Find Why to Choose Australia for Study, Check Universities, Courses, Visa, Admissions & fees
Want to study in Australia? We’re not surprised! It’s one of the world’s most popular study destinations, and it’s not difficult to understand why…
Study in Australia
The country famous for kangaroos, surfing and koalas, but there is a lot more to Australia. With a total area of 7.69 million square kilometers, it is the 6th largest country in the world by total area and is home to more than 23 million people. It is also the only continent governed as a single country! Its rich culture and history are founded on its Aboriginal heritage and current blend of vibrant cultures. Currently, Australia is also considered as a global leader in education, which is one of the many reasons why students from around the world choose to pursue their studies there.
Why Study in Australia?
With approximately more than 22,000 courses in 1,100 institutions, a great number of fields or study areas are available, making it highly likely that you can take up your choice of degree, training or course.
The numbers above show that Australian education has the quantity and variety, but it is also worth noting that the country leads in quality. Seven out of the top 100 universities in the world can be found in Australia. Their university system also ranks 8th in the world, ahead of countries such as the UK, Germany and Japan. With these, Australia is recognized as a country that offers world-class education.
The quality of education is important, but another significant aspect of choosing a location or university is student life. Australia, in fact, houses six of the forty best student cities in the world. A survey in 2012 even revealed that 88% of international student respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with living in Australia. This is not surprising, as Australia is considered to be the fourth happiest country in the world.
Aside from these, the country and its government also make investments into international education. For example, there is more than $200,000,000 invested by the government annually for international scholarships.
With these positive features of studying in Australia, it is no wonder that it is the 3rd most popular international student destination in the world, only behind the UK and the US.
What comes to mind when you think of Australia? Sandy beaches and a deep azure ocean, cold cans of lager, and barbeques? Perhaps you might add some weird and wonderful creatures (amongst which more than a few are poisonous enough to kill you), miles upon miles of unpeopled wilderness, and an almost maniacal love of sport.
There is a large element of truth to these common suppositions. Australia does boast two beaches known as the Eighty Mile Beach and Ninety Mile Beach (and 10,683 other smaller beaches on its mainland alone), Australians – particularly students – do enjoy a drink on the weekend, and the warm weather does indeed lend itself to the outdoor preparation of food. But this by no means an entire portrait of the country – for one thing, it misses out any mention of Australia’s impressive higher education system.
Universities in Australia
Only the United States and United Kingdom have more institutions in the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings, and they are both have significantly bigger populations, and, accordingly, far more universities.
Seven members of the Group of Eight (think of it as an Antipodean Ivy League) make it into the top 100, and in total, 26 Australian universities make the top 700 of the rankings. Universities in Australia are also known to be extremely keen on internationalization, to the extent that only coal, ore and tourism bring more money into the country.
The combination of a keen welcome, high-calibre universities, and a quality of life that hold its own with anywhere in the world has made Australia one of the world’s leading destinations for international students. In 2010, the last year for which OECD figures are available, 6.6% of all international students were studying in Australia, again putting it only behind the US and UK. In terms of the percentage of students from overseas at Australian universities, only Luxembourg tops Australia’s figure of 21.2%.
You can be sure, therefore, to find yourself in a cosmopolitan environment, in which you will almost certainly be able to seek out your compatriots if you begin to feel homesick. But, better still, why not immerse yourself in some Australian culture? There’s a lot more to it than the stereotypes, but at the end of the day, stereotypes which involve sunny beaches and a solid commitment to having a good time don’t really sound all that bad, do they?
Most populous cities in Australia
As of 2013’s QS City Index, Sydney is the world’s fourth best city for students. It is the most populous city in Australia. It is a famous tourist destination for structures such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and destinations such as Bondi Beach and the Royal National Park. It is also home to the oldest university in Australia which is the University of Sydney.
Just behind Sydney is Melbourne ranked at fifth. Considered as an international center for arts, the city is recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature and is home to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Royal Exhibition Building. Melbourne also has the world’s largest tram network. The city is also known for its weather which can change drastically due to the city’s location.
