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How to study in Australia: A guide for international students

Check out this guide for international students on how to study in Australia. From courses, entry requirements and visa information, read all about it here.

Study in Australia

Choosing where to get your degree is never an easy feat. Most people stay in their home countries to pursue higher education, while others take the plunge to study abroad

Studying abroad can offer you unique opportunities that you might not get when staying in your home country. Being immersed in an entirely new culture allows you to learn and grow in ways you would never expect. 

It can be a great opportunity to study in Australia for international students. Keep reading to discover all of the ins and outs, and check out our course on the next steps to university.

Choose your area of study 

Choosing the subject you plan to study can assist you in your journey of deciding where in Australia you want to study. Each can be an equally daunting task.

Ultimately, you want to choose a degree that sparks your interest. Spending years studying a topic that you have no interest in could be incredibly difficult. You also want to make sure that the degree you choose will lead you to a well-paying career post-graduation.

Best degrees to study in Australia

Next, we’ll focus on the top 5 programs and careers you can pursue as an international student in Australia. It’s important to know what the program and career would entail and the study requirements in Australia.

Every competitive program listed below will need a high score on the IELTS, a test that measures your English language skills. Beyond that, each major and school will have different criteria.

Study nursing in Australia

If you’re interested in nursing, Australia has many great programs to get your degree.

Nursing is an essential and highly valued aspect of healthcare. Becoming a registered nurse can allow you to work within many facets of the medical industry. You can work anywhere from primary healthcare, mental health, critical care, aged care, surgical nursing and more.

If you’re passionate about helping others achieve wellness, would like a career that is fulfilling and rewarding, and want to feel highly valued in your place of work, nursing could be the avenue for you.

Most schools have the following criteria to enter into a nursing program:

  • No criminal record
  • Successful completion of 12 years of education with passing scores
  • Prerequisite courses per the University
  • Motivational letter

Study medicine in Australia

Thinking of becoming a doctor? Australia has many top schools where you can get your degree. It typically takes 5-6 years to complete a medical program, one year of an internship, and finally 1-2 years in a residency. The Australian medical degree is recognised in both the US and the UK.

There’s a near-infinite amount of avenues you can go down when studying medicine. Wherever your interests may lie, you’ll be able to find something within the world of medicine that will speak to those interests.

It’s a highly valued and rewarding profession, and the price and time spent in schooling will be well worth a successful career in medicine.

Most schools have the following criteria to enter into a medicine program:

  • Minimum of 5.0 GPA
  • MCAT (medical college admission test) exam score of 511 on average
  • Prerequisites of certain subjects per each university

Study pharmacy in Australia

If you would like to improve the health and well-being of people in your community, perhaps a career as a pharmacist is the right path for you. Pharmacy is one of the most well-respected professions in medicine.

Like nursing and medicine programs, graduating from a pharmacy school will leave you with many opportunities and possibilities for your future career. You can be anything from a pharmaceutical sales representative to an environmental scientist, and many more in between.

Most schools have the following criteria to enter into a pharmacy program:

  • High GPA
  • Prerequisites of certain subjects per each university

Study dentistry in Australia

Dentistry is much more than the bi-annual cleanings most people are used to. The future of dentistry holds many stimulating possibilities. By choosing this career path, you’re choosing to help transform the lives of your future patients.

From eliminating pain to correcting dental aesthetics, you’ll feel a level of joy and satisfaction after every patient you work on. Beyond working in clinical dentistry, you’re also able to work in dental research and academic opportunities as well.

The dentistry degree usually takes between 5-7 years to complete, similar to the medical degree. It’s a high-demand job, and the post-graduate salaries are very competitive.

Most schools have the following criteria to enter into a dentistry program:

  • A high score on the UCAT (undergraduate clinical aptitude test)
  • High GPA and class rank
  • Pre-requisite subjects
  • Written application

Study law in Australia

If the medical field isn’t striking your interest, perhaps studying law is the career for you. The law impacts many elements of everyday life. You may be more interested in the ins and outs of law than you realise.

Lawyers can change people’s lives and further the public good. There are many varied specialisations. You can be anything from a medical lawyer to an entertainment lawyer, with many other avenues too. 

If you enjoy being intellectually challenged, this career path will never bore you. You’ll be problem-solving, analysing, devising and thinking innovatively on a daily basis. It takes about 6 years to become a lawyer in Australia.

Most schools have the following criteria to enter into a law program:

  • Undergraduate degree in any discipline
  • High ATAR (if attended undergrad in Australia) or high class rank/GPA equivalent
  • High LAT (law admission test) score

Scholarships to study in Australia

Studying abroad can actually be more affordable than it would be studying in the US, for example. For international students in Australia, the government, as well as universities, offer many types of scholarships to help the cost of tuition as well.

Here are some great scholarships that may fit your needs:

Destination Australia Scholarship

This scholarship is government-funded. Over a thousand scholarships of $15,000 are offered per year to both international and Australian students. This scholarship is specifically for students earning a tertiary education.

University of Sydney International Scholarship

This scholarship is fully funded by the University of Sydney. It’s a yearly scholarship for a student earning a master’s degree through research or PhD. In order to be chosen for this scholarship, you must have an outstanding academic record and promising research potential.

Adelaide Global Academic Excellence for International Students

This scholarship is available for both undergraduate and graduate studies. It offers 50% off tuition. To be awarded this scholarship, there are highly competitive criteria. You must have the highest ATAR score of those applying (this is the Australian class ranking system) or a GPA of 6.8 (also by Australian standard). There are equivalents that can be measured for international students.

Can I work and study in Australia?

When studying at a university in Australia as an international student, a student visa is necessary. You’re also able to get a job while on a student visa in Australia. You can work 40 hours every two weeks and unlimited hours on school holidays.

Here is a quick overview of the process of obtaining a student visa:

  1. Accept an offer from a school and submit your deposit. This will get you your Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE)
  2. Create an account with the Immigration Authorities.
  3. Gather your CoE, Passport, Overseas Student Health Coverage (OSHC).
  4. Complete your visa application.
  5. Pay the visa fee and receive a Transaction Reference Number (TRN).
  6. Complete the Visa interview and possible health check.
  7. Receive application status.

How much does it cost to live in Australia while studying?

Before making a decision, it’s important to be aware of what studying in Australia costs. Here are some costs, besides tuition, that you should consider:

  • Visa fee: 575 AUD
  • Health Insurance: 500-1000 AUD per year
  • Housing on campus: Between 440-1,000 AUD per month
  • Apartment off-campus: Between 75-1700 AUD per month
  • Utilities and Internet: Approximately 300 AUD per month
  • Student public transport pass: Between 30-70 AUD per month

Do I need an IELTS certification to study in Australia?

Yes! Most universities in Australia require an IELTS certification with a minimum score of 6.0. However, don’t let that stop you from your pursuit of international study. There are many ways that you can prepare for the IELTS to make sure you get a passing score.

Best courses to study in Australia

Preparing to study internationally in Australia may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here at FutureLearn, we offer many different courses that can help you feel prepared and confident throughout your process.

Check out some more of our related courses and blogs today:

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Top Study Tips for Effective Learning

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How to Manage Your Time

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