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Student Lifestyle & Housingon the Gold Coast

Whether you’re a Gold Coast local, from regional Australia or you’re an international student, the Gold Coast is one of the best places you can study.

There are a number of world class universities that offer a huge range of courses, superior facilities and internationally recognised degrees. At the same time you have great weather and beaches to enjoy in your down time, as well as plenty of shopping centres, cheap places to eat and a couple of thriving entertainment districts.

If you’re thinking of making the move to the Gold Coast for your studies, find out what make the lifestyle so great for international and local students by reading our comprehensive guide below. 

Studying on the Gold Coast

Students on the Gold Coast enjoy a fabulous lifestyle every day, with hot summers and mild winters that are never cold enough to empty the beaches. Renowned for its natural beauty with more than 70 kilometres of beaches and crystal-clear waters, the Gold Coast is one of the most desirable places in the world to live. 

The Gold Coast has 300 days of sunshine per year, with an average summer temperature of a warm 29 degrees, while our winter lasts for only two months (June and July) where the day time temperature averages 21 degrees. The best time to swim or surf is February when the average sea temperature is 27 degrees.

The public transport system has an extensive network which includes buses, trains and a new tram network (G: Link) which makes it very easy to travel around. All full-time tertiary students are eligible for a transport concession which halves the regular fee for all forms of public transport.

If you like to cycle or walk, you’ll be spoilt for choice as you explore the Coast’s many stunning paths and trails.

While there are several shopping centres & districts ranging from basic essentials to high end fashions & designer wear, students can’t go past Harbour Town. Browse over 50 factory outlet stores that have major brands like Nike, Converse, JAG, Just Jeans and Calvin Klein at very affordable prices.

You’ll find a huge range of places to eat, from quick and easy take away shops to buffets, pub lunches, cafes and restaurants. While cooking for yourself is always the cheapest option, there are still plenty of popular, low price eateries to choose from, and you’ll always be able to get a good, affordable meal at one of the local Surf Lifesaving Clubs.

A popular tourist destination; the Gold Coast has several employment opportunities available for young students, particularly in industries such as tourism, hospitality and retail. Conveniently, the Gold Coast’s busiest times for tourism are the holiday periods, so you should be able to concentrate on your studies during exam times and pick up extra work during the breaks. For a bit of fun you could even get a job at one of the big four theme parks.

Gold Coast Universities

Through three major universities, there is a full range of courses and degrees on offer on the Gold Coast, including medicine, psychology, communication, IT and the arts to name a few. The universities are well connected with the local community and offer a wide-ranging support network to help students with their studies and getting set up in the area.

  • Bond University
  • Griffith University
  • Southern Cross University

If the subjects that interest you aren’t at a local university, there are several colleges and TAFE institutes around the Gold Coast where you can study and attain certificates or other qualifications to further your career.

Gold Coast Student Accommodation

With the exception of course fees, accommodation is going to be the most expensive part of studying (text books are likely to come a close third for some students). Where you live can have a big effect on your concentration in class, your ability to get around and your budget.

Make sure you find a place that’s going to be close enough to university, work and public transport, while still giving you the distance you need to take a break once in a while.

On Campus Student Accommodation

While living on campus can get costly, the convenience often makes up for it. You’ll be within walking distance to all your lectures and tutorials, share in the basic housework and often get cafeteria meals as part of your rental fees.

All three universities in the Gold Coast Universities offer on campus accommodation; Bond UniversityGriffith and Southern Cross. These universities also have student services to put you in contact with nearby student accommodation providers and provide assistance when necessary.

Off Campus Student Accommodation

On campus accommodation isn’t for everyone. If you need some distance from your classes, want to be closer to work (or the beach), looking to save money or even if you just want to be able to have a little more freedom, you’ll find there are a number of convenient rentals available.

Nexus Place – Only minutes away from Griffith University and Ashmore TAFE campuses, Nexus Place provides affordable resort style living with 38 three bedroom furnished student apartments. 
Location: 131 Currumburra Rd, Ashmore 

Metro on Central – Metro offers resort style living only 2.5km from Griffith. The building has a 25 metre lap pool, gym, pool tables, table tennis and a communal TV lounge.
Location:  7 Brown St, Labrador

University Square – Purpose built just across the road from Griffith University Hospital, University Square offers students their own private space with the convenience of on campus accommodation.
Location:  280 Olsen Avenue, Parkwood

Varsity Towers – Ideal for students attending Bond University, Varsity Towers is another purpose built student accommodation building 5 minutes away from the university. 
Location: 25 Lake Orr Drive, Robina 

Australian Homestay Network (AHN) – The AHN specialises in homestay accommodation for International Students. A ‘host’ family has a student live in their home with them as a guest (paying a weekly fee) while they study, helping them better understand Australian culture.

While all these are great options, you don’t necessarily have to get something specifically for students. Check out or to find a much larger range of rentals available on the Gold Coast.

Images courtesy Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Destination Gold Coast & Getty Images

Things to do and seeOn the Gold Coast in Queensland

Theme Parks

Combo passes & packages

Free things to do

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary


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