Study Abroad- Australia:
Know About the Country
Known as one of the worlds most diverse and welcoming countries, Australia is a beautiful island with breathtaking natural landscapes, world-class physical & social infrastructure, and great living standards. It is the sixth biggest country and the biggest island in the world. Six of the cities in Australia rank amongst the top 30 in the world on the basis of affordability, diverse student population, world-class quality of life and excellent employment opportunities. Australia is a linguistically and culturally diverse continent with more than 160 spoken language ascendancy. There is no official language in Australia and English is regarded as the de facto national language. The interesting part is that the Australian English has a unique accent and vocabulary. The other most common languages spoken here include Mandarin, Greek, Cantonese, Italian and Arabic.
The country is also home to 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that include the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmanian Wilderness, Lord Howe Island Group, Kakadu National Park, the Sydney Opera House and the Fraser Island.
Why Choose Australia?
Known for Kangaroos and koalas, Australia is a vibrant and friendly island country that offers more than fresh air, clean water, and wide open spaces with lavish green landscape. It has the worlds best education system where students can not only learn but grow as a great personality.
If you are choosing Australia for your higher studies, it is the perfect destination to achieve your career goal and dream.
Below are some significant factors why you should choose Australia for higher studies.
- This attractive island offers great standard of living with comparatively fewer expenses than the other top student destinations. The infrastructure is world-class with smooth connectivity and lifestyle amenities. People from over 190 countries reside here and the country has a diverse population that attracts a large volume of international students here.
- Being home to nearly 700000 international students, Australia is the third worlds most popular international student destination next to the US and the UK.
- The country is also home to six of the worlds top universities offering high-quality education to students and the cost of pursuing higher education is between 40 & 60 % less approximately than the USA and the UK.
- The education system in Australia is one the best across the globe with cutting-edge technology, friendly and safe communities for international students. The curriculum and infrastructure are modest with updated and quality faculties. Numerous students from India as well as other countries go to Australia for higher studies every year.
- The country has topmost universities in the world offering a wide range of courses in different disciplines for international students meeting their needs and requirements. The colleges/universities in Australia rank among the worlds topmost 50 educational institutions which is why the country attracts huge student population.
- Excellent scholarship options and grants from government for international students. The Australian Government has invested about A$ 300 million for overseas students.
- The Australian Universities have so far produced about 15 noble laureates- from the discovery of Penicillin 1945 prize to the recent International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons prize in 2017.
- Besides all these, one of the biggest advantages for Indian students is that the Australian Education system is similar to our Indian education system, which are primarily based on the British education system. Therefore, it is easy for Indian students to grasp and get admissions into any level and course without no hassles in the university review of qualifications, credential evaluation, etc.
Education System in Australia
The universities in Australia offer quality innovative education system for students. The Australian Quality Training Program set up by the government strengthens the quality assurance in education.
Choice of Universities/Colleges
There are a myriad of college/university options for international students in Australia where the students have various options to choose their best ones. The factors such as the location, majors offered in colleges, campus culture and the number of students enrolled are important when you choose a university. Some of the colleges/universities in Australia are publicly funded by the government and others are private institutions.
The New South Wales region on the east coast of Australia is the center point of all the renowned educational institutions in Australia. Most of the best universities in Australia are situated in major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth. MBA, Accounting, Information Technology, Healthcare and Hotel Management are some of the most famous courses that students pursue in Australia.
Safety & Weather in Australia
Australia is a culturally diverse country that welcome people from all over the world. The country is still safe with the Australia government has taken several efforts to prevent assaults and any untoward incidents happening to international students. The students in Australia have had a positive studying and living experience here.
Regarding the weather, the country has different climatic conditions- hot dry summers and cold winters with frequent frosts and fog occasionally. The average temperature during summer varies between 30 and 15 degree Celsius and in winters, it is around 11 to 1 degree C. The weather and temperature varies in different cities and regions of Australia.
