Living in Sydney
International and domestic students can take advantage of the Australian and Sydney experience.
With a population of over four million people, Sydney is the largest city in Australia, the hub of social events, close to many tourist attractions and an ideal place to experience the Australian culture and lifestyle. It is also a perfect base for seeing the rest of Australia with many forms of transport to take you anywhere you would like to go.
Foreigners and relocating Australians alike are drawn to Sydney due to the career opportunities, cosmopolitan lifestyle and excitement that this diverse city has to offer.
The options included here are just a taste of what Sydney offers. Students are also encouraged to look further than the information provided so as to maximize their Sydney experience. (GCA does not manage these suggested sites therefore does not affirm support of all of the content, recommendations or advice within these links.)
City of Sydney
GCA Rainbow Guide 2011
Local Hot-Spots & Events
Sydney is a very lively and fun city hosting many festivals, concerts, shows, carnivals, sporting events, shops and exhibitions.
Other Nearby Attractions
Bondi is one of the most famous, clean and welcoming beaches in the world accentuated by Sydney’s warm climate and clear weather throughout most of the year. The sand is white and clean, and the water is clear. The GCA campus is about 15 minutes drive from Bondi Beach. This link will take you to the public transport options on how to get to Bondi Beach from GCA.
Transport to Bondi Beach
Webcam of Bondi Beach
Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour and the Opera House
Sydney Harbour is full of life at New Years Eve for the world-renowned fire-works as well as the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race in January and many events year round. Throughout the year the Harbour can be accessed via ferry. Other tours and cruises are also available including jet boat rides and sea plane trips.
The Opera House is a famous building right on the Harbour with unique architecture often seen in tourist publications. It is active as a concert and events hall with other performances also held around the facility including the ‘Australian Idol’ and New Year’s Eve shows. Locals and tourists frequent this area and the surrounds at ‘Circular Quay’. The iconic Harbour Bridge is the backdrop of many postcards and can be climbed for a thrill, exercise, heritage information, glorious views and/or for sheer fun.
GCA is a ten minute bus/train ride or 30 minute walk to Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour and the world famous Sydney Opera House.
Sydney Opera House Website
Parks and Gardens
Large, well-maintained parks and gardens are scattered throughout the city. Many people relax in parks on their lunch-break, after work or on weekends or use parks for recreation activities such as picnics, cycling, walking or rollerblading. Some of the most beautiful parks in Sydney include Hyde Park, The Botanical Gardens and Centennial Park. Hyde Park is in the middle of the CBD and is only 10 minutes walk from GCA.
Sydney’s Parks and Gardens
Taronga Zoo is a very popular tourist attraction, accessible via a 15 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay. There are many native animals such as koalas and kangaroos, as well as exotic species such as lions, tigers, dolphins and whales.
Taronga Zoo Website
China Town, Night Markets & Market City
China town is a short walk from GCA and is a lively area hosting popular night markets along with other shops, restaurants and regular entertainment events.
Market City is located in the heart of Chinatown, offering various shopping and dining options.
Chinatown Night Market
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Sydney as a student depends a lot on the lifestyle you lead. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) recommends that international students’ budget for AUD$18,000 per year. This is estimated to cover costs such as accommodation, food, education resources, basic entertainment and public transport.
Some basic estimates of costs per week (in Australian dollars) may include:
- homestay (includes most meals, bills and accommodation): $200 – $250
- transport: $30
- additional food: $50
- school books / stationery / photocopying: $10
- entertainment: $40
The climate is mild year-round with a nice balance of cool climate in Winter and warm in Summer. In Summer (December-February) the weather is warm and sunny, averaging 27 degrees Celsius during the day and 20 degrees at night. People wear t-shirts, shorts, jeans and skirts. Sydney winters (June-August) are mild averaging 17 degrees during the day. You will need a couple of jumpers and warm pants, but you may not need your gloves!
Weather Forecast for Sydney
GCA has a café at the front door with high quality food that all students, staff, visitors and the public can purchase from. There are also many cafes, bars and restaurants within minutes of the campus. Sydney offers many types of cuisine for all budgets. Snack bars, cafes and restaurants all serve high quality fresh food. GCA is around the corner from Chinatown where there are many restaurants and supermarkets with a wide range of food options.
Newtown is a ten minute walk from GCA and is well-known for eateries, bars and shops.
Sydney has a comprehensive and safe public transport system which includes a network of trains, buses, ferries, monorail and light rail. Students can get discount tickets and weekly transport passes. There are also many taxis available.
Bus, Train, Ferry Prices and Timetables
The GCA campus is one train stop from Central Station and four stops from the airport. There are also several bus stops surrounding the campus. This combination provides simple, safe and easily accessible transport to anywhere in Sydney as well as allowing for connections to anywhere in Australia.
Click on this convenient transport link, provided by the NSW Government, which allows you to type in your desired destination and shows you the options on how to get there.
NSW Government Transport