worth exploring Adelaide in all its touristic glory.
These are some interesting places to check out when you’re in between classes or when you need a break from a long study session:
- Adelaide Central Market
- Adelaide Botanic Garden
- Art Gallery of South Australia
- South Australian Museum
- Rundle Mall
- State Library of South Australia
- Himeji Garden
- Migration Museum
- National Wine Centre of Australia
- Semaphore Beach
Public Transportation in Adelaide
Getting by around the city won’t be a hassle in Adelaide. The city has a wide network of public transportation that includes buses, trams, and trains called Adelaide Metro. You can use the journey planner when you have a slightly longer journey and need to combine different means of transportation and routes.
Fares for Adelaide Metro are the same on buses, trains, and trams. Payment is done through a rechargeable metroCARD, a paper MetroTicket, or through the Adelaide Metro tap and pay ticket if you’re only using trams. You can buy and recharge the metroCARD online or through authorised sellers.
The closest and biggest airport in the area is Adelaide Aiport, with plenty of domestic and international flights.
Adelaide Cost of Living
The great thing about living in Adelaide is that is significantly cheaper than other major cities in Australia. In fact, it is often considered one of the most affordable capital cities in Australia. While this does not mean that the city is susceptible to the current housing crisis and economical instability, students in Adelaide can generally afford to live comfortably, especially if they work while studying.
Your expenses in Adelaide can vary depending on the type of accommodation you choose and your lifestyle. Approximately you can expect to spend around AUD $2,700 to AUD $3,200 per month. You can use this Cost of Living Calculator to get a sense of how much you will have to spend per month according to your living arrangements and lifestyle.
Common student accommodations in Adelaide include university-provided accommodation, private flat or house-sharing, purpose-built student accommodation, and homestay. Fees depend on the location, amenities (check if bills such as electricity and water are included), and size of the room or apartment.
Note: All rates presented below are $AUD.
There are plenty of accommodation opportunities available through some of the most popular universities in Adelaide. Here are some of the most affordable options we found for these universities:
The University of Adelaide
- The University of Adelaide Village – Townhouse with shared bathroom/Apartment with shared bathroom – $15,340 per year or $295 per week.
- Mattanya Student Residences – Room option in a shared house with a shared bathroom – $12,740 per year or $245 per week.
- Roseworthy Residential College – Private bedroom with common bathroom – $7,900 for 39 weeks or $202 per week.
University of South Australia
- Partnership with Scape at UniSA – Twin Apartment – from $239 (per week)/Twin Room in 5 Bed Apartment – from $209 (per week).
- Deirdre Jordan Village – Room in a two or three-bedroom unit – $260 per week.
- University Hall – Single room – $425 per week.
Torrens University Australia
- Partnership with Scape Adelaide Central – 6 Bed with Ensuite – $319 per week.
Private Flat & House-Sharing
Considering that university-provided accommodation is often limited and can be competitive, a lot of international students share a private flat or house with other roommates. This can be an affordable option if you share with more people. Some useful resources to find shared properties or roommates include Flatmates.com.au, Facebook marketplace, and other Facebook groups.
You can also team up with friends from university who may also be searching for the same living arrangement. Prices per room will depend on the area and room size. However, they typically range from $200 to $300 per week.
Purpose-Built Student Accommodation
Purpose-built student accommodation is typically larger housing units that are built for students by private developers. There are quite a few options available for this type of accommodation in Adelaide.
Some of the most popular include:
- Capital Student Stays
- dwell Student Living
- Scape Adelaide Central
- Scape at the University of Adelaide
- Scape Waymouth
- The Switch
- UniLodge Metro Adelaide
- UniLodge City Gardens
- Y Suites
- Yugo Adelaide City
The lowest price for this type of accommodation is typically around $250 per week for rooms in shared apartments, with private apartments costing around $400+ per week.
A lot of local families and individuals in Australia like to host and share their homes for a fee. Although some of these arrangements tend to be short-term, some will be suitable for students and include a furnished private room in a shared unit. Check websites such as the Australian Homestay Network, Homestay.com, and Happy Homestay Adelaide to view offers and get more information.
When you come to study in Adelaide, you’re in for a laid-back yet exciting lifestyle in a city surrounded by lush parks and exceptional beaches close to the centre. The city’s beautiful sights and top-notch schools are an incentive for many international students to come here, so we are sure you will love it as well.