Australia is one of the most sought after destinations for international students, but it can seem a difficult system to navigate. Things like visa requirements, university applications, and funding forms can all seem a little overwhelming.
The best thing you can do is look into admission requirements, program offerings, and application deadlines to give yourself the best chance of gaining admission. Read as much as you can about course offerings and contact the school departments directly to ensure they offer what you need to complete your degree. You want your study abroad experience to add to your existing curriculum, not cause you unnecessary stress.
The university application process
Applying to an Australian university can be done in various ways including through the university website, through your home university, or by an external education agent. An agent will help you with your application, visa, information about the country, and help answer any questions you have along the way. All agents are not created equally, however, so talk to several and compare their services before making any commitments.
If you decide to go it alone, note that the Australian school calendar may be different than what you are used to, so be sure you know your deadlines and the term for which you are applying. Application packages are pretty standard requiring the usual resume, letters of recommendation, personal statement essay, and academic transcripts. If English is not your native language, you are also required to provide IELTS or TOEFL scores, which may depend on the type and the level of your chosen program. Your university may also require other documents or exams for entry into specific programs, so check university websites for details.
So, you’ve been accepted...Now get a visa!
Congratulations, you've been accepted to an Australian university, and now you can apply for your visa. Australia has many different types of visas depending on the purpose of your stay, but students typically need to apply for subclass 573 (higher education), 574 (postgraduate study), or 575 (non- award for short term study) for a base price of AU$535. The Australian government immigration website provides more details. You can apply directly through the Australian immigration website.
Here’s what you need:
Proof of enrollment in the university
English language proficiency - citizenship from an English speaking country or IELTS scores.
Health and Character requirements - additional forms required
Proof of insurance through Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) - Visit health.gov.au for a list of providers.
Proof of financial stability - resources to cover return airfare, tuition costs, and a total of AU$18,610 per year must be documented. Loans, parent financial history, and bank accounts are considered as evidence.
How much evidence you will need to provide depends on your level of citizenship. Your application will be assigned a grade depending on the level of risk associated with immigration from that country. The lower the level, the lower the risk and the less documentation you will need. On the bright side, student visas tend to have lower risk levels regardless of your country of citizenship.
How to Pay
Studying in Australia doesn’t come cheap, and tuition costs are just the tip of the iceberg. According to the Study In Australia website, tuition alone will cost you anywhere from AU$15,000 to upwards of AU$37,000 per year depending on your degree and major. So how do you make ends meet and still enjoy the experience? Here are some tips regarding how to pay:
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There’s a lot of money out there just waiting to be claimed - the only challenge is finding it. Start with your home university, which may provide a variety of internal scholarships. Australia loves international students, and to prove it, they offer over AU$200 million each year in government funded scholarships. The universities themselves also frequently offer scholarships to their international student population.
If you are still in need of some incoming cash, get a job. You can work up to 40 hours every two weeks once your course has started and as many hours as you want outside of school terms, according to current visa regulations.
You know, there is a reason why Australia is the third most popular international study destination in the world - and this is your chance to uncover it...
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