Jarl Gamonez enjoying some of the iconic Sydney landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House
Jarl Gamonez enjoying some of the iconic Sydney landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House

Sydney: The international student insiders’ guide

It’s no secret that Sydney is a dream city for students. In 2015 Sydney once again took fourth place in the QS Best Student Cities world rankings, with quality of life and employability scoring very highly. Sydney also features regularly in the top ten lists for world’s most beautiful and most liveable cities.

With ocean to the east and the mountains to the west, Sydney is a hub for just about anything you might want to find. So what are some of the can’t-miss activities for international students? To find out, we asked Jarl Marie Therese Gamonez, who is studying a Master of International Business with a Master of International Relations, and Tiffany Sia, who is one unit away from completing her Bachelor of Medical Sciences with a major in Neuroscience.

B E S T  B E A C H
Jarl: Of course, the beaches are fantastic! I always go to Manly Beach.
Tiffany: You have to check out Manly for sure. There’s a big fire-twirling group at Shelley Beach every Sunday.

B E S T  C A F E
Jarl: If you’re up for brunch, the Grounds of Alexandria is really nice. If you want to try dessert, you have to try the world’s best gelato in Cow and the Moon in Enmore.

B E S T  T O U R I S T  D E S T I N A T I O N S
Jarl: The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral. Centennial Park is great for a picnic. If you want to experience the bustling city, the CBD is great but there’s also an open space to relax within it.
I recommend not focusing too much on the city because its neighbouring suburbs also have a lot to offer. I love Newtown, North Sydney, Glebe, Wahroonga, Hornsby and Rouse Hill. You have to go to the Blue Mountains, of course. If you want to experience Australian wildlife, Featherdale Wildlife Park offers hands-on interactions with the animals.
If you want to experience the world’s biggest screen, there’s the IMAX Theatre in the city. For souvenir shopping there’s Paddy’s Markets and Queen Victoria Building (QVB). The QVB is so beautiful and the shops in it are great.
Tiffany: If you’re the artistic type that loves ballet, classical music or concerts, go to a concert at the Sydney Opera House at least once in your life. You also can’t miss Darling Harbour.

Jarl Gamonez: Getting to know the locals
Jarl Gamonez: Getting to know the locals

B E S T  V I B E
Jarl: For a hippie vibe, Newtown and Glebe give off a really nice vibe. People there are more creative and you can stroll around the streets.

B E S T  A D V I C E
Jarl: I love traveling and going to different places, so if I have free time on weekends or in mid-session breaks, I use it to discover a new place here in Sydney. I have an annual travel pass that allows me to travel anywhere by train, bus or light rail so I maximise that to travel to different suburbs. I love the feeling of getting on and off Australian stations I haven’t been to and exploring what that suburb has to offer.
Tiffany: Don’t give up just because you’re in unchartered territory and you’re far from friends and family back home. It doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself and find what you want to do. There’s always something out there for everyone.

Learn more about studying in Sydney.