Get ready to explore the thrilling life of an international student in Australia. Known for its vibrant culture, exotic wildlife, and world-class education system, Australia is a dream destination for many. It promises a balanced lifestyle with quality education at top-notch universities and an exciting city life. This country, where skyscrapers meet golden beaches, has emerged as a favorite study hub for international students. This blog will give you a sneak peek into student life in Australia, from the cost of living to the vibrant nightlife. Strap in for an enlightening Aussie adventure!
Why is Australia the study destination?
One of the most popular study-abroad locations for students from other nations, including China, Nepal, Brazil, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and others, is Australia.
Australia has been rated as the second-best country in the world for its superior quality of life, according to a United Nations survey. It continues to be one of the best nations in terms of high-quality education, economic development, and living standards. When it comes to education, Australia has highly regarded universities, internationally recognised credentials, and an abundance of scholarships. Australian universities provide short-term English language courses, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to students from all over the world. More than 384,000 foreign students from more than 140 nations are now studying in the nation.
International Student Life in Australia: What to Expect
There are many reasons for choosing Australia as a study destination:
- Australian universities provide quality education and work experience.
- Popular study areas include management, IT, and health.
- Challenges for international students: cultural differences, language barriers.
- Job opportunities can be limited for foreigners.
- Unique skills and English proficiency can lead to success.
- Many international students find the experience rewarding for personal growth.
Education System in Australia
- The tertiary education system in Australia is comprehensive, including higher education in universities and vocational education and training programs.
- School education is split into three phases: primary school (kindergarten to year 6 or 7), secondary school (year 7 or 8 to year 10), and senior secondary school (years 11 and 12).
- Higher education offers a variety of courses leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
- Students often opt for double or combined bachelor’s degree programs, especially in the fields of arts, commerce, law, and science.
- Australian universities offer diverse study fields ranging from management, engineering, medicine, environmental science, to accounting.
- The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) ensures the quality of education by setting standards for different education levels.
- To apply, students submit applications to each university individually, and may need to prove English proficiency via tests like TOEFL or IELTS.
- Australia hosts 43 universities, including 40 Australian, two international, and a private specialty university.
- Top universities, such as the
- University of Melbourne,
- Australian National University,
- University of Sydney,
- The University of Queensland, and
- UNSW Sydney
are globally recognized, appearing in the top 100 of THE World University Rankings.
Campus Life and Student Community for International Students
- Australia is recognized for being student-friendly and welcoming to international students.
- Foreign students have equal access to all university activities, just like native students.
- In 2019, foreign students constituted a significant 26.7% of the total student population in Australian institutions.
- Classroom culture may initially seem daunting to international students due to potential language barriers and differences in teaching styles.
- Teachers encourage active participation in class, inviting students to ask questions and engage in debates.
- Non-native English speakers may initially find understanding classroom debates challenging, but this can be overcome with exposure and practice, such as listening to Australian English through online resources like YouTube, television, and podcasts.
Cultural and University Festivals
Australia brims with vibrant cultural experiences and a rich heritage. Year-round festivals showcase the dynamic spirit of the nation, which extends to its educational institutions as well. Here are some of the upcoming events that reflect the cultural essence of life in Australia for Indian students:
- Darwin Festival (6th-23rd August): A vibrant celebration of art, culture, and the unique spirit of Darwin, this festival features a packed program of concerts, workshops, visual arts, theatre, and more.
- Melbourne Cup (3rd November): Known as the race that stops the nation, the Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most famous horse racing event that brings together fashion, entertainment, and sport.
- New Year’s Eve Celebrations (31st December): Australia is one of the first countries to welcome the New Year. The spectacular fireworks display over Sydney Harbour is a sight to behold.
- Woodford Folk Festival (27th December – 1st January): A unique Australian cultural experience, this six-day event showcases music, dance, cabaret, comedy, workshops, debates, street theatre, films, and more.
Australian universities mirror this festive spirit by hosting annual events on their campuses. One such noteworthy event is:
- BLOOM Festival at The University of Queensland (17th-27th October): Celebrated in the heart of the campus, this festival encapsulates the spirit of innovation and creativity at the University of Queensland. It offers a series of events including performances, workshops, and installations that bring together the university community.
