Kangaroos, coral reefs, exotic animals – these words immediately make you think ‘Australia’. It’s true, Australia is known around the world for all of these things. But the island nation has a lot more to offer too. Because of its geography and history, it is fundamentally different from most Asian, European, and North American countries in many ways. But with a little bit of planning and keeping your eyes open, staying in Australia could be a dream come true.
About 43% of the immigrants in Melbourne and Sydney every year are students. If you are planning to head to Australia for your studies, there couldn’t have been a better time. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Visa Requirements
If your course is longer than 3 months, you will require a study visa in Australia. The application process today is fairly simple. However, a couple of challenges have earned this visa its reputation of being hard to get. Read up on all the questions you could be asked. A student visa is also quite expensive, so you should make sure you have enough financial backing. If your course is for less than 3 months, you can save money by choosing a normal visitor visa.
2. Get Health Insurance
One of the approval criteria for your student visa is health insurance coverage. The Australian government mandates that all international students must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to remain protected in case of emergencies. Different insurers have different plans that can meet your specific requirements. Australian visa consultants can help you with your visa and also choose an insurance plan that best suits your needs.
If you’re going to study for a few years, you will likely end up driving at some point. As mentioned before, some official and unofficial road rules in Australia differ from the rest of the world. Australians drive on the left side of the road, with constant street surveillance through traffic cams.
Another key tip while driving in Australia is to not drive around sunrise or sunset. At these times mainly, you could find a kangaroo in your path. They often end up blocking the road, and you won’t see them until it’s too late.
4. Decide Where You Want to Study
Australia is an island nation. Hence it is perceived as a small place. But there are several places that you can choose to study on your trip abroad to Australia. Queensland is close to the Great Barrier Reef, making it ideal for those looking to spend more time in the water, whether for academics or leisure. For business and marketing students, Sydney is a great option. Other cities with good academic programmes are Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Make sure you do your research on the cost of living and the best programs available before finalising a university.
5. Australia is Expensive
Two of the world’s most expensive cities – Sydney and Melbourne – are in Australia. From utilities like rent to basic groceries and travel, some cities cost a lot more than others. Simply factoring in the tuition fees of the university is not going to cut it. Costs beyond boarding and college fees can go up to about US$6000. Therefore, it is smart to factor in the cost of living while choosing a university. Always keep 2-3 options and then choose the best one after factoring in the entire cost of your trip abroad.
6. The Seasons Are Different
Everyone knows about the difference in seasons due to Australia’s geography, but adapting to it for years is very different. If it’s summer in India when you leave, you’ll arrive in Australia in winter. When the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing the heat of summer, Australia has winters. They have a warm Christmas unlike most other countries in the world. Make sure you pack accordingly because it can get very cold.
7 The Grading System
Getting a ‘D’ grade in other countries might be a bad thing, but it stands for Distinction in Australia. The grading system used here is HD (High Distinction), D (Distinction), P (Pass), and F (Fail). Check with your university beforehand about the grading system they use.
8. You Can Work While Studying
There is a loophole that can help you make back the money you spent on your student visa. Australian universities allow students to work a specific number of hours every week. The minimum wage in Australia is pretty high, so you could make decent money to afford to live in the city, over and above your current financial situation.
9. Additional Things to Remember
After the UK and America, Australia is the most sought-after student destination. Melbourne has been deemed the most liveable place in the world and has a large student population. There are students from almost every nationality studying in Australia today. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Sydney welcomes close to 1,00,000 people in a year, while Sydney welcomes 1,25,000. Australia has several specialised education opportunities, which make it a popular hub for international students.
Besides academics, there is a lot you can explore in Australia as well. It has breathtaking beaches, underwater experiences like nowhere else in the world, and exotic wildlife. There are beautiful mountains and lush forests that make for great adventures too. If you are looking for a rich cultural experience and wish to explore nature, it rarely gets better than Australia.
Almost all the places are accessible by road, so you can rent a car and see the whole continent in the time that you are there. But bear in mind that Australia is enormous and requires a significant amount of time and money to explore all the noteworthy destinations fully.
If you are looking for a study opportunity any time in the near future, contact our Australian visa consultants today.