Australia, the third most popular study destination for international students, after the USA and UK, is home to the eight most popular universities in the world. You might think it’ll be easy to study there and you really don’t need to prepare much.
Well, it’s not.
Sure, it’s not as challenging as studying abroad in a country with a different language, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
If you’re one of the millions of students aspiring to study in Australia, then here are the 12 most crucial things you ought to remember before you pack your bags and hop a plane to the ‘Land Down Under’.
These are the things that you should know before studying in Australia :
Study the Country
The best way to know about any country is to first search for information from people who visited it. In this regard, Australia is no different. A 30-minute conversation with someone who has lived there for some time is much better off than looking for answers on the internet.
It is worth the time to study the weather and climate to avoid any kind of trouble, especially in winter. As the season’s turn, Australia encounters winters in June, July and August, while the climate is warm between December and February.
Therefore, it is highly recommended for spring admission candidates to pack warm clothes such as sweaters, cardigans and jackets. Students also need to ensure that they carry all relevant documents and visas and sufficient prescription medicines for the duration of their stay.
You will need a visa to study in Australia for over three months. The application process is fairly easy. It’s all done online and it’s almost connected to your passport- no visits to the embassy or waiting for it to arrive in the mail. The fee is pretty expensive if you ask me. So be prepared!
Make sure to investigate this. If you want to study abroad, health insurance may or may not be included, but if you study directly with a university, you are likely to ask to receive health insurance in Australia.
Australia is culturally vastly different from Asian countries like Nepal, India, China, Pakistan, etc. With more than 200 different languages and dialects and tolerance for the acceptance of people from all over the world, the country promotes a rich diversity of students and staff. A general understanding of the local accent and how they speak English will be of immense help during your stay there.
Australia fosters a spirit of equality that embraces people’s mutual respect and tolerance. Basic knowledge of the country’s history and the political background will be an additional advantage. The Immigration and Citizenship department gives you a list of frequently asked questions if you need any help regarding Australia.
Get an overview of Australia’s currency exchange rates, interest and transaction charges. Make sure to carry enough money considering these factors. Find an ATM and open a bank account as soon as possible. It enables you to pay the bills and keep your money safe.
You must register with the Ministry of International Affairs and your country’s embassy to find a place to stay in Australia. This makes your stay in Australia legalized and helps you to get temporary residence within 24 to 48 hours.
Australian universities provide little or no university housing and therefore the majority of students in Australia live off-campus through home-stay programs, hostels, rental properties or find a locality with people of the same country as them and share rooms with them.
Think Carefully About Where You Want to Study
There are many different types of places in Australia that you can choose from while studying in Australia. Do you prefer the town or countryside? Would you like to spend all your free time at the beach or would you prefer to get out in the bush? Different areas have different facilities and different drawbacks, So, it’s on you to make the changes.
There is an intensive time difference between Australia and the Asian countries. When you arrive in the morning, you must stay up all day. If you arrive at night, go to bed. The sooner you dive the better into your new time zone. After the initial jet lag is over, you will be faced with the complicated problem of finding a good time to get back home with your friends and family! Just make sure that you include the time/date in both y when you suggest a Skype date.
Australia is Expensive
Sydney and Melbourne are mostly the go-to location of any international student who is aiming to go to Australia. They belong in the most expensive cities list all around the world. Australia is expensive but the time there is worth the expense.
Earn While You Learn
Australia allows students to work up to 40 hours every 2 weeks during the course or to work unrestricted hours during any break, provided that your visa allows you to work. Some colleges also provide job advisory boards on campus and online to help you get a part-time job.
To mitigate your expenses, calling using Skype or Viber will enable you to have a video chat for free. Other social networking sites can also assist in keeping the interaction active with friends, peer groups, and parents.
Since Melbourne and Sydney are profoundly expensive when it comes to travel, travelling in buses, trams and trains is an ideal approach. The ISIC card is very helpful in travelling, shopping and dining.
Seasons are Flipped!
If you go to Australia in the summer of the northern hemisphere, you will fly straight into winter. And despite the sunshine images and the beaches that can swim in your head, if you study in one of the big cities in the south (such as Sydney or Melbourne), it will get cold. Make sure you pack everything that you’d require to survive the cold.
