Study English Canberra: The Heart of Australia
Neither Melbourne nor Sydney can lay claim to be the capital of Australia, although they would
surely like to. Canberra, which is commonly referred to as the 'bush capital' or 'garden capital'
by many of the 300,000 inhabitants, is a city planned from the beginning.
Established in 1927, the city has grown from a large sheep station (farm) to a
modem and culturally diverse city dotted with lakes and surrounded by
the Australian bushland. The quality of life in Canberra is
unquestionable; a very high standard of living, affordable housing, easy access to
public facilities such as libraries, as well as a traffic jam-free drive into the
city. The quality air allows for an incredible display of the planetary stars at night, and it
is all these : things that seem to attract the international students who choose
Canberra as their base while in Australia. The five universities in Canberra are
home to many international students, who spend their time both studying
The main city is only a short distance from the most campuses,
giving access to its cinemas, restaurants and nightclubs. Entry requirements for
a university program are similar to those of other universities in Australia
- most faculties require a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, but there are
opportunities for international students to improve their English language
skills whilst in Australia. After class, students can join in on the activities at
their local sports centre, such as a social game of volleyball, whereas others might take the public
bus to one of the many attractions that can be found in Canberra. The National
Gallery of Australia is one such attraction - getting there involves a ten-minute
ride through the city, across Common- wealth Bridge, past the Captain Cook
memorial Jet (a fountain in Lake Burley Griffin), and into the grounds of the
National Gallery. Major exhibitions are held here, attracting many domestic and
international visitors. Alternatively, students could ride their bicycles to
see the sights, as Canberra is well known in Australia for its network of
bicycle paths, with large stretches of them going through forests. The
weather in Canberra also makes it possible to cycle your way around the city in com-fort, with the annual mean daily
temperature at 20 degrees Celsius, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
For enthusiasts of the outdoors, Canberra makes a great base. Each
winter, there are organised ski trips for students to the famous Snowy Mountains.
A two and a half hour bus journey to the snowfields takes the students through some wonderful countryside,
though many end up sleeping their way to the snow, due to the early start!
The coastal towns, offering whale- watching tours at the end of the year,
are popular for those who reside in Sydney as well. During summer, these
towns swell in size, understandable due to the crystal clear water and magnificent
beaches. Back in Canberra, hiking and horse-riding are two popular activities for students.
The four seasons of Canberra seem to attract many visitors, as the Floriade
Flower Festival can attest to. During early spring, the city is transformed
into an array of colour demanding everyone's attention. Most noteworthy is
the Australian native flower exhibition, though a walk in the national Botanical
Gardens in Canberra would also surely please the most discerning lover of flora.
The autumnal colours during the period leading to winter further showcase the
beauty of Canberra. Adding charm to the region are the native Australian animals
that live in and around the city. The most popular and the most commonly
seen native animal is the kangaroo. Placed along the main roads leading to
the city are signs advertising motorists to be on the lookout for kangaroos, who some-
times inadvertently leave the comfort- ably surroundings of the bushland
and are to be found hopping their way down a major road, increasing
stress levels for drivers while creating excitement for everyone else! For whatever reason international students come to Canberra, all seem to
confirm one thing - that Canberra is a beautiful city, and very conducive to