South Coast

The best of Australia in one stunning location

A healthy outdoors lifestyle rich in wildlife and cultural diversity is combined with exceptional work and study opportunities across sectors including IT, health and medicine, business and engineering.

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About the NSW South Coast

The NSW South Coast, which stretches from Wollongong in the north to Eden in the far south, offers the best of Australia in one stunning location. With pristine beaches, mountains and marine parks and beautiful coastal towns and villages, the region offers an authentic Australian experience. A healthy outdoors lifestyle rich in wildlife and cultural diversity is combined with exceptional work and study opportunities across sectors including IT, health and medicine, business and engineering. One of the world’s highest-ranked study institutions, the University of Wollongong, is based here.

Between study and work, enjoy water-sports, hiking, cycling and whale-watching, or plan culinary journeys to the region’s famous food and wine producers (eating some of the region’s famous Sydney Rock Oysters straight from the water is an unforgettable experience).

Study destination: Wollongong

You don’t need to be in a big city to earn a world-class qualification. At the heart of the South Coast is the city of Wollongong, less than 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney. Wollongong offers a safe, relaxed, coastal lifestyle within easy connections to Australia’s most famous city. It is also home to the University of Wollongong (UoW), ranked among the world’s top 200 universities. UoW’s cutting-edge Innovation Campus is a major contributor to increased business investment and job creation in the region — opening up high-value opportunities for students seeking work-integrated learning and post-study career choices.

South Coast

Top reasons to study in the South Coast

Third largest economy in NSW
90 minutes' drive Sydney to Wollongong
Climate: 21.5 °c in summer (January), 12.4 °c in winter (July)
Rapidly growing population
Main industries: Healthcare and social work, education, retail, scientific services, construction, advanced manufacturing
Vibrant coastal lifestyle with competitive wages and rental costs


  • Distance from Sydney: 90 minutes’ drive / train trip
  • Size: Third-largest city in NSW Population: 219,798
  • Largest industry: Health care and social assistance
  • Rental prices: $400 per week (2-bed houses), $450 per week (2-bed units)
  • Shared rooms and homestays: From $167 (3-bed shared house) to $294 (single room homestay)
  • International sister cities: Longyan, China; Kawasaki, Japan; Ohrid, Macedonia; Nova Scotia, Canada

Biggest employment sectors in Wollongong

  1. Health care and social assistance
  2. Education and training
  3. Construction
  4. Retail
  5. Manufacturing
  6. Accommodation and food services
  7. Public administration and safety
  8. Professional, scientific and technical services
  9. Transport, postal and warehousing
  10. Renting, hiring and real estate


University of Wollongong

Established in 1975, UoW is ranked among the top 200 universities in the world. It has a multicultural and vibrant student cohort with more than 160 nationalities on-campus and over 300 degrees to choose from. The University also has campuses in nearby Bega and Batemans Bay. Originally a training hub for engineers employed by the heavy industry along the South Coast, the University’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship has created a growing IT community in Wollongong. Its work in health and medicine supports advances in medical research and allows the University to partner with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District for research and training, helping educate the next generation of nursing and health professionals. The University’s unique business accelerator and incubator program, iAccelerate, offers unrivalled support for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

TAFE Illawarra and South Coast

TAFE NSW provides vocational education and training across its South Coast campuses. TAFE NSW’s Wollongong campus is just minutes from Wollongong’s city centre and next to UoW. TAFE NSW graduates can easily transfer to UoW programs.


There are opportunities to work in Wollongong’s traditional industries, as well as its burgeoning IT sector. The city’s population is forecast to grow by nearly 15% in the next 15 years, bringing with it new industries and employment opportunities. UoW Careers Central connects students with potential employers and helps them gain the skills to find meaningful work. A career job board lists current opportunities.

Study NSW also offers a comprehensive range of programs to help international students find work during and after study in the regions, including #NSWGlobalConnections, Farm Jobs Connect, Finding a Job, and 2021 Study NSW Employability Program for International Students. For information on your rights and opportunities around working in Australia, visit the Australian Government’s Study in Australia website.


The cost of living in Wollongong (and the South Coast’s other major urban centres of Kiama, Nowra and Shellharbour) is generally more affordable than in Australia’s capital cities. Choose from living on-campus, renting private accommodation or staying with a local family. UoW’s average weekly cost of living in Wollongong is a good guide to understanding the cost of accommodation in the city.

North Wollongong train station is a 15 minute walk or free shuttle bus ride from the University (the bus connects the University with the city, beach, Innovation Campus and other stops). Wollongong Station offers train services to Sydney and Canberra, as well as regional destinations. Shellharbour Airport offers flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and NSW regional areas.

Local community organisations, councils and educational institutions offer a range of support services to welcome international students and other new arrivals. Refer to:


You’ll feel like you’re permanently on holiday with the breathtaking beaches, pristine national parks and rich biodiversity of the NSW South Coast. Spot humpback whales, try your hand at surfing, drive over the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge on an exhilarating road trip or visit the magnificent Kiama Blowhole, which sprays 50 litres of water up to 25 metres high. The unspoilt South Coast is one of Australia’s true gems, with its pristine environment being home to some of the country’s most sought-after produce, including oysters, fresh milk, cream and yoghurt, truffles and wine.