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Study in Australia

Study in Australia and choose from leading institutions in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. It is an amazing country for international students who want to experience its tertiary education system

Australia is the third most popular study destination for international students, after the USA and UK. Home to the world’s eight most popular universities, Australian tertiary education comprises vocational colleges and universities, with nearly 22,000 courses on offer for foreign students.

Education system in Australia

The public vocational educational system in Australia is called TAFE, i.e., technical and further education. TAFE institutes are usually funded by the government and offer qualifications like certificates and diplomas, though some TAFE schools offer bachelors programmes as well. Some universities do accept the credits earned at vocational schools like TAFE, and in such cases you can transfer your credits towards an advanced degree.

Apart from TAFE, vocational qualifications could also be obtained at private vocational institutes, such as RTO: Registered Training Organisations in Australia.

Vocational colleges are for cultivating adult learning experiences that provide certificate (I through V) and diploma programmes. These schools mostly provide courses that are work-oriented and help an individual to find a source of income immediately upon completion of the course.

Australian university system comprises both public and private universities. There are 38 public and 3 private universities. The higher education providers in Australia are either self-accrediting or non self-accrediting or universities. And the syllabus of each university is designed by the university themselves, and not by any government body.  

Bachelors courses last from 3 to 4 years, depending on if it’s a general or professional degree. Postgraduate programmes are categorised into postgraduate by research that lasts for 1–2 years (full-time study), postgraduate by research that lasts for 1–2 years (full-time study) and postgraduate extended programme that lasts for 3–4 years (full-time study).

Students studying in Australia can easily transfer credits and shift between study levels and institutions as per the guidelines mentioned by the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF), a national policy followed in the Australian education and training. The AQF standards comprise different levels, starting from 1 to 10, which include certificate to doctoral courses.   

Why study in Australia?

The Land Down Under

From architectural wonders such as the iconic Sydney Opera House to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia has spectacular places to offer.

Australia attracts nearly 300,000 international students to its major cities and towns. According to official reports, some of the most popular Australian cities amongst international students include (based on the cost of living, livability and university choice) Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.

What else? Apart from enjoying and basking under the glory and beauty of the country, you’ll occasionally hear some slang that might leave you bewildered. When someone says – ‘How ya going?’ don’t be surprised because all the person is asking you is – ‘How are you?’

You’ll learn a lot from the native people in Australia and also get to understand different cultures. Since majority of the international student population consists of students from all over the globe, this is the perfect opportunity for you to explore and meet people from all walks of life. Besides mixing with the people, you’ll sometimes come face-to-face with the ‘killer animals’ like crocodiles, snakes and spiders. Remember Steve Irwin, and his stint with crocodiles? The country is a great place to explore and get absorbed into the wildlife that has so much to offer you.

Things to look for while studying in Australia

People – The people in Australia are warm and welcoming. The indigenous population has a vast history and you will find a number of such communities in Australia. The rich indigenous community is a big part of the Australian culture and ethnically diverse societies. The country boasts of 6 million migrants from over 200 countries, including the UK, China, India and New Zealand, making it one of the largest pot of a mix of vibrant cultures and lives.

Climate – It might take some time getting used to the climate in Australia because its climate varies from one place to another. The same climate that you experience in the northern section may not be the case when you move towards the south.

Accommodation – A majority of students in Australia prefer off-campus accommodation. The transport system is pretty efficient and quick, making it easier for students to commute daily to their universities from the location of their stay. University campuses do have on-campus accommodation for international students. You will have to do a thorough research since stay and transport are key to live in any city.  

Food and drink – You will eat almost everything, from seafood to native fruits and vegetables and drink to your heart, not only ginger beer and cordial but also some freshly brewed coffee (which has a vast history too). In 1901, during the federation, the practice of having outdoor picnics became prevalent and it was during this time some main staple food like mutton, meat pies and lamb chops were introduced as barbecue food.

You may find yourself gorging on some Oyster or Emu or Kangaroo meat or Barramundi, just the way the aboriginals used to, but make sure you comply with the standards of the country and not get into any trouble for feeding your appetite.

City life – Some of the best cosmopolitan cities include Sydney and Melbourne. Most universities are located in urban or sub-urban areas so a variety of city life comes with it. You will find yourself enjoying many recreational activities on- or off-campus. There are several other spectacular places to visit in the country during your studies, such as the Bondi Beach, Uluru, Fraser Island, Whitehaven Beach and, undoubtedly, the Great Barrier Reef.

