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The basics
Study abroad : Once you arrive

The best ways to travel around top study destinations

No matter where you choose to go and study, we’re here to help you find the best way to get around your chosen country and university city.

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Studying abroad in a new country brings many new experiences and challenges. This is true of working out the best ways of travelling to and from university and around the country. We've explored Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US to find the best travel and transport options for international students. 

 

Canada

 

Canada is 5,500 kilometres from east to west and spans six times zones, making it the second-largest country in the world. As you can imagine, travelling around this vast country takes time and may not be very environmentally friendly as you will have to rely on air travel or driving. 

 

A more ecologically friendly method of travelling would be to take the bus. Although there’s no single bus system in Canada, each region has regional bus operators, allowing you to travel from city to city. It's much slower than flying but far cheaper and better for the planet. There are also train services that make travelling around easier and more convenient. You can check out the VIARail website for more information. 

 

Within each city, there are several transport options to get you around. These transport options can get you to and from your university campus and around town. Only Toronto and Montreal have subway systems, and Vancouver has a SkyTrain. However, every city has excellent bus services, and you can hire city bikes and use local car-sharing apps too. 

 

Find out what makes Canada a unique study destination.

 

Australia

 

Let’s go south to Australia, the sixth-largest country in the world. Its size means the fastest but not the cheapest or most ecological way to travel around is to fly. You could drive, but the distances are quite significant. For example, there are 3,290 km between Perth on the west coast and Sydney on the east coast. Your best option would be to choose an area and explore that rather than to try and see the whole country.

 

Getting around each city is far easier. Australia's major cities have an excellent selection of bus, metro, train, and tram services. If you’re travelling within Melbourne’s City Circle, the tram is free to use. Chances are that at a university in Australia, you’ll be living off-campus and will need to travel in for classes. You can use public transport, or you can cycle. Every city has bike hire and bike-share schemes. Some cities such as Melbourne and Sydney have ferries and water taxis also. Some universities also have campus buses you can take. 

 

Read more about the top universities in Australia.

 

New Zealand

 

Staying in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand also has excellent bus services between cities, although driving is the preferred method of travelling around the country. Driving in New Zealand is allowed for up to a year using your home country driving licence if you meet certain conditions.

 

All main cities in New Zealand have very good, reliable transport systems which range from city buses, trains, and ferries. Each city has its method of payment. Auckland has its AT HOP card; Christchurch has the Metro card; and Wellington has Metlink that can be used on trains, buses, metro and ferries. These cities all have bike hire schemes as well.

 

Explore New Zealand’s top student cities.

 

Ireland

 

Jumping now to another small island, Ireland. Generally, the best way to travel around this country is by car. There are train services, but these tend to run between main towns and cities only. This isn’t ideal if you want to explore all the country has to offer. All EU driving licences are valid in Ireland. Outside of the EU, you can drive with a home driving licence for up to 12 months. 

 

If you’re at a university in Ireland, the best way to get to and from campus is probably to walk or cycle. Dublin is only two kilometres from one end of the city centre to the other. It’s also flat, making both walking and cycling cheap and easy. You can also travel around on the extensive bus, train and tram route using a Leap card. Walking and the local bus services are also the best way to get around in Cork, Limerick, and Galway

 

The UK

 

Let's move across the Irish sea to the UK now. There are various ways to travel around the UK, including extensive train networks. For example, you can get a direct train from London to Edinburgh. There's also the option of flying and driving, which perhaps aren’t the best way to help save the planet

 

You could opt for bus and coach services which travel between major towns and cities. The Megabus is the most economical, but maybe less comfortable, and there’s the National Express service too. 

 

If you’re at university in one of the major cities in England, you’ll probably have to commute (travel) between your accommodation and your lectures. This can even be the case if you are on a university campus. The cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to do that would be to cycle. There are cycle lanes and cycle routes in many major cities.

 

In London, a quick way to get around is to get on the tube/underground (British English for subway system). The Oyster card is used on the tube, buses, some trains, and trams. Bristol, Manchester, and Liverpool all have their bus, train and sometimes tram systems. Remember that not all cities have an underground/subway system though. 

 

Discover the top student cities in the UK.

 

The US

 

Finally, there’s the US. It can take five hours to fly from the east to the west coast in the US. This is about three hours when travelling from north to south. If you want to travel around the world’s fourth-largest country, then flying is the quickest method. However, if you’ve got more time, then driving coast to coast is a fantastic way to see all that each state has to offer. 

 

A much slower method would be to take a coach or bus from city to city. Companies such as GreyhoundTrailways and Megabus cover many destinations. Travelling long distances by train in the US isn’t recommended as it’s expensive, slow, and not very regular. 

 

Universities in the US are huge, and campuses can have their own bus system. You can drive, but generally, students walk or cycle. To add a bit of fun to your commute between classes, you could try skateboarding, scootering, or even rollerblading. 

 

As you can see, the options are many and varied no matter where you are on the planet. Like many people, if you’re concerned about your impact on our planet then public transport, cycling and walking are best. They’re also good for your health and your pocket. 

 

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