Lifestyle Tips for Students
Australians are welcoming and friendly with a great sense of humor. It is one of the most competitive nations in all areas of life besides workplace. The people here love sports and the most loved sports in Australia include cricket, football, and rugby. People spend their leisure time on sporting fields and at beaches which are clean and beautiful in the countryside.
Life of Indian Students in Australia
Indians are the second largest immigrant groups in Australia after China with nearly 5,89,000 Indian immigrants residing here as of 2017. Almost one-third of the immigrants in Victoria are Indians.
Choose wisely whether you have to reside in the university provided accommodation or renting a private room based on your budget and requirements. The university managed accommodation is more beneficial in terms of food and safety. You will be provided both catered and self-catered option at the university provided accommodation. The accommodation office at your desired university will advise you on the availability of accommodation. In case the university you preferred doesnâ€™t provide you dwelling facility within its campus, the accommodation office in there should help you with private residential properties in the area. Whichever type you choose, make sure you understand all the responsibilities and contractual rights before you sign a tenancy agreement.
Orientation & Extra-curricular Activities
There will be orientation week in the university before the course begins. This is mandatory for international students to attend as You will be introduced about the university, its services and student enrollment. A guidebook will be given by the institute, which is essential for students to go through as it explains the admission processes in detail.
The universities/colleges in Australia offers several extra-curricular activities for students besides sports during the leisure time. The activities include music, science, drama, and literary societies within campuses for outdoor education and other wide range of experiences. Theatre visits, concerts, and places relevant to the courses of study such as museums, art galleries, religious centers, historical sites, scientific companies and projects are all offered during the course.
The admission requirements for different study programs and levels.
Firstly, the student should have completed 18 years of age at the time of joining a degree program. For each course in universities, the Indian students will have to meet a minimum English proficiency skills. Apart from this, a minimum academic record of 65% and above in class XII is required for admission. Many foundation and diploma programs are available for students who have secured below 60%. Note that the scores vary from one university to another.
Documents Required for Admission
- Attested mark sheet copies of class X, XII, and the Bachelors degree (if applicable)
- Minimum two academic reference letters from professors or teachers who have taught you most recently
- For working professionals, two letters of recommendation from the previous employer/manager who knows you well and can comment on your professional skills
- Statement on Purpose (SOP)
- Photocopied score reports of IELTS, TOEFL or GMAT
- Portfolio (in case of Students applying for art and design courses & architecture programs)
- Other certificates & achievements at the state and national level and extracurricular activities
- Proof of funds
Online applications are available in almost all the Australian universities/colleges. You will have to visit the website of your desired college to apply. You need to create an account and provide your basic information, then submit the scanned version of all your documents, and pay the application fees finally. The students will be informed about the application process and its status through this account. Each college/university sets up its own deadline for application and the students are recommended to visit their official website and know it.
Since the application process vary from one college to another, it is advisable for students to refer their preferred college website and know the procedure.
Application Costs: The students are required to pay the course fee at the time of application as required by colleges. The course fee amount will vary based on the university and course you are applying for, so the students have to check with individual colleges about their application fee beforehand.
Below are some common steps for admission:
- Research about the colleges and courses in Australia
- Contact schools and visit websites for more information
- Narrow down your list of colleges/universities
- Take the international entrance exams like IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, GMAT, GRE, etc.
- Write SOPs and get ready LORs
- Apply to the colleges which fit your interests and requirements
- Appear for video interviews to the colleges that shortlist you
- If accepted, apply for a student visa and go ahead
SOP: The Statement of Purpose (SOP) is an introduction to the college/university and admission officers. It should specify the reason for applying to a specific college/university in Australia. The statement should highlight why you are a perfect candidate to the college and why the college should accept you. The style of writing could be formal or casual, but it is significant that it reflects your personality.
LOR: A Letter of Recommendation is a reference letter provided by a third party describing your qualities, characteristics, and skills to recommend the college to perform a particular task or function. The third party could be a teacher, professor (who have recently taught), colleague or the direct manager etc.
