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  • Study design abroad in Brisbane, Australia

Your visa options to study design abroad in Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane is a great choice for students who love warm weather and laid-back vibes.

Queensland’s capital and the third biggest city in Australia, Brisbane enjoys a sunny climate, a booming economy and has a beautiful skyline of exciting and distinct architecture. More affordable than Sydney, but just as culturally engaged as Melbourne, the city offers a great lifestyle for creative types.

“Brisbane is a great little creative hub—glorious weather with the most welcoming community. Everyone was so friendly and the vibe is fantastic.” —Amee Wilson, London

Information about Brisbane:

Shillington details:

Interviews with past students:

Visitor Visa (Subclass 600), eVisitor (Subclass 651)Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) Visa) holders and New Zealand citizens

Please note: Shillington is not CRICOS registered, which means students are not able to apply for international student visas. But you don’t need a student visa to study at Shillington! Research your eligibility for the tourist and work visas listed above, which allow up to 3 months of study—perfect for our full-time graphic design course.

Australia offers a free eVisitor (Subclass 651) Visa, which allows tourists of any age to live and study for up to 3 months.

If you’re between 18—30 years old (35 for Canadian and Irish citizens), there are two visas which allow you to live, work and study for up to a year. Perfect to graduate from our 3 month course, then work or travel for the remainder of your visa. Visit Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) and Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) to check your home country’s eligibility.

Accommodation and transport tips

Looking for where to live in Brisbane? Since you’ll be spending a lot of time at Shillington, we recommend sticking within a 30 minute commute-time of campus. Past students recommend West End, Newstead and Fortitude Valley.

“I actually cycled every day in Brisbane—there’s great cycle paths and facilities.” —Amee Wilson, London

Research your options:

Transportation in Brisbane:

  • When you arrive in Brisbane, get a Go Card. It’s an easy tap on/tap off system for buses and trains. Download the MyTransLink app for easy planning.
  • City Cycle offers bicycle rentals from around A$5 per month.
  • Lime Scooters are electric-powered scooters that you can rent to get around town.
  • Brisbane is really walkable! There are many great routes to the campus through the city and along the river.


Cost of living and exchange calculator

You’ll probably have a lot of questions about how much moving to Brisbane will cost. Do your research to best prepare for your study adventure!

Here are some helpful financial resources:

  • XE Currency Convertor is a great tool to calculate the exchange rate from your home country into Australian dollars.
  • Insider Guides offers a cost of living calculator, designed to help you discover how much it would cost to live in Brisbane. You can compare accommodation, transportation, entertainment and more.

Creative's Guide to Brisbane

There’s so much to see and do in Brisbane, Australia!

Want to know the cool spots according to people in the design scene? On the Grid is a collection of cultural guides lovingly curated by local creatives. Check out top recommendations for Brisbane, broken up by unique neighbourhoods.

“Studying abroad creates a different kind of ‘filter’ for your design work. It’s like you have learnt a new language and now your brain thinks in two different design languages.” —Silja Aav, Estonia

Shillington’s top 10 things to do in Brisbane:

  1. The Queensland Art Gallery and QAGOMA. Check out incredible local and international art at this single institution located across two river-side buildings.
  2. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the perfect place to get pictures with Australia’s favourite cuddly little friend. A safe refuge for sick, injured and orphaned koalas since 1927.
  3. South Bank. A must-see when you’re in Brisbane! A cultural, social, educational and recreational precinct.
  4. Powerhouse Museum is a super cool repurposed tram power station featuring plays, concerts, speaker series and weekend markets.
  5. Kangaroo Point is an amazing perch to overlook Brisbane and the Story Bridge. Featuring the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, you can even repel down the rock face to the water.
  6. Howard Smith Wharves. A revamped district right on Brisbane River featuring amazing dining and nightlife.
  7. Brisbane Lions AFL or QLD Reds Rugby match. Get sporty in Brisbane!
  8. West End is a laid-back area of Brisbane known for shops and restaurants on Boundary Street, weekend markets and amazing live music venues.
  9. Mount Coot-tha. Take a quick drive for amazing views of Brisbane.
  10. Weekend trips to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or Byron BayDo take a weekend trip before school gets too intense! If you can rent a car, go to nearby beaches (Gold Coast, Burleigh Heads, Byron Bay, Noosa— any!) You’ll come back feeling refreshed and happy. —Lenny Kai Yang, Toronto

Websites for arts, culture, and lifestyle inspiration:

Instagram accounts to follow:

It was a hard tossup between Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. I ultimately decided on Brisbane as it was most financially viable, not to mention all the beautiful beaches that are such a short drive away!

Have more questions?

Let's talk about studying in Brisbane!

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