Australia has an excellent education system with degree programs recognized worldwide. As a result, many international students flock to the country down under to study as a graduate, undergraduate or vocational student. For some international students, studies are also a pathway to permanent residency in the country. Studying as an international student in Australia can be an incredibly rewarding experience in other ways too. For example, you will be exposed to the unique culture of the country and be able to meet people from all over the world. Here are several tips for studying as an international student in Australia:
Learn about the Country before You Visit
Australia doesn’t have the same international fame as, say, America. Therefore, some international students come to the country with incorrect notions about the place. No, you won’t find kangaroos running around on campus. You probably won’t meet Hugh Jackman either. Australian culture does share similarities with British culture, but the two countries are definitely not the same. Therefore, before you visit, read about other international students’ experiences about studying in Australia. Learn about the area you plan to attend uni and what will meet you there.
Consider Taking English Lessons and Qualifying Examinations
How good are your English language skills? Are you just conversational in English or are you up to a level where you are comfortable using words like “juxtaposition”? If you are just conversational in English, then your language skills will definitely need brushing up. Universities in Australia require international students to take English as a Second Language (ESL) tests to demonstrate their level of understanding of the language. If you attend a university here, keep in mind that you will have to speak proficiently and write papers in good English. If your English is so-so, consider taking English courses for international students offered by various ESL learning centres and institutions. There are plenty available in cities like Melbourne. Choose a place that best suits your needs and get your IELTS certificate.
Assess Costs Realistically and Look for Scholarship Opportunities
Before you pack your bags, you will have to make a thorough assessment of funds you will need to attend university in Australia. You may be able to apply for scholarships, but keep in mind that not many are available for international students. If you are unable to pay, you may have to leave the country. Therefore, sort out finances early on.
Understand How Education in Australia is Different from Your Own Country
Education credentials in Australia will be different from what’s offered in your country. It differs even from education credentials in the UK is some significant ways. For example, in the UK, students can get an undergraduate degree with honours if they complete a certain number of credit hours. In Australia, students typically attend three years of school for Bachelor’s degrees. For a BA or a BS with an Hons distinction, students have to complete a fourth year. Not many students are able to afford this extra year. Likewise, there may be differences in the system that you may later have to explain to an overseas employer.
Before you visit the country, learn about vocations training and trades in demand as well. Learning a trade in demand will put you on the frontline to obtain a residential or work visa. Vocational training programs may be more suited for certain students. So, take all your options into account.