These cultural and university festivals truly encapsulate the diverse and lively atmosphere of international student life in Australia, promising unforgettable experiences for students from all over the world.
Learning Environment in Australia
- Teaching Method: Australian universities go beyond traditional lecture-based methods. Instead, they encourage a more practical and collaborative learning approach, often involving study groups tackling real-world projects.
- Academic Calendar: The academic year is divided into two semesters. The autumn semester runs from February to July, and the spring semester from July to November. Most students attend classes from Monday to Friday.
- Seasonal Differences: Because Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer break, perfect for exploring the country or gaining work experience, is from December to February.
- Adaptation Period: The first few weeks in Australia may be challenging for international students, as they’re not only adjusting to a new academic environment but also to a new country and culture.
- Attendance: Australian universities don’t strictly enforce class attendance. However, it’s crucial not to miss classes, as doing so might put you behind your peers academically due to the comprehensive nature of lectures.
Tips for Success in the Learning Environment:
- Study-Life Balance: Allocate ample time for your studies, but also participate in extracurricular activities to enjoy a balanced student life.
- Note-Taking: Consider handwriting your notes. Research suggests that it can improve the retention of information.
- Study Buddy: Collaborate with a classmate for studying. Regularly testing each other can enhance understanding and recall of learned concepts.
Before You Arrive
- Family Time: Spend quality time with family and friends before leaving your home country, as studying abroad can be a big transition.
- Documentation: Ensure your education funding and student visa are in place well in advance to avoid last-minute stress. Studying in Australia can be expensive, so consider applying for scholarships meant for international students.
- Phone Connectivity: Upon arriving in Australia, you can purchase a cost-effective SIM card for your existing phone. Options for short-term contracts, pre-paid plans, and inexpensive international calling cards are readily available.
- Banking: You can open a bank account even before your arrival in Australia. Many banks in your home country might offer services tailored for overseas students, making the process relatively straightforward.
- Health Insurance: Health insurance that covers doctor’s consultations and certain medicines is mandatory as part of the visa process. Your university can guide you in selecting a suitable provider. If you have a chronic condition, you might need a more comprehensive private plan.
- Sun Protection: Australia’s temperate climate can feature intense sunlight. It’s advisable to buy clothes suitable for the climate, a hat, and sunscreen upon your arrival.
- Climate Variations: While most of Australia experiences a hot and dry climate, the coastal regions can be quite cold from May to September, necessitating a warm coat. Certain areas are known for rapid weather changes, bringing about unexpected rain showers. Hence, investing in an umbrella would be a smart choice.
- General Safety: Australian cities are renowned for their low crime rates, with streets and public spaces being relatively safe. Yet, like any other place, they aren’t entirely crime-free, and it’s crucial to practice standard safety precautions.
- Incidents Against International Students: There have been sporadic instances of verbal and physical assaults against international students, including those from India and China. These incidents, although rare, have threatened Australia’s $35-billion international student market.
- Attitude Towards Racism: In response to these incidents, Australian institutions, including universities, have ramped up their efforts to combat racism. A prime example is the “Racism. It Stops With Me” campaign, launched by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
- Emergency Assistance: As an international student in Australia, you’ll be supported by the local authorities in terms of safety. You can dial “000” in case of an emergency, reach out to your university’s security service, or use safety apps available for students.
- Outdoor Activity Safety: Australia is famous for its outdoor activities, such as swimming and bushwalking. However, it’s important to prioritize your safety during these adventures. Always follow local guidelines and regulations to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Australia boasts an impressive public transport system, including buses, trains, trams, ferries, rideshare options, and bikes, allowing for convenient movement around cities and suburbs.
- Depending on the city and mode of transport, costs may vary.
- International students often receive transport concessions in some states, providing a cost-effective travel option.
- Some educational institutions offer their own transport services, beneficial for students residing in suburbs or needing late-night transport.
- For those who prefer to drive, an existing driver’s license from the home country is acceptable, although some states might require a driving test after three months.
