Study and Live in Regional Australia: The benefits of a regional education experience

Regional Australia offers a unique and rewarding study experience. High quality education institutions are located right across the country, offering a close-knit campus culture with strong ties to local communities and industries. For international students, there are a range of additional benefits that some with choosing a regional Australian study experience – from scholarship opportunities to migration incentives, here’s why regional Australia could be the right place for you.

Where is regional Australia?
As a large and geographically diverse country, Australia is home to a range of communities that welcome international students. There is much to discover outside major city centres such as Sydney and Melbourne: from cosmopolitan cities such as tropical Darwin in the Northern Territory, through to university towns such as Armidale in the high country of New South Wales, every location can offer something different for your academic and personal interests.

The definition of ‘regional Australia’ can vary. Under the Australian Government’s Destination Australia Program, which encourages international students to undertake study in regional locations through scholarships of up to AU$15,000 per year for up to four years, eligible areas are those outside of major cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Canberra, Wollongong and Newcastle.

Regardless of where you choose, regional Australia has high levels of development and hosts education and research institutions that must meet the same national quality standards as those in the cities. You can be confident that you will receive a world-class educational experience.

Why study in regional Australia?
Education institutions in regional Australia have close links with local industry and communities, which helps to deliver strong employability outcomes. The Australian Government’s 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey found that the employment rate for graduates from regional universities outpaced the Australian average.
This is one reflection of the practical and applied approach to learning in the regions, which can be seen in a range of initiatives from Innovation and Start Up hubs on campus through to specialised projects working in local communities and environments. Your study in regional Australia will have a real-world impact.
Class sizes tend to be smaller and there are more tailored student support services, with a welcoming and inclusive culture. Outside of study, regional Australia is known for its laid-back lifestyle, pristine environments and access to natural wonders. You will not run out of things to do, with excellent hospitality, nightlife and amenities.

Other benefits include eligibility for migration incentives, such as an additional year on your Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) and extra points on the Skilled Migration Points Test for permanent residency. Depending on your study location, you may also be eligible for scholarship opportunities such as the Destination Australia Program.
What is the Destination Australia Program?

The Destination Australia Program provides funds to eligible tertiary education providers to allow domestic and international students to study and live in regional Australia.

Who is eligible and how can I apply?

Both domestic and international students pursuing full-time course enrolment at a participating tertiary education provider are eligible for the Destination Australia Program. This includes all courses ranging from Technical Education (Certificate IV) up to a PhD.

While the education providers must first apply for funding, students commencing their regional studies in 2023 can apply for these scholarships directly with approved institutions at the end of 2022.

Where can I learn more about different locations across Australia?
You can find more information about the variety of study locations across Australia at Destinations (Study Australia Experience)

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