Study Abroad: Sydney vs Melbourne

7 minute read
Melbourne vs Sydney study abroad

More than choosing the country to study abroad, it is the choice of city to study in that country which is difficult. More than often, the city attractions written on the internet are half-believable and can’t be trusted. When you choose to study in Australia, Sydney and Melbourne are the two topmost magnets that attract a large influx of international students. While making a decision between two things, the best solution is to make a pros and cons list. In the race between Sydney vs Melbourne, we have already saved you the extra effort by providing information about the important aspects like student life, weather, accommodation, travel, etc. in this Melbourne vs Sydney study abroad blog. 

CategorySydney Melbourne
Population4.99 million5.06 million
International Students96,000138,000
Literacy Rate99%99%
Gender Ratio98.9 males per 100 males98 males per 100 females
Unemployment Rate6.1%5.6%
Average Salary of a Fresher34.88 lakhs per year27.37 lakhs per year
No. of Universities3512

Brief Comparison Between Sydney vs Melbourne 

Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales located on the east coast of Australia. Sydney is also the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Sydney’s economy has its strengths in finance, tourism and manufacturing. It is also known as Harbour City and Emerald City. Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world but also amongst the top ten liveable cities in the world. 

Melbourne is the capital city of the most populous state in Australia, Victoria. Melbourne is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 23rd in the Global Financial Centres Index 2021. UNESCO also declared Melbourne as the City of Literature for its cinema, street art, live music and theatre. 

Top Universities in Sydney vs Melbourne

Education and the number of high ranking universities will be the primary deciding factors in your Melbourne vs Sydney study abroad plans. Here’s the list of the top 10 universities in Sydney and Melbourne:

University of SydneyUniversity of Melbourne
University of New South WalesMonash University
University of Technology SydneyRoyal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
Macquarie UniversityDeakin University
Western Sydney UniversityLa Trobe University
Swinburne University of Technology
Victoria University

Student Life in Sydney vs Melbourne

Sydney is ranked as the 8th most popular student city by the Qs Best Student Cities Ranking 2022. Sydney, as a city, offers a home to various international students. The Sydney vibe can be described as pretty laidback yet a bustling city. Lined with beaches and ports, Sydney is a calm city that functions lowly. As a student, you will witness that the classroom culture is informal yet greater learning is the focus of each course. 

Melbourne stands at the 6th position when it comes to the Qs Best Student Cities Ranking 2022, higher than Sydney. Melbourne was consistently the most liveable city in the world during the 2010s. It is because of the multicultural population that Melbourne has become a familiar city for International students. Melbourne is a busy city and has better nightlife than Sydney with concerts, live music, theatre and clubs.

Accommodation in Sydney vs Melbourne

If you are an international student, the dorm or the apartment you live in becomes your home away from home. Thus, it will be helpful to consider accommodation in your Melbourne vs Sydney study abroad plans. When it comes to real estate, Sydney is more expensive than Melbourne. Sydney is also the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. So let’s have a look at what the accommodations costs in Sydney vs Melbourne look like:

Type of AccommodationSydney (INR)Melbourne (INR)
On-campus (including food and utilities)13.54 lakhs-27 lakhs per year13.18 lakhs-23 lakhs per year
Off-campus5.43 lakhs-13.94 lakhs per year7.53 lakhs-9.064 lakhs per year 
Sharehouse 6.97 lakhs-20.9 lakhs per year4.88 lakhs-11.15 lakhs per year

Food in Sydney vs Melbourne 

We aren’t in the evolution era wherein food was primary for survival. Today, food is considered a necessity, comfort and luxury. While you are away from India studying in Australian student cities, you crave Indian cuisine like back home. Moreover, making home cooked meals are always the best option in case you miss your home country. Hence, it may help to consider in food costs in your Melbourne vs Sydney study abroad plans.


In Sydney, street food has gained popularity amongst international students with more vegetarian and vegan options available. If you wish to cook for yourself, you can always go to your nearest supermarket like Woolworth’s or Indian supermarkets like Little India to shop for your groceries. 

Sydney vs Melbourne
Source: Numbeo


In Melbourne, apart from the scrumptious delicacies to gorge on, International students also have a lot of options to get free meals. The FoodBank International Students Pop-Up stores were set up in Melbourne offering free groceries to international students. 

