Sydney or Melbourne: Which City to Study Abroad?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Sydney or Melbourne

Australia is a country full of opportunities for young people looking to improve their English, get a new job and completely change their lives. Due to its territorial immensity, the nation has, like Brazil, several important cities that match the styles of different people.

Among so many options, some stand out as great cultural, economic and, of course, educational centers. Among them, we can mention Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney or Melbourne. The last two are quite complete destinations and are responsible for the interest of many exchange students.

The task of choosing the best city to study abroad cannot be done at random and must be a conscious and well-thought-out decision. For this, we must consider important points of each one and make a comparison between them, listing their pros and cons according to our interest and objective.

With that in mind, we have prepared a post with the main information about these two great cities so that you can make a much simpler choice. Come on?

What are the characteristics of Sydney?

Sydney is considered by many to be the main Australian city and is often confused with the country’s capital. It is the place with the most inhabitants in Australia (and, therefore, it is also the most multicultural point) and has several unique characteristics. Check out:


The city of Sydney is located on the east coast of the country, bordering the Tasman Sea. Its port is considered the largest natural harbor in the world, which gives great economic and historical importance to the place.

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The city’s climate is categorized as humid subtropical, which means that summers are hot and rainy and winters are mild. The maximum and minimum temperatures vary between 25ºC and 13ºC, without considerable fluctuations throughout the day.

Cost of living

You may have already guessed, but the cost of living for Sydney residents is undoubtedly higher than for those who choose to live in Melbourne. The city has quite expensive real estate, so sharing the rent or spending time with a host family can be interesting options.


Thanks to the large number of inhabitants, it is not uncommon to see small traffic jams along the city. Public transport is slightly more expensive, but works well. In addition, the city has excellent hospitals and other quality services.


In general, the minimum wage in Australia is around AU$17 per hour. This amount can vary depending on the city, the location of the job and, of course, the chosen area. In most cases, the payment in Sydney is slightly higher than the one offered in Melbourne.


It is impossible to separate Australia from quality education. In Sydney, we can find great language schools and incredible universities, such as the University of Sydney, which is among the 50 best educational institutions on the planet. Go to CatEight School Finder, and you can find all the universities and schools located in Sydney.


It’s no wonder that Sydney’s main postcard involves the beauty of its beaches, Mainly Beach: this is, without a doubt, the main leisure spot in the city. Famous among surfers and people who love sports of the genre, this is the perfect place for those who love to spend time by the sea!


The people of Sydney are the Australian style we are used to imagining. Therefore, they are very calm, happy with life and love to practice outdoor activities. They are a friendly and polite people, who commonly welcome new residents with open arms.

What are the characteristics of Melbourne?

Although it is also quite famous, the city of Melbourne has characteristics that are a little more intimate and reserved than its sister, Sydney. Find out a little more about the main points of this important place below!


Also located on the east coast of the country, Melbourne is a little further south of Australia. This city faces the island of Tasmania and, therefore, has unique landscapes in the bay of Port Phillip, a meeting point for several marine species.


Melbourne’s predominant climate is considered oceanic temperate, with year-round rainfall and well-defined seasons. Although not a cold city, it is often hit by polar air masses that cause temperatures to drop considerably. Over here, cloudy days are quite common.

Cost of living

Renting in Melbourne is cheaper, especially when compared to Sydney prices. However, some products (like beer) are more expensive. It’s worth doing a lot of research to find the best opportunities!


Urban mobility in Melbourne is quite different. Here, many inhabitants choose to get around using bicycles or public transport itself, which is extremely efficient. Health services in the city are also effective and of good quality.


As mentioned in our conversation, the Australian minimum wage is around AU$17. A student can work around 40 hours a fortnight and salaries in Melbourne are a little lower than in Sydney. It is worth remembering, however, that the difference can vary by a number of factors.


As well as Sydney’s top universities, we can find the University of Melbourne in the ranking of the best higher education institutions in the world. Therefore, we can see that education in the city is taken seriously, with great choice of schools for all levels of education.


While the city also has beautiful beaches and other natural landscapes, Melbourne’s leisure focus is more on nightlife and diverse cultural attractions such as theaters and museums. Therefore, this is a better option for those who have a closer relationship with the arts and cultural life.


While also friendly and polite, Melbourne residents are, for the most part, a little more reserved than those who live in Sydney. They are a little more serious and tuned in to fashion and culture trends. Because of this, the city is often called “Australian Europe”.

Which to choose: Sydney or Melbourne?

With so much information, you can already see that cities have very different characteristics, right? Despite their relative geographical proximity, some points, such as the climate and the main leisure activities, differ greatly.

Therefore, it is worth bearing in mind that the choice must be made based on your personality and preferences, so that the exchange becomes an even more pleasant experience.

However, it is important to point out that, regardless of the decision made, Australia is an excellent choice for young students looking to grow personally and professionally. All its cities have excellent infrastructure and provide quality of life for their residents.

Now that you know the main features of both cities, can you decide between Sydney or Melbourne? Find a profesional education agent nad talk to the professionals! They will provide you with even more relevant information and will be essential in choosing the best option for you.

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