The city of two million houses three major universities, making its student ratio one of the highest in the world. Aside from being the world’s 26th best city for students, it is famous among tourists for its proximity to the world’s most famous beaches. Brisbane is a mix of urban and outdoor lifestyles, with an active outdoor culture mixed with the city’s nightlife and culture.
The world’s 30th best student city is also Australia’s fourth largest city. A bit isolated from other Australian cities, Perth offers access to numerous natural beauties such as beaches and parkland. The city also boasts of a local world-class wine industry. In a recent list provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Perth was ranked 9th most liveable city in the world.
Australia’s national capital is considered as the 37th best student city. It is home to the Australian War Memorial, Black Mountain Tower and the National Library of Australia. Other attractions include the National Gallery and the Parliament House. The city also has emerging dining scenes to complement its regional wine scene. The country’s highest ranked university, Australian National University, is also located in the capital.
Right next in the list at 38 is the country’s fifth largest city. It was also included in the Top 10 of the World’s Most Liveable Cities from 2010 to 2012. These citations were affirmed when the Property Council of Australia proclaimed the city as the most liveable city in Australia from 2011 to 2013. Adelaide is seen as a learning city, with the presence of not only universities and other educational institutions but research institutions as well such as Royal Institution of Australia.
Australian university admissions & fees
There is no federal or state level application system for international students applying to universities in Australia, so you will need to apply directly to the university, usually online and often for a fee.
Australian universities certainly aren’t cheap, with average fees for international students hovering above the US$20,000 mark. This will vary from university to university and subject to subject – a humanities student will pay substantially less than someone studying medicine. If cost is going to be an issue, then make sure you do some research.
Australian student visa requirements
In order to study for an undergraduate degree (or a taught master’s degree) in Australia you will need a Higher Education Sector: Temporary Visa (Subclass 573). The process you need to follow will depend on which assessment level citizens of your country fall under. Here’s a quick checklist of what it takes to get an Australian student visa:
Acceptance on to a course
Australian visa requirements for students mean you must first be accepted into a course which is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS). You’ll need an online code and a copy of your confirmation of enrolment or an offer letter to serve as proof of this. You will be able to change course afterwards, but it must be to one of the same level, or else you will need to be apply for a new visa.
Proof of finances
Students who fall into assessment level 1 will simply need toattest that they have enough money, while students at all other levels are required to prove that they have at least enough money to cover the first year of their stay. At present this is deemed to be A$18,000 (in addition to tuition fees), which is around US$19,250. Accommodation fees paid to your institution in advance can be deducted from the total. If you are receiving full funding you simply need to provide proof of this.
Medical check-ups/ health insurance
You may be required to take a medical and/or a radiological check-up to show that you are in good health, but you shouldn’t do this unless you are specifically advised that you must. If you are told to take a test then you must attend an appointment with a doctor who has been approved by the Australian immigration department.
You are also obliged to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover – OSHC – unless you are from Belgium, Norway or Sweden; though Swedes must be covered by CSN or Kammarkollegiet for this to apply. You may purchase this cover through your university, or directly from one the five approved providers. These are Australian Health Management, BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, OSHC Worldwide and nib OSHC. The average cost of this insurance is A$423, which is around US$450.
Proof of English proficiency
English language requirements for those not from Anglophone countries are set by universities for level 1 and 2 candidates. Level 3 and 4 candidates will need to prove their proficiency with certified test results (the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship website lists eligible tests). The score you will need will depend on whether you are starting a degree proper, doing a foundation course, or enrolling on a preliminary English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS), which you will have a maximum of 30 weeks to complete.
Criminal record checks
You will also need to show that you don’t have a substantial criminal record, and your past and present conduct must not suggest you will engage in criminal activity or incite discord in Australia. You may need to acquire penal clearance or get a police statement for this purpose. You will also need to declare fidelity to Australian values by signing an Australian Values Statement.
Level 1 students can apply online or in person, whereas students from levels 2-4 must apply in post or in person at an Australian embassy if applying for the first time. A trial is currently being run to allow level 2-4 applicants to make the initial application online which allows citizens of certain countries to apply online.
You will need to submit evidence of all the above along with application form 157A, four passport pictures and proof of your academic record. All documents should be translated into English. Applications must be made no more than 124 days (around four months) before your course starts. You may be asked to attend an interview at a local visa office.