Studying abroad is a great way not only to a get degree but also to learn another language, experience other cultures, try different cuisines and make new friends.
But studying in another country is not always easy. Culture shocks and language barriers can be quite challenging. You probably miss your family and friends, and feel a bit lonely and alienated. The cost of living, books and tuition can be high and increase your stress level even more.
Fortunately, Brisbane is one of the best cities to live and study, and it is often the international students’ choice.
To start with, it is a safe place, the crime rate is lower here than in majority of the other Australian cities. It is a multicultural city that has a lot to offer, whether you are looking for ethnic food or cultural events.
Brisbane is also cheaper. The cost of living and studying in Sydney or Melbourne would be much higher.
Trying to get to lectures on time is not always easy. If you have a car, you know that part of driving in the city often means getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and expensive parking.
Depending on where you live and where you need to go, public transport in Brisbane may the best option for you – or it may be costly and time consuming. If you’re near the city you’re lucky, there are free buses and a free ferry that you can use.
You may also apply for a 50% concession fare on TransLink public transport services (excluding Airtrain), regional qconnect bus services and approved regional ferry services
Another way that many people love is biking around the city. The bikes are available 24 hours a day, every day. They are affordable, and is you are a student, the cost is even lower. Student memberships are $3 per month and automatically renew on the same date each month, there is no contract or catch and you can opt out at any time.
Before you get excited about getting your own transport, check the Bicycle road rules and safety.
https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/wheeled-devices/bicycle. It explains the rules and regulations concerning riding a bicycle in the city, signalling, wearing a helmet, carrying a load, and much more so you ride safely without being a traffic hazard..
By the way, many bikes include a courtesy helmet but if you got a bike and no helmets are available, you need to walk to the next station to get one, you’re not allowed to ride without a helmet at all.
If you even have need help planning your journey or have a question about timetables, tickets or fares you can always call TransLink or check their website.
Studying in Brisbane is a perfect choice for people who love the outdoors. If you are on a shoestring and cannot dine in a restaurant, you can always have a picnic with friends in the park instead. Brisbane residents enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. Beautifully designed, safe and environmentally sustainable parks provide plenty of space.
If you want to explore other Australia’s other attractions, you are lucky – some of them are virtually at our doorsteps. The coastal beaches are fantastic, and both Gold Coast – with its famous theme parks – and Sunshine Coast are well worth exploring.
If you don’t have time or money to go that far, there is a lot to do in the city. If you just want to relax, South Bank and South Bank Parklands is a great choice. With its Streets Beach and Aquativity Water Park, it looks like a leisure oasis in the heart of the city. You can also have coffee or lunch in one of the local cafes. On Friday night you may stay till late – till 10pm – to browse colourful stalls with a variety of art, craft and food.
There are many other markets in Brisbane. They are popular as many people choose buying food directly from growers as it is fresher and free of chemicals, often organic. They also like support local artists by buying unique, handcrafted goods that you can’t get in the shops.
If you like nature, you can spend hour in Roma Street Parklands or Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.
One of the best ideas for getting everything you need during your temporary stay while studying is spending your money in opportunity shops. You can buy clothing, books, kitchen utensils, furniture and more. The op-shops are run by charity organisations like Lifeline, Salvation Army, or RSPCA so by buying there you are helping people and animals who often need support just to survive.
Just remember to shop around before your purchase because, surprisingly, the prices in the second-hand shops can be ridiculously higher than in other stores. You can use apps to find the real value of the item you are buying.
Try online shopping, some online shops have special offer, codes and coupons that may save you a lot of money. Always but from a reputable place that has good reviews and remember if the offer sounds too good to be true – it probably is not that good at all.
If you are not sure where to shop, ask your friends or neighbours, most people will be happy to share their favourite shops.
Living on a shoestring does not have to mean struggle. If you are smart and know where to find information about the best options and solutions, you can live comfortably within your budget.
Brisbane offers other attractions, including nature walks, history tours, or free King George Square’s City Hall clock tower tours. You can learn about Aboriginal culture, listen to music, visit art galleries, join multicultural meetups or even climb to the top of the 20 metre at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, right in the heart of the city.
Brisbane is a safe, affordable and welcoming place, where you can enjoy your stay even on a student’s budget.
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