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If you study in Australia, you would have the opportunity to experience one of the most diverse country landscapes and climates: In Australia you can find mountains, ski resorts, dazzling beaches, deserts or tropical rainforests!

The country has been inhabited for around 65.000 years by indigenous Australians prior to the Dutch and British colonization in the 17th century. Australia is also a developed country with significant financial power, with an economy ranking 13th largest globally.

In addition, it is a member of the United Nations, G20, The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS), the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the Pasific Island Forum and also the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Looking for another reason to study in Australia? More than 790,000 international students have already chosen to study in Australia with more than 350,000 choosing to study in the higher education system. In fact, Australia consistently ranks high especially in terms of career goal achievement and higher quality teaching in the Top Study Abroad Destinations.  

As a result, the top quality institutions in combination with the picturesque and diverse landscapes and multiculturality, make Australia an attractive destination to international students. Do you want to be a part of this experience? Read through our Study in Australia guide below!

Australia – Quick facts & figures

Population25.7 million
Area Size7.692 million km²
Students790,000 (350,000 for higher education)
Academic YearFebruary – November
CurrencyAustralian Dollar ($)
Calling Code+61
Time zoneUTC+8 to +10.5
Sydney Opera

More about studying abroad in Australia

Why study in Australia? It is a smart move for your future career. First of all, Australian universities rank highly in terms of quality education, academic and employer reputation and international student ratio with 15 of their graduates being among Nobel laureates. In fact, 6 Australian universities are placed among the Top 100 international universities globally like the University of Melbourne, Monash University or the University of Queensland to name a few. 

Secondly, Australia includes some of the best student cities based on student life and cultural diversity rankings with cities like Melbourne, Sidney, Brisbane or Adelaide among them. Another reason why study in Australia is an excellent choice for you is the fact that the Australian government enhances the possibility of greater international student mobility. They have invested more than 300 Australian dollars for more than 3.000 scholarships for international students.

Did you know that Australia is a pioneer country in research in humanities, education and science? Australia is at the forefront of innovation and new technologies. The country has also contributed to global research with the discoveries of the IVF (in vitro fertilization), penicillin and even wi-fi!

 Education in Australia

In Australia you can find public and private universities, vocational institutions and English language institutions. All educational matters in the Australian education are administered by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. 

In Australia you can find public and private universities, vocational institutions and English language institutions. All educational matters in the Australian education are administered by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment

The Australian education system uniquely differs from the ones of other countries by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This framework, established in 1995, connects school, vocational and university education qualifications into one unified system. 

The framework, mainly focused on high school, undergraduate and postgraduate education, prepares students for further studies and working life and is based on flexibility and career planning: You can move easily from one study level to another or from one institution to another, if you meet particular requirements. During this qualifications framework, your degrees are Government-authorized and nationally accredited.

There is no need to learn a new exotic language in order to get admitted into Australian universities, since the courses are taught entirely in English! Just keep in mind that you will still need to prove during your application that you have sufficient language proficiency through an English language test like PTE Academic or TOEFL. So make sure you achieve the score needed for admission, depending on the universities you apply for. 

The Australian university education system is structured according to the British system and in Australia you can choose among 42 universities: 37 public universities, 3 private universities and 2 international private universities. The largest university is Monash university with 75,000 students and 5 campuses.

As an international student in Australia, you can pick among various Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees. In addition to that, an MBA in Australia will advance your management skills and open you doors to the business world globally! 

