A lot of students move away to study at uni, and finding the right place is about more than just the degree. If you're interested in keeping a healthy balance while you study, you're probably looking for some clean air and some space to actually breathe it in. And let's be honest, if you're moving from the country you may want a little more action than your hometown offers. What you may be looking for is Wollongong - big enough to excite, but not so big you're just a number.

Here are our top 7 reasons why students love the ‘Gong...

7. IT’S GOOD FOR YOU Reasons to love the Gong - inline 7

It’s clean, it’s bright and sunny. The air is air coloured. The water is cool. Local team sport is big (especially soccer, league, basketball and cricket), and there are scenes for many other outdoor types, from surfing and skydiving to mountain biking or just doing your best to survive a Wollongong winter.

6. IT’S EASY TO GET AROUND Reasons to love the Gong - inline 6

Most days, our idea of a traffic jam is copping all the red lights on Crown St. It’s also easy to get in and out of (which you’ll appreciate when it comes time to visit home—and your parents will definitely thank you if they’re dropping in).

5. MUM’S COOKING HAS COMPETITION Reasons to love the Gong - inline 5

Wollongong’s got everything from student-friendly cheap Chinese and Mexican food to hip dumpling bars and national listicle winning burgers, more cafes than we care to count and at least one hatted French fusion restaurant (if you really need to make an impression). One of the coolest developments is Eat Street where the Crown St Mall turns markets on Thursday nights for outdoor evening gourmet dinner.

4. IT’S GOT PERSONAL SPACEReasons to love the Gong - inline 4

It’s not exactly a serene country village, but Wollongong doesn’t do big city hustle and bustle. With a population of just over 100,000 if you need some space (or headspace), there’s plenty to go around.

3. THE LIVING (ARRANGEMENT) IS EASY Reasons to love the Gong - inline 3

Students are spoiled for rental choices in Wollongong—share houses, university residences, apartments. Many first-year students coming in from out of town take advantage of the UOW accommodation guarantee that makes sure they have a place reserved for them at one of the university residences.

2. IT’S GOT NIGHT LIFEReasons to love the Gong - inline 2

As far as culture and entertainment goes, Wollongong is a student town. The small bar scene is smart and urbane, and live music has been booming in the last few years (including home grown music-festival-turned-record-label Yours & Owls taking over UOW campus).

1. THE BEACHES Reasons to love the Gong - inline 1

What more can you say?