6 reasons to study in Tropical North Queensland


Hundreds of kilometres of beaches, a laid back lifestyle and outstanding educational institutions make North Queensland, Australia a top destination for international students looking to pursue their studies in an English-speaking country.

Australia remains the 3rd most popular international student destination in the world, with annual government investment at around AUS$200 million on international scholarships, according to Study in Australia.

North Queensland is an exciting location in which to study, combining a vibrant tropical culture with buzzing festivals and events, the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest. Natural attractions include Daintree Rainforest, countless tropical islands and many national parks.

When faced with a beautiful paradise that also boasts a world renowned university, it is easy to see why tropical north Queensland is a top study choice for students around the world.

Here are six reasons why tropical north Queensland is a world-class study destination for international students:

1. An unparalleled study experience

Tropical north Queensland is home to one of Australia’s best universities. With campuses placed among some of the world’s most fascinating natural environments, James Cook University excels in educating international students in such areas as the marine sciences, biodiversity, and tropical ecology. On campus, students learn from the best academics in their respective fields, while there are boundless opportunities for students to put what they learn into practice. And the academic offerings aren’t just limited to the natural environment, but the full gamut of higher education options.

2. Cairns: The gateway to Australia’s tropical north

The gateway to Queensland’s tropical north, Cairns is a stylish and laid back city, offering students an enviable lifestyle in a tropical climate. With over 2 million visitors annually, Cairns remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia. Popular attractions include two UNESCO-listed World Heritage natural environments – the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the ancient Wet Tropics rainforests. Nearby resort areas include Port Douglas and Mission Beach. Students can also choose to take the old railway to Kuranda, or follow the Great Tropical Drive to wild, white water rivers, ideal for extreme sports enthusiasts, and the hiking destination of the Atherton Tablelands.  Cairns is home to James Cook University’s Cairns campus, an excellent education option for international students.

3. Excellent exchange opportunities

If you’re interested in experiencing an even greater overseas education, take the chance to complete a semester, or longer, in one of many partner exchange universities around the world. James Cook University has over 50 partner universities across the globe, and also boasts a campus in Singapore, one of Asia’s most diverse and exciting cities (JCU Singapore).

4. Travel links to Asia and further afield

Flights from Cairns to Singapore take just six and a half hours, meaning that Asia is just a short trip away – good news for Asian students who wish to travel home to see family and friends. Flights from Queensland’s airports to Asia’s major hubs are generally quicker and also cheaper than from other major Australian education destinations, such as Sydney and Melbourne.

5. Tropical Townsville

Townsville is Australia’s largest tropical city with a population of about 190,000. This thriving coastal city and port acts as an ideal stepping-off point for tourists looking to visit the Great Barrier Reef. Surrounded by beautiful natural attractions, and home to excellent shopping and dining, Townsville is a fabulous town in which to live and study. Townsville also hosts James Cook University’s Townsville campus, which is home to 11,500 students, including over 1,500 international students. The JCU campus is located in the suburb of Douglas, in 386-hectares of natural bush and parkland.

6. Queensland: A leader in research

Queensland is a major research centre within Australia. The state is home to nine major research centres in mining and energy, over 40 research centres for the health and medical sector and 18 research centres in the environment and nature.


This article was sponsored by James Cook University, Australia. JCU is ranked within the top 4% of the world’s tertiary institutions by the respected Academic Ranking of World Universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. JCU aims to provide a brighter future for students and those living in the tropics world-wide, through research and discoveries which are of benefit to the wider community. JCU is an institution which remains dedicated to research. The university continues to conduct nationally and internationally recognised research in areas including marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments and tropical medicine and public health care in under-served populations. Since 1970, JCU has continued to forge close relationships with local communities in northern Queensland and more recently in Asia, at the university’s Singapore-based campus.