Introduction

Australia is quickly becoming the most preferred education hub for international students. Currently it has the third largest number of international students after USA and UK. Australia offers a diverse range of study options for international students, with more than 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses to choose from. Irrespective of what you are studying or how long you are studying for, Australia’s laws promote quality education and protection for international students. As an international student on a student visa, you must study with an institution and in a course that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS registration guarantees that the course and the institution at which you study meet the high standards expected by international students. Australia has a national set of qualifications that are endorsed by the Australian Government. This means that there is national and international recognition of each qualification and the level of education it represents. Entry into most higher education courses in Australia is highly competitive, and a high standard of English language is required for postgraduate study. Each education provider will have different entrance requirements, so it is important to contact individual providers to check. The main types of postgraduate qualifications offered by most higher education institutions are:

Graduate certificate/diploma: These qualifications are generally designed for specific vocational purposes — either the broadening of skills and knowledge already gained in an undergraduate program or the development of vocational skills and knowledge in a new professional area. The typical requirement is six months to a year of full-time study for the graduate certificate and one to two years of full-time study for the graduate diploma. Entry usually requires a bachelor degree or advanced diploma.

Master’s degree: Master’s Degree provides a high-order overview of a field of study or area of professional practice. They typically involve one to two years of full-time study. The master’s degree may be offered in three formats:

  • Master’s degree (coursework): These consist of coursework, project work and research in varying combinations. Entry typically requires prior completion of a bachelor degree, a bachelor degree (honours) or a graduate certificate or diploma.
  • Master’s degree (research): These are at least two-thirds research and include a substantial thesis or research project, which is often externally assessed. Entry normally requires a bachelor degree (honours) or masters preliminary year.
  • Master’s degree (extended): These may consist of a work-based project. Entry requires a relevant qualification and professional experience, or extensive relevant professional experience.

Starting dates vary widely depending on the course. Higher education courses generally run from late February to mid-November. The academic year is generally divided into two semesters, although some institutions operate on a trimester system or offer summer schools from December to February, which can reduce the total course length. Students enrol for their courses at the beginning of the year (usually in January or February), but application dates are towards the end of the previous year. Some institutions also have a mid-year intake (usually in July) for certain courses.

Innovative study patterns

The Australian approach to vocational and technical education is now recognised as most innovative in the world. It enjoys an international reputation for excellence in all areas of education and training.

High Education standards

Australian universities and their degree programs are recognized globally and students obtaining these degrees are always flooded with excellent job and career prospects.

Comparatively low tuition fee

Compared to other English speaking countries, Australia has relatively low tuition fees.

Variety of courses

Australia has a huge number of courses for students to choose from and the entire course can be tailored to compliment a student’s career goals.

Scholarships

Since Australia is a recent addition to the countries preferred by international students, it offers scholarships to a large number of students.

Multicultural Society

Australia is a safe and friendly society. It is home to many immigrants and hence is a multicultural country.

Top Universities

Australian National University
University of Melbourne
University of Sydney
University of New South Wales
Monash University
University of Western Australia
University of Adelaide
University of Technology, Sydney
Macquarie University
University Of Wollongong
University of Newcastle
Queensland University of Technology
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Curtin University
University of Queensland

Jobs in Australia

Australia’s diverse and welcoming attitude is matched by its economic growth, which is good news for graduates hoping to work in the country. Many international students are allowed to work, although some visas have limited work rights. It’s important that you are clear about the limitations of your visa before seeking work. To work after graduation, international students must have an appropriate visa. If you’ve completed a Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degree, you may be eligible for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). This allows international students who have recently graduated from an Australian institution to work in Australia temporarily after they have finished their studies. Alternatively, you could ask your employer to sponsor your new visa. If you want to stay in Australia independently of employer sponsorship, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. The skilled migration program was introduced to help address regional skill shortages. The type of visa you apply for will depend on your circumstances and the work you will be doing.  There are a number of training programs outlined below that can help prepare international students for successfully gaining a job.

Vocational placement

Vocational placement is where an international student is placed in a workplace to receive practical training and experience that is required and is an assessable part of a student’s course, leading to the issuing of a qualification or statement of attainment.

Internships

An internship is a pre-professional work experience that provides international students, recent graduates, and those seeking to change careers with the opportunity to gain experience in a particular career field.  Professional Internships are sought by Government agencies and major corporations generally to up-skill and enhance staff performance.

