Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland. It’s Australia’s third biggest city and is an interesting blend of laid back holiday resort and thriving business centre. It has some of the best universities and colleges in Australia, and offers students a diverse range of affordable activities; which is very important from a student’s point of view.
Let’s look at what else Brisbane has to offer students.
Universities and Colleges
The University of Queensland
According to a number of ranking organisations, including the Times Higher Education World Rankings, the Academic Ranking of Wold Universities, and QS World University Rankings, the University of Queensland is considered one of the best universities in the world. It’s a member of the Group of Eight, and has won several awards for teaching excellence. It’s also won numerous awards for its research projects.
It has six faculties:
- The Faculty of Arts
- The Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
- The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
- The Faculty of Health Sciences
- The Faculty of Science
- The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
- St Lucia Campus
- Ipswich Campus
- Gatton Campus
- Herston Campus
It has eight research institutes that cover topics such as bioengineering and nanotechnology, social science, agriculture and food innovation, and sustainable minerals.
Queensland University of Technology
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) caters to local students in Brisbane, as well as students from around the world. It has a strong focus on practical skills that translate well into the real world. One of the reasons a QUT education is so sought after is its high graduate employment rate. You may not walk straight into a job, but chances are good that you won’t wait long before you start contributing to Australia’s workforce.
It has six faculties, each with several different schools:
- QUT Business School, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Accountancy, the School of Economics and Finance, the School of Management, and the School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations.
- The Faculty of Creative Industries, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) Acting, Architecture, Creative writing and literary studies, Drama, Fashion, and Interior design, and Landscape architecture.
- The Faculty of Education, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Early Childhood and the School of Cultural and Professional Learning.
- The Faculty of Health, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Nursing, the School of Public Health and Social Work, and the School of Psychology and Counselling.
- The Faculty of Law, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Law, the School of Justice, and the Legal Practice Unit.
- The Faculty of Science and Engineering, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) Biological sciences, Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematical sciences, and Urban development.
QUT has three campuses, as well as several precincts and divisions that offer specialised study opportunities:
- Gardens Point Campus
- Kelvin Grove Campus
- Caboolture Campus
Precincts and research institutes include the Creative Industries Precinct, Gardens Point Precinct, the Translational Research Institute, and the Medical Engineering Research Facility.
Griffith University is one of the youngest universities in Australia, but it has built a reputation as a pioneer in several fields in education. For example, it was the first university in Australia to sign the United Nations principles of responsible management education, and it was the first to include Asian studies and Environmental studies in its curriculum. Staying with the environmental theme, it is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact initiative. The university is particularly renowned for its business courses. Its MBA is recognised as one of the top 30 programs in the world. It is internationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, putting it within the top 5% of business schools in the world.
It has four academic groups or faculties, each with its own schools and departments:
- Arts, Education and Law, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the School of Humanities, and the Queensland College of Art.
- Griffith Business School, with departments that include (but aren’t limited to) the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, the Department of Marketing, and the Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management.
- Griffith Health, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Human Services and Social Work, the School of Nursing and Midwifery, and the School of Applied Psychology.
- Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology, with schools that include (but aren’t limited to) the School of Engineering, the School of Bimolecular and Physical Sciences, the School of Information and Communication Technology.
It has five campuses in Brisbane and around the Gold Coast:
- Gold Coast Campus
- Logan campus
- Mt Gravatt Campus
- Nathan Campus
- Southbank Campus
Holmes Institute is a multidisciplinary education provider with campuses all over Australia, including Brisbane. It offers vocational training opportunities, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
Undergraduate courses offered in Brisbane include:
- Bachelor of Business
- Bachelor of Professional Accounting
- Bachelor of Fashion and Business
Postgraduate courses include:
- Graduate Diploma of Business
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Professional Accounting
Brisbane North Institute of TAFE
There are many TAFE institutes in Queensland, including Brisbane North Institute of TAFE (BNIT).
It offers the full range of TAFE courses to domestic and international students, including:
- Accounting and Finance
- Beauty Therapy
- Education and Training
- Health and Community Services
- Hospitality and Cookery
- Management and Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Justice and Legal Administration
- Travel and Tourism
Apprenticeships and traineeships are also available, as are a range of courses for high school students, including Certificate III in Animal Studies, Certificate III in Business and Business Administration, Certificate III in Design Fundamentals, Certificate III in Fitness, Certificate III in Hospitality, and Introduction to Nursing and Aged Care.
It has five campuses in Brisbane:
- Bracken Ridge Campus
- Caboolture Campus
- Grovely (Keperra) Campus
- Ithaca (Red Hill) Campus
- Redcliffe Campus
Metro College of Technology
Metro College of Technology provides vocational education in a range of subjects, including hospitality, business, security, and aged care. It belongs to the Australian International Education Industry, and its courses are nationally recognised as part of the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF).
Australian Institute of Early Childhood Studies
Australian Institute of Early Childhood Studies offers a range of nationally recognised TAFE courses that focus specifically on early childhood development and education.
- Certificate III in Children’s Services
- Diploma of Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and Care)
- Advanced Diploma of Children’s Services
- Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
Australian College of Natural Therapies
Australian College of Natural Therapies prides itself on being one of the biggest and most reputable natural medicine education providers in the world. It has several campuses around Australia, including Brisbane. Courses can be studied online and on-campus.
Areas of specialisation include:
- Fitness Naturotherapy
- Herbal Medicine
- Sport Development
Shaftston College specialises in English Language courses, as well as Business courses and Hospitality courses. It has three campuses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Brisbane College of English and Brisbane College of Australia
Brisbane College of English and Brisbane College of Australia are combined into one education provider. Together, they offer a variety of courses which include General English, Business English, TESOL, Accounting, Business, Finance and Insurance, Community Services, Tourism, Accounting, and Children’s Services.
Students have plenty of options when it comes to accommodation in Brisbane. Some universities, like the University of Queensland (UQ), have residential colleges for students. These usually include full board and lodging. UQ also has short-term on-campus accommodation for students who need a base while they’re settling in the city. Many of the schools also have support services that help students find affordable and safe off-campus accommodation. Options include single rooms in share houses, furnished and semi-furnished apartments, hostels, and homestays.
These support services provide valuable advice regarding which suburbs are best for certain campuses, and which suburbs are best in terms of convenience (proximity to shops and entertainment) and affordability.
Homestays are great for students who want the comforts of home. Families that offer homestays are carefully vetted to ensure that they meet certain criteria. They usually welcome students as if they were their own children and treat them to ‘family’ outings to show them everything that Brisbane has to offer.
There are many organisations that specialise in student accommodation. They enable students to search for accommodation by price, location, facilities, and education provider.
Living in Brisbane
Brisbane lives up to its status as the capital city of the Sunshine State. It has gloriously warm summers (which can get humid) and moderate winters. It also has some spectacular thunderstorms, which is great if you like it when Mother Nature puts on a show. It has many casinos and beach resorts, which give it a holiday feel. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is on permanent vacation. It has a thriving economy and offers plenty of opportunities for students looking for casual or temporary jobs.
The cost of living is reasonable, especially when compared to Sydney and Melbourne.
The city has a reliable public transport system that will get you anywhere you need to go. Buses, trains, and ferries have the city covered.
Public health services are also comprehensive. International students are strongly advised to get Overseas Health Cover, which takes care of most health needs.
According to new2brisbane.com.au, dining experiences are divided into restaurant precincts, many of which have ‘themes’ or cater to a stereotypical clientele. For example, Eagle Street Pier, which is dotted with riverfront restaurants, is popular among high-powered lawyers and business executives. Queen Street Mall offers an eclectic selection of Asian and European food from indoor and outdoor pubs, cafes, and restaurants. Adelaide Street boasts many award-winning restaurants known for pushing culinary boundaries. Fortitude Valley is great for students as it has a vibrant atmosphere with cheap eateries that are open until late at night.
Brisbane also has many cultural delights, including a variety of theatres, museums, art galleries, and festivals.
Things to do on a budget
Many of the cultural attractions are affordable. The Queensland Performing Arts Centre, for example, has concerts, ballets, operas, symphonies, and assorted productions for all budgets. The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art often has exhibitions to suit diverse artistic tastes, especially those that run to contemporary art.
Annual treats include the Royal Queensland Show (Ekka), which is held each August. Visitors can enjoy no end of stalls and displays, and evening fireworks. There is the Brisbane International Film Festival, which is held in July/August. There are also festival that celebrate different cultures; for example, the Greek Paniyri Festival which is held in May.
Free activities abound. You can take a walk in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens which is on the Brisbane River. It’s a fantastic picnic spot, and the tranquility is great if you need an hour or two just to sit and rest your mind. Your other CBD nature-filled option is Roma Street Parklands, which boasts a subtropical garden and picnic and play areas. It’s also known for its art displays, which include murals, sculptures, and bronzes. You can get your thrills rock climbing at Kangaroo Point Cliffs. You can indulge your scientific side with a visit to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. And, you can get your fill of cute at the Line Pine Koala Sanctuary, the oldest Koala sanctuary in the world.
You can even duck the sunshine and ice skate at IceWorld’s rinks at Boondall and Acacia Ridge.
Brisbane has a lot to offer students, so find out more about the courses on offer and register now.