An Indian student’s guide to studying in Australia
Our expert Pratibha Sen delves into why Indian students love Oz for their higher studies
Ranked as the third most preferred study destination by Indian students, Australian universities have witnessed a sharp growth in the applications from India over the last few years, much owing to their world class education, multicultural environment and post study work opportunities available for international students
Statistically, over 37,000 Indian students were granted student visas for Australia in 2018-19, registering a growth of 32% over last year according to the Australian Department of Home Affairs. The universities in and around Melbourne and Sydney had the highest number of Indian students enrolling followed by other popular cities like Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra & more.
Australia offers a diverse range of study options for international students, with more than 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses to other aspirants. Students can study at all levels of education from primary and secondary school, to vocational education and training (VET), from English language courses to higher education as bachelors, masters and research degrees (at universities). Regardless of what a student is studying or how long you are studying for, Australia’s laws promote quality education and protection for international students. Needless to say, Australian cities have consistently ranked high as the most livable and student-friendly cities in the world.
Popular courses among Indian students in Australia
Yes, it’s affordable!
Besides offering a quality education system, Indian students say that affordability is a major attraction. Australia offers attractive scholarship options besides opportunity for students to work part-time. Some industries and sectors, which are student-friendly from an Indian student’s perspective include tourism, retail, hospitality and many more making it easier to pick up part-time jobs and earn some exposure as well as money to partly cover living costs in Australia. Scholarships also include government-funded options like Australia Awards Scholarships (AAS) for bachelors, masters, PhD. There are also university-specific scholarships and bursaries that are offered to International students for various undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
Offers vast course selection
Australian institutions offer courses spanning diverse study areas, including business, technology, arts, sciences, etc., as well as professional qualifications. Whether you are looking to take up an undergraduate degree with a dual specialization or a double Masters, Australia has everything you need. There are 39 Universities in Australia, including very high ranking Go8 Universities. These universities are Public (espect a few). They are located across the states of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.
As an international student, when you complete your qualification in Australia (minimum two years) with a Bachelor, Master or a Research degree, you can avail a post study work rights from two to six years. This depends on your qualifications and the location of your institution. Additional PSW (Post Study Work) benefits are granted to graduates who study and live in Regional Australian cities.
Good news is that all the courses available are accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). These include high school programs, English language courses, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) courses, along with undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
In fact, the 2020 survey of ‘Top Universities’ includes The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland, Monash University, The University of Western Australia and The University of Adelaide included in the list of world’s top 150 Universities. (QS and THE world rankings).
An Indian student’s guide to Australia
As one of the 15 happiest countries in the world, Australia is a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities. About half the population is either born outside, or second-generation migrants owing to the diversity and multicultural environment in Australia. The classrooms showcase this mix of students from different parts of the world. The campus life and facilities are very exciting and a lot of sports, outdoor activities, clubs and societies keep the students occupied apart from their academic learning. The universities have a dedicated International Student Support unit to assist foreign students from accommodation to jobs to counselling. Australian lifestyle is relaxed, safe and rated one of the best. There are a lot of beaches, landscape and parks to explore and indulge in adventure and sports.
Know your intake
The common course commencement intakes in Australia are February and July. Few universities also offer programs starting in a third trimester as well (like October- November). The process of application, offer and visa lodgement usually takes about 6-7 months. It’s advisable that students also undertake the English language proficiency tests IELTS like as it is an admission requirement. Eligibility in Australian institutions is mostly based on your past qualification scores, work experience, etc. A statement of purpose along with financial capacity is needed at the time of visa application. Overseas Student Health Cover is a part of the total fees paid and it insures the student medically while in Australia. The universities have a strong focus for student welfare and care.
$7,800 to $30,000
English language studies
$300/ week depending on course length
Vocational Education and Training
$4,000 to $22,000
Undergraduate Bachelor Degree
$15,000 to $33,000
Postgraduate Master’s Degree
$20,000 to $37,000
$14,000 to $37,000
Food: Australia offers a variety of enviable national and international cuisines to fit every budget and craving. For many Indian students who are vegetarian, there is no dearth of choices. You can also sample home-cooked food and Indian cuisine at many Indian restaurants every time you get homesick.
Campus life: Australian universities offer an exciting campus life. It has beautiful, state-of-the-art buildings and landscaping. There are sports, music, dance and many clubs and facilities.
Australians and other migrants: Australians are one of the friendliest people in the world who are independent and believe in gender equality. They also have a terrific sense of humour and love sports. You will also rub shoulders with people from different countries like New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Philippines, etc.
Employment opportunities: Australia offers two years of post-study work permit for international students after the completion of 2 years of full-time studies and successful completion of their course work/ research degrees. The employability ratio of international students graduating from Australian Universities is very high.
The qualifications are accepted world-wide and many programs have professional accreditations and work-integrated learning, enabling graduates to be more employable by the time they finish their courses. Dedicated divisions in the Australian Institutions also help in placements, interview and CV preparation to support the international students.
Cost of living: Besides on-campus accommodation, there are also other options available. Off-campus accommodations are quite popular with Indian students owing to an efficient transportation system which makes the commute quite smooth.
Read more: Cost of studying in Australia
Here’s a break-up
As an international student, you are safe
The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000, the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (National Code) are bodies that provide nationally-consistent standards for education providers and training for international students. So, as an international student on a student visa, it is important that you are studying in an institution and pursuing a course that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS registration guarantees that the course and the institution at which a student will study meets the high standards expected by international students.
The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework protects the rights of international students studying in Australia, including student’s right to receive, before enrolling, current and accurate information about the courses, fees, modes of study, and other information from your chosen institution of study and it’s agent.
The ESOS framework sets out the standards that Australian institutions must meet in offering education and training services to international students. These standards cover a range of information you have a right to know and services that must be offered to you, including orientation and access to support services to help you study and adjust to life in Australia.
The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) is a placement and refund service for international students, which is activated in the event of your institution being unable to teach your course. You can explore more about this service on the Tuition Protection Service website.
You should know
Australian institutions are linked across the country and across the world, which makes it easy to move throughout the education system between courses or institutions and formal agreement and recognition frameworks mean every step of the path will contribute to your future no matter what your study or career goals are.
IDP Education is a global leader in international education services and has on-shore offices in Sydney, Melbourne Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane to support students who need any support while they are in Australia.
Updated on July 17, 2020
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Associate Director – Australia, at IDP Education (India and Nepal), Pratibha is responsible for working closely with the Australian partner institutions, leading initiatives to promote Australian education and training the teams in her region.
With over 18 years of experience in International Education industry, Pratibha is currently heading the Australia division for IDP India and Nepal.
Being closely associated with Australian Universities in her line of work, Pratibha has a deep understanding of the market trends, policies and processes.