The Group of Eight (Go8) refers to the flagship and mostly highly-ranked, leading research Australian universities which are:

  • The Australian National University
  • The University of Adelaide 
  • The University of Melbourne 
  • Monash University 
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Sydney 
  • The University of Western Australia 
  • The University of New South Wales (UNSW)

There is no unified grading system in Australian universities, as each institution has their own grading system and rules. However, the majority of them lies within the following system:

  • High Distinction A+ : 83.00-100.00 or 7.00
  • Distinction (A) : 73.00-82.99 or 6.00-6.99
  • Credit (B) : 63.00-72.99 or 5.00-5.99
  • Pass (C) : 50.00-62.99 or 4.00-4.99
  • Fail (F) : 0.00-49.99 or 0.00-3.99 

Bachelor Studies in the Australian Education System

As stated above, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) consists of 10 levels. The first 7 levels are based in Bachelor’s studies, level 8 is in between Bachelor’s and Master’s and levels 9 and 10 are solely focused on Master’s studies. The academic calendar is divided into two semesters and sometimes three semesters (trimesters) per year, depending on the program. The average amount of studies on a Bachelor’s level in Australia is three to four years of full time studies, depending on the university and discipline. Mostly research based programs require four years of studies. 

Finishing level 7 means you have completed three years of Bachelor’s studies. Proceeding to level 8, you will find yourself between Bachelor’s Honours degrees and Graduate Certificates. You can obtain the Bachelor’s Honours Degree if, after completing the three mandatory years, you stay one more year at the university and participate in research and various other study projects. 

You can also obtain an Honour degree if you graduate with a specific average grade when obtaining a four years Bachelor. The university is responsible for any additional study requirements or projects. 

Be aware to apply on time for a Bachelor’s education in Australia, since earning a place is very competitive. Application deadlines and semesters vary between universities so also make sure you follow the guidelines of the university of your choice. 

In order to get admitted at a Bachelor’s in Australia you will probably not only need to provide high level English language skills or your high school transcripts. Selection is based upon other parameters such as work experience, an audition, interview, a portofolio or even prior knowledge on certain subjects.

How long is a Master’s degree in Australia?

Master studies in Australia last approximately one to two years and are divided into two or three semesters (trimesters) respectively. In order to gain a Master’s degree in Australia you need to have successfully completed a three or four year Bachelor’s program in advance.

Please note that if your Bachelor’s is not obtained by an Australian university, then it needs to be officially recognized by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). In addition, you will be asked to attend a preparatory course before starting your Master’s. 

The structure of a Master’s degree in Australia is divided into either taught degrees or research degrees. Taught degrees or courseworks are dedicated to providing a more theoretical foundation and assessments are conducted through examinations. On the other hand, research degrees are less focused on theory and more on practical examinations, the writing of a thesis based on research results and involve a lot of experimental work. 

A Master’s degree requires a high level of English language proficiency. Not sure if you meet the linguistic criteria to get admitted into a Master’s degree in Australia? No problem! You can prepare before and start studying through an English language course!

Doctorate studies in Australia: Everything you need to know

In Australia, except experiencing the picturesque landscapes, you can also consider pursuing your Doctorate studies in one of the most internationally respected universities. The Australian PhD degrees are focused on excellence and remarkable research and as a Doctorate student, you are allowed to stay and work in the country for at least four years. 

A full time PhD in Australia lasts about three years of study and you are eligible for an application after the completion of a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Australian citizens are allowed to extend their study length and choose to study the PhD part time, meaning six years. 

However, this option is not available to international students, as they are required to study full time, due to the visa conditions and constraints. The majority of the Doctorate degrees are research based, although there are some programs that offer lectures and training during the studies. 

At the end of your studies you will be asked to submit a doctoral thesis summarizing the findings of your research. What is surprising in relation to PhD studies in Australia is that, unlike the majority of other countries around the world, there is no viva voce (living voice in Latin). 

Viva voce is the defense, the oral examination seminar in which one or more examiners talk with the Doctorate student and ask them questions about their PhD thesis project. This is mostly happening because of the geographical length of the country which a lot of times makes it difficult for both parties to meet together. 

Instead, your thesis project will be given to external examiners for grading, a procedure that can take several months to be completed. However, the last years Australian institutions have adopted a different approach, a conventional viva voce where the examination seminar takes place digitally through video conferencing. 

Before even making the official application for Phd studies in Australia, keep in mind that the most important is to contact your prospective supervisor first, otherwise you will not be considered as a possible candidate for the university. During your research proposal you need to provide clearly all the information about the project you would like to be involved in, the discipline and the research aims. After you receive a positive interest answer from a supervisor, then it is time to start working on your official application to the university.

