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Your Guide to International Student Life in Adelaide

Your Guide to International Student Life in Adelaide

Have you secured a university in Adelaide? If so, welcome to this vibrant and sunny city at the heart of South Australia!

International students may find it daunting to move somewhere new, but worry not, I’ve got you covered! I’ve created a quick guide to the city, including where to stay, the weather, events to look forward to, and more!

Where can international students stay in Adelaide?

Where can international students stay in Adelaide

The primary accommodations for international students in Adelaide are

  • University accommodations
  • Rented/bought spaces
  • Student hostels
  • Private rentals

According to Study Adelaide, more than 4,000 students stay within Adelaide’s CBD!

After all, almost everything is accessible within 25 minutes here. Theme parks, cafes, libraries, and study hubs—these are all in reach.

University Accommodations

University Accommodations

University accommodations are those provided by your university, either inside the campus or somewhere nearby. It’s usually fully furnished, and some even provide meals for you!

It’s a great choice if you want to experience college life to the fullest, as you’ll be seeing a lot of your peers nearby. Not to mention, you get free security too!

Universities in Adelaide with accommodations include

  • University of Adelaide
  • University of South Australia
  • Flinders University

Rented/Bought Spaces

RentedBought Spaces

Renting an apartment can be great especially if you have the means to afford it. The rates differ based on whether you’re inside or outside the CBD, which you can see below:

1-bedroom apartment inside the CBD$2,150.76
1-bedroom apartment outside the CBD$1,568.70

The advantage to a private rental is you get more privacy and control over your accommodation. No curfews or strict guidelines whatsoever! 

Student Hostels

Student Hostels

Student hostels are among the most affordable choices because the cost for utilities is shared among students. The downside is most facilities, such as the bathroom and kitchen, are shared. 



For those who still have trouble with conversational English, I advise you to apply for a homestay. Here, you’ll be living with a local Adelaidean family who’ll provide you a room, meals, and laundry facilities. 

It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Not to mention, it can be more affordable too! 

How’s the weather/climate in Adelaide?

How’s the weatherclimate in Adelaide

Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate, meaning most of our summer days are dry while our winters are wet. 

The temperature range of our climate can be seen below:

SeasonRange of temperature
Summer (December-February)16°C-30°C
Autumn (March-May)12°C-23°C
Winter (June-August)8°C-16°C
Spring (September-November)12°C-23°C

There’s no snow in Adelaide, so you won’t have to bring the thickest jackets (especially for the folks from temperate countries). However, the heat can be scorching sometimes! 

What’s the food like in Adelaide?

What’s the food like in Adelaide

Adelaide has a multicultural cuisine with dishes from Asian, Mediterranean, African, and other countries! It’s a great reflection of its diverse population, so there’s something for everyone!

Some of our standout food and drinks are:

  1. Wines – We’ve got some of the best wines in the world, just ask the experts! From our shiraz to our chardonnays, our wines are definitely among the best!

It’s a great beverage to finish stressful college days or enjoy in your next party! 

  1. Seafood – We’re a coastal city, so you know our seafood is always fresh. Some of our best offerings include oysters, prawns, and fish and chips!

Some of the crowd favorites are Mediterrenean-inspired dishes such as seafood stew, shrimp scampi, and paella. 

  1. Barbecue– With barbecue, the experience of hanging with your pals (with a can of beer even!) only enhances the salty and sweet flavors! 

With live music and the green scenery in our public parks, your barbecues may just be the best you ever had! 

Pie floater
  1. Pie floater– The British brought the scrumptious pie floaters when they settled in the country. As the name suggests, it’s a meat pie floating in a savory mix of chicken stock, beer, and onion. 

Paired with tomato or mint sauce, this dish will definitely be a great introduction to Adelaidean cuisine. 

Fruits and veggies
  1. Fruits and veggies – Of course, we also take pride in the freshness of our fruits and veggies available at the Adelaide Central Market. You’ll get great finds for the most student-friendly prices here! 

What are some things to do in Adelaide for international students?

What are some things to do in Adelaide for international students

Some of the most common activities that I highly recommended for international students are

Join student organizations

You’re already in college, so why not try the different collegiate clubs? They offer a wide range of activities catering to various interests, such as academics, community service, sports, and culture.

Not only is it a great place to hang out, but it’s also an excellent way to exercise skills that you can apply in the workplace later on. 

By spearheading projects, creating a social network, and leading groups of people, you’ll have a blast in a student organization in Adelaide!

Attend the Adelaide Fringe Festival

Fringe is one of the largest art festivals in the world, and it takes place in Adelaide from late February to mid-March. Here, you’ll have access to a wide range of artistic talents, including dance, comedy, music, and theatre.

I personally had lots of fun watching amateur acts all over the city, as I finally understood why our city is awarded as one of UNESCO’s Music Cities.

The performances are held both outdoors and indoors, so there’s no excuse to not watch at least one show! Aside from watching these shows, students can even apply as interns or as workshop students

Have a bite at Tasting Australia

What’s the fun in being in Adelaide without tasting our delicious foods and wines? Tasting Australia is a biennial festival perfect for sampling our wide range of cuisines, ideal for any food connoisseur.

Here, you’ll get the chance to taste different cuisines, watch masterclasses, and attend demonstrations by world-renowned chefs such as Darren Robertson and Emma McCaskill.

It goes beyond just bites and sips! Here, I was able to appreciate the cultural significance of our cuisine, how sustainability affects it, and how it’s seen as an art form by our local chefs.

Watch a flick at the Adelaide Film Festival

College is a great time to watch films, both professional and amateur. One of the best times to do so is during the Adelaide Film Festival, which is held biennially.

From documentaries to full-length films, the festival has something for everyone! It’s perfect for casual viewers, cinephiles, and filmmakers seeking inspiration!

Here, I got the chance to attend an up-close and intimate Q&A session with filmmakers and industry panels. Some of the notable guests that have attended the festival are Wayne Blair, Scott Hicks, and Margaret Pomeranz.

Enjoy the thrills of Adelaide 500

Looking for something thrilling? The Adelaide 500 is the perfect event for you!

The Adelaide 500 is an annual motorsport event and part of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Thrill-seekers and car enthusiasts unite yearly to enjoy Supercars, Stadium Super Trucks, and the Porsche Carrera Cup.

Even if I wasn’t knowledgeable about the cars being driven, the rush from the crowd’s cheering and the high speeds of the cars were enough to make it a standout event!

When are midterm breaks in Adelaide?

When are midterm breaks in Adelaide

Most Adelaide universities have two midterm breaks: one in April and one in September. 

These periods are the best time to join the many festivities all around the city. 

Refer to the table below to see the midterm breaks for the biggest universities of our city:

UniversitiesMidterm breaks
The University of AdelaideApril 11-April 22September 19-September 30
The University of South AustraliaApril 10-April 21September 18-September 29
Flinders UniversityApril 10-April 21September 18-September 29

Keep in mind that these dates can change. 

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