The four seasons of the year are well defined in Canberra, which has a predominantly dry climate. Summers are hot, with approximately nine hours of sunshine per day and temperatures ranging between 12o and 27o C. The winters on the other hand are cold and they give about five hours of sunshine per day and temperatures between 1o and 12o C. The spring is quite a highlight, covering the city with the unique colorful flowers.
The city provides a safe, relaxed and welcoming environment.
The first European expeditions to land in Canberra arrived in the early 1820s, setting up the first settlements around 1824. The growth was slow. The story began to change with the debates over Federation, in the late nineteenth century, which resulted in the founding of Australia. Melbourne and Sydney had fought for decades to be the capital of the new country, and in 1901 they reached the consensus that the capital would not be in any of these cities, but within the state of New South Wales, which in 1906 agreed to give up a piece of its territory. Competing with ten other cities, Canberra was chosen in 1908 to be the administrative headquarters, which would be part of a larger area called the Australian Capital Territory, or ACT.
A major international competition was held to select the best project for the construction of the city. The winner was the Chicago (USA) architect Walter Burley Griffin, in 1912. Canberra was officially founded in March 1913 and construction began that same year. In spite of the initial enthusiasm, the two Great Wars and the Great Depression of 1929 delayed the project, and for a long time Canberra was nothing more than a capital in the middle of the woods. Griffin was fired as well as others responsible for the construction, until in the 1950s Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies resumed construction. To do so, he counted on the advice of the British urban planner William Holford, who had been one of the judges who chose the project of Lúcio Costa for Brasilia. Among the innovations of Holford, an artificial lake inspired by Lake Paranoa, which was named in honor of the original project architect, Burley Griffin.
In the following decades, sculptures and monuments were built, as well as important buildings such as the National Library, High Court and National Gallery, as well as new suburbs, many of them named after politicians such as Barton, Deakin and Reid. In 1988, the new and definitive Parliament House was opened on Capital Hill, making it one of Canberra's most iconic postcards.
Cost of Living
Cost of Living
Monthly estimate for one person (without rent): AU$ 1,137
Since it’s a planned city, public transportation is very organized and fast, with bus lines that run through the city in approximately 40 minutes and cover virtually all attractions of the city, having as intersection points four main terminals: City, Woden, Tuggeranong and Belconnen. To make everyday life easier, the MyWay Rechargeable Card is great for speeding things up.
For cyclists, Canberra has one of Australia's best and most extensive bicycle paths, which makes it virtually possible to ride the entire city without pedaling on a highway. It is very convenient and safe.
Study and Work
Located in the far north of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 280km southwest of Sydney and 660km northeast of Melbourne, Canberra is the capital of Australia. “Meeting Place”, in Aboriginal, Canberra was chosen in 1908 to be the capital, ending a political dispute between Sydney and Melbourne. Modern, safe and multicultural, Canberra, like Brasília, is also a planned city, that despite having been inaugurated in 1913, was only really done during the second half of the twentieth century, even relying on the consulting of renowned architect British William Holford, who was one of the judges who chose the Lúcio Costa project for Brasilia. Not by chance, Canberra has among its highlights beautiful public buildings, streets lined with trees and an artificial lake.
1) Why study in Camberra
Fourth best student city in Australia and 22nd in the world, according to QS World University Rankings 2018, Canberra, like other Australian cities, is very well ranked in the "student mix" category, reflecting the country's diverse population. Another factor that contributes to the good Canberra ranking is the presence of the Australian National University (ANU), the 20th best university in the world, according to the QS Ranking 2018, and Australia's number one.
With a safe, chilled out and welcoming environment, Canberra is also very well evaluated in terms of "desirability", which is based on factors such as quality of life and students' needs. Although it’s one of the few major Australian cities that’s not located on the coast, Canberra has many natural attractions, starting with Lake Burley Griffin itself in the centre of the city, and numerous others on the outskirts like mountain ranges to the east, alps to the west and dozens of wineries.
2) 9 reasons to study in Canberra
- International students can work 40 hours per fortnight (and full time during vacations);
- Elected the fourth best city in Australia for students and the 22nd in the world by the reputed QS World University Rankings;
- It has one university among the 20 best in the world (Australian National University);
- Headquarters of Australian National University, elected the best university in Australia;
- Modern, safe and multicultural city;
- Canberra provides a safe, chilled out and welcoming environment;
- Very well ranked in the "student mix" indicator;
- City with easy urban mobility;
- Capital with the best bike path network in Australia.