Student Visas & Permits

In order to be able to stay and study in Australia, every international student must obtain their Australian student visa. You need to prove to the Australian Department of Home Affairs that you meet particular visa requirements. For international students in particular, what you need to take into consideration is the so-called Subclass 500 Student Visa.

In order to be able to stay and study in Australia, every international student must obtain their Australian student visa. You need to prove to the Australian Department of Home Affairs that you meet particular visa requirements. For international students in particular, what you need to take into consideration is the so-called Subclass 500 Student Visa.

The Subclass 500 Student Visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 5 years for full time studies at a university. You can also include a member of your family in your application in addition to being permitted to work as a student. For more information, visit the official website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs or pay a visit to your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate.

Australian Student Visa: What steps you need to follow

First of all, take into account the eligibility criteria and requirements for the Australian student visa, as depending on the qualification level you want to study, different rules might apply. The eligibility criteria include:

  • The Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) which proves that you are accepted from a university and registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). The CoE is in the form of an online code which you will need to use during your online application process.
  • Sufficient English language proficiency through a language test like TOEFL. 
  • A personal statement (Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement) declaring the reason you want to study in Australia and your plans for the future after the completion of your studies. 
  • Healthcare insurance for you and your family members (in case they accompany you) with the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), from an approved Australian health provider that will be valid for the length of your stay in Australia. All students are obliged to obtain the Overseas Student Health Cover, unless you are a citizen of Norway or Belgium. You can buy the cover straight from your university or from official providers such as the Australian Health Management, BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, Allianz Global Assistance and nib OSHC. The cost varies depending on the provider and the length of your stay. 
  • Sufficient financial funds to support you throughout your studies and cover your tuition and living costs. In any case you need to provide bank or income statements with an annual amount around AU$20,290 (approximately US$13,750). Remember that if you have dependents (like for instance children), you need to provide evidence that you are able to support their living costs as well. 
  • Character Requirements: By that the Australian government highlights that the prospective student must be a good character to enter the country. That means a person with a clean criminal record, being able to provide a penal clearance certificate or complete a Character Statutory Declaration Form

So what comes next? After you meet the aforementioned criteria, it is time to start gathering the necessary documents for your application. Contact the Australian Embassy in your home country in order to be informed about the number of copies that might be needed or in case you need to submit original documents. In addition, if your documents are not in English, the translation services of the Australian Embassy will assist you with that matter.

Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500) Documents:

The following list includes the common documents that need to be submitted for a successful visa application. However, visit the official website of the Department of Home Affairs and check their Document Checklist Tool in order to be sure not to forget any document based on your study status or country of origin. 

  • A completed Australian student visa application form (157A). 
  • Proof that you have paid the visa application fee of around 620 AUD. You can discover the exact cost of your application fee here
  • Copies of your valid passport along with recent passport-sized photographs. 
  • Evidence of sufficient funds (for example bank statements). 
  • Letter of offer or Certificate of Enrollment (CoE) from the university. 
  • Evidence of health insurance cover, the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). 
  • Results of the English language tests you took proving your linguistic proficiency. 
  • Clean criminal record documents. 

After you have gathered, translated and scanned all the documents, then you need to create an account and apply for a student visa through the ImmiAccount application system. It is quite easy! Just keep in mind to apply on time, at least 6 weeks before your semester starts. The average processing time for an Australian student visa to be issued is a month, depending on the visa type though.

 Housing & Living Costs

It is very important as a student to be able to make a financial plan prior to your studies, after receiving the letter of acceptance from your university. Living cost in Australia depends on multiple factors such as the location of your studies, the budget you are willing to give for rent, your commuting options, food preferences and overall your lifestyle. 

When it comes to student housing, you have various options to choose from, depending on your budget and preferences. Depending on the location of your studies and type of accommodation, living cost in Australia may vary significantly. A very popular option among international students is to rent or lease a property with your friends or classmates. This type of housing will cost you 95-215 AUD per week.

