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Australia, one of the top five best countries to study in the world, offers sought-after quality education on top of exciting cultural diversity. Proof of delivery on this promise is the fact that five Australian universities have made it to the top 100 of the 400-plus higher education institutions worldwide ranked by Times Higher Education in 2013-2014. These universities (and ranks) are:
There is no more question as to why Australia captures 6% to 10% of the world’s foreign and international student market. Every year, thousands of students, mostly from Asia, tackle the complex processes to study in Australia. There are several challenges ahead, but National Visas—a premier visa company in Australia—provides both visa information and services to help students and other people migrate to Australia.
If you are looking to take up tertiary or any level of education in Australia, here are 10 basics steps you need to know:
Almost all universities and colleges in the seven regions of Australia accept international students. So, your choice will boil down to which institution ranks highest overall after considering the following factors: academic reputation, proximity to home, fees and cost of living, extracurricular activities, size and location, and course offerings. It is highly recommended to visit your school first before applying for a course so you will have a feel of the environment and get a glimpse of your future studying there.
If the number of onshore international students is a factor to you, then these are your top picks: Monash University (13,353), The University of New South Wales (13,212), Macquarie University (12,222), The University of Melbourne (11,995), and Griffith University (10,947). Based on this 2010 data, The University of Melbourne is a great candidate, since it is based in the Victorian capital of Melbourne, rated by QS as 5th best student city worldwide. Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, ranked 4th in the QS Best Student Cities index.
Different levels of study require a unique set of requirements. English language skill comes as basic, but keep in mind that the English language skill level required by your school and the Department of Immigration (for the visa you need to apply for later) might be different. You also have to meet certain academic requirements to prove your academic performance; some universities will require prerequisite subjects or certifications. Make sure to allot ample time for the preparation of your documents.
The application process varies depending on the type of program you wish to apply for. For international students, most universities have a dedicated online registration system that lets them know if you are qualified; that is, if you meet the entry requirements for non-residents. Make sure to have all your certified documents ready, and refer to your chosen university’s application instructions.
If you meet the entry requirements for the course at your chosen university, you will receive a letter of offer (either by mail or email), indicating that you have been granted a place to study at that university. In some cases, if the university sees you as a worthwhile international student, you might be offered a conditional letter of offer, which will progress to an actual offer if you meet the conditions indicated in the letter.
Before accepting your offer, ensure to read the letter carefully, understanding all your rights and the refund terms. Keep a copy of the letter, then respond to the school with your signature or email a scanned and signed copy.
After responding to the letter of offer to inform of your acceptance of your place at the university, you will receive an electronic Confirmation of Enrollment. This document contains your course start date, total course fees, and course duration. Keep this document because you will need this when you apply for a student visa.
A health check-up is sometimes required for Australian student visas. For your specific situation, since you are applying for a student visa outside Australia, remember to check first with a registered migration agent if you need to undergo health tests. The immigration department mostly requires visa applicants to have their health examination with select panel physicians and clinics. So make sure to know this information first so you can do it right.
Getting insured is more of a precaution for any material loss, accidents, or health issues while you are in Australia. You can purchase your travel insurance from any provider, but your health insurance must be the immigration-required Overseas Student Health Cover. Either you or your school can pay for this insurance, but make sure to obtain your OSHC from an approved provider. Take note that your health insurance is a visa requirement, and you need to maintain it for the complete duration of your study in Australia.
Before you can travel to Australia, you have to secure a passport and an Australian student visa. Of the two, the passport is easier to obtain because it has a general set of requirements. Applying for an Australian student visa will be more complicated though, for your visa requirements will vary depending on your chosen level of study, among other matters. Make sure to consult with a registered migration agent to increase your chances of getting your student visa on time for your course start.
- Independent ELICOS (Subclass 570)
- Schools (Subclass 571)
- Vocational Education and Training (Subclass 572)
- Higher Education (Subclass 573)
- Postgraduate Research (Subclass 574)
- Non-Award (Subclass 575)
- AusAID or Defence (Subclass 576)
- Student Guardian (580)
Buying a plane ticket to Australia is an easy part of the process. You can shop for cheap fares or purchase the regularly priced tickets—it depends on your choice the airline to fly with. The more important matter to remember is about immigration and customs clearance. First, ask a registered migration agent if you are allowed to arrive to Australia a week or so prior to your course start. If so, then you will have ample time to prepare and get settled. Otherwise, enquire about the procedures you will have to undergo upon arrival at the airport.
A smart traveller plans forward. Before flying to Australia, arrange your accommodation, talk to your bank, secure copies of documents, collect contact numbers, and research about your destination. It pays to be well prepared for your new life for the coming year or so.
We hope you have an enjoyable stay in Australia as a student and part of the Australian community. If you have questions, feel free to contact National Visas—our expert agents are always pleased to accommodate your concerns. To start the student process, you could take a free online assessment here.
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