Australia hosts the third-highest number of international students after the United Kingdom and the United States.
The question, “Why Australia” has been answered by international students pointing to its myriad attractions such as top universities, job training opportunities, natural beauty, super cities, and scope for a slew of leisurely activities.
It will be interesting to know that Australia is home to five of the 30 best student cities in the world based on metrics such as quality of life, student mix, affordability, and employment opportunities.
Australia’s multicultural setting is reflected in the benefits of wonderful culinary offerings, international celebrations and opportunities for guest populations to pick up different languages.
Located in the southern hemisphere, the summer in Australia starts in December and winter is in June. One-third of Australia is in the tropics with the average temperatures in the mid 20 degrees Celsius while southern areas are under a temperate zone.
Australians speak English making it easy for international students although mastering local slang will need some effort.
Most of the colleges are in cities like Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. Locations of many Australian universities in both rural and urban settings allowing travelling to neighbouring cities; be it the Sydney beach or the shopping malls of Melbourne.
Australia’s diverse terrain and outback excite its visitors and students are no exception. The broad plains, unusual animals and huge expanse of Australia’s pristine coast make life enchanting with scope for leisure and sports such as bushwalking, kayaking among others.
Australia generally has two intakes i.e. February and July, with some universities offering multiple intakes in September and November as well. Ideally, the admission process starts some six months before the application deadline.
Universities generally offer three deadlines during an intake process. Students are better advised to be done with the language and aptitude tests at least three months before the deadline as the last three months would go into filling the application form with all the formalities.
Essays are also part of the university admissions process. Students have to write one or two essays; it may be on topics such as strengths, weaknesses, skills, career aspirations, experiences, and reasons for considering a particular school or course.
Australian universities are known for higher academic standards. There are 43 universities in Australia of which 40 are Australian one private university and two international universities. Six Australian universities are in the club of internationally renowned top 100.
The QS World University Rankings often give high ranking to Australian universities with ANU ahead in ranks,
Australian universities have been making impressive improvements every year with the raising the proportion of international students.
Now 26 of the 35 ranked institutions have a higher score on this indicator and 9 out of the world’s 50 internationally diverse universities are now Australian.
The higher education scene in Australia is dotted with technical colleges and universities that offer technical, undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. Australian institutions that offer vocational education, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are called ‘colleges’ or Technical and Further Education (TAFE) centres with multiple entry requirements.
Their programmes offer employment-based degrees and tertiary degrees. For students, the “fit” is very important that derives from their GPA or grade point average score.
International students also join Master of Business Administration, Engineering, Information Technology, Hotel Management and Health Care Management among other courses.
There are many careers rich in-demand courses. In Australia, the top degrees international students seek present a mix of skills that gain faster employment and also increase successful immigration opportunities.
Accountancy: This is listed on the trade shortage list and the qualified candidates join roles in tax and management accountancy.
Actuarial Science: The specialised science assesses risks in financial, insurance and other sectors using mathematical and statistical methods and management of the situation to minimize risks.
Architecture: Designing environmentally sustainable homes and businesses is a high demand area. Architecture, commercial as well as residential is a great career option in Australia.
Biomedical engineering: It amalgamates engineering, biology, healthcare, and medicine under the principles of engineering to create devices and equipment that address human problems.
Many universities also conduct double degree programmes where students can pursue two different degrees at a time with a course span longer than a standard undergraduate study. For example, at Adelaide’s Flinders University a Bachelor of Creative Arts can also have a minor programme in visual effects.
General bachelor degrees in Australia have a duration of 3 years plus the option to go into a fourth year for an ‘Honours’ degree.
An example is graduates in Darwin city can stay for two more years and PhD graduates can stay up to six years. Master's degrees by coursework or research will have one to two years of completion time.
Australia offers a streamlined process for the Student Visa with standard requirements that must match the merit sought in educational institutions and financial capacity.
There must be valid health insurance for the entire duration of the student’s stay. Australia’s Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) allows international students the benefit to stay in Australia longer and work after graduation.
Many universities also arrange internships and work opportunities for students enrolled. Industry experience is very useful in career enhancement. Overall, international study in Australia offers a wide array of rewarding experiences besides a world-class platform for education.