Is Australia at the top of your list to travel to? Are you attending university with no time to explore internationally? You have come to the right place! We explore how to study in Australia as a student from overseas.
We get it. The Land Down Under offers beautiful weather, relaxed living and lots of leisure activities. The scenery varies from desert giants in Uluru to vast green cliffs in the Blue Mountains. What’s not to love? Going to study in Australia can be appealing, and we explore how to go about it.
Being an international student, Australia is welcoming, adventurous and lively. It’s no wonder it’s one of the top destinations for studying abroad. We’re here to help you transition from life at home to life in the beautiful land of Australia by sharing why to study abroad in Australia.
What is studying abroad?
Study abroad means that you can attend university for a semester or more at an international destination of your choice. Instead of studying at your home university for your entire undergraduate or graduate education, you can finish part of your degree at a university in a place like Australia.
You get to pick your major, pick your classes, and you’ll make more memories than you know what to do with!
Do you feel the need to travel to international destinations and fill your life with rich, once-in-a-lifetime experiences? If you answered yes, study abroad is for you. And we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about studying abroad in Australia.
Benefits of studying abroad
Travelling is one thing, but actually living in a new place for an extended period will enhance your life more than anything. Rather than visiting a destination and being a tourist for a week or two, when you study abroad, you choose to immerse yourself in the culture.
You learn so much more than just where to take surface-level photos for your Instagram or which restaurants to choose for a few nights of dinners.
Similarly, you get to make friends with locals (and some of them will become lifelong friends). You get to try new food, break out of your subconscious habits, learn a new way of living, find hidden gems only locals know of, expand your mind, and explore, all while studying and earning credits towards your degree.
In short, studying abroad is one of the best things you could ever do while still earning credits towards your university degree at the same time.
Downsides of studying abroad
Sometimes, when you travel to a new country to learn, the education system there could be drastically different from what you’re used to at home. Australia international students usually require a period of adjustment when first arriving in the country.
For example, Australia follows block scheduling, meaning you will meet for 2-3 hours once or twice a week. In some other countries, you meet with every class every day for shorter periods of time, between 40 and 90 minutes.
This will force you to change your study habits and time management. If you’re not flexible and able to adjust quickly, this change could negatively affect your grades. So, before you go, you’ll want to prepare for a bit of homesickness and for it to take a while in the adjustment phase. This is a normal part of the process, but it can feel like a downside.
Additionally, the pandemic has changed almost all of the regulations a student has to go through to study abroad in Australia. For a look into the specifics needed by each state, check out more information for international students in Australia in the post-pandemic era.
5 reasons to study in Australia
Let’s be real here, the reasons to study abroad in Australia are countless. International students in Australia receive the full package. Here are five reasons why you should study abroad in Australia:
1. The education system
Perhaps the biggest reason to study in Australia is the high-quality education system. With over 1,000 institutions and 22,000 courses to choose from, international students have plenty to choose from. What’s more, many of the country’s universities appear in the top 50 in the world.
Top institutions such as the University of Melbourne Melbourne (ranked 33rd in the world) and Monash University offer a broad range of courses, and you can get an idea of what’s on offer via the FutureLearn platform.
2. The natural beauty
Australia has it all; amazing beaches, breathtaking mountains, stunning natural environments, and we can’t forget hanging out with kangaroos! Studying in Australia gives you the chance to spot some of the country’s unique animals, as well as some of the rare plants of Australia.
Australia is also nature conscious which attracts a lot of university students. So, especially if you’re interested in sustainability as a career, Australia is a great place to study abroad.
3. The culture
Australia has a rich cultural heritage. As well as Western influences, there is also the cultural input of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other native Australian people. This mix creates a truly unique experience, giving you the opportunity to explore new approaches to life and communicate across cultures.
4. The language
The IELTS is an English speaking proficiency test that is recognised by businesses, universities, professional organisations and government agencies. This test is a great way to gauge how easily you would be able to communicate in a place like Australia if English is not your native language. Still, this kind of language immersion would be an incredible experience.
5. The living standards
Australia consistently ranks as a country with one of the highest quality of life scores. When it comes to issues such as purchasing power, safely, healthcare, cost of living, pollution and climate, Australia ranks 5th in the world as of 2022.
Many sources also list Australia as one of the best places to study in the world, citing the quality of education, career prospects, and overall student satisfaction.
What is Austudy?
Austudy is an Australian Government social security payment given to those over the age of 25 who choose to attend university. The amount you receive depends on certain factors. If you are under 25 and unemployed, you could be eligible to receive Youth Allowance.
In some cases, international students studying abroad in Australia can qualify for Austudy or other government grants. Find out more on the Austudy Government website.
Is getting a Master’s in Australia the same as studying abroad?
If you choose to pursue postgraduate study in Australia, technically, you are studying abroad. However, this is different from study abroad programs. Getting your Master’s in Australia would be done at a single university, where you would be for your entire education.
Depending on your degree, you could be in Australia for 2-4 years post-graduate. This is very different from the 5-6 months of a typical study abroad program.
For study abroad, you will need to make sure your classes transfer as credits to your home university and make sure your grades transfer correctly. While abroad, you should stay in touch with your home university to ensure everything is going smoothly on both ends.
How to study in Australia from abroad
There are many steps you need to take both through your university and legally to study abroad. If you’re currently at university, check with your school’s Office of International Programs for a to-do list.
You’ll need your transcripts, a list of courses you need to take to graduate, a list of courses your international school offers, a student visa for the country you will be visiting and a program to help connect you once you are abroad.
Online courses for Australia
Depending on your degree, the courses you take as part of studying abroad in Australia will vary. However, there are some courses you should consider taking to prepare and help you achieve success in your study abroad program.
A good place to start for general studying abroad is to make sure you understand the skills you’ll need to succeed at university. Additionally, there’s a high chance that some of your learning will be online, so preparing to learn online while at university is also useful.
Preparing to be an international student in Australia
To prepare to study abroad in Australia, first, notify your bank you’ll be living internationally. The last thing you want is to land in a new country with no phone service, only to find all of your cards have been deactivated due to “fraud”.
Speaking of phones, you have a couple of options here. You can pay for an international plan with your current provider or get a new sim card once abroad and pay a local provider.
With both of these options, you’ll be able to use your current phone abroad.
Next, you’ll need to take care of all of your visa paperwork long before you have to depart. This process can be expedited to a couple of days for a higher fee, but to be safe and save yourself the headache, give yourself some leeway for things to go wrong and take care of it weeks ahead.
Get any prescriptions you need either transferred, shipped or bring the total amount you’ll need.
For any specifics you need related to your degree or program, your Office of International Programs can help sort everything out.
Prepare to study in Australia with FutureLearn
We don’t want you to miss out on a minute of time you have abroad, which is why you’ll want to prepare as much as you can beforehand.
FutureLearn offers resources for international students looking to study abroad in Australia including:
- Getting Ready for Success at University
- Preparing for Uni
- Critical Thinking at University
- Learning and Collaborating
- Reflecting and Sharing
- Searching and Researching
Be sure to check out FutureLearn before studying abroad in Australia. If you want to make the most out of your time, be prepared and see which courses we can offer to help guide you. Sign up and start learning today!