Australian National University: What it's really like
Learn more about this uni in Australia's capital
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Want to study at Australia’s top university (according to QS World Rankings 2023)? Find out more about the ANU…
Australian National University at a glance:
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia (CRICOS Provider 00120C)
Undergraduate course length
Three years full-time
There are six faculties: engineering and computer science; business and commerce; arts, society and culture; law and legal studies; natural, physical and environmental science; and health and medical studies.
Students who want to prioritise their studies whilst enjoying a relaxed lifestyle on a scenic lakeside campus.
Students looking for a ‘big city’ experience from their university.
Joshua, who’s the Regional Manager for Latin America and Africa at the Australian National University, tells us more about what it’s like to study there.
What is the Australian National University?
The Australian National University (ANU) is located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. In the 2023 QS World Rankings, ANU is ranked number one in Australia and number 30 in the world.
The university teaches a wide range of programmes, from subjects like medicine, international law and diplomacy, and environmental studies, to linguistics, business, and the arts.
ANU’s student body is roughly around 25,000 including 9,000 international students.
Why apply to ANU?
One great reason to apply to ANU is its high rankings, both in Australia and in the world. It’s the perfect place to study if you want to pursue ambitious and adventurous careers. For example, on campus you’ll be surrounded by Australia’s government departments and close to its parliament house, which makes it a gathering place for Australia and the world’s future leaders. ANU is ranked number one in Australia for graduate employability.
About one third of ANU’s students are international, which also makes it a great place for students all over the world to make connections with each other – which may lead to professional connections in future. We offer scholarships for international students, like the Chancellor’s International Scholarship, covering 25% or 50% of the receiving student’s tuition.
Who isn’t the right fit for ANU?
Although Canberra is Australia’s capital city, if you’re looking for the experience of a busy, ‘big city’ lifestyle and nightlife, you won’t necessarily find that here. Whilst there are those kinds of cities around Canberra, the capital itself doesn’t provide that sort of atmosphere.
Any application tips?
When it comes to applying, I would say that having all your documents to hand is a great first step. If you have any questions, you can reach out to Regional Managers like myself for your region, or agents, who can support you through the whole application process here in Australia.
A top tip is to submit all the relevant documents, including your most recent qualifications and grades from your high school, sixth form, or college, before the 15th of the month. If you do this, you’ll receive an offer by the 1st of the following month, making it a really fast process.
If you receive an offer, you’ll then have two months to accept it, and during this time there might be dates to change your preference of study as well. Contact your Regional Manager or agents to check dates for this.
Depending on where you’re applying from, you might need to take an English language test. We accept a wide range of these, from TOEFL to IELTS to Cambridge C1 Advanced, but again, check our website or check with your agent or Regional Manager for details on specific exams and marks.
What’s the location like?
Canberra is ranked as the 23rd best student city in the world, with 25% of its population being students and 25% of its population also being international. The ANU campus takes up most of a suburb of the city, and students can walk from the heart of the university to the city centre in 10-15 minutes.
The campus also sits on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, where you’ll find the national library, museum, gallery, and parliament house.
Canberra is the most physically active city in Australia, so you’ll come across plenty of cycling paths and spots for running and walking around the city too.
What facilities does ANU have to offer?
Not only will students at ANU be learning from world class academics, but they’ll be in an environment which allows them to push the limits. In addition to our lecture theatres and research spaces, the university’s state of the art facilities include an impressive new building for the research school of physics and Australia’s largest supercomputer, Gadi.
There are study spaces both within accommodation buildings and out and about. You can work in one of our many libraries – different faculties have their own library – or even outside. Australia has a very pleasant climate, so you can enjoy studying under the trees or on benches in our green spaces.
When it comes to your spare time, there are three outdoor fields often being used by our many sports clubs; tennis courts; and a gym with a huge swimming pool just off the heart of the campus, so you can fit in a swim between classes.
There are countless cafes and restaurants, plus banks, a grocery store, bike shop, pharmacy, and even a cinema for you to make use of outside of your studies.
What’s the accommodation like?
All first year, first semester international undergraduate students at ANU receive an offer to live on-campus, and there are several options to choose from.
For an independent lifestyle, you could choose apartment style living, where you’ll have your own kitchen and bathroom. There’s catered residences, where meals are included, so you choose your meals at the start of the week and schedule your preferred eating dates and times to collect them. And there are self-catered shared residences, where you’ll share a large kitchen and cooking facilities with other students, so you can cook your own dishes or cook together as a group.
Accommodation buildings are spread around the campus, with students taking immense pride in their residence halls. So there are often competitions like trivia and sports that take place between halls.
How does the university meet the needs of students with different accessibility requirements?
For students with mobility needs, there are ramps and lifts across ANU to support you in moving around the campus. The campus is quite flat all over and the pathways are well looked-after.
ANU has a team who can provide assistance with basic living needs if you’re in financial difficulty. This includes basic foods, toiletries, and other essentials you can collect on a weekly basis. There are bursaries to support you with costs for things like accommodation too.
If you are in need of mental or physical health support, there is counselling at ANU and a GP (doctor) on-campus. We also have an academic skills team to assist with your studies in things like referencing or writing, and support teams to help you find the most suitable style to complete your studies in a way that works for you.
Want to explore more Australasian universities? Remember, Unifrog’s Shortlisting tool can help you put together a list of great potential courses.