Adelaide: A City Guide for International Students

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Yet another city in Australia that sees plenty of international students each year, is Adelaide. 

The capital of South Australia is home to 70,000 students annually, of which 20,000 are international students. 

Adelaide is the most affordable of all the major cities, but still extremely liveable. This is due to great weather (typical in Australia!), plenty of things to do and a good job market.

Photo of Adelaide, Australia


There are 4 universities in Adelaide, all of which are very well regarded educational institutions.

They are the Flinders University, Torrens University Australia, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia. Moreover, there are also campuses present for the Australian Catholic University, Flinders University and CQUniversity.

The universities in Adelaide are rated amongst the top 2% in the entire world, so there are truly world-class study options in this quiet city.


When you arrive in a city as an international student, you’ll probably need to find work.

Whilst getting a job in Adelaide is often regarded as a little more difficult than finding employment in the larger cities, it’s very possible. Mostly, it just takes persistence.

Furthermore, our previous tips are still very relevant; that is, network, apply for jobs through and

As well as this, if you’re looking for hospitality work, make sure you take your resume to cafes, bars and restaurants in person. Managers appreciate this, a lot! 

Photo of Rundle Mall shopping precinct


The rental market in Adelaide can be very affordable if you know where to look. Apart from the obvious student accommodation, there are a number of websites to find private or sharehouse accommodation.

For a room in a sharehouse, you can expect to pay from $130 to $250, and more. A one-bedroom apartment will set you back at least $300 per week.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Adelaide is fairly similar to the other major cities, though it is regarded as the cheapest of all the capitals.

On top of accommodation, you can expect to get by on about $80 each week for groceries, and $20 to $40 for phone and internet.

A pint of beer (note that a pint in Adelaide is smaller) can cost about $6, and a glass of wine roughly the same, or a little more.


Adelaide runs on trains, buses and trams. It’s a relatively small network, but services most parts of the city.

The required transport card for Adelaides network is called a MetroCard. You can purchase it and topped it up at train stations and selected retailers.

Don’t forget to purchase a concession, as all students with a concession card are entitled to.

Also note, buying a 28-day pass will save you money in the long run.

Photo of Adelaide's metro


Adelaide is full of captivating sights, and is often called the ‘City of Churches’. There is a magnificent cathedral or church on every corner, so you’ll never be starved of lovely architecture.

For those with artistic inclinations, the Tadanya National Aboriginal Cultural Insitute is certainly one to visit.

As well as that, the Samstag Museum of Art and the Art Gallery of South Australia hold some captivating works.

For the museum lovers, the South Australian Museum, the Migration Museum and the State Library of South Australia all hold interesting exhibits. 


In February and March every year, the Adelaide Fringe takes place. This fantastic arts festival of comedy, theatre and everything in between are second only to the famous Edinburgh Fringe.

Fancy a coffee and a relaxing wander through market stalls? Then look no further than Central Market, a haven of culinary delights.

If it’s a warm day, a stroll along the River Torrens is enough to relax your mind.

Last of all, the Adelaide zoo has a big population of animals, all well cared for in high tech enclosures.

Photo of River Torrens in Adelaide


The sports centre of Adelaide is the Adelaide Oval, often called the world’s prettiest cricket ground. It hosts sporting events all year round, including cricket and AFL.

There is an annual cricket test match held at the Adelaide Oval, horseracing events in the spring and various AFL and soccer games throughout the year.

Best of all, most events offer discounted tickets to students, both domestic and international. Just look for ‘concession’.


Every student needs to unwind at some stage with a drink and/or a dance. Thankfully, Adelaide has a bustling nightlife, with something to suit every kind of partygoer.

Whilst it wasn’t always this way, Adelaide’s nightlife has really stepped up in recent years, providing a bevy of options for a… bevvie.

In summer, it’s a great idea to hit up one of a number of rooftop bars in the city.

For instance, Hennessy Rooftop Bar on King William street holds a very well-stocked bar and fantastic outdoor areas, with excellent views. Rocket Bar and Florence Rooftop Bar are other outdoor destinations for those seeking refreshment in the sun.

For something a little cosier, head to Maybe Mae, Bank Street Social or The Queen Adelaide, a pub with a slightly dingy but funky vibe.

The best dance spots include the aforementioned Rocket Bar and Rooftop, Lions Art Centre and Red Square (for a slightly trashier vibe).

If you have a refined palate, you can find a delicious cocktail at Clever Little Tailor, Electra House, and a tasty whiskey or gin at Bank Street Social.

Around Adelaide

The Barossa Valley is one of the most famous wine regions in the world, and for good reason. Many award-winning drops are made here, which is more than enough reason to visit.

There are numerous day trips available, which involve visiting a number of wineries and tasting many of the local favourites.

Kangaroo Island is a fantastic destination for the nature-loving students, with plenty of wildlife and beautiful national park to see.

Mount Lofty is another stunning region, with many hikes available. There are also numerous bubbling waterfalls to see. 

Photo of Barossa Valley Vineyard in Adelaide, Australia

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