What’s It Like To Be A Student In Sydney?

Sydney may not be the capital of Australia but it is considered by many to be the country’s financial and economic hub. It’s a busy, bustling and interesting city that can provide for all the interests of local and international students. Studying in Sydney is a very popular choice; the city boasts a temperate climate, beautiful beaches and the famous Sydney Harbour. It has all the cultural and cosmopolitan influence of living in a big city, without having to sacrifice an outdoor lifestyle. It is the best of both worlds really.

The Numbers: Students in Sydney
In the 2011 Top Universities ranking, Sydney was rated the third best city in the world to live and, according to the Best Student Cities Ranking 2012, Sydney is the sixth best city for students to live in. The city has five universities, these are: the University of Sydney; the University of Western Sydney; University of Technology Sydney; Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales (which also has a campus in Canberra). These are all strong universities, for example, the University of Sydney is rated 37 in the list of top 100 universities in the world, and the University of New South Wales is rated at number forty-six.

Small Town vs. Big City
A difficult decision for students to make is deciding to opt for an institution in a smaller student town or city, where life revolves largely around the university and the student culture is very strong, or to opt for a big cosmopolitan city, to get a taste of real life. Both can provide an interesting and valuable student culture. The best way to decide this is firstly, to choose the university that offers the best course in what you want to do, and then adapt to the town or city. If you still have more than one option it could be worthwhile to opt for an experience you have not had before, if you grew up in a small town, experience city living and vice versa.

Life in Sydney
With a population of just over 4.5 million people, Sydney can offer students any lifestyle they may be looking for. Sydney attracts those who prefer a beachy outdoors lifestyle and appeals to surfers and beach goddesses alike for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The city is also rich in parks and botanical gardens. Museums, galleries and theatres also abound; the most famous of these cultural options naturally being the Sydney Opera House. Finally, as all big cities do, Sydney has a great deal to offer in terms of food and restaurants, shopping and clubbing and pubbing.

Sydney is an incredible city to live in, and students moving to the city will fall in love with the cosmopolitan sights and sounds. The danger, of course, is getting too involved with living in a big city and neglecting your studies, a common first year error, but students serious about their future will soon rectify this and learn to balance work and life. After all, it is perhaps better to do it while studying than while working.

This guest post was written by Natalie Simon. Natalie is working her way towards a journalism degree while supporting herself as a freelance writer. Being Cape Town-based she knows all about the distractions that a cosmopolitan seaside city has for students. Natalie writes on behalf of Now Learning, which promotes Australian education.