Top tips to consider if you’re thinking of study in Australia

Australia is a beautiful country renowned for its pristine natural environment, diverse wildlife, and beautiful beaches.  It also has a great reputation for higher education, thanks to the many world class universities located around the country.

The excellent reputation of these institutions attracts thousands of international students to Australia each year.  Students get to enjoy the incredible lifestyle that Australia has to offer while obtaining a world-class education!  If you are an international student heading to Australia this year, you will absolutely love it.  Here are a few useful tips to help you settle into the Australia and make the most of your time in this beautiful country.

#1 — Get a VISA to study in Australia as soon as possible

Australia is very welcoming of international students.  The government makes obtaining a student VISA as simple as possible and you can even apply for a VISA online.  Most applicants are approved very quickly.

One of the most important considerations made by the government when approving a VISA is the good character test.  This test checks that you are a good person who has not been involved in any illegal or immoral activities.

The government uses a police check to ensure you do not have a substantial criminal record and are not currently wanted by the police in Australia.  They will also perform a national police check in any country where you have lived for more than 12 months after the age of 16.  This police check will go back 10 years.

For example, if you are currently 32, they will run a national police check for every country you have spent at least 12 months in — going back until you were 22.  They will also ask students to declare any recorded criminal offences.  Failure to do so can reflect very poorly on your application.

Other requirements for a student VISA include:

  •   You must have an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) certificate from the institution where you will be studying
  •   You must meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement.
  •   You must have enough money to pay for airfares, fees, and living costs
  •   You must be healthy and have the appropriate health insurance

International students must also:

  •   Have the appropriate English language skill level for the institution where you will be studying
  •   Have the appropriate academic qualifications for the program you will be undertaking

#2 — International students need to purchase health insurance

Most international students studying in Australia need to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).  It is a form of health insurance that helps students pay for the cost of hospital and medical care.  OSHC can also help you pay for ambulance services and any medications you require.

#3 — Australia is a varied place so choose your university carefully!

Australia is one of the most diverse countries on the planet.  International students can choose universities located in both rural areas, regional centres, and city centres.  If you like the hustle and bustle of the city, choose a university like the University of Sydney, RMIT, University of New South Wales or the University of Queensland.  If you prefer a quieter area with more natural surroundings, choose the Central Queensland University or Southern Cross University, but if you’re looking for a multicultural city offering arts and music events, The University of Melbourne is the place for you.

#4 — Make sure you have plenty of money for living costs

Australia is a very desirable destination that attracts millions of visitors each year.  It is also a very prosperous country with a high standard of living.  Unfortunately, this means that it can be a very expensive place to live!

Rent, food, transportation, and consumer items are all quite expensive — particularly if you are living in one of the major cities.  Make sure you have access to enough funds to pay for the cost of living while you are studying.  Many international students living in Australia find part time jobs to help them pay their bills.

#5 — Open an Australian bank account

If you are regularly receiving money from overseas or intend to work while in Australia, you should open an Australian bank account.  It is quite easy to create a new account, simply take your passport and some other forms of identification into an Australian bank.  Opening a bank account can also be performed online.  The largest banks in Australia are Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), and Westpac.

#6 — Make the most of your time in Australia

Australia is a huge country with many incredible places to visit.  You should make a plan for how you will spend your spare time while living there.  Places like the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, and Uluru must be seen to be believed!

You should also make an effort to meet new people while in Australia.  Australians are a friendly bunch and it is easy to make friends.  One of the quickest ways to meet people is by getting a part time job.  Before you know it, you will have met dozens of friendly Australians and have formed some great connections.

#7 — The weather is different in Australia

Many international students are surprised by the weather conditions in Australia.  The weather is often very hot in the northern states and cold in the southern states — at the same time of year!  Some students are surprised to learn that the seasons are the opposite in the southern hemisphere.  When it is winter the in America, it will be summer in Australia.

Last tip: If you head to the beach on a sunny day, remember to swim between the flags!  


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