Australia promotes innovation, creativity and independent thinking throughout its universities. International students who study and live in Australia soon find that their education is challenging, fun, and rewarding. As an international student in Australia, you can expect to live, grow and learn in a young, friendly country full of opportunities.
Australia is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney.
Australia has the world's 13th-largest economy and tenth-highest per capita income (IMF).With the second-highest human development index globally, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and civil liberties and political rights.
Australian education qualifications are regulated through The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), which links Australian schools into one national system. This allows students in Australia to easily move from one education level to the next within a nationally-accredited system.
One of the benefits of being an international student in Australia is that you have permission to work part-time while completing your degree. Australia, unlike other countries, gives those with a student visa automatic permission to work. International students must find a job on their own, but once hired, they will gain hands-on experience in a number of fields including retail, administration, and hospitality.
Education in Australia encompasses the sectors of early childhood education (preschool) and primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (high schools), tertiary education (universities, TAFE colleges, and vocational education and training providers) and adult education (referred to as adult and community education or ACE).
Regulation and funding of education is primarily the responsibility of the States and territories, but the Federal Government also plays a funding role.
A country built by migrants and ready to welcome you with open arms, Australia is one of the most popular, unique, and multicultural study abroad destinations, making it easy for international students to fit in.
Australian Universities offer international students a range of learning options, such as associate degrees, undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees, and PhDs. Of the total international student population, almost 40% are engaged in higher education programmes and nearly 18% in English language programmes. Masters degree programs take 1-2 years to complete. The course of study is usually two years after a bachelor degree; however, a master’s degree can be obtained in one year if the student’s bachelor degree was obtained with honors.
An international student is expected to take up a course registered under CRICOS, if you wishe to study in Australia. CRICOS indicates that the course and institution that you choose meet a high standard of the Australian education system.
There are over 60,000 English-taught programmes in Australia. Universities in Australia will want to see proof that you have good English-language skills, so that you can easily succeed in their courses. All Australian universities accept these official English exams:
You have two methods for applying to a university in Australia:
The academic year in Australia begins in early March and runs through late November. Most schools offer two semesters each year, but some schools use a trimester system and other schools offer summer courses from December to February.
Australia allows students to find part-time work options (20 hours per week), especially during holidays when students can work full-time (40 hours per week). Moreover, post-study work visas are also on offer, from 18 months to 4 years, with the opportunity to apply for a resident permit.
A Bachelor’s degree could cost AUD 15,000-33,000 per year and Master's and PhD degrees could cost AUD 20,000-40,000 per year.
As an international student in Australia, you will have to arrange health insurance before your departure. Apply for the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which provides medical and hospital insurance in Australia. Sometimes, your chosen university can arrange for your OSHC coverage on your behalf.
The average living cost in Australia has been estimated to be AUD 18,000 per year. If you’d like to rent an apartment, a one-bedroom apartment will cost anywhere from 1,000 AUD (outside the city) to 1750 AUD (in the city).
Aside from accommodation, your weekly expenses will most likely include groceries or eating out ($80 to $200), gas and electricity ($60 to $100), phone and internet ($20 to $50), public transport ($10 to $50) and entertainment ($50 to $100).
The visa you are required to obtain will depend on your nationality, age and purpose of visit. The subclasses of student visas are such: Independent ELICOS, Schools, Vocational Education and Training, Higher Education, Postgraduate Research, Non-award and Foreign Affairs or Defence. To obtain a student visa, students must be enrolled in a full-time course that is registered with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Students enrolled in a short course of less than 3 months can study on a visitor visa. However, only students with a student visa will have access to Australian health care and part-time work. Students may apply for a student visa once they receive a letter of offer or electronic confirmation of enrollment.
International students who hold a student visa do not require a separate work permit while studying. This is because, while studying, they are allowed to work up to 40 hours per 2 weeks and full-time during vacation periods. An application fee of AUD$550.
Proof of language skills: Required
Medical check: Required
Scholarships offered to international students are purely based on merit. In some cases, scholarships cover both, tuition and living expenses. Apart from some universities and colleges offering scholarships, many government sources offer a number of scholarships or financial aid for international students. There are many scholarships, grants, and bursaries which can help support you financially with your studies in Australia.
Here is information about some of the major scholarships programs available for international students:
Australia Awards - The Australia Awards aim to promote knowledge, education links, and enduring ties between Australia and our neighbours through Australia's extensive scholarship programs. The program brings together scholarships offered by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT), the Department of Education and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Read more about Australia Awards and Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships.
Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) - From 1 January 2017 the Research Training Program (RTP) replaced the International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) program. Find out more about the Research Training Program at the Department of Education (opens in a new window) website. Applications for these scholarships are made directly to a participating university.
Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowship - The Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowships are open to high-achieving female researchers from APEC economies for research opportunities in partnership with Australian education and research institutions. The fellowships aim to support women’s economic empowerment in the APEC region and raise the profile of female role models in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Read more about the Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowship.