Currently, there are over 60000 international students in Australia. They come from around 140 countries with different cultures and backgrounds1.

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When deciding to study in Australia, you are making one of the most important decisions of your life. Not only can you have a chance to learn in many reputational institutions, there are lots and lots of opportunities and experiences waiting for you.

Still, there is surely a huge pack of difficulties waiting for you as well. The education systems in different countries vary greatly. Hence, you should equip yourself with sufficient information about studying and living in Australia in order to be well prepared and avoid problems.

Here are the top 10 most frequently asked questions about studies and student lives in Australia for international students.

1.  Why should I study in Australia?

The most important reason for why many people choose Australia is the desire to study in globally recognised and reputational courses and institutions. There is a wide selection of courses ranging from preparatory level to postgraduate programs. Currently, there are more than 1200 institutions with over 22000 courses for international students to choose from. Some of the highly ranked subjects of Australian universities include health sciences, engineering and accounting, according to the QS Work University Ranking. Please note that as an international student on a student visa, you have to study in an institution and in a course which is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

In addition, people choose to study in Australia because of its reasonable tuition fee, which is lower than some other countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States or some other countries in Europe.

Beautiful landscapes also help attract students as well. You can expect to see many different stunning types of scenery including vast outback and coastlines as well as modern cities. Australia is famous for many interesting animals such as koalas, kangaroos and wombats.

As a hotspot of cultures and religions, Australia is a wonderful destination for anyone who wants to experiences a lively and multicultural lifestyle.

2.  What are the entry requirements to study at an Australian university?

Different institutions and different programs will have different entry requirements. There are 2 main types of requirements including academic requirements and English language requirements. Some courses might require certain prior knowledge in certain subjects as well as work experience. You need to contact the institution you are interested in about such special requirements. Alternatively, these pieces of information can be found on their websites, under the Applications or Courses section.

Here are some general qualification requirements in Australia:

  • If you apply for Vocational Education and Training or Technical and Further Education (TAFE) course, you need to have successfully completed the international equivalent of Australia Year 10, 11 or 12. Some institutions might require tests, auditions and portfolios.
  • If you apply for an undergraduate course, there are 3 main scenarios. If you complete secondary school in Australia, you need to complete the Australia Senior Secondary Certificate of Education and gain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or alternatively an Overall Position in Queensland. If you studied high school overseas and your qualifications are not recognised, or in case you don’t have the minimum English requirements, you need to take part in preparatory courses. And if you have taken part and completed an international qualification such as the pre university IB Diploma programme, your scores would be converted into the Australian ATAR for the application
  • And if you apply for a postgraduate course, you need to show that you have completed an undergraduate course, either in Australia or overseas. Some courses require qualification from a similar field (such as an Economic graduate can apply for a Finance course), while some require qualifications from any field. In addition, some courses require work experience or research ability.

In term of English requirements, which you will need if your high school course was not conducted in English, you need to take part in one of the English tests below:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced
  • Occupational English Test
  • Pearson Test of English

3.  What is the typical enrolment process?

Just like the entry requirements to study at an Australian university, there is no definite answer to this question. Different institutions will have different application and enrolment procedures. Hence, you should always contact the institutions for their own enrolment process.

Generally, you need to apply to an institution with the essential documents including your personal details, the certified copy of your level of English language proficiency, details of your previous academic qualifications and a proof of your working experience if needed. If your documents are not in English, you need to provide a certified translated version of these papers.

After you hand in the application, it will be assessed and you will be notified after a few weeks. If you are accepted to study, the institution will send you a letter of offer. Then it will send you confirmation of enrolment. You will need these documents to apply for your visa before you can plan your arrival and set foot in Australia.

4.  How much does it cost to study in Australia?

As I mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why students choose to study in Australia instead of the United States and the United Kingdom is the reasonable and lower study costs as well as living costs.

In term of studying costs, it will cost you from $4,000 to $22,000 per year for a Vocational Education and Training course or Technical and Further Education (TAFE) course. For higher education courses, it will cost you from around $15,000 to $ 37,000 per year. A doctoral degree might cost you from $14000 to $37000 per year while an MBA degree would cost you from $19,000 to more than $100,000.

