Learn English Abroad - Sydney

Sydney is one of the most famous cities in Australia and has the biggest population.


Sydney is one of the most famous cities in Australia and has the biggest population. It is located on the south-east coast and is home to five excellent universities. People from over 180 different nationalities live and work in Sydney, making it a very culturally diverse City. Sydney is often considered one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in but boasts a range of things for students to see and do; such as hiking, watersports, beautiful beaches, camping, and of course walking the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney is home to many flower and food markets, trendy restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums of Australian and Aboriginal culture, surf schools, whale-watching and mountain-climbing; so there really is something for everyone, as well as being close to a number of national parks and areas of natural beauty. The lifestyle is generally laid back with people visiting the beach after work, enjoying barbecues and socialising in their free time.

Sydney is considered a very welcoming and friendly city. Even with such a big population, it manages to maintain a reputation of having helpful and considerate locals when it comes to tourists and visitors.

Things to look out for

Australia's weather can be quite extreme, with hot temperatures during their summer and not much cooler temperatures during their winter (June, July and August); and their seasons are the opposite to Europe and North America. Sydney's weather, however, is quite temperate and mild compared to other places in Australia.

Sydney is an extremely expensive place to live in. A 3-bedroom apartment costs around A$4,632.81 which is equivalent to €2,883.70 as we write this in May 2019. Lunch out will cost around 20 Australian Dollars (around €12.45) and a meal for two without drinks in a restaurant will cost around A$85.00 (€52.91), with monthly transport tickets coming in at A$217.39 (€135.32).

It is notoriously difficult to find somewhere to live in Sydney, with houses and apartments getting snapped up very quickly. It might take you quite a while to find somewhere to live, so it's wise to be prepared for this and have money budgeted for staying in hostels or alternative accommodation until you find somewhere more permanent.

Getting a Visa

The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website has everything you need to know about the different types of visas available for Australia and what you need to apply. You can find all of this information here:


Language Schools

Sydney boasts a huge number of language schools, some of which have been operating in the city for years. You can choose from courses focused on improving your speaking skills, or programs designed around achieving a qualification or passing exams. Make sure you check the accreditation of your courses to ensure they are internationally recognised. You can check out this site to get you started: https://www.languageinternational.ie/english-schools-sydney-398

Travelling within and from Sydney

Australia is a huge country so transport is an important consideration. If you want to use public transport in Sydney you need an Opal Card which you can top up in local stores and supermarkets. This will allow you to use buses, trains, ferries and light rail.

Working in Sydney

Visitors with a Student Visa are automatically permitted to work in the country, making Australia a very attractive option for students who wish to combine work and study.

A Local Perspective

We spoke to Amanda, a Sydneysider who told us about her City:

"Sydney is small enough to feel cosy and familiar yet large enough [so that you] never see the same people. It’s got a city vibe but [it's] made up of small villages each defined by scenery e.g. the leafy suburbs, or the food-lovers haven, or a beach-goers dream - it truly has something for everyone.

Sydney is quite expensive, but it is relative to our economy. It’s not unheard of to pay $4.50 for a coffee. Sure, it will be amazing, but that still can be quite expensive. Also there are a lot of works underway so currently Sydney seems to be under construction, but the projects are aimed at relieving infrastructure and supporting its growing population. People generally comment on costs, construction and the CBD (Central Business District) seems to be a bit sleepy in comparison to other major international cities.

As an English-speaking country, yet diverse in different cultures, it makes you feel comfortable. It’s accepting as English is the language nationally spoken. It’s a great way to enhance your speaking skills. Be warned...it can be pricy for foreigners, so do the math first!

Sydney has a good culture scene for theatre, festivals are in abundance; and we do great small bars and trendy hangout places. There are plenty of opportunities to socialise. While some Sydneysiders might be stuck in their groups, you meet enough friendly people to ensure you’ll have a good social network. Plus, we have good info for tourists, and services are good for commuting outside or within Sydney - it’s not a tube a minute - but it’s still solid!"

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