Work experience

Work experience assists international students in their transition from school to work. It provides a formal arrangement whereby international students participate in activities at a place of paid or voluntary work. Students may undertake work sampling, work shadowing, research work experience and structured work placement.

There are a number of schools, agencies and websites that can assist you in finding a job. International students can contact their school to see whether they provide job placement services

You can also work part-time while studying for 20 hours a week at a minimum wage of A$16 per hour.

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Application and Visa

For international students planning to study in Australia, the application process involves a number of steps. Applying for a course normally requires the following documents:

  • Certified copies of your academic history to date, including high school results/certificates and any studies undertaken after high- School (often called post-secondary studies). If you have undertaken any post-secondary studies, you will need to provide your academic transcripts of subjects studied and any completion or graduation certificates with your application
  • Certified copies of your English language proficiency (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL or evidence that the medium of instruction in your past studies has been English). All institutions have individual, specific English language proficiency requirements for entry into their courses – these standards vary greatly depending on the course you choose.
  • A certified copy of your passport and any Australian visa label (if currently in Australia)
  • For research applications, a copy of your research proposal will also be required.

Once your application has been received by the institution, it will be assessed by the admissions office to determine if you meet both the academic and English Language requirements for your chosen course. The possible outcomes of your application are:

  • A full Letter of offer confirming that you are eligible for direct entry into your chosen course
  • A conditional letter of offer confirming that you are eligible for entry to your chosen course, pending the provision of further information to the admissions office. For example, you may be required to provide your completion/graduation certificate if you were finishing your current studies when you applied to the university.
  • A rejection letter confirming that you have not met the entry requirements for your chosen course

If you have been successful in your application, the next step is to accept your offer formally by:

  1. Signing and returning the offer acceptance form included in your offer
  2. Paying the tuition fees outlined in your letter of offer – this is generally the amount of one full semester’s tuition fees at your institution
  3. Paying the overseas student health cover (OSHC) outlined in your letter of offer – unless you have been studying in Australia and have current OSHC accepted by your institution.

Once your acceptance and payment are received and confirmed by your institution, they will issue an Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (ECoE) which is required for your student visa application. Please note that if you are from an Assessment Level 3 or 4 countries, you do not accept your letter of offer until you have completed a Pre-Visa Assessment (PVA) in your home country.

PVA is the policy of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), whereby students from these countries applying for a student visa offshore have their genuineness as a student assessed on the basis of a letter of offer before obtaining an ECoE from their institution.

Eligibility for Post Graduate admissions: Most post-graduate programs accept a three year undergraduate degree. A select few might require an honours degree with a minimum of 16 years of formal education. For management oriented postgraduate courses students also need to take the GMAT.

When filling in your online visa application form, you will need to provide evidence of the following Australian student visa requirements:

  • Financial requirements: Evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition, travel and living costs. The Assessment Level of the student determines the level of funds required, who can provide these funds and how long the funds must be held. If you have dependents (such as a spouse and children), you will also need to show evidence of being able to cover living costs for them, regardless of whether they intend to travel to Australia or not.
  • English proficiency requirement: While all students are required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate English language proficiency for their course, AL 1 and 2 applicants need only meet the requirements specified by their higher education provider, while AL 3 and 4 applicants must also provide DIAC with evidence of their English language proficiency. The DIAC website lists eligible tests, with possibilities being the IELTS, TOFEL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test. The score you will need will depend on whether you are starting a full degree, doing a foundation course, or enrolling on a preliminary English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
  • Health requirements: Some students may be advised to take a medical and/or a radiological check-up to show they are in good health (this applies, for example, to those who intend to train as a doctor, dentist or nurse).
  • Character requirements: All students will also be assessed against the character requirements stipulated by DIAC. This includes a criminal record check, to make sure you don’t have a substantial criminal record. You may also need to acquire a penal clearance certificate (or police certificate) or get a police statement, and may be asked to complete a Character Statutory Declaration Form.

Generally, students must submit the following documents:

  • Completed Australia student visa application form (157A)
  • Paid visa application fee
  • Copy of passport biodata page (some students may be asked to physically provide their passport)
  • Certificate of Enrolment or Letter of Offer
  • Evidence of sufficient funds
  • Evidence of health insurance cover
  • English proficiency test results
  • Criminal record check results

Visa processing times will vary depending on your Assessment Level and the type of visa you are applying for. Allow up to four weeks, with online applications usually being considerably quicker. Your student visa will last for the duration of your studies, including holiday periods, and will also allow you some time to remain in Australia at the end of your course, in order to prepare for departure. Under some circumstances, it may be possible to apply for a further visa at the end of your course.

