Why study in Australia?

There are a variety of reasons that you should consider studying in Australia. Australia is actually one of the top countries to go to if you are an international student, only behind the United Kingdom and the United States. There are a few reasons that this is the case.

First, Australia actually has some of the best colleges in the world. If you look at the list of the top 100 countries in the world, you will find that seven of them are actually found in Australia, which is quite a feat when the country only has 23 million residents. You also have a lot of choice when you come to Australia. There are over 1100 institutions found across the entire country.

The cost of living in Australia is actually excellent, especially when compared to their counterparts in the United Kingdom and Britain. If you want to study in Australia, you will be pleasantly surprised. Some of the areas where some of the most popular universities are located have relatively low costs of living.

The urban areas (Sydney, Melbourne) may end up costing a bit more to live in, but the cost of living is no different than if you were living in a major city in your home country.

It’s also very easy to find a job so that you can make ends meet while you’re studying. In the urban areas, you may be able to find internships and apprenticeships that are related to the field that you are studying. Depending on what region of Australia you are living in, you may also be able to find employment in the tourism industry, which can help you interact with people from all over the world that come to visit Australia.

Another reason to consider going to Australia as an international student is because there is a lot of scholarship money available for you. The Australian government welcomes potential international students with open arms, and they actually offer up to $250 million dollars a year in scholarships, grants, and other financial aid that is specially set aside for international students. In order to receive this aid, there are some things that you will have to do in terms of applications and grade requirements.

Over 2.5 million people have gone to Australia as international students, and many of them have gone out to make a difference in the world. If you want to study something, you will be able to find it in Australia. Some of the most popular fields to study are the natural sciences (biology, zoology, chemistry, etc), mathematics, engineering, social sciences (sociology, anthropology, archaeology, psychology, etc), and medical fields (even MD’s and PhD’s). If you want to study it, it’s likely that you can find a university in Australia that offers a program in it.

The higher education system of Australia has both government and private institutions in it. If a university or college is seen as part of the higher education system (also known as tertiary education), then it was either established by or is recognized by the Australian government as a tertiary institution. Higher education programs include all of the schools that cover Levels I through 10 according to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Vocational and Technical Schools

There are hundreds of other schools out there that provide technical and further education (TAFE) and vocational education and training (VET). These schools offer short courses, certificates I through IV, diplomas, and advanced diplomas. They focus on training their students in a particular vocation or just to help their students get out into the work place. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Commercial training providers, usually run by a company or of their own accord.
  • The training department of manufacturing or service enterprises, which provide services to the employees that they already have or employees that have just been hired.
  • The training function of employer or employee organizations in a particular industry, which provide services to the employees that they already have or employees that have just been hired.
  • Group Training Companies.
  • Community learning centers and neighborhood houses.
  • Secondary colleges providing VET programs.

There are also a number of smaller schools that you can find, which are not accredited, that will give you the same quality of vocational and/or technical education for a lower price; you just have to do your research to see if you can find one that suits your needs.

Universities and Higher Education

As of 2009, the Australia higher education system had 41 universities. 37 of the universities are public, 2 are private, and 2 of them are Australian branches of universities that are located overseas. There are also 3 self-accrediting higher education institutions. There are also dozens of smaller schools that do not grant any degrees or have accreditation – these are private schools that focus on theology, business, information technology, natural therapies, hospitality, health, law and accounting.

Most Australian universities are self-accrediting institutions that each run under a legislation (usually at the state or territory level). They get most of their funding from the Australian government through the Higher Education Support Act 2003. This act put the existing aims of universities into legal terms, recognized each of the universities, and introduced measures to strength the knowledge base of the country. Essentially, this act made it so that Australian universities were able to obtain money from the federal government via grants and loans.

Most of the syllabus are set by the universities that are offering the courses, and are not controlled by any government entity. Even though the higher education system is more unified than that of other countries, each university is still able to set their own coursework and program requirements. As with most countries, the teacher education program is the exception to this rule; the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership oversees any and all requirements related to becoming an educator in any age group.

