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The benefits of studying in a regional area


    Australia is such a large country, it can be tricky figuring out where you should study. For many international students, the busy city centres are an obvious choice. However, others are more drawn to the relaxed lifestyle offered by regional cities and towns.

    You might be surprised to learn that the majority of locations outside Australia's biggest cities are actually considered regional areas for migration purposes. This includes the whole of Western Australia (WA) including its capital city of Perth, the home of TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA).  

    Are you drawn to a more relaxed pace of life? Read about the many lifestyle and migration benefits that regional locations can offer you as an international student.  

    1. Migration incentives

    Three students at top of stairs

    If you're considering a permanent move to Australia after graduation, studying in a WA regional area can offer you some big benefits. Depending on your level of study, you may be entitled to special post-study graduate and regional migration visas, faster visa processing times, and more points on the General Skilled Migration Points Test. You might also gain access to regional skilled occupations lists, which offer more skilled migration career options than non-regional lists.

    Make sure you look into the careers listed on the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List(opens in a new tab). This list indicates a high demand for people working in a range of fields ranging from healthcare to the finance sector. If you happen to be studying or working in one of these fields, you may be eligible for skilled migration opportunities in WA.

    2. Lower cost of living

    Students in break area

    Compared to bigger Australian cities, many regional areas provide a more affordable cost of living. Cities with larger populations tend to experience higher demand for accommodation, food and services. This can make prices rise. Regional cities such as Perth, on the other hand, usually have smaller populations and more affordable accommodation.

    3. Opportunities to explore more of Australia

    Student at Wave Rock in WA

    While there's lots to do in Australia's big cities, most of the country's famed natural landscapes are found in regional areas. Studying in a regional location gives you access to some of the most incredible places in Australia. You'll easily be able to explore them in your spare time!

    From the ancient gorges and swimming holes in the north, to towering forests and mountain ranges in the south, there are so many places to explore in WA.

    4. Relaxed lifestyle

    Three happy students with surfboards at beach

    Do you want to avoid the stresses of big city living? Studying in a regional location may be the right move for you. Regional areas usually enjoy a slower pace of life. They also give you the chance to experience the typically relaxed Australian lifestyle.

    While there are still lots of fun things to do in Perth, you won't be dealing with the same crowds or busy pace of life that you tend to find in bigger cities.  

    5. Sense of community

    Group of students out front of NMTAFE campus

    Studying in a regional area usually means that your educational institution and classes will be smaller than those in big cities. This means you'll be receiving more personal attention from tutors and lecturers. The small sizes also give you the opportunity to get to know your peers better and build a real sense of community.

    If you're regularly spending time with the same group of people, it may be easier to settle in and feel at home.  

    6. Work opportunities

    Two students working at a cafe

    International companies and big businesses tend to be located in bigger cities. However, it can still be very difficult to secure a job due to increased competition. By contrast, it can sometimes be much easier to find work in a regional area.

    This is because there are fewer people going for the same positions as you. You may also build connections with people in your regional area who can help you with your job search.

    WA also has plenty of part time or seasonal jobs for during your studies. These jobs are often in fruit picking, farm work and hospitality.

    7. Regional bursary opportunity

    Coastline of northern WA

    For a limited time, eligible students can get AUD$5,000 to study, work and live in regional WA! Find out more about the WA Regional TAFE International Student Bursary 2023–2024 and start your adventure!

    Last updated on March 28, 2023