About living costs, the amount of money you need depends on many things — where you live, whether you have an independent and your current lifestyle. You need to pay for groceries and eating out, gas and electricity, rent, phone and internet bills, transport and entertainment. You can use the figures from the migration regulations for your reference. Basically, under the regulation, you need to meet the financial requirements of at least $18,000 per year. If you bring a partner, you need to have $36,000 or more and if you bring a child with you, it will cost you around $3,600 additional a year.

All of the figures listed here are in Australian Dollars.

You can click here for more information about the study costs and living cost in Australia.

5.  How can I apply for an Australian study visa?

Depend on the country you are currently living in, you’ll need to apply for your visa online, by post or by coming to a designated Australian visa office.

You need to apply using your letter of offer or confirmation of enrolment from the institution you would want to study in. There are other documents you need to submit along with your letter of offer. Check this link https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/500- for the complete list.  After you have all of the required documents, you need to apply for a visa online by this link https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Appl/Student.

The fee for visa application is $560. This fee is not refundable. The time for your application to be processed depends on your course. It would take around 23 days for Higher Education sector and 42 days for Vocational Education and Training sector.

Go to this link http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Stud for more information about applying for an Australian study visa.

6.  Can I work with my student visa?

When your visa is granted, you would be able to know about your visa’s number along with any condition attached to the visa, including work permits.

In most cases, with a student visa, you are permitted to work for a maximum amount of 40 hours per fortnight during term time. You are allowed to work for unlimited hours during spring and winter breaks.

Moreover, there are no work restrictions if you study for a master by research for a doctoral degree.

Before you start working, you need to apply for an Australian Tax File Number. For more reference, click here.

7.  What kind of accommodation can I get while studying in Australia?

There is a wide range of accommodations to suit your specific needs and budgets. Just like studying costs and living costs, the rental fees will be different in different states, cities and types of accommodation.

Main types of accommodation include on-campus residences and rental houses. You can go for homestay in which you live with a family in their home. Staying on campus means that you can easily walk to your lectures in a short amount of time.  However, if you want more freedom and reduce cost by sharing rooms, you should consider rental houses. Homestay is a great option if you want to learn about the culture and lives of local people. Still, this option is suitable for younger students and it is quite expensive.

You need to consider several things before choosing a suitable accommodation beside costs. Think about the distance from the accommodation to your campus, the availability of nearby public transports, shopping centres and other amenities.

Finally, when you confirm about your accommodation, you need to check if it covers other expenses such as Internet, electricity and other utilities.

8.  Can I get a student loan or funding from Australia? What financial support is available to international students?

An international student doesn’t have access for a Higher Education Loan Program. There are still other funding sources available. For example, many Australian universities participate in the US Federal Government Loan programs and Federal family education loan.

Moreover, most of the institutions in Australia offer scholarships to prospective international students. You can look for such information regarding scholarships on each of the institution’s official web page. Alternatively, you can look for scholarships on this website https://www.internationalscholarships.com.

You can look for more information about available sources of funding through the official website of the institution you want to study in.

9.  Is it easy to find a job in Australia after I graduate from an Australian university?

After you graduate, you will need to apply for a work visa if you want to stay and work after your graduation. You need to be under 50 years old, have studied in Australia for 2 years and have a qualification relating to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List.

So whether you could find a job in Australia depends on many things, your qualifications, your work experience, your determination and how you can sell off yourself to employers. It also depends on the need of your skills as well as the competition you get from other people applying for the same job and position.

During your time studying in Australia, you can seek career advice from the Career service at your institutions and attend workshops to boost your employability skills.

10.  Can I study for an Australian qualification by distance or online?

Yes, you can. Many institutions provide flexibility though these form of learning. The requirements for these courses are generally similar to the on campus courses.

There are many reasons why you should study for an Australian qualification by distance or online. First, you can choose from a wide range of courses without leaving work or your family. In addition, this type of courses allows you to study at the time that suits you the most.

I hope that these FAQs above provide you with general information about the application process, enrolment requirements,  living costs and working requirement to study in Australia.

If you still have any question, feel free to comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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