Essay: Essays are the most vital part of the university admission process a student should submit. You may be required to write one or two essays along with a few optional essays. The essay should include career aspirations, skills, strengths and weaknesses, experiences, and reasons for considering a particular school or college.
Australian Universities have generally two admission intakes: February & July. However some colleges/universities offer multiple admissions during the months of September & November. The candidates are advised to begin the admission process six months before the deadline.
Normally, most Australian universities have three deadlines during one admission intake. It is up to your convenience as to which deadline you aim for. The students should have taken the required language and aptitude tests three months before the deadline. The last three months must be dedicated to filling out the application form properly. For admission to vocational courses, the admissions may open in January.
Make sure that the complete application along with interviews and the visa application procedures should be complete by the months of Nov-Dec in case you take the February admission intake.
Exams to Be Taken
There are various standardized English proficiency tests available for the purpose of getting admissions to different colleges across various countries. IELTS, TOEFL, PTS, GRE and GMAT are some of the most popular entrance examinations most students undertake for admission into colleges. While TOEFL and IELTS test English proficiency skills, GRE and GMAT are for students who wish to pursue MA or MS. These tests evaluate logical reasoning and quantitative analysis skills. The fee for these exams vary according to different institutions from Rs.10000 to Rs.18000 approximately.
Time to apply for these tests: If you are aiming at the September admission intake, then you should appear for these tests by November before the first deadline. Different universities have different requirements, so check for it before taking any exams. The universities you wish to apply will have details about the exam and results that they accept. The time required to prepare for IELTS/TOEFL/PTE/ would depend on the individuals skillsâ€™ on existing English language proficiency. Generally, it will take about 2 to 4 months to prepare for the examination. For GMAT and GRE exams, the preparatory duration usually varies from 4 to 6 months.
Average Scores: There are different IELTS and TOEFL band scores that are accepted by Australian Universities for admission to specific courses. The average GMAT scores accepted across universities in Australia is 520. The average GRE score is 145 for Verbal, 160 for Quantitative and 4.0 for Writing for the Australian Universities.
Cost of Living in Australia
The cost of living for students in Australia depends on various factors such as location, type of accommodation and other expenses. Some of the basic expenses You will spend include:
- Accommodation rent (on campus or off campus )
- Groceries and food
- Utilities like electricity, water, gas, internet
- Phone bills
- Text and reference books
The other additional expenses include:
- Dining out
- Travel and Vacation
- Car rent and Car insurance
- Cable TV connection, etc.
The tuition fee in Australia varies according to different colleges/universities, the type of course you choose, and the location. The course fee might be up to 14.35 lacs per year for an undergraduate course in Australia. For a postgraduate course, it would be around 17.30 Lacs per year approximately.
Living Expenses that a Student Requires in Australia
To receive a student visa in Australia, the student must possess about 10.30 Lacs for the first year of study as per the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Health Insurance in Australia
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is compulsory for receiving a student visa in Australia. The insurance covers doctor visits, some of the hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals for international students studying here. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship recommends overseas students to maintain OSHC until their course duration of time they reside in Australia.
Scholarships & Grants in Australia
The Australian Government provides various scholarships and grants to international students on the criteria of merit and need of it. Students with excellent academics, good performance in standardized exams and extracurricular achievements are eligible for different scholarship awards and other financial assistances from the government. Students are required to send all the required documents before specific deadlines in order to benefit from these opportunities.
Documents Required for Scholarships
- Academic records and photocopies
- A recent CV
- Certificate of Language Proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS scores)
- Letters of Reference
- A letter of intent, which acts as a cover page
Education Loan Facilities
There are certain requirements to be eligible for the loan in Australia. Here is the general eligibility criteria for Indian students required by banks
- The candidate must be an Indian national
- Should possess strong academic records
- Should be seeking admission to a professional, technical or other courses. Most banks prefer job oriented courses
- The candidate should have secured admission to foreign university institutions
- Should have completed 18 years of age or the parents can avail the loan
Only certain kinds of courses qualify for the education loan and mostly the job oriented professional or technical courses offered by reputed universities are given loans at the graduation level.
