10 reasons to study in Australia
Did you know Australia has the third highest number of international students in the world behind only the United Kingdom and the United States despite having a population of only 23 million? This isn’t surprising when you consider Australia has seven of the top 100 universities in the world! In fact, with over 22,000 courses across 1,100 institutions, Australia sits above the likes of Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, ranking eighth in the Universitas 2012 U21 Ranking of National Higher Education.
These are strong academic credentials, but our institutions are just as highly rated as the cities that house them around the country. Australia has five of the 30 best cities in the world for students based on student mix, affordability, quality of life, and employer activity – all important elements for students when choosing the best study destination. And with more than A$200 million provided by the Australian Government each year in international scholarships, we’re making it easier for you to come and experience the difference an Australian education can make to your future career opportunities.
Do you have a specific study area of interest? There is every chance Australia has you covered, with at least one Australian university in the top 50 worldwide across the study areas of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Life & Agricultural Sciences, Clinical Medicine & Pharmacy, and Physics.
Given this impressive education pedigree, it’s not surprising there are now more than 2.5 million former international students who have gone on to make a difference after studying in Australia. Some of these students are among the world’s finest minds. In fact, Australia has produced 15 Nobel prize laureates and every day over 1 billion people around the world rely on Australian discoveries and innovations – including penicillin, IVF, ultrasound, Wi-Fi, the Bionic Ear, cervical cancer vaccine and Black Box Flight Recorders – to make their lives, and the lives of others, better.
Why wouldn’t you want to study with some of the best minds in the world?
- www.oecd.org(opens in a new window)
- cricos.deewr.gov.au(opens in a new window)
- www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings(opens in a new window)
- www.topuniversities.com/city-rankings(opens in a new window)
- www.universitas21.com(opens in a new window)
- www.australiaawards.gov.au(opens in a new window)
- www.timeshighereducation.co.uk(opens in a new window)
- www.ieaa.org.au(opens in a new window)
- www.smartestinvestment.com.au(opens in a new window)
Living costs in Australia
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Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation. For your reference, here are some of the costs associated with living and studying in Australia. (All costs are in Australian dollars and linked to the consumer price index.)
- Hostels and Guesthouses - $90 to $150 per week
- Shared Rental - $85 to $215 per week
- On campus - $90 to $280 per week
- Homestay - $235 to $325 per week
- Rental - $165 to $440 per week
- Boarding schools - $11,000 to $22,000 a year
Other living expenses
- Groceries and eating out - $80 to $280 per week
- Gas, electricity - $35 to $140 per week
- Phone and Internet - $20 to $55 per week
- Public transport - $15 to $55 per week
- Car (after purchase) - $150 to $260 per week
- Entertainment - $80 to $150 per week
Minimum cost of living
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia. From 1 July 2016 the 12 month living cost is:
- You - $19,830
- Partner or spouse - $6,940
- Child - $2,970
All costs are per year in Australian dollars. To convert to your own currency, visit http://www.xe.com/(opens in a new window)
The Australian Government provides information and guidance on managing your finances. You can read more at www.moneysmart.gov.au(opens in a new window)
The 'Insider Guides Cost of Living Calculator' is also a useful tool to help estimate your cost of living(opens in a new window) in Australia www.insiderguides.com.au/cost-of-living-calculator/(opens in a new window).
If you experience financial trouble while in Australia, talk to your institution’s international student support staff for assistance.
Work while you study
Working while you study in Australia can help complement your study and living experience. There are a number of reasons you might want to undertake part time work while studying in Australia, including assisting with living expenses and gaining work experience in your study area.
Most student visas allow you to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks while your course is in session, and unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break, but before you undertake any paid work you need to make sure your visa allows you to work. Find out more at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection(opens in a new window) website.
Australia has a wide range of industries and many have part time employment opportunities, including:
- Retail - supermarkets, department and clothing stores.
- Hospitality - cafes, bars and restaurants.
- Tourism - hotels and motels.
- Agricultural - farming and fruit-picking.
- Sales and telemarketing.
- Administration or Clerical roles.
If you have existing qualifications and/or professional work experience, you may be able to secure casual or part time work in your field.
Paid or unpaid internships can be a great way to get exposure to the professional, financial and creative industries. Learn more about getting an internship on the Internships page in the Education System section of this website.
There are many charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia and they always need volunteers to help out. It can be a great way to meet friends, get some hands on work experience and give back to the community. To find out more about volunteering, start your search at: http://www.govolunteer.com.au/(opens in a new window)
Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect entitlement to:
- A minimum wage.
- Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
- Leave, breaks and rest periods.
- A healthy and safe work environment.
Most employers in Australia are covered by an 'award', which sets minimum wages and conditions for a type of job or industry. To find out more about your work rights visit the Australian Government's Fair Work Ombudsman's website(opens in a new window) or call them on 13 13 94.
In Australia, employers (your boss) must also do all they can to make sure your job does not hurt you or make you sick. This law is called work health and safety (WHS) or occupational health and safety (OHS).
The law also says your boss must have insurance for you in case you are hurt at work. This is called workers’ compensation. If you are hurt or get sick at work, the insurance may pay for your medical treatment and for your wages until you can work again.
This covers all workers in Australia, even if you are on a temporary visa. Visit Safe Work Australia(opens in a new window) for more information or to download(opens in a new window) the latest checklist.
You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Taxation Office(opens in a new window) website to find out more information on getting a tax file number, as well as information about paying taxes in Australia.
There are plenty of ways to find work that suits you, including:
- Newspapers and online job sites.
- Some institutions provide job notice-boards on campus and online. Contact your institution’s international student support staff to find out what options your institution offers.
- Register your details at a recruitment firm; many of them help place people in casual or short-term work.