One of the most advanced countries in the world technologically, yet still retaining its natural beauty, Australia can be an excellent destination for those looking to study abroad.
Its universities rank as some of the best in the world; its laid-back culture makes for an excellent experience. The weather isn’t too bad, either! But why else exactly should you study in Australia?
Which are the best universities in Australia?
Australia boasts some of the best universities in the world – here are some of the current highest-ranked.
University of Melbourne
Based in the coastal city of Melbourne, the university stands in with an impressing 52,000+ strong student membership. Directly in the city centre for all of your needs, the campus boasts some incredible libraries, sports centres, and other student facilities that make it so popular. It also has a strong students’ union, with a wide range of sports and other clubs available for you to join.
University of Sydney
With over 60,000 students, the University of Sydney dwarfs its Melbourne counterpart. The campus is built in and around both urban areas and parks, giving it a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The students themselves are reported as friendly and welcoming; the staff take their work incredibly seriously, meaning you will need to work incredibly hard to keep up. Many students, however, do report issues about living in Sydney – the city is crowded, busy, and often very expensive.
Australian National University
Based in Canberra, the capital of Australia and renowned as one of the friendliest cities, ANU can be an excellent location for the more diligent of international students. Being so small and remote, the city does certainly lack the nightlife and hectic lifestyle of larger Australian dwellings – but, for some people, that is perfect. Many students report that the lecturers are excellent; being in the capital, they are often some of the best in their field and are keen to share their wisdom.
University of Queensland
Not the largest – but certainly very large with 55,000 odd students – the University of Queensland is another key player in the Australian university scene. It consistently ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide and comes with an international reputation; its course offering is diverse, though many are taught at a high level of English language. The city itself, Brisbane, is crammed with nightlife, bars, and other attractions to keep you entertained at all times.
Another based in Melbourne, and another to rank in the world top 100, Monash University clocks in with an eye-watering 86,000+ students. Melbourne itself, thanks to its unbelievably large studentship, is an excellent place to study if after good nightlife and a fun experience. But that aside, Monash retains a reputation as one of the most diligent and hard-working universities across a diverse range of faculties.
What are the requirements to study in Australia?
There is nothing too extraordinary about the requirements to study in Australia.
Language requirements for courses can vary, though typically a minimum level of 5.5 on the IELTS is mandatory. You will need to provide a certificate of enrolment onto your course to be able to obtain your VISA.
You will also need to provide proof for a variety of funding-related aspects, such as student health insurance, travel costs, coursebook costs, accommodation, other living costs and, of course, tuition.
Can I stay in Australia after graduating?
Australia works on a points-based immigration system, meaning you are in direct competition with others applying to enter the country. As a graduate, you are automatically in an excellent position, however.
Key factors include your command of the English language; any relevant qualifications, whether they be attained in Australia or elsewhere; whether the job you are seeking is in high demand or not; and your level of work experience, among many others. Australia can be an incredibly competitive country in which to gain access, so ensure you have the necessary skills and qualifications to remain competitive is a must.
Can I work whilst studying in Australia?
As is becoming the norm across the globe, international students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week around their studies to provide a secondary/tertiary source of income.
Many students in Australia will choose to pick up part-time bar work or alike around their studies, both providing them a source of income but also acting as a distraction from university work. It can be an excellent way for visiting international students to better integrate themselves into the culture; for those for whom English is not their first language, it is a great opportunity to gain some valuable experience and language exposure.
Many courses will also often optional (or, in some cases, obligatory) internship/placement periods that allow students a chance to gain real-world experience in their chosen field. These will generally be remunerated; however, some work experience placements may be without pay.
Is Australia expensive to study in?
Australian degrees, which typically last three to four years, can be extremely expensive and add up over the period of time. Internationals can expect to be paying upwards of the equivalent of £20,000 per year for a simple bachelors degree; these can be even higher when studying certain subjects such as medicine, for example.
Living costs wise, though, Australia is certainly not bank-breaking, and can somewhat offset the money spent on tuition.
As always, prices will vary from city to city – but they are generally very low. Some, such as Sydney, can be incredibly expensive; others, such as Melbourne and Perth, not so much. Either way, they will typically be much lower than places such as London, Paris and New York.
You will also need to take out mandatory overseas student health cover (OSHC), which will generally cost around 450 Australian dollars for a three-year undergraduate course. These will vary from provider to provider, as well as based on individual circumstances.
In general, though, Australia can be classed as a somewhat expensive place in which to live and study. It is certainly far dearer than places such as Manchester or Berlin. Ensure you have enough liquid cash available when travelling out in case an emergency arises.