Study in Australia: Complete Guide for International Students
Australia is one of the most preferred study-abroad destinations for international students across the world. It houses some of the most famous cities of the world like Melbourne, and Sydney which are famous for quality education, high quality of life, safety and ample job opportunities.
Study in Australia has been a renowned slogan for international students due to the ample post-study job opportunities, PR prospects, safety concerns, variety of degrees and so much more.
As Australia promotes innovations, creativity and independent ideas in its education system, higher study becomes challenging, fun, and rewarding all at a time.
From secondary school through to university, TAFE (Technical and Further Education) and VET (Vocational Education and Training), Australia offers a broad selection of options to suit almost every student's interest.
However, most of the students are unaware of the various aspects of and appropriate reasons to study in Australia.
If you aspire for an international degree from Australian universities, this article will serve you as a complete guide as you figure out your “Study in Australia journey”.
Here we are going to discuss the reasons to study in Australia, the climatic conditions of Australia, major universities of Australia, the education system and tuition fees of Australia, what it’s like to be an underage student applying for Australia and so on.
Why study in Australia?
Known for both work and study opportunities, Australia has become one of the most desirable destinations for international students.
It is known for the quality of education, immense employment prospects, safe multicultural society, internationally acclaimed degrees and strong student support system.
Here we discuss some of the possible reasons that international students are attracted to Australia with requirements and opportunities they look for.
The education system in Australia
Several Australian Universities have been consistently ranked among World's best Universities in the world.
The education system in Australia implements the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) that specifies the standards of qualifications for higher education, vocational education and training. Moreover, the education system allows flexibility; choice and better career planning.
The Australian education system is three-tiered with primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education. Students can select from any of the following 10 levels of programs based on their educational background, interest, time and affordability.
|Certificate I||0.5 to 1 year|
|Certificate II||0.5 to 1 year|
|Certificate III||1 to 2 years|
|Certificate IV||0.5 to 2 years|
|Diploma||1 to 2 years|
1.5 to 2 years
|Bachelor degree||3 to 4 years|
Bachelor honours degree
0.5 to 1 year
0.5 to 1 year
Masters degree (extended)
Masters degree (coursework)
Masters degree (research)
3 to 4 years
1 to 2 years
1 to 2 years
|Doctoral degree||3 to 4 years|
Australian degrees are Globally recognised
Australian degree is globally recognised and presents ample work opportunities in today's international job market.
By choosing to study in Australia, you will be exposed to unparalleled quality of education, internationally recognised qualification and employment opportunities.
Education institutes in Australia are renowned for their research and training methodologies which further makes it a popular destination for international students.
Employers from all over the world recognize the value of a degree under the AQF system from an Australian university. This allows for students who study in Australia to find work with general ease in their chosen field (not just in Australia but also in the US, Canada, New Zealand) upon completion of their education.
If you want to strengthen your career opportunities after you complete your studies, then you will have to get a qualification that is in demand.
Most popular courses and degrees that international students study in Australia impart skills that will help you gain employment and create avenues.
Some of the courses mostly sought after by international students in Australia are:
- Agricultural science
- Health and Medicine
- Tourism and Hospital Management
- Project Management
- Social Work
- Business Administration/ Management
These courses have good career prospects and learning opportunities. Furthermore, they give you better visa options, scholarships to study in Australia and also PR prospects.
Additionally, there are also dedicated programs like Professional Year Programs (PYPs) that are designed to act as a bridge between education and job opportunities. These courses provide student class education as well as internship opportunities thus exposing them to the world of industries. There are 3 variations available in the PY program they are-
Australia is a safe country/ study abroad destinations
Safety remains one of the major concerns for every international student. No wonder, you might as well want to know if Australia is a safe country for studying abroad.
Australia is regarded as one of the safest and most welcoming destinations in the world. The Australian government does not tolerate racism or violence in Australia and has inclusive policies.
Australia is in the top 10 of several global safety rankings. As per the 2019 Global Wealth Migration Review, Australia stands as the safest country in the world for women.
Likewise, in the 2020 Best Countries report, Australia comes in at the 5th spot, ahead of Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.
Australia has cultural diversity and friendliness, which lessens the political unrest. Crime rates are meagre, and strict gun control laws ensure a safe environment for people living there.
Work permit in Australia
The work opportunity makes it much more affordable for students to acquire funds for some of their education through work.
Students can work up to 40 hours fortnightly during their college or university and full time during their summer breaks. As a student, one can expect to earn around $19.49 per hour (2019).
For students willing to stay and work in Australia after completing their studies, they will need to apply for a post-study work visa. A post-study work visa in Australia allows international students to stay and work for 2 to 4 years depending on the qualification completed.
Generally, after the completion of 2 years bachelor & masters degree, the international students get 2 years post study work permit. Students who stay and study in regional universities in Australia get an extended period post study work permit (up to 2 years longer).
This has 2 benefits: it provides students with valuable experience in India! and second, it takes the overseas students one step closer to PR in Australia
There are diverse job opportunities in different sectors, locations, and forms like a contract, part-time, and full-time.