Food and Cuisine
- Known as the “barbeque country,” Australia is famous for its outdoor dining, with popular dishes including steak, seafood, and various meats.
- International students will find stores carrying groceries from around the globe, featuring Asian, Indian, Greek, Italian, French, and British foods.
- Campus food options often cater to various diets, including vegetarian and vegan choices.
- Indigenous Australian cuisine, including fruits, berries, kangaroo, and emu meat, can be found in specialty restaurants.
- Australia’s beverage culture includes beer, wine, and coffee, with Adelaide renowned for wine and Melbourne and Sydney for their café culture.
Expenses and Costs in Australia
- Although tuition is less expensive compared to the US or UK, students should meticulously plan their budget.
- The first-year tuition fee at top universities varies significantly, with scholarships available for international students.
- The Australian government estimates a minimum of A$20,290 per year for living expenses, although this amount may vary depending on the city.
- The cost of living can be broken down into accommodation, groceries, public transport, utilities, phone and internet, entertainment, and other miscellaneous expenses.
- Finding suitable accommodation is a top priority for international students. Options include on-campus living, homestays, hostels, and rental properties.
- Rents can range from A$150 to A$300 per week for shared houses, with lower prices in suburbs but possibly older or rundown buildings.
- Some students may opt to rent higher-priced accommodation during the semester and move to less expensive ones during the holidays.
- Long-term leases often require a “rental bond,” or security deposit, typically equating to four to six weeks’ rent.
- International students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during semester breaks.
- Popular job options include retail stores, supermarkets, call centers, cinemas, restaurants, and hotels.
- Some students may find job opportunities within their chosen industry, offering valuable experience for post-graduation employment.
- The minimum wage in Australia is around A$16 before taxes.
A Day in the Life of International Students in Australia
Meet Alex, an international student in Australia:
Alex’s day starts at 7 a.m., and although he sometimes misses his home country, he enjoys a simple breakfast with his roommate. He takes the tram to the university, where he even runs into a fellow countryman.
After lectures and a warm lab welcome, Alex enjoys a scenic tram ride back home while watching the sunset. Back at his flat, his roommate cooks a tasty dinner.
Life for international students in Australia is full of great experiences, from top-notch education to diverse cultures and part-time work opportunities. Navigators Overseas, a top Study Visa Consultant, is there to help.
Studying in Australia offers a rich and diverse experience. With excellent education, cultural immersion, and ample part-time work options, it’s a place for personal and professional growth. While it can be expensive, budgeting and scholarships make it doable.
Contact Navigators Overseas – The Best Australia Study Visa Consultants in Chandigarh, if you dream of Studying & Building a Career in Australia. We have over 26+ Years of Experience with 18K+ VISAS issues till date and top-notch service in the industry.
Why should students consider Australia as a study destination?
Australia offers a remarkable blend of world-class education, a vibrant lifestyle, and a welcoming atmosphere. It hosts some of the highest-ranked universities globally and provides a wide range of courses. Besides academics, the country’s natural beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural events add to its appeal to international students.
What is the average earning for students working part-time in Australia?
Students on a Student Visa in Australia are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during semesters and full-time during breaks. They are entitled to a minimum wage of approximately $19.49 per hour as of 2023, which equates to around $779.60 for a 40-hour week, before tax.
Is Australia a suitable study destination for Indian students?
Yes, Australia is a popular choice among Indian students for higher education. With its multicultural society, Indian students often find it easier to adjust. The country also offers ample job opportunities in sectors like IT, business, health, and engineering, which are popular fields among Indian students.
What are the most sought-after fields of study in Australia?
Australia is renowned for its various fields of study. Business and Management, Medicine, Computer Science and IT, Environmental Science, and Engineering are some of the popular choices. However, the country offers a plethora of courses across diverse fields that cater to the varied interests of international students.
What are some of the high-paying part-time jobs available for students in Australia?
Several part-time jobs can provide a good income for students in Australia. Some high-paying roles include Tutors, Fitness Instructors, Bartenders, Administrative Assistants, and Freelance work in areas like writing, graphic design, or coding. However, wages can vary based on location, skill level, and the industry.