Here’s what the cost of the most common groceries at Woolworth’s or Cole’s cost:

Source: Numbeo

Transport in Sydney vs Melbourne

Most international students start university in Australia by using public transport if they live off-campus. If they live on-campus, they save on travel costs significantly. Both in Sydney and Melbourne traffic can be spotted at various busy times of the day- late mornings, afternoons and evenings due to corporates and students reaching their institute in the morning and leaving in the evening. 


Travel costs in Sydney can be seen below:

Melbourne vs Sydney study abroad
Source: Numbeo


Here are the travel costs in Melbourne for International students:-

Melbourne vs Sydney study abroad
Source: Numbeo

Tourism in Sydney vs Melbourne

Let’s have a look at the famous tourist attractions for international students in Sydney vs Melbourne:-

Sydney Opera HouseBrighton Beach
Sydney Harbour BridgeStreet Art at Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane
Circular Quay- Harbour CruiseSt. Kilda Pier
Sydney Aquarium Moonlight Cinema
Blue MountainRoyal Botanical Garden
Luna ParkCafes
Taronga ZooBeach bistros
Sydney Rocks 
Bondi Beach

You can enjoy the outstanding coffee culture in Melbourne through their cafes and also watch a movie at the outdoor theatre at Moonlight Cinema!

Weather and Climate of Sydney vs Melbourne

Sydney enjoys a sunny climate with cool winters and warm summers. Summer is from December to February, Autumn from March to May, Winter from June to August and Spring from September to November. 

Melbourne climate can be unpredictable with temperatures reaching 40℃  in summer and sometimes below 0℃ in winter. Winters often come with heavy rainfall, hailing storms and thunderstorms. 

International Students Preference between Sydney vs Melbourne

When it comes to which city is perfect for you to study in Australia, Sydney vs Melbourne, ask yourself the following questions:-

  • Which city has the higher-ranking program that you want to study?
  • Which city has the closest accommodation services to the university?
  • Which city has more popular food choices for you?
  • Is the city climate similar to where you reside in India?

These questions will be the major parameters that will help you decide between Sydney vs Melbourne. 

Fun Facts about Sydney vs Melbourne

What’s fun about a city if not the fun facts that make the city more interesting! Here are some of them for your Melbourne vs Sydney study abroad plans.


Here are some fun facts about Sydney:

  • Sydney has more than 100 beaches.
  • Fun fact: 15,500 light bulbs are changed every year at the Sydney Opera House because of its massive size!
  • Sydney is always the first major city in the world to see in the New Year
  • Over one-third of its population was born overseas and around half of Sydney’s citizens are first and second-generation immigrants.
  • 65% of Australia’s Finance Industry is located in Sydney.
  • Some of the most famous movies filmed in Sydney are the Matrix Series, the Great Gatsby and Independence Day.


Here are some fun facts about Melbourne:

  • Melbourne was originally known as Batmania.
  • You can experience 4 seasons in one day in Melbourne.
  • Major streets in Melbourne are 99ft wide. This was so a 16-horse carriage could do a U-turn.
  • Melbourne’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Melbourne is the city with the most cafes per capita.
  • According to the RSPCA, there are 23 foxes per square kilometre in Melbourne, making it the fox capital of the world!
  • The first feature film in the world was The Story of the Kelly Gang. This 60-minute long film was shown for the first time on the 26th of December 1906, at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne.
  • The black box (for planes) was invented in Melbourne.


Is it better to study abroad in Sydney or Melbourne?

The QS Best Student Cities Ranking has ranked Melbourne as the third-best city to study, while Sydney has secured the ninth position. 

Which Australian city has the most international students?

Melbourne, rated as Australia’s top city for international students, has an estimated 2,70,000 university students with a third of them being international students. 

Which part of Australia is best for international students?

Here is a list of the top seven best cities for students in Australia 
Gold Coast.

We hope to have covered all major points that an international student needs to consider before they make a decision for Sydney vs Melbourne. For further consultation, you can call Leverage Edu at 1800-572-000 and book your first counselling session for free!

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