Many Australian universities are featured in top 100 lists for international universities from around the world. The University of Melbourne and the Australian National University are two of the most well-known and well-respected universities in the world. If you are considering pursuing your higher education, whether vocational or academic, in Australia, you are in good hands. You will get a world-class education at a fair price that will make you ready for the world that you will be working in.

Education costs

So you think that you want to study in Australia? One of the things that have probably come to your mind during your decision-making process is how much your education is going to cost. Thankfully, there are a lot of factors that can play into the costs of studying in Australia. Where the institution is located, whether the university is public or private, and what level of study that you are pursuing all factor into how much it’s going to cost you to attend university.

One convenient thing about being an international student that is going to Australia to study is that you can pay your tuition fees before you even start attending. This will help you with budgeting during your schooling and it can also help you with saving up money for your education before you even end up in Australia.

If you have decided that you are going to attend a university in Australia before finishing your secondary schooling degree, you could end up getting a lot of your education paid off before you step foot in the country. You may also have to pay fees related to the courses you are taking or the degree program that you are in.

If you are looking to attend university in Australia, then here are some of the numbers that you will be looking at when looking at your educational career in the country. Note: All values are estimated using the Australian Dollar (AUD).

English Language Courses

If you are only going to Australia in order to immerse yourself in the English language or to take English classes that could lead to a level I-IV Certificate, the cost is relatively inexpensive. English language courses, on average, cost about $300/week depending on the length of the course that you are taking.

Certificate Levels I to IV, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma

All of these fall into the category of vocational training. If you are going to Australia for vocational education and/or training, you will pay anywhere from $4,000 (for a 4 to 6 month Certificate I program) to $22,000 (for a complete advanced diploma program)

Bachelor’s Degree

These degrees will vary depending on whether you go to a public university or a private university. Public universities can run anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per year; private universities can cost upwards of $33,000 per year (there are only a handful of private universities in the country, so you are more likely to be attending a public university). Much of the time, the costs related to these degrees can be taken care of through financial aid and scholarships.

Master’s Degree

Most Master’s degrees average approximately $20,000 to $30,000 per year. Some Master’s programs can end up costing more than that if you go to a prestigious university or a private university. There are a lot of research scholarships and bursaries that you can obtain to decrease the cost of postgraduate education, which we explore more in our page on scholarships.

Doctoral Degree

For a basic academic doctoral degree, it will end up costing you anywhere from $14,000 to $37,000 per academic year. It can cost upwards of $40,000 plus per year if you are working on a medical degree (veterinary, dentistry, medical doctor, surgeons, etc). There are a variety of research scholarships and bursaries available to help alleviate the costs postgraduate education, which we explore more in our page on scholarships.

Overall, Australia is a bit more expensive in terms of education costs than other countries (even higher than the United States in some cases). But the good news is that there is a lot of financial aid available for international students. If the numbers still make you nervous, there are a lot of ways for you to make ends meet.


There are a variety of sources that you can obtain your scholarships from as well. The Australian government offers a lot of the money that international students receive for their studies. But there are also educational institutions (including the ones you may be considering for study) and public and private organizations that will give money to international students for their educations. Many of these scholarships are available to anyone who is studying in the country.

There are three major scholarship programs in Australia that are available for international students who are studying in the country. In this section, we are going to explore the Australia Awards, the International Postgraduate Research Scholarships, and the Joint Academic Scholarships Online Network (JASON).

Australia Awards

The Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships that are offered to those studying in Australia and those who are from Australia who are seeking to study abroad. These scholarships are funded by the Australian government, and seek to promote knowledge and cooperation between future leaders of the international community. They also stimulate change, develop potential, and empower the recipients of these awards to do more for the world as they achieve their education goals.

There are several organizations that offer scholarships through the Australia Awards:

  • The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)
  • The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research, and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE)
  • The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACAIR)

The Australian government invested over $300 million (AUD) in the Australia Awards in 2012. This enabled almost 5,000 students to study abroad, whether they were coming to or from Australia. Since the Australian Government started to offer scholarships, they have helped over 100,000 people achieve their dream of studying abroad.

International Postgraduate Research Scholarships

The International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) works on improving the quality of Australian research and to attract quality postgraduate candidates to studying and researching at an Australian higher education institution.