3) About Canberra
Canberra is located within the Australian Capital Territory, which is surrounded by the Great Dividing Range to the east and the Australian Alps base to the west. In the surroundings, renowned wineries, the beautiful beaches of the South Coast of NSW - including Jervis Bay -, historic countryside cities and the magnificent snowy mountains of the Australian Alps.
In the heart of Canberra is the Burley Griffin artificial lake, used for leisure and sports activities such as sailing, canoeing, windsurfing and cycling, as well as hiking and running around it. Scattered throughout the city, dozens of small art galleries keep a vibrant artistic community alive, which has as its major reference the National Gallery of Australia, one of the most important museums in the Southern Hemisphere.
Being the administrative capital of the country, Canberra is home to a number of social and cultural institutions such as the Government house of Australia, the Parliament, the official residence of the governor-general and the Supreme Court, as well as the Australian War Memorial, Australian National University, Royal Australian Mint, Australian Institute of Sport, National Museum and National Library.
4) Accommodations in Canberra
When researching a place to live in Canberra, it’s very important that it be close to your school or that you can easily get there by public transport. We divided the accommodations into two types, according to the duration of the trip:
The hostels are good options for those who want to save money with accommodation. The rooms in general are shared, but there are also rooms for couples and private options. Preferred by young travelers, they have quite relaxed environments, with lots of socialization and therefore are very sought after during high seasons.
They are kinda like hostels but offer private, couples and group rooms. The environment is less busy and more private than hostels, the prices are a bit more expensive, but still cheaper than hotels.
WEST 1 recommends that, at least for the first few weeks, students stay in a homestay, which are homes of Australian families or immigrants who have been in the country for many years. It’s there that the student begins to have contact with the Australian culture, put into practice what they learn at school, get to know the city and ask questions. To participate in this type of program, families are accredited by the Australian government, which guarantees total safety for the student.
After the homestay period, the student will already be more familiar with the school and the city. Feeling more independent, the next step is to share an apartment or a room with other students, many of them of different nationalities, which is a great experience and great for improving the language. The rent is usually paid weekly, and before moving you must deposit the famous “bond”, which is nothing more than an advance that ranges from two to four weeks of rent.
5) Work In Canberra
In Australia, as soon as classes begin, the student can work 40 hours per fortnight (and full time during vacations). In order to do that, it’s important to open a student account at a bank and make the Tax File Number, a record on the Australian Taxation Office that will allow you to get paid by the employer and have your income tax in order.
Since its the country’s administrative headquarters, virtually a third of Canberra’s population are civil servants. The hospitality and food industry, which includes establishments such as hotels, bars, pubs and restaurants, is what traditionally most employs international students. In the case of Canberra, it accounts for only 3.2% of jobs in the city, but is still the main option, along with construction (5.7%) and retail (6.4%).
6) Attractions in Canberra
Floriade, the flower festival that marks the beginning of spring in Canberra, is perhaps the city’s most famous event. In the summer, everything revolves around the many outdoor activities, especially in the waters of Lake Burley Griffin and its surroundings. In the fall, when the trees in the parks have special shades, the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial during the Anzac Day festivities is a must-see, as is the Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival. In the cold winter season, the Fireside Festival, which motto is to fill the belly next to a campfire, takes place in Canberra and in neighboring villages such as Yass, Hall, Murrumbateman and Gundaroo, providing a month of food, wine and entertainment .
Regardless of the season, there is always something going on in the dozens of small Canberra art galleries, museums - especially the iconic National Museum and National Gallery of Australia - as well as the city's many buildings and public areas such as the Parliament House , Old Parliament House, Australian National Botanic Garden and Australian Institute of Sport, among others.
Nearby, Jervis Bay is a paradise on the coast, with white sand beaches that are great for surfing and surrounded by nature. During the winter, the Australian Alps is the ideal place for skiing and snowboarding. You can reach them through Namadgi National Park, just a 45 minutes’ drive from Canberra. And if the idea is to taste good wines, there are over 30 wineries spread within a 35-minute radius of downtown Canberra.
Did you know?
The Burley Griffin artificial lake, inspired by Lake Paranoa, in Brasilia, was named in honor of original Canberra project architect, the American Burley Griffin.
William Holford, a British urbanist who was one of the judges who chose Lúcio Costa's project for Brasilia, was a consultant in the construction of Canberra.
Canberra, a planned capital, was inspired in Brasilia, and vice versa.
In the language of the Ngunnawal people, Canberra means “meeting place".
Canberra has the highest percentage of early technology adopters in Australia.
Canberra has the highest percentage of volunteers in Australia.