To create a list of the best places to live in Australia for students and OFWs, we took into consideration affordability and quality of life.
Estimated cost of living in Melbourne: $370 per week
Located within the “education state” of Victoria, Melbourne is one the best places to live in Australia especially for international students. It’s the most diverse city in Australia, with half of the population either having being born overseas or having a parent who was born overseas.
Melbourne is also the cheapest city in Australia to live in, average rental rates are at $370 per week,compared to Canberra which averages at $620 per week and Sydney at $630 per week.
Melbourne is the best place to be if you love cafes, quaint laneways and art and culture. Public transport is also very accessible, and you have the option of taking the train, tram or bus to travel around the city.
As for the climate, the city is notorious for intermittent changes in temperatures and can be very windy during winter. It is advisable to always check the weather forecast before leaving the house, and bring a jacket just in case.
Check out nearby suburbs such as Southbank, Kensington and Port Melbourne if you want to enjoy bigger spaces and possibly, cheaper rent than city properties.
Estimated cost of living in Adelaide: $440 per week
Adelaide is a city of South Australia, just beside the state of Melbourne, Victoria. Unlike Melbourne, however, Adelaide boasts a more pleasant climate, with temperatures averaging around 12 degrees celsius in the winter and 29 degrees celsius in the summer.
In 2021, Adelaide took third place inr the Global Citizen world’s most liveable cities report, the highest ranking Australian city. This was largely due to the city’s incredible response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Adelaide scored perfect points for healthcare and infrastructure.
Contrary to popular belief, Adelaide is an urbanised and bustling city. The city center may not have a lot of high-rise buildings, but it’s modern with lots of retail options. Adelaide also provides good access to transport with trams, trains and buses all over the city.
Top tip: Adelaide is also considered to be part of regional Australia, which opens more opportunities for you, if you are interested in becoming a citizen or permanent resident. Learn more about maximising your chance of becoming a permanent resident and citizen in Australia (as a student)
Estimated cost of living in Hobart: $440 per week
Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania, and is one of the up and coming cities of Australia. Hobart may be not as built up as the other cities, but has its own fair share of charm. If you want to veer away from the concrete jungle, Hobart provides a good balance of urbanization and a laidback lifestyle.
The state of Tasmania takes pride in its vast majority of outdoor activities and spots that you can visit, and its primary asset is being close to nature. In fact, the state’s tourism tagline is “Come down for air”, which is a nod to their laidback (and spacious) way of life.
The state is also quite detached from the rest of the country, as a ferry ride or a flight is required to reach Tasmania. There are various pros and cons to this, one primary advantage would be that there are less people and seeing huge crowds and heavy traffic is rare. Locals are also a lot friendlier and a sense of community is much more present compared to the crowded cities. However, getting goods to and from the state may take a little longer..
As for transportation, there may not be a lot of options compared to other cities, with buses being the primary mode of transport. Ridesharing companies such as Uber are also another option.
Estimated cost of living in Perth: $450 a week
Perth is the capital city of Western Australia, and has one of the best climates in the country. Winters are very mild, with temperatures ranging from eight to 12 degrees celsius. Summers are also manageable with temperatures averaging from 19 to 31 degrees celsius.
Perth has also been voted the world’s most liveable city, and in 2021 it came in at sixth place.
Sandy beaches line the coast of Perth, which makes going to the beach one of the most popular weekend activities but the city is also quite urbanised. Transportation is also quite accessible with the option to use ferries, buses or trams.
Western Australia is home to the “world’s happiest animal”, the quokka. A quokka is a small marsupial animal that has garnered a reputation of being friendly. In fact, selfies with the cute animal have gone viral online, as quokkas have the tendency to “smile” for the camera.
Estimated cost of living in Brisbane: $475 a week
Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, is one of the busiest cities, and the third most populous city in Australia. Residents of Brisbane enjoy around 280 days of sunshine each year, with very mild winters and humid summers.
Despite it being one of the most urbanised cities, Brisbane provides a good balance of work and quality of life. The city is close to world-famous areas such as the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, and has a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Brisbane is the perfect balance of city life with easy access to beautiful beaches.
As for transportation, you can get around by bus, ferry and train.