In that case, you will need to pay a security deposit or a monthly rent in advance. The deposit is held by the Residential Tenancy Authority and it is used as a type of security in case of damages caused at the property. This deposit or ‘’bond’’ will be refunded to you when your rental agreement ends. For more information, you can navigate through the official websites of the relevant Fair Trading government agency located in the area of your studies. 

A great way to reduce your living cost in Australia is to choose the purpose built student accommodation or short-term accommodation. The first refers to residences especially designed for students and include studio apartments or shared rooms with communal areas and facilities like gyms. 

These residences belong to the campuses of the universities and you would be expected to spend around 110-280 AUD per week, depending on the room you choose. They are mostly centrally located and convenient for you as a student to commute to the university and usually include all the bills like electricity, water, heat and internet. 

The second is chosen by students who haven’t found yet an accommodation and can make usage of a short-term accommodation in order to familiarise themselves with the city they will be staying in. These include hotel or hostel rooms and temporary housing sometimes offered by the university. Hostels will cost you around 90-150 AUD per week. For more relevant information about purpose built and short-term student accommodation you can contact your university. 

University managed accommodation is entirely operated by the university and offers fully furnished and with all the bills included student residences. This accommodation is highly sought after, so you need to contact your university and apply for housing as soon as possible. 

Finally, if you would like to indulge into Australian culture and adapt easier, why not consider homestay? It will allow you to balance your living cost in Australia and not spend a lot on accommodation. You will be living with an Australian family which is screened and capable to provide you a friendly and safe environment. The cost is student friendly and costs around 235-325 AUD per week. 

If gas and electricity is not included in the rental agreement, don’t worry! It will cost you only 10-20 AUD per week and your mobile phone and internet services 15 to 30 AUD per week. For a monthly transport card you will need to pay 150 AUD which is quite expensive, but you will only need it in case your accommodation is far from the campus. 

Otherwise, if you live in the accommodation provided by the university you can either walk or use a bicycle! Overall, an international student needs on average between 1500 and 2500 AUD per month. Life in the bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne is more expensive than in cities like Brisbane or Adelaide.

Average Living Costs in Australia: 

Meal20 A$
Coffee4 A$
Beer9 A$
Cinema Ticket18 A$
Monthly Rent1,600-2,600 A$
Monthly Transport150 A$

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Australia might be one of the most popular and attractive study destinations globally welcoming around 800,000 students every year, but tuition fees in Australia are considerably higher than other countries. Tuition fees differ per city and the discipline you choose to study.

Australia might be one of the most popular and attractive study destinations globally welcoming around 800,000 students every year, but tuition fees in Australia are considerably higher than other countries. Tuition fees differ per city and the discipline you choose to study.

On average, a Bachelor’s degree in Australia will cost you between 20,000-45,000 AUD per year, while Master’s and Doctorate degrees around 22,000-50,000 AUD per year. Keep in mind that for  medical and veterinary degrees the cost will be increased. For more detailed information about the cost of Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degrees, visit the university of your choice or take a glimpse on the fee estimates provided by the Australian National University (ANU), one of the highest ranked universities of the country. 

Some universities also require you to pay an amount to the Services & Amenities fee, which includes services of non-academic nature like career guidance, financial advice, various activities or childcare.

Australian Scholarships 

The Australian government, education providers and various private and public organizations offer Australian scholarships to international students with the goal to make Australia an even more diverse, multicultural and popular student destination. Take a look at the scholarship tool through this link and also here in order to gain information about the eligibility criteria of various scholarships. 

Australian Scholarships for international students: 

  • The Australia Awards Scholarship 
  • The Destination Australia Program Scholarship 
  • The Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (RTP)
  • The Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowship 

A lot of programs of Australian universities offer their own scholarships as well. Make your own research and contact the universities of your choice and ask for more information about their offered scholarship opportunities.

