A Guide To Studying Abroad In Australia

Education abroad, specifically in Australia, offers countless opportunities. It offers flexible exchange programs, internships, volunteer experiences, and even research studies. There’s also a good amount of co-curricular activities to choose from. 

Hundreds of thousands of individuals from different parts of the world enrol in Australian universities, vocational schools, and even in intensive English language programs. But this doesn’t come as a surprise because Australia is one of the bests when it comes to economy, culture, things to do, people, weather, and, of course, education. Despite the usual challenges that most new students face in a foreign country, Australia can be the perfect place for people looking to further their learning and careers.

Here’s a guide to studying in one of the most advanced and peaceful continents in the world:

1. Securing A Scholarship

Qualification for a fully-funded scholarship in Australia includes a high academic performance in previously-attended schools, as well as a high proficiency score in English tests. 

There are several scholarship programs each calendar year that you can apply for such as the Australian Government Scholarships, and the Australian University Scholarships. These scholarships come with benefits such as fully paid tuition fees, contributions to living expenses, and overseas student health coverage, just to mention a few. Note that maintaining these grants also requires hard work and excellent time management.

2. Finding An Accommodation

Once you have an idea of where you’re going to study, the next thing to consider is where to stay. You may choose to stay in a hostel, a student apartment, or a private rental home. Depending on the school you're enrolling yourself at, a hall of residence or dorm may also be available, which is perfect for students on a budget. Of course, you also have the option to live with a host family if you’re on an exchange program. 

Student accommodation in Australia can make or break your stay in the country. It will also have a significant impact on your overall school experience. As much as possible, choose a place that’ll make you feel safe and comfortable. On average, the range of cost for accommodations is about AUD$200 per week to about AUD$2,2000 per year, depending on the accommodation type you choose. 

3. Choosing The Location

The seasons are flipped in Australia, where December is one of the hottest months. Make sure to check the weather for your flight date, and prepare weather-appropriate clothes.  

Besides the weather condition, another thing worth checking is the time zone of your chosen location. There are three different time zones in Australia. If you can, choose one that’s closer to your country of origin’s time zone to avoid problems communicating with loved ones back home.

It’s also noteworthy that Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne can be expensive. That said, you’ll need a budget of approximately AUD$7,000 per year, exclusive of accommodation and tuition if you’ll live in such cities with a higher cost of living.

To get a more definite idea, it would help to do a bit of research about your target city’s temperature conditions, time zone, and typical living costs.  

4. Completing Your Requirements

The requirements for studying in Australia will vary depending on the school you’re attending and the location of your accommodation. However, the fundamental must-haves include:

  • A visa: Since you’ll be staying as a student, a student visa is the most important requirement. Australian student visas have a maximum validity period of up to 5 years, depending on your course. You can be eligible for an Australian student visa only if you’re already enrolled in a higher education course in any of the recognized institutions in Australia. International students below 18 years of age are only given a visa once they submit the required information about their welfare arrangements and health coverage.
  • Health Insurance: Ensuring coverage for potential health issues should be an important consideration for anyone who stays overseas for extended periods. Hence, you’ll also be required to secure adequate health insurance coverage. For international students in Australia, this is called the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which is offered by most insurance providers in Australia. The cost of this type of insurance ranges from AUD$800 to AUD$1,500.
  • English Proficiency: English is the official language in Australia, so you also have to pass the International English language test. If you fail, you may be required to take English as one of your courses in the institution you’ll be enrolled in.
  • Funding: You should be able to show proof of financial capacity to fund your education and stay in Australia. 

5. Managing Expenses

Note that it’s recommended to open a local bank account once in Australia to really enjoy what the country has to offer. Doing so will also save you from high transaction fees, which is just one of the many downsides of using a bank outside the country.

Final Words

Studying abroad, no matter where it is, comes with an unimaginable number of changes. But if you’re up for the challenge, being an international student in Australia can be a life-changing experience that you certainly wouldn’t regret. Just make sure to keep all the things discussed above in mind, so you can enjoy and make the most out of your stay in the country as a student.