However, students who graduate from courses below bachelor degree level may be eligible to apply for the Graduate Work stream in Australia.
PR opportunities in Australia
Migrating to Australia is one of the most attractive options for many people, including international students.
Australia offers a permanent residency or PR visa to immigrants valid for five years. With a PR visa, you can move into Australia along with your family. Once you complete three years with a PR visa in Australia, you can apply for citizenship.
International students can also get PR in Australia with a student visa. Once you complete a course associated with the given occupation in the Australian Skilled Occupation List, you have a higher chance of receiving Australian PR.
Engineering, Nursing, IT are some of the best courses in Australia that will help you get a well-paid job, which may further lead to PR in Australia.
Tuition fees in Australia for International Students
Choosing a country, the best course and university is not enough to make the final decision for studying abroad. In addition, you will also have to research the economic course options along with supportive institutions and liveable cities.
Below mentioned is a broad suggestion on how much study in Australia costs for international students. However, course fees can vary widely and should always be verified with the particular educational institution.
|Study programs||Average tuition fees per year in Australian Dollar|
|Undergraduate Bachelor Degree||15,000 - 33,000|
|Postgraduate Master’s Degree||20,000 - 50,000|
|Doctoral Degree||14,000 - 37,000|
|Vocational Education and Training||4,000 - 22,000|
|English language studies||300 per week|
Apart from these, there are other expensive courses such as veterinary and medical degrees which can cost significantly more than mentioned.
Meanwhile, if you wish for a scholarship to study in Australia, there are various grants, bursaries and scholarships. They are offered by the government, educational institutes and other private and public organizations.
Such scholarships may provide financial assistance with:
- your tuition fees
- your accommodation and living expenses
- both tuition and living costs.
Every scholarship has conditions on cost coverage durations. Similarly, most scholarships are based on academic merit, although there is also some funding available for students from developing countries who are in financial need. All you have to do is research and apply, meeting all the application requirements.
Top universities in Australia
Australia is home to several top-ranked and globally recognised universities and colleges. Be it law, business, medicine or engineering, there are the best schools where you can enrol for your Bachelor's, Master's or PhD
Australian universities are also fairly strong in world university rankings, particularly in areas like research output and teaching quality. As per the QS World University Rankings 2021, the top 10 universities in Australia are:
|QS World University Rankings 2021 – Top 10 Universities in Australia|
|Aus. Rank||Global Rank||University|
|1||31||Australian National University (ANU)|
|2||40||University of Sydney|
|3||41||University of Melbourne|
|4||44||University of New South Wales (UNSW)|
|5||46||University of Queensland (UQ)|
|7||92||University of Western Australia (UWA)|
|8||106||University of Adelaide|
|9||133||University of Technology Sydney (UTS)|
|10||196||University of Wollongong|
Australian University admission requirements for international students
The eligibility requirements and admission procedures for international students may differ from one higher education or VET (vocation education and training) provider to another. It also varies with the program you choose to study.
You may have to put more effort to get enrolled on the best courses and universities in Australia. Nevertheless, you will rejoice in the experiences and opportunities thereafter.
Individual universities will set their own requirements, but you can expect to be asked for some or all of the following documents under specific programs.
General admission requirements for an undergraduate degree in Australia:
- Passed +2 or equivalent board with minimum 55%
- IELTS: no less than 6.0 each/ TOEFL (Mind that courses like Nursing in Australia demand higher IELTS Score)
General admission requirements for a postgraduate degree in Australia:
- Recognised Bachelor degree (3 years are accepted too) with a minimum 50%
- IELTS: overall 6.5 with 6 in each band each/ TOEFL: Overall 79
- Work experience to cover any gap
- There could be other additional requirements for masters in Australia depending upon the Australian Universities.
General admission requirements for PhD program
- An Honours degree or a Bachelor degree with Honours of a 3-4 years minimum in an appropriate discipline
- A relevant Masters degree or satisfy the Dean of Research that their previous education, relevant professional experience and published research work is of sufficient quality and relevance to prepare the applicant for a research degree
- English Language proficiency score- ELTS-6.5, TOEFL- 85, CAE- 176, PTE- 61
- A research proposal (if you are putting forward your own PhD topic)
- A personal statement (this may be required for applications to advertised projects and opportunities)
- Academic and/or professional references.
Apply for a study permit in Australia
In order to obtain a study permit in Australia, there are few simple steps summarised below:
Apply for the course:
The first thing you must do is apply for the course in the university or college of your choice. For this purpose, you may visit the official website of the institute or take the service of reliable education consultancies.
Prior to submitting an application, it is important to be aware of the program duration, study cost, academic requirement and syllabus. While applying you will have to present the following documents:
- Citizenship Id Card
- 10th Marksheet and character certificate
- 12th Marksheet, Transcript, and character certificate.
- Bachelors Marksheet, Transcript, and provisional/ character certificates.
- Masters Marksheet, Transcript, provisional, Character certificate.
