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What to expect when living and studying in Adelaide

Adelaide is one of Australia’s busiest cities, and is home to more than a million residents. There is so much to love and enjoy about this city, and as an international student, you have countless options for your studies, work, and fun.

Cost of living

The city of Adelaide was founded in 1836 and is the capital of South Australia. The great thing about Adelaide is its affordable cost of living in comparison with bigger cities in Australia like Melbourne and Sydney. A great indicator of this can be seen in the excellent liveability of the city. The EIU International Liveability site ranked Adelaide the fifth most liveable city on Earth, making it an attractive place for anybody to move to!


Adelaide enjoys a climate that boasts good weather almost all year round. You will experience warm and dry weather throughout most of the seasons with low levels of humidity – perfect for exploring a new city. However, the winter months can be cool and can be known to produce periods of rain. The average temperatures drop to an average of 16°C in Winter, then pick back up to 22°C in Autumn and Spring, and then rise to above 29°C during Summer. 


Adelaide has four main universities with campuses concentrated around the CBD. These universities offer a wide variety of courses and have a strong representation of international students. Adelaide is one of the safest, greenest, and cleanest cities in the world – a great atmosphere for learning. 

  • The University of South Australia (UniSA) is Adelaide’s largest university, and was formed in 1991 through a merger of several non-university teaching institutions. UniSA currently has six campuses, four of which are located within the city. 
  • The University of Adelaide is another popular institution in the city. It is known internationally for its advanced academic research, facilities and staff. 
  • Flinders University was founded in 1966 after the demand for a local, quality university began to grow. Flinders’ University Campus is located about 12km south of the city centre and is a great university with deep history. 
  • Torrens University is a recently established school located in the heart of Adelaide CBD. This school offers several master's and bachelor’s programs in various fields including media design, public health, education, and management. 

In addition to these universities, there are numerous colleges and vocational training institutes in Adelaide that are also well regarded.

Living in Adelaide

As an international student, you will find living in Adelaide to be an amazing choice. It has been described as, “big town country”, due to its reputation as a large modern city, but with a country warmth and friendliness. The city has a great surrounding environment with huge parklands where you can study and relax. With campuses mostly located within the CBD, you’ll have an easy time getting from one place to another. 

Adelaide is a friendly, multicultural city that offers a real sense of community. It has numerous big city opportunities for young students along with the warmth of a country town. 

For more information about Adelaide and your study options, get in touch with IDP’s counsellors today.

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