Education in Australia
For the past two decades, Australia has become an increasingly popular destination for students seeking to study abroad. A diverse country in both land and people, it is home to a number of top universities that welcome foreign students. Compared to the US or UK, Australia is seen as a young, vibrant country that provides a creative learning environment.
In addition to colleges and universities, students from abroad can choose from several other study options. Vocational schools, licensed by the Australian government, provide the opportunity to prepare for careers in practical fields and include on-the-job training. Different types of English courses cater to students who want to improve their basic abilities, prepare for further studies, or learn language related to specific industries. Study tours provide the option for shorter visits, helping you decide if you want to move to Australia for a longer period.
Students who want to study at universities in Australia can choose from 43 institutions, including eight ranked in the world’s top hundred. Those who are not fully prepared for the programs can also enroll in Foundation Studies, one-year courses designed to prepare them for undergraduate studies.
Options for postgraduate studies include graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, master degrees and doctoral degrees. While graduate certificates take only six months to complete, doctoral degrees can take up to three years. Like programs in other Western countries, they include both coursework and independent research.
Cost of Studying
The wide range of formal programs available makes Australia an ideal option for international students. Those who would like the best possible education can enroll in world-class universities, while those who would like an affordable learning opportunities can take a language course or travel with a study tour.
Though Australian institutions do not offer as many opportunities for scholarships to international students as the US or UK, some universities do offer a few. Another option is pursuing an international scholarship that can be be applied to a specific field of study.
Part-time employment opportunities
Work opportunities for international students in Australia are very similar to the US. If entering the country on a student visa to study at a recognized institution, students may work a maximum of 20 hours per week, or up to the legal maximum during holiday periods. Additionally, they must maintain good attendance and performance in their programs, and must have Overseas Student Health Cover.
Access to discounts
Students of all levels in Australia are eligible to join Student Edge, which qualifies them for discounts and also the chance to win electronics and other prizes. As in the US and Europe, international students also qualify to receive international student identity cards (ISIC), which provide discounts to many different types of products and services.
Employment Prospects in Australia
Working in Australia is an excellent way to gain on-the-job experience in an international setting. While the most desirable jobs may be difficult to get as a foreign student, several opportunities are still available.
During your studies
While universities may provide some support in finding employment, the easiest way to find positions in Australia is the time-tested method: checking employment ads and sending in an application to as many places as possible. Students who would simply like to gain a little extra income can work in restaurants, supermarkets or theaters. If you want more specialized experience, it may also be possible to work in professional fields, but the competition will be higher.
For information on employment prospects, career tips and advice, visit the Department of Immigration & Border Protection website.
Health and Safety in Australia
Australia is widely recognized as a safe, secure country in which to study and live. The quality of health care and public services is excellent, and Australians are very open and tolerant of other cultures. All international students are required to apply for the Overseas Student Health Cover program, and addition choices are available for private insurance.
Australian universities have worked hard to draw international students over the past two decades, and most now offer comprehensive departments and programs to help with the transition. This often includes week-long orientation programs, and support in finding work and services.