Essentially, the IPRS is enabling those from countries around the world (except New Zealand) and helping them to study and research for the entirety of their Master’s or Doctorate degree. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, and health cover costs for your entire stay in the country.

If you are looking to attend university in Australia, you are probably greatly concerned about how much it is going to cost you to attend. The good news is, Australia offers a lot of money to international students – upwards of $500 million AUD per year. There are literally hundreds of scholarships, grants, and bursaries that you can apply for that will help you with your studies in Australia.

Australian Student Visas

Process to obtain Australian Student Visa for international students

Any person who intends to undertake full-time study in a registered course in Australia needs to obtain a Australian Student Visa. A Student Visa permits the holder to travel to, enter and remain in Australia for the duration of the registered course of study. Overseas students cannot undertake part-time study in Australia and must leave Australia on completion of their course of study.

Student Visa Processing

Student visa applicants from India, Nepal and Bhutan are required to undergo a Pre-Visa Assessment (PVA).


For all undergraduate (bachelor) and postgraduate degrees by coursework, you will be applying for a subclass 573 student visa. For postgraduate programmes by research, a subclass 574 student visa is required.

Persons wishing to study in Australia should apply on form 157A and pay the current visa application charge.

Documentation to submit with your application:
  1. Four recent passport-style photographs for each applicant
  2. Supplementary Questionnaire to Form 157A
  3. Completed ‘details of relatives’ form
  4. IELTS test results
  5. Changes to the student visa regulations require varying evidence of funds dependent on the subclass of student visa applied for. Applicants should show funds and (income that support these funds) enough to cover, course fee, and living costs in Australia (AUD 12,000 pa) as well as amounts covering other family members. For details relating to the specific financial evidentiary requirements for each subclass
  6. All original education documents including all mark sheets for Degrees
  7. Affidavit of support from the person providing financial support
  8. For applicants below 18 years of age, details of arranged guardianship in Australia plus an affidavit from the student’s parents agreeing to the guardianship arrangement
  9. Bank statement from the person(s) providing support outlining transactions for the past 6 months
Processing Times

Student applicants should lodge applications no more than 3 months and at least 8 weeks before course commencement dates. Some applications take longer to process. Students may be asked to undertake further medicals and some delays may be experienced due to the need to verify bank or education documents. Nepalese and Bhutanese applicants need to take into account the time taken for documents and letters to be sent and received by the Visa Office.

To be granted a student visa you will need
  1. complete relevant parts of the visa application form and lodge it along with
  • a copy of your letter of offer or Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)
  • supporting documentation specified in the appropriate booklet from the Temporary Entry: Overseas Students series, and
  • payment of the visa application charge.
  1. satisfy the student visa requirements
  • visa sub-classes: for each education sector You should apply under the visa sub-class for your principal course of study.
  • country assessment levels (CAL): Each education sector in each country is ranked according to four assessment levels.
  • evidentiary standards: These visa requirements include English language proficiency and are increasingly stringent from CAL 1 through to CAL 4.
  • electronic confirmation of enrolment (eCoE): The only accepted evidence of enrolment for processing student visa applications.

Generally, an international student is issued a multiple entry visa for the duration of their study course in Australia. This allows you to travel backwards and forwards to Australia within the period for which it has been granted. Members of your immediate family (spouse and unmarried dependent children under 18 years of age) may accompany you to Australia and will be considered in the same visa class as yourself. If you wish to extend your stay in Australia for further study you will need to lodge an application for a further visa.

Australian Quarantine Regulations

Australian quarantine is needed to keep out exotic pests and diseases that could affect native plants and animals, human health, agricultural industries and our environment. This role is undertaken by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). Visit the AQIS website for information in a range of foreign languages on what you cannot bring into Australia and what your family and friends at home cannot send to you through the mail.

Your obligations

  • You must remain enrolled in a course registered on CRICOS (
  • You must maintain satisfactory attendance on your course, as required by your education provider.
  • You must make satisfactory course progress for each study period.
  • You must advise your education provider of your home address in seven days of arriving in Australia. If you change address during your stay, you must tell your provider within seven days.
  • You must maintain health insurance while in Australia. This can be done by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover.

All information is correct at the time of publication but is subject to change. Please check the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship ( for the most up-to-date information.