Adelaide Living
University of Adelaide graduate, Tracey Trang Vu
University of Adelaide graduate, Tracey Trang Vu

My Adelaide life

Adelaide is as diverse in its people, as it is in what it offers. We asked two international students to share why they chose Adelaide to study and live, and their favourite city finds.

Mark Ong 

Why Adelaide?
I chose to study in Adelaide because of the Bachelor course I’m doing – it’s a globally recognised course. My father had also done the same course – he is a University of South Australia graduate! Coming to Adelaide – somewhere I’m unfamiliar with – was scary. But when I first arrived, people were very welcoming. It was the first time being alone in a foreign country, so that was really nice. One of the things I love about Adelaide is how the city is structured and planned. You can find everything easily.

What are you up to right now?
Currently, I’m President of UniSA’s International Student Business Society: Malaysian Chapter. ISBS caters for the welfare and development of the field of business for students, particularly Malaysians in Adelaide. We organise social and business-related events for students to have a platform to network, gain more business insights and have fun!  I’m also a Student Ambassador for StudyAdelaide and help out with their social media. Despite my commitments and responsibilities, I strive to study hard, obtaining a CGPA of 6.50 and UniSA’s Chancellor’s Letters of Commendation.

Favourite city discovery
Free bike rentals from Bike SA around the university! We can bike around the entire day, and then return it at the end of the day. Also, Adelaide is surrounded by the Park Lands. And I particularly love Victoria Park (Pakapakanthi / Park 16) because you can get a really good view of sunset in the evening, and that, for me, is a really good discovery.

Tips for new students
Put yourself out there, just go for it! Join clubs, be in executive positions, go to networking events, or any events. At the end of the day, you can tell yourself, “Yeah, I didn’t just get an education. I improved myself in ways that I didn’t imagine possible.” I think that’s much more rewarding than getting a high GPA.

Tracey Trang Vu

Why Adelaide?
I’ve been living in Adelaide for more than two years, completing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing at the University of Adelaide. I chose this university as it’s in the top one per cent of the world’s universities.

I enjoy Adelaide’s convenience. Everything is within a five-minute walk. The student life here is so vibrant with lots of affordable amenities and a variety of places to eat and go on the weekends. As a student, living in the city is also really affordable. You can walk to what you need, catch a free bus around town and there’s lots of cheap food options available, plus Chinatown for buying groceries.

I recommend Adelaide as a study destination, especially for international students. It’s provided me with a wide range of opportunities. If you put yourself out of there and open up, you’ll find Adelaide is not just a place, it’s your home.

What are you up to right now?
I finished my degree at the University of Adelaide last year and I’m in a graduate program with a local packaging company. This is really my dream, because I can experience the local working environment but still get exposure to the global scene.

Favourite city discovery
The State Library. When you walk into the State Library, it’s new and modern. Then, a small corridor leads you into the old wing. Walking through it takes you into a whole new world (Mortlock Wing, State Library of South Australia).

Tips for new students
Register for a free tour by the City of Adelaide where a local tour guide will take you around the city. Also, befriend locals to learn more about the city and life here. Finally, seek help and support from your university and other organisations like Study Adelaide – it’s free!


FoodTable talk

Food is a great conversation starter so it makes sense that one of the best ways to meet new people is over a shared meal.

Through a Community Development Grant, the City of Adelaide is supporting the non-profit organisation joiningthedots in its partnership with StudyAdelaide to re-launch The Welcome Dinner Project in Adelaide. An initiative initially aimed at connecting new migrants to help build their social networks and increase their sense of belonging, The Welcome Dinner Project is broadening its reach to include international students, refugees and local residents.

How does it work? Welcome Dinners connect newly arrived people with established Australians over a shared meal in a family home or a trusted community space. Trained volunteers facilitate each dinner, helping to uphold the spirit of The Welcome Dinner Project by ensuring the event is welcoming, safe and enjoyable for all. Other than dinner guests being invited to bring a plate of food from their culture to share, “potluck-style”, with other attendees, there’s no cost to participate.

StudyAdelaide sees The Welcome Dinner Project as a brilliant way for international students  in Adelaide to make new friends and connections, particularly with Australian families in their local community. The first city-based community Welcome Dinner took place at Council’s North Adelaide Community Centre during 2018 Refugee Week and it’s hoped more city-based events will happen in the future.

If you’re an established Australian interested in hosting a dinner in the city or you’d like to come along as a guest (new arrivals to Adelaide within the last five years –  international students, new migrants or refugees), register your details here then sit back and wait for an invite.

To find out about other opportunities available to international students to meet, make new friends and immerse themselves in city life, visit

Skye Murtagh

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