- An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) acting as a summary for all academic and professional achievements.
- IELTS/ TOEFL iBT score proof
- Work experience letter depending upon the program.
Receive an offer letter from an Australian university
After you have received an offer letter from the university you have applied to, accepted the offer in writing and paid their tuition deposit, you will receive CoE, Confirmation of Enrolment.
The Australian Institutions take about 7 to 15 days to offer letters to international students for bachelor's and master's programs.
Apply for Visa
Similarly, while applying for a visa, you will require to prepare the following documents:
- Visa application
- Application letter from the university.
- Statement of Purpose
- Marriage certificate (if married)
- Medical reports
- Police clearance certificates
- Proof of funds and financial documents.
- Processing fees of Visa Application
In short, you will be going through the following steps to get an Australian Study permit-
- Apply for the course and Educational Institute
- Receive CoE
- Set up an account with the Australian immigration authorities
- Complete the visa application
- Pay the visa fee and receive a TRN-number
- Complete health checkup and interview
- Wait and accept your visa decision
Education for Under 18 students in Australia
Since you are considered as a minor if you are below the age of 18, there are certain rules that you need to follow when you apply to study in Australia. The Australian universities and educational institutions provide detailed information on their website to guide international students under 18.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) needs assurance that International students below 18 have proper welfare and accommodation before they apply for a student visa.
This assurance can be provided in any one of these 3 ways.
- Nominate a legal guardian (over 21 years) who will stay in Australia for the same length of time or until the student (below 18) turns 18.
- Staying with a relative (over 21 years) who is nominated by the student’s (below 18 years) guardian.
- An approved accommodation organised by the educational institution.
To be eligible to work in Australia, students need to be around 13-15. So, even if you are below 18, you can work during your studies. The working hours- 40 hours per fortnight during the semester.
Below 21, the working students are considered junior employee and the pay rate is adjusted depending on the age.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
Overseas Student Health Cover helps an international student to cover the medical expenses while studying in Australia. Basically, it covers up for doctor visits, hospitals, emergency ambulance, and prescription medicine. Students need to pay for an Australian Student Visa.
The international students need to maintain the OHSC cover during their time in Australia according to the Department of Home Affairs.
If the students are going with dependents, their dependent should also achieve the OSHC.
Cost of living in Australia
Australia currently has the 16th highest cost of living in the world. Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparations as an international student.
Therefore, the cost of living in Australia will entirely depend on your education institute, the level of your degree, the program you choose and your study location in Australia. Moreover, it also depends upon your budget and spending habits.
As an international student, you may need between 1,400 and 2,500 AUD per month to cover all the living expenses, including accommodation and food.
Not to forget, you will need to prove you have the financial resources to live and study in Australia while applying for a student visa.
Scholarships in Australia for international students
After getting an idea of study and living costs in Australia, you may wish to get a scholarship to study in Australia.
You can easily turn your wish into reality as there are numerous government and university-specific scholarships for international students in Australia.
Many of these programs offer a substantial bulk payment, educational subsidies, or living allowances designed to make life easier for those looking to study in Australia.
Listed below are the top scholarships for international students in Australia.
Australian Government Scholarships
- Australia Awards Scholarships
- Destination Australia Scholarships
- International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS)
Australian University Scholarships
- University of Sydney International Research Scholarships
- Macquarie University International Scholarships
- Griffith Remarkable Scholarships
- University of Melbourne Graduate Research Scholarships
- Adelaide Global Excellence Scholarships for International Students
- Flinders International Postgraduate Scholarship
- Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor’s International High Achievers Scholarships
- UNSW International Scholarships
In addition to these scholarships, there are other different types of scholarships available in Australia. Those scholarships are provided by private colleges, private and public sector organizations.
Weather in Australia
Australia is known for the sweltering hot weather in general. However, it varies very differently across all eight states and territories, and you can expect very breezy and sunny weather.
There are four main seasons. From December to February, summer is the hottest season of the year. From March to May, it's spring; then August to September, it's autumn, and then it's winter.
Summers tend to be warm and dry, with temperatures ranging from 25 to 40 degrees.
Likewise, winters tend to be cool and wet with temperatures ranging from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.
The Australian way of life
Besides the incredibly diverse cultural history, the Australian way of life portrays a one-of-a-kind shared spirit and attitude. More than 200 languages are spoken in households with English being the official language.
Since Australia is blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and beaches in the world, people love to be outdoors and travelling.
Australians meet over various events and gatherings like Barbeques, family dinner, sports, concerts etc. to spend leisure time with friends and family.
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane being the largest cities have diverse communities and present you with ample employment opportunities during and after your studies.
The transportation system in Australia
The transport options available in Australia include buses, trains, trams and ferries. Your access and cost of these transport services will vary depending on where you live and the type of transport you are using.
For the full range of services available, timetables and the costs, one can check the relevant state government websites like Transport NSW or Public Transport Victoria.
Every state in Australia has its own rules of transport for international students. For example, in Queensland and Southern Australia, you may be eligible for transport concessions, unlike New South Wales.