Study in USA vs. Australia: A Comparative Guide on USA vs. Australia For International Students

Study in USA vs. Australia: A Comparative Guide on USA vs. Australia For International Students

Study in USA vs. Australia: A Comparative Guide on USA vs. Australia For International Students
Saru Niraula

Whether the United States or Australia is better for international students is challenging because both countries are highly sought after and are among the top study-abroad destinations for students from other countries. 

According to statistics, approximately 10,000 international students are enrolled in the United States, compared to over 4,70,000 international students in Australia, demonstrating that the United States is still the most popular option. 

It is crucial to evaluate education in the USA vs. Australia based on rankings and the education system, student life, level of living, scholarships, and stay-back choices, among other factors, to choose which nation is ideal for you.

It is common to be undecided between studying in the USA and Australia. This information will assist you in choosing wisely between studying in the USA and Australia. 

The top colleges, admission requirements, tuition costs, cost of living in the US vs. Australia, scholarships, visa and PR procedures, and much more are covered in detail below.

Study in USA vs. Australia: Top Universities

Unquestionably, the USA and Australia are home to prestigious universities that draw millions of foreign students each year. 

We must examine the best colleges in both nations to determine whether the USA or Australia is better for overseas students.

Top Universities in Australia

When discussing the leading universities in Australia, it is essential to note that 7 are ranked within the top 100 worldwide according to the QS Rankings 2023. 

Before continuing, let's quickly review the top 10 universities in Australia according to the QS World University Rankings 2023:

QS World University Ranking 2023

Name of the University


The Australian National University


The University of Melbourne


The University of Sydney


University of New South Wales


The University of Queensland


Monash University


The University of Western Australia


The University of Adelaide


University of Technology Sydney


University of Wollongong

Top Universities in the USA

The top Universities in the United States are known for providing top-notch instruction worldwide. Rankings for its educational institutions attest to its excellence. 

If we look at the top 10 universities in the United States, we notice that five of them have made it to the top 25 institutions in the globe. 

Here is a table listing the top 10 US colleges according to QS World University Ranking 2023:

QS World University Ranking 2023

Name of the University


Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Stanford University


Harvard University


California Institute of Technology


University of Chicago


University of Pennsylvania


Princeton University


Yale University


Cornell University


Columbia University

Study in the USA vs. Australia: Tuition Fees for International Students

Compared to the USA, one of Australia's critical educational decisions is related to tuition costs. It is commonly known that US institutions charge comparatively high tuition compared to those in other nations. You can receive scholarships to help you pay all or part of your tuition. 

The following table compares the cost of attending college in Australia with the United States:


Tuition Fees in the USA (in USD)

Tuition Fees in Australia (in AUD)

Undergraduate degree



Graduate degree



Doctoral program



Diploma/ Certificate/ vocational training



Study in the USA vs. Australia: Cost of Living for International Students

Since there are relatively few opportunities to receive all-inclusive scholarships, all international students must pay for their living expenses. 

Your actual cost of living will vary depending on your lifestyle, location, and kind of housing. 

For Indian students, the average annual cost of living in the USA is between 8,00,000 and 15,00,000 INR, but in Australia, it is between 10,30,000 and 10,85,000 INR.

Study in the USA vs. Australia: Education System

You must be fully aware of the differences between the two nations' educational systems to decide whether the USA or Australia is preferable for overseas students. 

The following compares the educational systems in Australia with the USA:

Education System in the USA

An associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, certificate, diploma, vocational training, professional degree, or Ph.D. are just a few of the various degrees available in the US.

A bachelor's degree can be earned in the US in 3–4 years, whereas a master's degree program typically lasts 2 years.

Vocational training and certificate and diploma programs can range from six months to two years.

The US educational system uses a 4-point GPA scale to evaluate various elements, including participation in extracurricular activities, test scores, and class performance.

The most significant benefit of studying in the US is that you will be free to select general education courses, even if they have nothing to do with your field of study.

In the USA, colleges and universities do not serve as a criterion for separating institutions. Universities and colleges provide degree programs, with universities often having a more considerable student body. The decision to enroll in an honors program is mainly dependent on your GPA.

Education System in Australia

Courses is divided into primary, secondary, and tertiary levels in Australia's three-tiered educational system.

The Australia Qualifications Framework sets the education requirements in Australia compared to the USA (AQF).

The AQF has ten levels: levels 1-4 for certificate programs, levels 5 for diploma programs, levels 6 for advanced diplomas and associate degrees, levels 7 and 8 for bachelor's degrees with honors, graduate certificates, and diplomas, and levels 9 and 10 for doctoral degrees.

A bachelor's degree in Australia can be earned in three years. A postgraduate degree in Australia can be earned in 1-2 years, depending on your area of specialty.

