Study in Australia: Complete Guide for International Students

Study in Australia: Complete Guide for International Students

Study in Australia: Complete Guide for International Students
Prashant Thapa

Australia is one of the most preferred study-abroad destinations for international students worldwide. It houses some of the world's most famous cities, like Melbourne and Sydney, which are famous for quality education, high quality of life, safety and ample job opportunities. 

Studying in Australia has been a well-known slogan for international students due to the ample post-study job opportunities, PR prospects, safety concerns, various 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 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 students are unaware of the right reasons to study in Australia.

 If you aspire for an international degree from an Australian university, this article will be a complete guide as you figure out your “Study in Australia journey”.

Here we will discuss the reasons to study in Australia, the climatic conditions of Australia, the 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 its quality of education, immense employment prospects, safe, multicultural society, internationally acclaimed degrees and robust student support system.

Here we discuss some of the possible reasons that international students are attracted to Australia with the requirements and opportunities they look for.

The education system in Australia

Several Australian Universities have been consistently ranked among the world's best universities. 

The education system in Australia implements the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), which specifies the qualifications standards 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.

Qualifications Duration
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

Associate degree

Advanced Diploma

2 years

1.5 to 2 years

Bachelor degree 3 to 4 years

Graduate Diploma

Graduate certificate

Bachelor honours degree

0.5 to 1 year

0.5 to 1 year

1 year

Master's degree (extended)

Master's degree (coursework)

Master's 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 qualifications and employment opportunities.

Education institutes in Australia are renowned for their research and training methodologies, making them a popular destination for international students.  

Employers worldwide recognize the value of a degree under the AQF system from an Australian university. This allows 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, and New Zealand) upon completing their education.

Popular courses in Australia

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 to help them gain employment and create avenues. 

Some of the courses mostly sought after by international students in Australia are:

  • Accountancy
  • Agricultural science
  • Health and Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Nursing
  • CSIT
  • Psychology
  • Tourism and Hospital Management
  • Education
  • Project Management
  • Social Work
  • Business Administration/ Management
  • Law

These courses have good career prospects and learning opportunities. Furthermore, they give you better visa options, scholarships to study in Australia, and PR prospects.

There are also dedicated programs like Professional Year Programs (PYPs) designed to act as a bridge between education and job opportunities. These courses provide students with class education and internship opportunities, thus exposing them to the world of industries. There are 3 variations available in the PY program they are- 

  1. Accounting Professional Year
  2. Engineering Professional Year
  3. IT Professional Year

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Australia is a safe country/study-abroad destination

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 world's safest and most welcoming destinations. 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 is 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).

Students willing to stay and work in Australia after completing their studies must 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 of bachelor's & master's degrees, 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 Australia! Second, it takes 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 the bachelor's degree level may be eligible to apply for the Graduate Work stream in Australia. 

PR opportunities in Australia

Migrating to Australia is among the most attractive options for many, including international students.

Australia offers a permanent residency or PR visa to immigrants, valid for five years. You can move into Australia with your family with a PR visa. 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, and 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 decide to study abroad. In addition, you will also have to research the economic course options, supportive institutions, and liveable cities.

Below is a broad suggestion on how much study in Australia costs 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, other expensive courses, such as veterinary and medical degrees, can cost significantly more than mentioned.

Meanwhile, if you wish for a scholarship to study in Australia, there are various grants, bursaries and scholarships. The government, educational institutes and other private and public organizations offer them.

 Such scholarships may provide financial assistance with the following:

  • 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 some funding is 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 robust in rankings, particularly in 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)
6   55  Monash University
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

International students' eligibility requirements and admission procedures 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 into enrolling in Australia's best courses and universities. Nevertheless, you will rejoice in the experiences and opportunities after that. 

Individual universities will set their 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 a minimum of 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's 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
  • SOP
  • There could be other additional requirements for a master's in Australia depending upon the Australian Universities.

General admission requirements for PhD program

  • An Honours degree or a Bachelor's degree with Honours of a 3-4 years minimum in an appropriate discipline
  • A relevant Master's 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 PhD topic)
  • A personal statement (this may be required for applications to advertised projects and opportunities)
  • Academic and professional references.

100,000+ students achieved their study abroad dreams with us.  Start your journey today.

Apply for a study permit in Australia

To obtain a study permit in Australia, there are a few simple steps summarised below:

Apply for the course:

The first thing you must do is apply for the course at the university or college of your choice. For this purpose, you may visit the institute's official website or take the service of reliable education consultancies.

Before applying, knowing the program duration, study cost, academic requirements, and syllabus are essential. While applying, you will have to present the following documents:

  • Citizenship Id Card
  • Passport
  • 10th Marksheet and character certificate
  • 12th Marksheet, Transcript, and character certificate.
  • Bachelors Marksheet, Transcript, and provisional/ character certificates.
  • Masters's Marksheet, Transcript, provisional, Character certificate.
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) acting as a summary of 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.

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
  • Passport
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Proof of funds and financial documents.
  • Processing fees for Visa Application

In short, you will go through the following steps to get an Australian Study Permit.

  1. Apply for the course and Educational Institute
  2. Receive CoE
  3. Set up an account with the Australian immigration authorities
  4. Complete the visa application
  5. Pay the visa fee and receive a TRN-number
  6. Complete health checkup and interview
  7. Wait and accept your visa decision

Education for Under-18 Students in Australia

Since you are considered a minor if you are under 18, there are specific rules you need to follow when you apply to study in Australia. 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 time or until the student (below 18) turns 18.
  • Staying with a relative (over 21 years) nominated by the student’s (below 18 years) guardian.
  • The educational institution organises an approved accommodation.

To be eligible to work in Australia, students must be around 13-15. So, even below 18, you can work during your studies. The working hours- are 40 hours per fortnight during the semester.

 Below 21, the working students are considered junior employees, and the pay rate is adjusted depending on their age.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) 

Overseas Student Health Cover helps international students cover medical expenses while studying in Australia. It covers doctor visits, hospitals, emergency ambulances, and prescription medicine. Students need to pay for an Australian Student Visa.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, international students need to maintain the OHSC cover during their time in Australia. 

If the students are going with dependents, their dependents 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 integral part of your financial preparation as an international student.

Therefore, the cost of living in Australia will entirely depend on your education institute, your degree level, 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 quickly turn your wish into reality as numerous government and university-specific scholarships for international students in Australia exist. 

Many of these programs offer substantial bulk payments, 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

  1. Australia Awards Scholarships
  2. Destination Australia Scholarships
  3. International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS)

Australian University Scholarships

  1. The University of Sydney International Research Scholarships
  2. Macquarie University International Scholarships
  3. Griffith Remarkable Scholarships
  4. University of Melbourne Graduate Research Scholarships
  5. Adelaide Global Excellence Scholarships for International Students
  6. Flinders International Postgraduate Scholarship
  7. Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor’s International High Achievers Scholarships
  8. UNSW International Scholarships

In addition to these scholarships, other different types of scholarships are available in Australia. Private colleges and private and public sector organizations provide those scholarships. 

Weather in Australia

Australia is known for its 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. 

  • Spring: The transition months of September, October and November.
  • Summer: The summer season is marked by the hot months of December, January and February
  • Autumn: March, April and May
  • Winter: June, July and August

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 world's most beautiful natural landscapes and beaches, people love to be outdoors and travel.

Australians meet over various events and gatherings like Barbeques, family dinners, sports, concerts etc., to spend leisure time with friends and family.

Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane being the most significant 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 transport type you use.

For the full range of services available, timetables and 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, unlike New South Wales, you may be eligible for transport concessions in Queensland and Southern Australia. 

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