Skilled migration visas provide one of the best opportunities for skilled workers to live and work in Australia. Under the Australian General Skilled Migration program, skilled migrant and skilled worker applicants can use their qualifications, work experience and language ability to meet the Australian immigration requirements for a permanent Australia visa.

In 2012, Australian immigration’s introduced a new skilled worker program, called the Skilled Migrant Selection Register, known as SkillSelect. In order to apply, you need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The SkillSelect will work as an electronic two-stage process where prospective visa applicants first submit a claim for skilled migration through an online EOI. Following this, applicants may then be invited to submit an Australian visa application on the basis of their EOI.

Australian visa applicants will be selected based on their points test score in a number of selection criteria. All prospective visa applicants will be required to meet the relevant English language requirements and obtain the necessary skills assessment prior to their EOI submission. However, unlike now you will have to also be approved by SkillSelect to obtain your visa. This brings in greater uncertainty compared to the current system.

The various types of Australian immigration classed under different categories of visa are:

Employment visas 

These type of visas are commonly granted to highly skilled workers after assessing against point based system. Individual states grant employment visas after recruiting workers based on their needs. The most popular visa sponsored is 457 visa.

Student visas 

These type of visas are commonly granted to foreign students to study in Australia.

There are a number of categories of student visa, most of which require a confirmed offer from an educational institution.

Skilled Visas 

A new electronic process for managing Australia’s Skilled Migration Program. Intending migrants without an Employer Sponsor will need to complete an “Expression of Interest” (EOI), then based on the information provided, will be allocated a score against the points test. Skill Select will then rank intending migrants scores against other EOI’s. – Those with the highest-ranking scores across a range of occupations may then be invited to apply for a Skilled Visa.[

EXPENSES IN AUSTRALIA

Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation. For your reference, here are some of the costs associated with living and studying in Australia. (All costs are in Australian dollars.)

Education Expenses

International students in Australia are required to pay their tuition fees up-front. Some institutions may also charge for other student costs, in addition to tuition fees. These may include library, laboratory, or sports facility costs. Students should also consider the costs of excursions, books, and stationery, as well as any essential materials specific to their course of study, such as lab coats or photographic supplies.

An undergraduate bachelor degree from an Australian university can cost anywhere from A$14,000 to 35,000 a year, while a postgraduate degree can cost from A$15,000 to 36,000 a year.

Living Expenses

Accommodation

  • Hostels and Guesthouses– $80 to $135 per week
  • Shared Rental– $70 to $250 per week
  • On campus– $80 to $250 per week
  • Homestay– $110 to $270 per week
  • Rental– $100 to $400 per week
  • Boarding schools– $10,000 to $20,000 a year

Miscellaneous Expenses

Other living expenses

  • Groceries and eating out– $80 to $200 per week
  • Gas, electricity– $60 to $100 per week
  • Phone and Internet– $20 to $50 per week
  • Public transport– $10 to $50 per week
  • Car (after purchase)– $150 to $250 per week
  • Entertainment– $50 to $100 per week

LIFE AND CULTURE IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is an extremely culturally diverse country. It is varied in its religion, language, history, and art. International students who study in Australia will find themselves studying in a fascinating and diverse environment.

Evolving into one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, with a beautifully sunny climate, Australian culture and lifestyle is what makes this place extraordinary.

The Australian lifestyle is known for being relaxed.  This is great news for students hoping to improve their studies in a laid back environment. Australia considers its cultural diversity one of its greatest strengths. Other lifestyle benefits for international students include:

  • a safe environment
  • a multicultural community
  • many unique travel choices within the country
  • exciting cities
  • flexibility to work part time up to 20 hours per week and full-time during holidays

Australians are generally laid-back, open and direct. They say what they mean and are generally more individual and outgoing than many other cultures.

Some key values that reflect the Australian way of life include:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of religion
  • Democracy
  • Equality regardless of sex, marital status, religion, nationality, disability or sexual preference
  • Peacefulness
  • A ‘fair go’ (equal opportunity) for all.

In most practical ways, Australia is an egalitarian society in that there are no formal class distinctions. There is no segregation between people of different incomes or backgrounds and everyone is free to live where they like, attend university and follow whichever religion and occupation they choose.

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