A Complete Guide for Students Planning to Study and Stay in Sydney

Australia’s largest city and the capital of New South Wales, Sydney has recently overtaken by Melbourne as the major and widely explored destination for immigrants in Australia. Not only tourists from across the world visit Sydney, but the city also attracts students from over 200 foreign countries to come live and study in Sydney. Globally acclaimed for its unique blend of outdoor and urban living, friendly and culturally diversified community, Sydney is the inspiring and fun filled city where you can explore the rich culture of Australia and earn a degree from some of the top-ranked universities in the world.

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The pristine beaches, mesmerising harbours, temperature climatic conditions mean that you can enjoy all the outdoor activities with an active lifestyle, while experiencing a cultural and vibrant social scene, with galleries, museums, hundreds of cafes and bars that give you the opportunity to meet new friends, no matter what your interests are. Sydney is considered to be the top ranking business destination of Australia, with several multinational companies and it accounts for 30% of nation’s economy. It is also the most expensive city to live and study, but the median salary in Sydney is amongst the highest indeed.


Sydney holds the 4th rank in recent QS Best Student Cities in the world rankings, owing to its attributes of student mix, employer activity, quality of living and affordability. Not to mention, Sydney is the home to world famous Opera House and spectacular harbours. Sydney is the most cosmopolitan city which is listed on various lists of most lively cities in the world. Be it temperature and mild climate, with only 15 days in a year on the average temperature of 30 degree, wonderful parks, fabulous beaches, entertainment scene and thriving shopping or global cuisines, Sydney has something for everyone living there and caters to every preference and taste.

Accommodation and Housing

Students studying in Sydney have the accommodation options both on and off the campus. Students can choose either to live within the college or university by availing the on-campus residence facility or they may rent out the private set-up off campus. Students will be offered with guidance in regards to accommodation and housing in Sydney.

There is a variety of on-campus accommodation available to suit the different pockets of students. Living on campus or close to the campus of university allows the students to stay in the heart of student life so that they can make most out of their leisure and study time. All the universities and colleges in Sydney have their own residences to accommodate the students studying in the respective colleges and universities.

However, students can also opt for off-campus accommodation and housing as there are many facilities available in Sydney that offer student accommodation throughout their academic years at affordable prices. Urbanest and UniLodge are the two popular option of student accommodation in Sydney where students can find suitable accommodation facilities to suit their pockets. The cost of accommodation varies depending upon facilities and amenities availed by the students.

Food and Grocery Shopping

Love it or hate it, food and grocery shopping is the essential part of life and students studying in Sydney would not find any dearth in terms of food and grocery stores as there are many within the city. The students are likely to spend $120 to $260 on their weekly food and grocery shopping in Sydney. However, students can save money by buying their weekly groceries from supermarkets in Sydney like Aldi, Coles, Woolworths. They can also shop at fresh food markets like Paddy’s Market from where they can purchase all the groceries for a week and save a lot of money.

Students can also buy lunch on campus, but it is quite expensive ranging from $10 to $15 for each serving.


As a student, you will have lots of options for entertainment in Sydney, rather than simply visit the classes. From visiting the Sydney Opera House to enjoy performances by artists to enjoying a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, there are many entertainment options in Sydney for every tourist and students of all ages. Golden Age Cinema and Bar is the popular place for entertainment which has a heart-warming small cinema. City Recital Hall is the classic configuration of 19th Century European concert hall where you can catch the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Musica Viva here. It is always a fun day out at Sydney’s most famous racecourse peaks. You can also book a tour at Sydney Theater Company.

Right on the harbour is the outdoor three storey screen OpenAir Cinema where you can enjoy movies with surround sound, skyline, sunset and swanky wine and food.

Travel and Transportation

Students from foreign countries are required to use their Adult Opel Card while using the public transportation in Sydney. You need to visit the Transport Sydney website to know the pricing and how to obtain the Opel card for accessing the public transport in Sydney. Moreover, students using public transportation can also avail concession by using their Opel Card.

The public transportation in Sydney is modern, safe and reliable. There are different forms of public transportations available in Sydney including, ferries, trains, light rail and buses, all can be accessed easily from the campuses. To explore the city and nearby region of Sydney, students can use the train services which is the convenient and affordable option to travel in Sydney. Bus services are also convenient to cover distances within the city. The ferry services are mainly used by tourists to explore the city from beaches.