At the post-graduation level: MCA, MBA, MS and also diplomas are eligible for loan. These courses should be from the foreign universities or institutes approved by the state or central government.
The loan amount differs on the total course fee in a university. If the total fee is Rs.10 lakh for a course, then the bank may offer 80% of the loan amount and the remaining 20% (margin amount) should be paid by you. The maximum loan amount offered by banks for overseas education is around Rs.20 lakh.
If the course fee is Rs.30 lakh, then the students should have to manage the rest of the funds by themselves. Some banks may charge a processing fee, while others do not. The charge may be a fixed amount or a percentage of the total loan amount. Therefore, if the bank charges the processing fee of 1%, then that would be an additional cost You will have to cover.
Documents Required for Loan
If you are to acquire education loan for overseas education, you will have to provide the acceptance letter from the university/college stating that you have been selected for the course with fee schedules. You will also need to show the mark sheet of the last qualifying examination to show your academic record.
Different banks require different documents for loan, so it is better you confirm with the bank where you plan to apply for a loan.
Repayment Details: The repayment of loan starts only after the completion of the course. If a student gets employed within a year after the completion of the course, the repayment will start directly after the expiry of one month from the date of employment.
In case you do not get a job within one year of course completion, the repayment begins irrespective of whether you are employed or not. The loan is generally to be repaid within 5-7 years after the inception of repayment. If you are not able to complete the course within the scheduled course period, an extension of time for the completion of course may be permitted up to two year time period. Generally, the students will get up to a maximum of 10 years for the loan repayment.
A student visa is required for admission into a college/university in Australia.
Find the documents that are necessary for the application purposes in Australia.
- Valid Passport- A candidates passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in Australia.
- Non-immigrant Visa Application
- Application fee payment receipt before interview
- Confirmation of Enrolment Form (COE): To obtain a visa to study in Australia, a student must be fully enrolled in an Australian university/college and receive a â€œConfirmation of Enrollment (COE)â€ by the specific Australian institution you intend to study after the payment of tuition fees
- Acceptance letter from the host university including the proposed study plan
- Letter from the current education institution confirming a students status as a Study Abroad Student
- Overseas health insurance receipt
- 2 or 4 passport sized photographs
Note: Additional documentation may be required for visa at the time of personal interview by the interviewer in order to prove evidence of academic or financial status of the student.
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools/colleges you attended
- Scores from tests that the particular college requires such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT
- Studentsâ€™ intent to depart Australia after the completion of the course
- Details on how a student will pay for all educational, living and travel costs
Students are required to apply for their visas at least 3 months in advance before their course commencement since the average time taken by the Australian High Commission for the visa procedure may vary anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks based on an individuals background.
International students are required to complete their course within the minimum course duration listed on the COE. The candidates must leave Australia after the completion of their studies. In case you wish to stay in Australia for your graduation ceremony, then you will have to apply for a visitor class visa separately.
Visa for Spouse
A Dependent Visa and a valid work permit are available for your partner for the same duration as you. However, this is applicable only for the Master's degree course.
Topmost Universities in Australia
Australia is the topmost overseas student destination with the existence of numerous reputed colleges and universities that rank amongst the worlds Top 50. The visa and immigration laws are student-friendly in Australia than other international student destinations, and the cut-offs and averages for international exams are lower for courses in universities here. The quality of education in Australia is best with unique teaching methodology and best resources.
Australia is home to over 1200 colleges that offer more than 20,000 courses for students across the world. About 37 Australian colleges/universities feature in the QS World University Rankings 2018 out of which 7 Australian education institutes are included in the top 100 universities globally. Some of the topmost universities in Australia include Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Curtin University, RMIT University, Deakin University, University of Tasmania, La Trobe University, University of Wollogong, etc.
TOEFL and IELTS that test English proficiency are important for different UG Courses in Australia and GMAT and GRE are significant tests for various post graduate courses in the country. The scores are different for various universities in Australia.
Note that the application process for both UG/PG courses in Australia is inclusive and important besides the international test scores like GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.