Almost every city is well connected by roads and rails and it won’t be tad difficult for you if you want to move quickly from one place to another, on a limited budget. Some cities offer different travel cards for those who want to travel on a fixed budget in hand, such as Myki card in Melbourne, Opal card in Sydney, SmartRider card in Perth and Green card in Tasmania.

Things to do while studying in Australia

  1. You can relax on a beach on weekends since the cities are near to the coasts. Most locals know how to surf and that’s a favourite pastime for many.
  2. As mentioned above, some of the spectacular places are must-see for every tourist visiting the country. Also, if you are a party animal, you may find yourself locked in some nightclubs or pubs on weekends, which are quite plenty.
  3. You may want to visit Adelaide, the wine capital of Australia.
  4. You may want to get the feel of some creepy-crawlies, by visiting a zoo or sanctuary. Australia is home to a number of unusual and numerous species of reptiles, birds and other animals.

Study options

The number of students coming to Australia grows exponentially each year. The most preferred courses amongst Indian students are business, tourism, hospitality management, MBA, accounting, healthcare and IT.

Earlier this year, an official report stated that the number of Indian students studying in Australia crossed 45,000.

An international student is expected to take up a course registered under CRICOS, if he/she wishes to study in Australia. CRICOS indicates that the course and institution that you choose meet a high standard of the Australian education system.

Australian Universities offer international students a range of learning options — associate degrees, bachelor degrees, master degrees and PhDs. Of the total international student population, almost 40% are engaged in higher education programmes and nearly 18% in English language programmes.

Cost of studying in Australia

A usual bachelors degree could cost nearly AUD 10,000–30,000; and postgraduate and PhD degrees could cost nearly AUD 20,000–40,000.

The average living cost in Australia has been estimated to be nearly AUD 18,000 per year. Where rental figures can go as high as $440 per week; and transport and groceries can cost you from $15 to $ 280 per week. 

Whether your interest lies in nature, technology, art, culture, adventure, food, wine or world-class academia, Australia definitely has something for you and is a country of endless opportunities. You will definitely love the student life in Australia, the outdoor culture and the friendly people.

Scholarships for international students!

Scholarships offered to the 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. Some of the popular scholarships available for international students are:

  1. Australia Awards – these scholarships are open to students looking for bachelors and masters programmes and TAFE certificates at some of the Australian institutions. The Australia Awards Scholarships cover full tuition fees, return air fare, living expenses and also student health cover.
  2. Postgraduate Scholarships – students seeking admissions to postgraduate programmes at Australian institutions can apply for Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship Awards or International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS).
  3. Australian University Scholarships – some of the popular Australian universities make it easier for international students to meet their tuition fees by supporting them with some scholarships, such as –
  • RMIT University – Science, Engineering and Health scholarships for bachelors students. And Global Leaders Scholarship for masters students.
  • Edith Cowan Scholarship – Early acceptance scholarship.
  • The University of Sydney – Vice chancellor’s international scholarships.
  • Deakin College – Merit scholarships.
  • La Trobe University – Postgraduate excellence scholarships.
  • Federation University Australia Scholarships.
  • The University of Queensland – MBA student scholarship and UQ international India scholarship for high achievers.

Benefits of studying in Australia

Needless to say, that the Go8 universities are popular world-wide and quite favourite amongst a large student population. Higher education counts towards the net GDP of the country so it’s quite natural that the country boasts and pays careful attention towards attracting foreign students year after year.

Australia is comparatively affordable, and the scholarships provided to foreign students make it slightly easier for them to fund their living and tuition costs.

Australia gives the freedom of part-time work options (20 hours per week) for its foreign students, especially during holidays when you 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.

Since the country is, increasingly, budding with a strong Asian community, you will feel at home and get to experience almost everything that you do in your native country.

If you’re heading to Australia this year for your higher studies, don’t just sit back and relax on weekends or get stuck with your projects and classes during the weekdays. Just try to get over the daily routine and spend some time visiting places like the Blue Mountains, Bathurst, Mornington Peninsula, Gold Coast, Noosa, Townsville, Darwin, Hobart and a lot more. It’s believed that nearly 90% of Australian people live away from the main cities, so you can perhaps behave as the locals do during your stay and enjoy some of the not-so-popular places or discover some hidden gems in the wild forests and alleys. 

Planning to study in Australia?

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Planning to study in Australia?

Suchandra Majumdar Suchandra Majumdar,
Study abroad expert.
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