Living in Canberra

Students love Canberra. It is a progressive, vibrant, welcoming city that embraces people from diverse cultures.

Enjoy life while you learn

You’ll love living and studying in Canberra. Our city is known for its:

  • easy access to clean and green open spaces
  • diverse multicultural community
  • easy lifestyle
  • vibrant entertainment and food scenes
  • rich culture
  • high quality of life

That’s why Canberra is rated so highly:

  • top 3 globally in Lonely Planet’s 2018 Best in Travel
  • top 25 by QS Best Student Cities

You’ll have great experiences here. While right now public gatherings are restricted, our events calendar is usually packed with world-class sporting fixtures, concerts and festivals. Our city is home to award-winning attractions, like the Australian War Memorial and Questacon National Science and Technology Centre.

Canberra is easy to get around by bike, car, bus, or our modern and convenient light rail. You’ll avoid the crowds and long commutes of bigger Australian cities, giving you more time to enjoy our lakes, mountains and protected reserves.

A quarter of Canberra’s population are students, and people from around the world have made their home here. You’ll feel you belong.

Your taste buds will love Canberra

Canberra is a foodie paradise. Sample our eclectic dining, from laneway bars to fine dining from around the world, or take a tour of our award-winning breweries and wineries.

Whether you’re after a dining experience in stylish surrounds, gourmet cheap eats, a casual breakfast or burgers by the lake, you’ll love our foodie scene.

Room to be active

With sunshine year-round, Canberra’s a great place to enjoy the outdoors. And no matter where you are, it’s just a short walk or bike ride to beautiful parkland or stunning nature reserves.

Enjoy a bike ride around beautiful Lake Burley Griffin and stop in at the National Arboretum. There you can rest among 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world.

Runners at Lake Burley Griffin
The ‘bridge to bridge’ loop around Lake Burley Griffin is a favourite for running, walking or cycling.

How to get here

While right now international flights into Canberra are restricted, 14 international flights a week usually connect Canberra to the world. So returning home or welcoming your family and friends for a visit is easy. There are usually daily flights from Singapore to Canberra with Singapore Airlines, and daily flights from Doha to Canberra with Qatar Airways. There’s also an hourly bus service from Sydney airport.

Canberra is less than an hour’s flight time from Sydney. It’s less than two hours from Brisbane and Melbourne. We usually have daily domestic flights to and from Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and multiple daily domestic flights to and from Sydney and Melbourne.

Getting around Canberra is easy

Move to Canberra and you’ll have more time to do the things you enjoy. Our town centres are geographically spread, so we have less congestion than many other Australian cities. In fact, our average driving commute is just 25 minutes.

If you prefer not to drive, many students catch public transport or cycle around the city, as a low-cost alternative. Our cycle-ways weave throughout the city and the ride is often picturesque. Many of our clean, modern buses are fitted with free wi-fi, along with bike racks.

Meanwhile, our light rail system provides a quick, direct way to travel between Civic and Gungahlin north of the city. All students in Canberra receive travel concessions on our light rail and bus networks. To plan your bus or light rail route, visit Transport Canberra.

Accommodation

Take the stress out of moving to a new country. Canberra has more on-campus accommodation per capita than any other Australian city. New undergraduates have guaranteed accommodation on campus at our major universities, and there are plentiful options for post-graduate students as well.

Other accommodation options include:

  • private rental, either alone or with housemates
  • homestay with a family
  • off-campus managed student accommodation

Rewarding employment opportunities

Part-time jobs are easy to find if you choose to work while you study. And with one of Australia’s most resilient economies, you’ll find plenty of graduate opportunities.

Canberra region

Canberra is Australia’s largest inland city. It’s the gateway to the surrounding regions of New South Wales. In just two or three hours, you can:

  • drive to pristine beaches on the south coast of New South Wales
  • experience our nearby ski fields in the Snowy Mountains
  • visit Sydney

If you want to stay closer to home, much of Canberra’s surrounding bushland is preserved for national parks and wildlife. Hike, camp, get up close to our native animals or just enjoy a beautiful country drive.

Climate

We are known for our clear skies and clean air. One of the best aspects of living here is our four distinct seasons:

  • Summers are warm and dry, with an average temperature of 27 degrees celsius.
  • The city is renowned for its stunning autumn colours, particularly around Lake Burley Griffin.
  • Winters are cool, crisp and sunny with an average temperature of 12 degrees celsius.
  • Spring is a delight, with Canberrans emerging into flower festivals, parks and open spaces.

Cost of Living

Before you move to Australia, it’s important to research its affordability. You’ll find the average cost of living in Canberra here.

COVID-19 Information for International Students

Canberra supports international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find information on:

  • financial support
  • rent relief
  • medical help
  • mental health support
  • jobs support
Related Pages

“Precious memories” and confidence in the future

China’s Sabrina Britt is enjoying Canberra’s easy lifestyle and prestigious educational institutes as she studies a Bachelor of Communications and Media at the University of Canberra.

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Working in Canberra

We have the lowest unemployment rate in Australia. If you need part-time or casual work while you study, you’ll have plenty of options.

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Interested in studying in Canberra?

Contact the Study Canberra team for information and advice