 Language & Culture

The culture of Australia is primarily a Westernized culture, derived from Britain but also influenced by the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other Australian groups. The British colonization of Australia began in 1788, and after that, waves of multi-ethnic migration followed in the country for the next 250 years.

The culture of Australia is primarily a Westernized culture, derived from Britain but also influenced by the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other Australian groups. The British colonization of Australia began in 1788, and after that, waves of multi-ethnic migration followed in the country for the next 250 years. This is the reason why in Australia you can find yourself immersed into multiculturality.

If someone was asked to describe the Australian culture in one word that would be egalitarianism. Aussies hold in high regard the idea of the ‘’fair go’’ which is the belief that everyone should be given an equal opportunity in life regardless of their background.

As a result, a person’s education or wealth does not earn someone’s respect necessarily. The Australian culture is extremely diverse and people are also characterized as an easy going, relaxed and friendly nation which enjoys food, culture, arts and also being outdoors practising sports. In fact, cricket is considered Australia’s most popular national sport. Australian friendships are perceived as especially loyal. It is common for people to rely upon their friends or “mates” as they call them. 

The most important part of the Australian culture is its roots to the past. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the most ancient continuous culture on Earth! These sub cultures include an extensive mix of traditions and customs and are widely respected by the Aussies. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people philosophy is mostly based on spirituality, ecology and consensual-communal organization.

Australian Food Culture

The Australian food culture is a diverse culinary terrain influenced by a variety of cultures like the British, the European, the Asian or the Middle Eastern. An iconic part of the Australian food culture is without doubt the Vegemite, a dark brown spread made of spices, yeast and vegetables. You need to try it for sure when visiting Australia, so you know whether you will be a fan of it or not!

Don’t forget to try the country’s favorite chocolate, the famous Tim Tam, chicken parmigiana (influenced by the Italian culture though), barramundi grilled fish, Anzac biscuits, tasty macadamia nuts, Australian wines, meat pies and…kangaroo or emu meat burgers! Yes, Australians love to barbeque and they tend to eat these cute animals which are also the country’s emblems, since their meat is super healthy and of great quality. In contrast, koalas are not consumed by the Aussies, since they are listed as endangered species. 

If you love coconut, then we found the best dessert choice for you:  the Lamingtons, a sponge cake covered with chocolate and raspberry sauce and filled with coconut on top. Perfect to accompany your afternoon tea or coffee. However, the most famous dessert of the country, which is also a matter of dispute with New Zealand regarding its origin, is the famous Pavlova. Pavlova, a meringue cake base topped with a lot of whipped cream and fruits, is delicious and a must when living in Australia. 

If you are looking for a more special culinary experience, then you should know that the Australian food culture won’t disappoint you at all. You can try the Bush Tucker or Bush Food, the unique hunter diet created by the Indigenous Australian populations that inhabited the country for more than 60,000 years. Experiencing this cuisine will give you the opportunity to try dishes that include bogong moths, witchetty grubs, lizards, snakes or even crocodiles…enjoy! 

Languages Spoken in Australia

But did you know that Australia is the continent in which languages are disappearing the fastest? There are countless languages spoken in Australia, especially in the islands of the Pacific ocean, with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander being among the most endangered ones. There is no official language in Australia and English has been established as the de facto national language since the end of the 18th century, also used widely in education today.

Australian English is distinguished from other English variants with its distinctive pronunciation, grammar and spelling and is spoken by 73% of the Australian population. As a result, Australian English is considered as an English language dialect. But what other languages spoken in Australia exist? The remaining percentage is covered by Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese or Vietnamese or other minority languages. 

Nowadays there are more than 400 Australian aboriginal languages. Only 20 of them are still in use and more than 100 are only spoken by elderly population throughout the country. You might not need to know any of them in order to live and study in Australia, but imagine what a unique experience it would be to meet local people that speak these endangered languages and record them! 

There is a percentage of around 12% of the Australian indigenous population that still speaks this language in everyday life so fingers crossed you meet one of them! Plus, Australia is also home to a plethora of sign languages with the most widely spoken one being the Auslan sign language.

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