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Things to know before going to Australia for your higher studies

Heading to Australia for your studies this year? Is there something that you missed doing? Get your final checklist on what you should know before studying in Australia ready!

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Things to know before studying in Australia

Do you know there is a growth in Australian population, and the primary reason behind it is education opportunities that are drawing a lot of people from all over the world?

Got an offer to study in Australia? You have made one of the best choices! But do you know the things you should be doing now before going to the country for your studies?

Stats first!

Do you know there is a growth in Australian population, and the primary reason behind it is education opportunities that are drawing a lot of people from all over the world?

International students are heading to the country more than ever. Recent stats released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate that Sydney recently welcomed over 100,000 additional people, and Melbourne absorbed over 125,000 people in just one year. And nearly 43% of immigrant population in Sydney and Melbourne comprise foreign students. Now that’s a huge number!

The breakdown of popular Australian universities as per different nationalities

Indian students – Following universities in Australia are popular amongst Indian students: CQ University Australia, Chisholm Institute, Federation University Australia, Kent Institute Australia, University of Southern Queensland, Melbourne Institute of Technology and Charles Darwin University.

Bangladeshi students – Australian universities popular amongst Bangladeshi students include Macleay College, Charles Darwin University, La Trobe Melbourne, Sydney Institute of Business and Technology and Western Sydney University.

Nepalese students – Australia is a popular study destination amongst Nepali students, too. Some of the popular universities chosen by them include Charles Darwin University, CQ University Australia, Australian Catholic University, Southern Cross University and Federation University Australia. 

Sri Lankan students – Sri Lankan students favour the following Australian universities for their studies: Raffles College of Design and Commerce, Australian Institute of Business, Chisholm Institute, Charles Sturt University, Swinburne University of Technology, Edith Cowan University, La Trobe Melbourne and Deakin University.

[The above data have been extracted from our very own Hotcourses Diversity Index (HDI) tool’s Feel at Home Index. You can have a look and check the entire list based on your nationality]. 

The things that every international student who wants to study in Australia should know!

Paperworks that matter

  • Compare your choices before you decide on a course and university. Check for the institution rankings, its international student population, facilities on offer, library and other academic support services available and also the institute’s faculty.
  • Once you receive your offer letter, make sure you cross-check every information on it, such as the course details and tuition fees.
  • To study in Australia, you need a study visa. Cracking an Australian study visa interview isn’t easy. You need to know the possible questions you could be asked by the visa officer during the interview. There is only one Australian study visa subclass (Subclass 500) that you need to look for when thinking of your higher studies in the country, regardless of which area you choose to study.

Need assistance with mock study visa interviews? Our visa advisors can help you.

  • You need a health insurance, which is also an important criterion for your student visa. The Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is meant for international students, as a precautionary measure during any medical emergencies.
  • Looking for financial aid is a must when applying to Australian institutes because it’s going to be pricey for you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not manageable. With the help of the student support team of your chosen university, you can easily find out if you are eligible for any scholarship to support yourself.

Is IELTS required to study in Australia?

It depends! If you are on a conditional offer from a university that asks you to take up IELTS for your admissions, then you have to take that exam. IELTS is a measure of your English language skills, which is often one of the admission criteria in most universities abroad.

But there are some universities that exempt IELTS, depending on your previous academic qualifications, work experience or if you have taken up any exams equivalent to IELTS.

Know where to study in Australia with IELTS 5.5 band.

Popular courses for international students in Australia

STEM courses rule all over, alongside business and humanities being other popular options amongst study abroad students. International students are required to take up courses registered under CRICOS, which means you need to look for providers that offer courses to students on study visas.

What is it like to study in Australia?

There are both public and private universities in Australia, which offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Most universities design their own curricula, and are not authorised by the government on any crucial academic decisions.

Besides, students can also choose TAFE or vocational institutes, which are normally government funded. These institutes are meant for adult learning, and offer certificate and diploma programmes.

What’s this new grading system?

Most Australian institutes use grading system to assess a student’s academic merit, such as HD that stands for high distinction, D that stands for distinction and more. When you speak to our counsellors, don't forget to ask about the grading system in Australian higher education.

How to finance your stay?

The country’s high-living standards have made the cost of living and housing little expensive, though there are various means you can opt for to manage your finances. Homestays and shared apartments are aplenty, which make it easy for international students to spend moderately and save more money.

It’s best to start searching your stay options early on, after you receive your offer. Just like you, there could be many students who would be searching for affordable options to stay, either on campus or off campus.

Can you work and study together in Australia?

With so many international communities living together, Australia has all types of employment options open for students who want to work part time. But please remember, students aren’t allowed to work until the classes officially begin.

Usually, students are permitted to work for 20 hours per week while studying, with a minimum estimated national wage of $17.70 per hour. [It’s better to check with the university if they have any specific norms related to part-time employment for international students.]

It isn’t easy to balance both study and work life together, so better think through your choices before you commit to anything.

What to pack?

Three categories of things must be packed while moving to Australia:

  • Clothing – Australia is not just about enjoying the beaches and deserts because there will be both cold and harsh times. So you need to carry a good number of clothes, but not your entire wardrobe. A rain jacket, winter jacket, winter coat, lightweight clothes, etc., should be on your list.
  • Documents – your document checklist must have passport, e-visa, driver’s licence, academic transcripts, health records, birth certificates, Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) and airport pickup confirmation e-mail. In addition to this, you must carry some cash in hand to meet immediate expenses as well as a few bank drafts. Also, it’s expected of you that you open a bank account on your name.
  • Duty free concession – Personal items that you carry when travelling to Australia are often duty free unless you bring any electronic good like laptops or tablets. You might end up paying additional taxes on arrival for such devices. Check for the complete list of duty free goods, as per the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

What’s your worth?

The Australian job market is growing. As per a recent report from Indeed.com, there are fresh job opportunities in Australia, for international students, especially for tech graduates.

Computer programmers, software engineers, civil engineers and architects are in great demand across the country. Cities like Melbourne have the maximum number of jobs available in almost every sector.

As an international student working in Australia, you need to also check if you are liable to pay taxes while working.

Additional things to remember!

Australia is the third-most popular destination for international students, after the USA and UK. Melbourne is considered to be the world’s most liveable city, with a large number of student populations.  Almost every international community could be seen in every part of Melbourne. Though Melbourne has a pleasant climate, it does get really cold sometimes.

There are world-class universities in Australia; the Go8 institutions, particularly,  are at par in terms of academic and career opportunities. The country has got famous business schools, culinary schools and excellent opportunities for students willing to study STEM courses, too.

There is so much to see and do while studying in Australia, from exploring its pristine beaches to experiencing the wild life and mountains. There are plenty of places to have fun – be it for food lovers or sunshine catchers.

Let us know if we missed anything? Are you looking to study in Australia this year? Not sure how to apply to a university? Our academic counsellors can help you.

Need help choosing a country to study?

Sathya Priya Sathya Priya,
Study abroad expert.
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