Australian Education General

The never-ending rivalry of Melbourne or Sydney, Study Abroad In Australia

Anybody who is planning to study abroad in Australia, or staying in Australia, must know the deep-rooted rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney. The two largest cities of Australia is home to more than 7,00,000 students, including 3,20,000 international students. While Sydney is larger in terms of population, Melbourne is growing at a pace and will become Australia’s largest city by 2050. Melbourne have been named as World’s most livable city in the world, however, Sydney isn’t far and sit at the seventh position in the same list.

When it comes to pursuing a study course in one of the city, both are home to some of the top universities of Australia and World. While Melbourne offers a frequently changing environment, Sydney holds a love from Beachgoers with its tolerable weather throughout 12 months. We know comparison and picking out one is difficult, that’s why our Admission expert Alex Ruffalo have tried to sum up both the countries with parameters such as Weather, Universities, Iconic Location, weekend gateways and other. Alex Ruffalo is one of our senior writer and editor at who helps Australian students with academics admission process, proofreading and editing.

1. Educational Institutes or Universities in Sydney and Melbourne

Both the cities offer flexible study programs according to your campus, location preference and academic requirements. With context to QS World ranking list (2018), Melbourne is equipped with the University of Melbourne (Rank 41) and Monash University (Rank 60). On the other hand, the city of Sydney is home to the University of New South Wales (Rank 45) and University of Sydney (Rank 50).

Moreover, Melbourne offers modern campuses of RMIT University and Deakin University which facilitate more international students pursuing a range of courses. RMIT university have been recently named as Top rank University all over the country in terms of Art & Design Programs. Moreover, students who want to reside in the suburbs will appreciate Deaken Universities’s spacious campus.

Sydney University

Other options at Sydney include some big names such as University of Technology, Sydney, Macquarie University, International College for Management Studies and University of Notre Dame, Australia. Another factor to take note of is that Sydney is more culturally diverse than Melbourne.

On an external note, our websites have two sets of separate experts based for both Sydney and Melbourne. Feel free to visit us for professional guidance for your assignments.

2. Housing

For accommodations, either on-campus or off-campus, both the cities perform equally well. The off-campus housing in Melbourne is perfect for students who wants to engulf themselves in Citylife. Residing in downtown Melbourne, this opportunity will allow to take full advantage what city of Melbourne has to offer.

Sydney is known for a favourite destination for people who love beaches. Students can find their off-campus home at Sydney at various neighbourhoods across the city. the off-campus housing includes both suburbs surrounded with city life and shopping markets and beach housing steps away from the ocean. To find more details about Hostels and rental housing, avail our free Australian Accommodation guide for students. Although Sydney is a bit costlier than Melbourne as for an average, you have to pay almost 37% more for their house. While Food is comparatively cheaper than Melbourne. For instance, people in Melbourne pay an extra 9 cents for a cup of coffee than the cost of a coffee in Sydney.


3. Lifestyle difference between Melbourne and Sydney

In Sydney, you can find a blend of downtown hustle vibe and laidback beachy vibe. So people can work productively and maybe for a weekend, relax at famous Bondi Beach. A true Sydney lifestyle revolves around the water, harbour and outdoors. A true resident of Sydney won’t go more than a few days in summer without taking a swim at the beach.

On the contrary, Melbourne offers a more cultural community and vibrant art. Melbourne residers are more interested in trying out new cafes and restaurants and seeing a drama theatre rather than going for beaches. No matter what are you interested in, whether it’s theatre, food or fashion, nature, sport or music, Melbourne offers something for everyone. The architecture or street culture of Melbourne are more in common with European than in any other Australian City. That’s one of the reason, Melbourne has claimed the title of World’s most livable city, Four times in a row. Both the cities have their unique characters for their lifestyle and retains a respectable position among international students for studying abroad.

Melbourne on a cloudy day

4. Weather Difference

With a mild winter and hot summers, Sydney is a favourable choice for most Asian students. Sydney is generally 10 degrees warmer than Melbourne, all 12 months. However on contrary to public perceptions, that Melbourne is worse for weather, Sydney receives more rainfall. The statistics account for almost double the rainfall compared to Melbourne. Still, it’s never much colder in Sydney, the sea temperature remains at constant mild in the winter.

On the other hand, you have to pack everything if you are planning to move to Melbourne. From beach vest to your warmest raincoat, the weather conditions of Melbourne is quite unpredictable. In the end, Melbourne’s frequent changing weather is a part of its lifestyle and charm. In one minute you are planning for a sunbathe at Beaches, in other, you are hitting up a cozy downtown pub. Well, that’s thrilling for anyone who doesn’t like 12-months same weather.

