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The basics
Australia: Destination Guides

Adelaide city guide

Why choose Adelaide for your studies? Discover what makes this Australian city one of the world’s most liveable…

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A cosmopolitan, friendly coastal city and the capital of South Australia, Adelaide is often-underrated. While Sydney and Melbourne are well-known and desirable Australian cities, Adelaide is living up to its reputation as one of the world’s top ten most liveable cities. With a population of 1.3 million, Adelaide is surprisingly spacious with extensive surrounding parklands. Famous for its relaxing lifestyle, festival season, affordability, education and scenic beauty, Adelaide is the perfect study destination for an authentic Australian experience.


Where can you study in Adelaide?

Australia is the third most popular study destination in the world for international students boasting eight out of the world’s top 100 institutions. Over 399,000 international students enrolled in higher education institutions across Australia in 2018.


Students make up 22% of the total population in Adelaide according to the City User Profile Survey.  More specifically, Adelaide attracts 32,000 international students each year to its five main universities:

  • Flinders University
  • The University of Adelaide
  • The University of South Australia
  • Torrens University
  • Carnegie Mellon University


While the majority of Adelaide-based institutions are located in the city centre, each university has a campus, which creates a student community feel. For example, Flinders University is just a 15-minute drive from the CBD (central business district) and a 30-minute cycle to Brighton Beach.


Why choose Adelaide for your studies?

People in Adelaide

Feel part of a welcoming community in Adelaide with its mix of different cultures. Predominant nationalities in Adelaide include English, Australian, Scottish and German with the top five languages spoken being English, Italian, Greek, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Cantonese. The aboriginal community of Adelaide, known as the Kaurna people, make up 1.9% of the population.



Adelaideans enjoy around 2,500 hours of sunshine a year and a Mediterranean climate. Temperatures range from 29 degrees in the summer to 15 degrees in the winter. While rain is expected during the colder months, Adelaide is the driest capital city in all of Australia. It is advised that you pack both light, summer clothes and warmer layers to prepare for the varied seasons. Auzzies are fastidious about using sun cream, as the UV can be high in certain parts of the country and its important to protect yourself against sun damage.


Things to do in Adelaide

Arts and Culture

Praised for its vibrant festival season, street art, botanical gardens and stunning beaches, Adelaide has established itself as a cultural hub, attracting people from all over the world. According to Mahoshadi De Silva, International Business student at Flinders University: “There’s something for everyone here – the beautiful beaches, trekking and hiking trails, street performances, festivals, cute coffee shops and the vibrant night life definitely never fails to disappoint me.”


Art and culture play an integral role in the city’s identity and social calendar. Adelaide is home to world-renowned cultural centres such as the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum. While relaxed and slow-paced, the city comes to life in February-July for these festivities. In particular, the globally recognised Fringe Festival hosts cabaret, plays and comedy shows to name a few. Other popular festivals include OzAsia, celebrating Asian arts, theatre and dance. Similarly, Adelaide Festival attracts a large audience from around the world, creating a buzzing atmosphere in the city.



Another activity high on every tourists’ agenda is visiting the inner-city markets. As one of the largest markets in the southern hemisphere, Adelaide Central Market is a top attraction for both locals and tourists. Stalls offer fresh produce, cakes, seafood, crafts and social events throughout the year.


Natural landscapes

Located in a particularly rural part of Australia in comparison to Sydney and Melbourne, Adelaide has heaps of natural beauty both within and outside the city. Some of the trails are most easily accessed by car so it might be a good idea to get a group of friends together to split the cost of car hire.


Glenelg beach

Whether you prefer hiking or strolling, Adelaide is surrounded by impressive scenery to explore. Glenelg beach is a popular sandy spot just a quick tram journey away from the city. Unlike many beaches in Australia which tend to be busy, Glenelg beach is rarely overcrowded.


We spoke to Sai Manoj, an International Business Master’s student from India studying at Flinders University. He said: “Adelaide is a great place to be in and experience Australia in its truest sense. If you are a nature lover, you’ll love the great beaches and the hills.”


Adelaide Botanic Garden

Adelaide Botanic Garden is a popular attraction, ideally located in the heart of the city with impressive exotic plants. Admire the architecture and tranquillity of the gardens while enjoying a coffee in the shade.


Morialta Conservation Park

What makes Adelaide so unique is its close proximity to natural wonders such as waterfalls and Australian wildlife. One popular trail runs through Morialta Conservation Park, boasting three waterfalls most impressive during winter and spring. This walk takes roughly 45 minutes and is considered to be relatively easy. Enjoy the lookout points, have a picnic and explore rural Australia within just a 30-minute drive of the city.


Mount Lofty

To see spectacular views of Adelaide, the Australian bush and the coastline, walk through Cleland Conservation Park to the Mount Lofty ranges. Once you’ve reached the Mount Lofty summit, you can walk to Waterfall Gully and several other nature trails. Within just 20 minutes you can be transported from the urban landscape of Adelaide city centre to the exotic outback of Australia.



While Australia is an expensive country, it also offers a high standard of living. Adelaide is the third most affordable city in Australia for students according to QS Top Universities. The cost of renting is also cheaper in Adelaide in comparison to other major cities in Australia. The average rent in Adelaide is AUD 375 compared to the Australian national average of AUD 462. Great news for students moving to Adelaide!



Often described as a compact yet spacious city, many of Adelaide’s attractions are nearby and easily accessible. The transport, known as Adelaide Metro, includes buses, trains and trams which run regularly through the city. If you choose to study in Adelaide, the most cost-effective option is to buy a MetroCard as this will save you money in the long run. Or take advantage of the free tram and bus routes which run every ten minutes from the city centre. As Adelaide is surrounded by green spaces, cycling is a fun and free way to explore the city using the dedicated bike lanes.  



Study in Australia


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