8 benefits of studying in metropolitan and regional campuses in Australia

Have you decided to study in Australia, but deciding whether to choose between Melbourne and a regional campus? Read on to help you work out the best location to complete your degree.

  1. Regional campuses offer additional incentives for migration

The main benefit of studying at a regional campus in Victoria, Australia, is the added migration opportunities, such as priority visa processing, extended period on a Temporary Graduate visa, and access to a larger number of available occupations in the Regional Occupations List.

A Temporary Graduate visa allows international students who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications that are relevant to specific occupations the ability to live, study and work in Australia for up to six years, depending on your qualification.

However, the Second Post-Study Work stream enables Temporary Graduate visa holders with a degree from an Australian institution located in a regional area can get granted an additional 1-2 years based on your regional location and educational institution.

La Trobe University’s regional campuses is a great choice for students who are looking to take advantage of the added migration opportunities, with campuses located in Bendigo, Shepparton, Mildura and Albury-Wodonga.

  1. Melbourne is a friendly, diverse and relaxed city for international students

Melbourne is also Australia’s #1 student city, and overall #5 in the world, with an impressive rating of 93.3 according to QS Best Student Cities 2023, with one of the highest scores for student view and student mix. The rankings measure safety, employment opportunities after graduation, diversity, affordability and desirability by students.

Melbourne is also the third-best city in the world to live in, according to the Global Liveability Index 2023 – making it the top English-speaking city globally. The rankings assessed 172 cities based on several categories, including stability, healthcare, culture, education and infrastructure. Melbourne was rated a perfect 100 in Education, Healthcare and Infrastructure.

Melbourne is also a very multicultural city, with 71.8% of Melbourne residents with both parents born overseas.  The city contains a mix of cultures and ethnicities, such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam – and it shows in the thriving culinary culture and populations across Melbourne’s suburbs.

  1. Regional campuses offer a relaxed lifestyle

If you’re looking to escape the bustle of city living, studying at a regional campus can offer you a more laid-back lifestyle with more open spaces and greater access to nature, landmarks and wildlife.

You’ll also benefit from the tighter community of a smaller city, which enables you to create lasting and familiar connections with the people around you. There’s also less traffic and congestion, so it’s much easier to get around with a car.

The benefit of a regional campus is also the intimate learning environment. Class sizes are smaller, so there’s more interaction with your teachers and peers for those who find it intimidating to be in large and crowded environments.

  1. Melbourne has a thriving arts, sports and food culture

Melbourne is well-known as the cultural capital of Australia, and it’s no wonder why. The city gets thousands of visitors each year with plenty of galleries, gardens, museums, nature parks and a host of live music and entertainment events taking place all the time.

There’s also a lot of sporting events and leisure activities for those who are active. There’s a large number of stadiums, tracks, pools and fields with international events such as the Australian Open, Formula 1 Grand Prix, AFL matches and tons more.

Melbourne also has a thriving food scene thanks to its diverse and multicultural population. You can find a range of cuisines throughout the city and suburbs, so there’s always going to be culinary options to make you feel like you’re home. Melbourne is also known around the world for its coffee obsession – with over 2,000 cafes across the city and suburbs.

  1. Regional campuses offer a more immersive Australian cultural experience

If you’d like to immerse yourself into the best of Australian landscape and experiences, living and studying regionally means you’ll always be closer to natural attractions and local wildlife.

Regional Victoria has a lot of natural attractions that you can explore, from wildlife sanctuaries where you can get up and close to Australia’s native birds and mammals and national parks where you can hike through Australia’s forests, wetlands and bushlands, to vineyards where you sample some of Australia’s finest wines and cheeses.

  1. Melbourne is a safe city with an extensive public transport network

Melbourne is considered a very safe city to live, making it into the Top 10 list of World Population Review’s Safest Cities in the World 2023 rankings. The rankings assess across personal safety, digital security, health security and infrastructure.

Getting around Melbourne without a car is easy. There are extensive public transport options with trains, trams and buses running regularly and throughout the night on weekends. Plus, you won’t need to buy different tickets, your single Myki card will enable you to travel on all forms of public transport in Melbourne.

At La Trobe, getting to the city from campus is easy. La Trobe University has an on-campus bus depot that will get you to where you need to go. There’s also a direct tram outside the university that will take you to the heart of Melbourne CBD.

Transport Central

Check out our Transport Central webpage to learn more about your transport options to La Trobe University.

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  1. Regional living has a lower cost of living

One of the biggest benefits of living and studying at a regional campus is the lower cost of living. Living costs such as accommodation, food and services are generally cheaper than in a metropolitan city such as Melbourne and Sydney.

Larger regional cities such as Bendigo have access to the leisure and entertainment options you’d expect in a bigger city – such as restaurants, cinemas, shopping centres, events and sporting facilities.

If you’re looking to organise your own private accommodation, renting in regional Victoria will save you money. In March 2023, the median rent for a 2-bedroom flat in metropolitan Melbourne was AU$520 compared to AU$340 in regional Victoria1. If you’re open to considering our on-campus accommodation, we have detailed breakdown of prices for our Melbourne (Bundoora) [PDF 40.1 KB] as well as regional campuses [PDF 34.6 KB] available to help you decide.

For those looking to save as much money as possible, regional campuses might be a great way to lower your daily expenses.

  1. Melbourne has more diverse course options

One limitation of studying at a regional campus is the course offerings. Because regional campuses tend to have fewer students, there are often limited course and elective options compared to a larger Melbourne campus.

Smaller campuses tend to be limited in the breadth of services and facilities on offer. While many find that the relaxed lifestyle, cheaper cost of living and smaller classrooms are worth the sacrifice, it might not suit you if you are looking to explore a variety of services, clubs and on-campus facilities.

Course finder

If you have a degree in mind or if you are particular about your electives, you might have no choice but to study in Melbourne. To find out what campus options are available, use our course finder to search for your preferred course and view the campus locations.

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Explore your accommodation options at La Trobe

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1. Victoria State Government, 2023, Homes Victoria Rental Report: March quarter 2023