Cost of Living

Living and studying in such a beautiful city like Sydney would not cost the world. Australia is quite affordable compared to other western nations like USA, UK and Canada. It is estimated that on average a student without family in Sydney is likely to spend around $17,472 to $25,896 for living expenses in a year. The cost covers their food, transportation, accommodation, clothing and study materials. According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, students must demonstrate access to the minimum of $19,830 per year to find their living and studies in Sydney.

For entertainment and socialising you are likely to spend around $80 to $150 per week which includes weekly cinemas, movies and more. The cost of living must also include other incidental expenses like toiletries, shoes and clothing. The cost of living may vary depending upon the lifestyle student leads in Sydney. So, students are required to keep a realistic budget after understanding the costs they are likely to face during their academic years in Sydney.

Job Opportunities

The universities and colleges in Sydney are known for its academic excellence and quality education. Students earning degrees from the colleges and universities in Sydney are likely to get placed at some of the reputed organizations across the world. The universities focus on preparing graduates that are future-ready and equipped with all the demanding skills and knowledge that are required for modern employment.

The universities also provide career guidance and support to all graduates so that they can find the suitable job opportunities within the respective domains that attract their interests. Campus placements are also organized and hosted by the universities every year for all graduates so that they can secure a suitable job opportunity prior to earning their graduate degree. The students are also allowed to work while studying in Sydney which increases their postgraduate experiences and skills for better employability after their graduation.

Part Time Work

Part time work in Sydney is not just a way to earn extra Australian dollars, but also perfect for making new friends, gaining insight of work life in Sydney and of course earning skills and money to support your education in Sydney.

Students studying in Sydney are allowed to spend an average of 35-40 hours a week for studying, of which half of the hours are for private studying and another half for face-to-face class sessions. Students from foreign countries are allowed to legally work up to 40 hours per fortnight during their semester and unlimited hours of working during vacation and holidays. However, the visa of the students must allow them to work during their academic years. Depending on the hours you are allowed to work, you need to find a suitable part time job in Sydney through classified advertisements, employment agencies and career websites.


The cosmopolitan city of Sydney comprises lots of attractive and activities for students living and studying in Sydney. Whether it is shopping, nightlife activity, great drink and food, there are many activities that you can enjoy while studying and living in Sydney. The historic Rocks is the oldest part of Sydney which is the first area to built upon when it was settled in 1788. There are many attractions to explore and old fashioned and historic pubs located in this area that serves mouthwatering cuisines and afternoon beer. Bondi Beach is another great place to enjoy some sand activities and other popular water activities and enjoys drinks at the trendy bars and pubs located in the beach area.

Golf id another popular pastime activity in Sydney and the city is spotted with a multitude of golf courses that are relatively close to CBD. Lots of competitions are hosted round the year where you can participate and enjoy a wonderful activity. Centennial Stables is another great place to enjoy cycling as it has many wonderful walking and cycling tracks and it is the world’s only urban parks with riding facilities. Sydney is also concerned about surf culture and there are many surf schools where you can go and learn surfing.

Indian Communities

There is no dearth of Indian students studying and living in Sydney. The InterNations is the place where you will find some of the Indians from different parts of India. It is the vibrant circle of Indian Expats that come from different parts of India including Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai and all regions of India.

The Harris Park in Sydney is considered to be a little India where you will find much Indian residing who work in Sydney. Being culturally diversified city, Sydney has people from across the world and Indians will surely find an Indian everywhere across the city. InterNations is the place where you will find Indians and they celebrate all the Indian festivals with full zeal and enthusiasms. So, you will never feel away from home when you are living and studying in Sydney.


The nightlife in Sydney is truly memorable and wonderful experience for students studying and living in Sydney. The city is spotted with a number of harbourside bars and pubs that provide a platform for stylish and hip party-goers. The King Street Wharf and Darling Harbor are the most popular and widely visited cosmopolitan clubs and pubs, while the Kings Cross red light district and Oxford Street nightlife spots provide you with something a little seedier.

If there is something that Sydney does well, then it would have been the pubs and nightlife. Sydney has some best and popular pubs in the world. The one thing that Australians do the best is drinking beer. From historic pubs to modern day hotels and nightclubs, Sydney has in plentiful across the city where you can enjoy world-class drinks and beer while enjoying the nightlife with music and plays. You will also find some of the Irish bar scenes in the city and club atmosphere. So, apart from many academic advantages of going to universities in Sydney, students also have a multitude of places to party. From relaxing bars to wild clubs, themed places and pubs with luxury settings, you will surely find a place to enjoy the nightlife in Sydney during your academic years.