Sydney Weather sunset
Sydney Sunset Weather

5. Expedition options at the weekend

Students look for a city near to some popular tourist destinations for weekend gateways. Australia offers some of the breathtaking and eccentric natural marvels and anyone can visit them on a weekend. Melbourne is near to Australia’s most gigantic wonder known as “Twelve Apostles” a range of majestic cliffs and rock formation on Australia’s southern coast. This exotic location is just perfect for your best travelling Instagram feed. To visit the “Twelve Apostles”, you have to just hitch a ride to take great ocean road. There are various bus services like “Greyhound Australia” which provide hop-on,hop-off packages at discounted price for students.

If you have already visited it, why don’t try a motorbike 18 km trip to “Wineries of Yarra valley”. How about taking a fairy ride to watch penguins at Phillip Island or stunning Dandenong ranges- all within the travel of two hours from Melbourne. If you want a more clear picture, why don’t read our Nomadic travel blog for Australian broke students? Total Reading Time: 6 Minutes.

If you are looking to head out for a weekend in Sydney, the options are in plenty! Go inland, west and experience a full weekend hiking in Blue Mountains. It’s the country’s most beautiful natural park and it’s just a train ride away from your college. Can’t leave your love for beaches? why not head up to the coast of the new castle or Central coast and visit some alluring beaches on the Ocean. In reality, you will never get bored in Sydney.

6. Work Opportunity

There are a number of work opportunities in both the cities. as both the cities are key financial hubs. The only difference is that Sydney is built around banking business, Melbourne is more inclined towards the industrial side. Sydney is a favourable destination for a number of MNC’s and it provide more job opportunity as compare to Melbourne. You can easily find a part-time job to earn along with your course in Sydney. If it’s a professional IT service, you will more probably to have a bigger client base in Sydney. The banking industry is strongest in Sydney as compared to the whole country. It have headquarters of all 20 of the top foreign banks.

It’s a bit hard for international students to find a part-full/time job for the first time. They have to provide a local reference or experience in order to secure a job. Melbourne is a hub for biotech industries as BHP Billiton, Australia’s largest pharmaceuticals company which have its office’s all-around city. To find your dream job, we suggest you to look for jobs in Job Search forms such as Indeed or Seek. To perform and get selected for a job, you need to be familiar with the local customs and business etiquettes. Your visa guidelines also make up a strong attribution for you to find work in Australia, you can read the complete Visa guidelines for students here on our website.

7. Transportations and landmarks

Melbourne have an amazing pathway system for bicycles and it accounts for 16% of all peak-hour commutes. The city has a bicycle tradition due to its unique flat topography and usually mild climate. You can use this medium of commute to travel every day back and forth to your campus. This will also help the city to reduce total carbon emit and marks a positive significance for ongoing climate change. While most favourable commute is still driving for both the cities, still more people in Sydney prefer to walk to their campus/work. Melbourne also has the world’s most developed and largest tram system which can be quite helpful for college students to commute.

The iconic beach of Sydney is Bondi beach, the largest where tourist, locals and students spend time. Sydney Harbour Bridge is home to the famous opera house. To feel the city’s great vibe, it’s essential to take a ferry ride in and out of the city. Perhaps, on a free day, you can drive to Great Ocean Road. While Sydney’s landmarks are on water or near water, Melbourne’s landmarks are historical monuments. The Sydney public transport system, governed by Transport for New South Wales, consists of trains, ferries, buses,  and light rail.

8. Neighbourhood of Sydney and Melbourne

Melbourne’s nearby inner villages are Brunswick and Fitzroy which is known for origin of Melbourne’s art. These two northside neighbourhood are home to Melbourne’s ongoing hipster scene with their hip art gallery and cheap cafes and restaurants. South of the Melbourne is beachside cafes and restaurants at St Kilda, where tourist and locals come for sun-bathe.

If you have some money to spare, visit South Yarra, a posh area with Upscale restaurants and Melbourne’s trendsetter and most influential city. Don’t miss stumbling at Melbourne’s ‘graffiti’ street at Hosier lane.

hosier lane melbourne
Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Sydney’s notable neighbourhood includes Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Bondi, Manly and Coogee. Surry Hills and Darlinghurst are packed with trendy cafes, restaurants and bars. Most of the people of Sydney choose Manly for their exotic beaches. Bondi and Coogee are both parts of Sydney’s popular eastern beach.

The Final Verdict

Regardless of all the comparison and rivalry, we can’t disagree on the fact that both Melbourne and Sydney are Global city with a rich history, opportunity, diversity and their unique amenities and characteristics. It’s solely on student’s preference to pick one out of both as both of them dominate the economic landscape and national demographics of Australia.

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By Alex Walter

Alex Walter has been working as an academic consultant with for last one year. Alex holds a master degree in Psychology and currently on the verge of completion of PhD. With academic knowledge , Alex has guided many students in picking the right career choices. Alex also has a great experience in writing on academic topics