Students typically choose degrees directly relevant to their academic background because Australian degrees are intense and dedicated to a specific topic.

In Australia, universities offer comprehensive degree programs, while colleges provide technical and vocational training.

The Australian grading system uses a 7-point scale based on GPA, just like the US educational system.

Study in USA vs. Australia: Admission Requirements for International Students

For the Fall and Spring semesters, universities in the USA and Australia receive applications twice a year, with the Fall semester serving as the principal intake. 

The application procedure is expedited for overseas students, who must fill out an online form and submit it along with the required application fee and supporting documentation.

The essential prerequisites for admission to the USA and Australia are comparable. However, different universities and programs may have additional requirements. 

Academic entry requirements include passing entrance exams, providing English language test results, and completing prerequisite coursework depending on degree level.

Study in Australia: Eligibility Criteria for International Students

  • To be admitted to UG-level courses, you must have completed 12 years of pre-university coursework.
  • For entrance to master's degree programs, get a three-year bachelor's degree.
  • A minimum IELTS score of 5.5 for undergraduate and 6.0 for graduate programs is advised.
  • GMAT scores are necessary for management degrees, whereas GRE scores are needed for other PG programs.

Study in the USA: Eligibility Criteria for International Students

  • 12 years of education must be completed before applying for UG courses.
  • Admission to master's degree programs requires the completion of three to four years of a bachelor's degree.
  • For admission to bachelor's degree programs, you must have a minimum IELTS score of 5.5, and depend on how competitive the master's degree programs are, you may require a score between 6.0 and 6.5.

Study in the USA vs. Australia: Student Life

Compared to Australia, you will experience campus life differently if you study in the USA. There will be much more added to your learning than just education. 

You'll get to know folks from all over the world. Universities in the US have a friendlier atmosphere than those in Australia. Let's examine how student life and education differ in Australia and the USA.

Student Life in the USA

18 US cities, including Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, have been ranked as having the friendliest environments for students worldwide.

With all the resources you'll need for your time as a student, the helpful university employees will be all around you.

In the US, university students enjoy a vibrant student life that consists of, among other enjoyable activities, making new friends, participating in sports, dining out, and partying.

You will have the chance and exposure to join different organizations, sororities, and fraternities and participate in intramural sports, community service, volunteer work, and other academic activities.

Student Life in Australia

Seven of the top 100 student cities in the world is located in Australia, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, and Gold Coast.

The ease of access to international student support at Australian universities is its most excellent convenience.

The language barrier is one of the challenges faced by international students, but as English is the official language of Australia, you will find it simple to communicate with others.

Most students, especially those in coastal cities, enjoy spending their free time participating in water-based activities like surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, etc.

Sports like rugby, tennis, cricket, and shopping are other things you can do.

Study in the USA vs. Australia: Post-Study Work Opportunities

One of the few critical factors to consider when contrasting study-abroad locations is the post-study employment prospects and the state of the job market. 

It is essential to highlight that firms are ready to work with passionate people and reward them with lucrative benefits in the USA and Australia.

Look at the employment and wage prospects following graduation in the USA and Australia:

Post-Study Work Opportunities in the USA

Depending on the organization, job function, position, experience, etc., a working professional in the US can make an average of 94,700 USD per year.

As a recent graduate working in the US, you can anticipate earning 24,000 USD annually, which can rise to 423,000 USD annually as you gain experience.

Some of the most sought-after employment fields in the US are finance, management, data science, IT, biomedicine, engineering, advertising, and public relations, among others.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago are among the top 10 universities for graduate employability, according to the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2023.

Post-Study Work Opportunities in Australia

In Australia, a person's starting income is 23,000 AUD, which can eventually reach 405,000 AUD.

A working professional in Australia makes about 90,800 AUD a year in comparison.

The primary industries for employment in Australia are education, information technology, computer science, accounting and finance, hospitality, and medicine, among others.

Regarding graduate employability, the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales, Monash University, and the University of Technology Sydney are at the top.

Study in the USA vs. Australia: PR opportunities

You must know each nation's PR regulations to decide whether the USA or Australia is preferable for overseas students. 

International students can apply for PR in the United States and Australia if they meet the requirements. Due to the duration and complexity of the process, it is simpler to obtain a PR in Australia than in Australia. 

You can learn more about how public relations work in the USA and Australia here:

PR in the USA.

It takes a long time to obtain a PR in the United States. You must have worked in the USA for at least five years to qualify for a PR there. After meeting the minimal requirement, you will be given a "green card." However, despite the straightforward procedure, obtaining US PR is more complex.

PR in Australia

Your eligibility for a PR in Australia will be assessed based on point requirements. Applying for a PR in Australia requires a minimum of 65 points. Your chances of getting a PR will increase if your score exceeds 85. Your points will be determined by factoring in your education, job history, age, occupation, and other factors.

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