Australia is Huge
For many, the ” Australian dream ” includes the Grand Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Outback, the Sydney Opera House and more. But coming to Australia is probably a fantasy if you don’t have much time and money to burn. Wherever you study, there are certainly many amazing things in the vicinity, and you can probably go on a big journey, but manage your expectations of seeing the whole country.
People have a habit of stereotyping the Average Australian as someone who says G’day pretty often and wears crocs dressed in Safari. Although people say G’day pretty often, that’s where the similarity of your stereotype stops. People are different here and if you abbreviate a word and add an ” o ” or ” y ” to the end of it, you are likely to be close.)
The very first step before you move to Australia is to research the right institution or university and course quickly. Compare the colleges and then go to the process of ” applying for the right college. ” Go through the institution rankings, the population of international students in that institution, the facilities provided by the colleges, the faculty of the institute and whether or not the library and other academic support services are available. Since such thorough research can not be carried out within a short period of time, you can consult EATC-certified consultants.
Once you have completed your search, you must apply to the institutions as soon as possible, although the institutions do not set deadlines for international applications for students. Double-check all necessary supporting documents and obtain certified copies before you apply. You can apply via certified educational agents or through the website of the institution.
After receiving your letter of offer (presumably three weeks after application), you must read it carefully and then accept it. Make sure that all information on the letter, from the course details to tuition fees and other amounts, are correct.
If you receive Australian qualifications, it is worth looking at what they mean! In fact, a ” D ” is quite a good grade! The majority of Australian universities use the grading system of HD (High Distinction), D (Distinction), C (Credit), P (Pass) and F (Fail). Don’t just freak out yet!
If you spend a semester or more in Australia, an Australian bank account may well be worth opening. You can avoid the ridiculous fees that you would probably have to pay with your home bank (and wherever you can save a little money, it will be needed!), and some Australian bank accounts actually have a decent interest rate. This would be especially useful if you decided to work part-time.
Rules of the Road
There’s a good chance you’ll rent a car while you’re abroad. First of all, of course, you should know that the Aussies drive on the left side of the road. Watch out for traffic cameras everywhere. And don’t drive at night and in the morning. Yes, it may sound completely random, but kangaroos are much harder to see in the early morning, late evening and even in the night.
1. You Need a Visa
You’ll need a visa to study in Australia for more than three months. The process for applying is fairly easy. It’s all done online and it is virtually linked to your passport — no embassy visits or waiting for it to arrive in the mail. However, it is quite expensive, so be prepared! If you study for less than three months, you should be able to go on a regular tourist visa and save yourself some trouble.
2. You May Need to Get Health Insurance
If you’re going to study in Australia, chances are you’ll need to get health insurance in Australia. If you’re going on a study abroad program, it may be already included, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check.
Just make sure to research into this before you spend money on health insurance.
3. Take Your Time To Think Regarding Where You Wish to Study
There are loads of places in Australia for you to decide on your study trip abroad. Are you comfortable in a rural or urban place? One places are better for you depending on what you choose to study.
If you’re a marine biology major, then somewhere close to the Great Barrier Reef might be good for you. If you’re a business major, perhaps studying in Sydney might be better for you.
4. Jet Lag is a Real Thing
The time difference between Australia and, well, almost anywhere in the world is pretty intense. Especially if you’re from the northern hemisphere. If you arrive in the morning, it’s better if you force yourself to stay up and explore all day because it’ll make your body get used to the time difference quicker. If you arrive at night, go to bed. The sooner you get used to the time zone, the better.
After you settle into your life in Australia, you’ll be faced with the issue of finding a decent time to talk to your friends and family back home. Just make sure you plan ahead and schedule talking on the phone or skyping to avoid confusion.
5. Australia is Expensive
Australia. Is. Expensive. Sydney and Melbourne, two of the most preferred destinations in Australia for international students, regularly makes it to the top ten list of the world’s most expensive cities. From rent to groceries, it’s all expensive so make sure to have a decent amount of change saved.
6. The Seasons are Flipped!
Basically, if you’re from the northern hemisphere and it’s summer there, you’ll be flying straight into winter. You might have expectations of sunshine and beaches swimming in your head but it WILL get cold. Make sure you pack accordingly.
7. Australia is Huge
There’s a reason why Australia is a whole continent by itself. It’s huge. And if you’re expecting to visit the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Outback, the Sydney Opera House, etc then you better have a lot of time and money to burn because you can’t cover all of them in a single day. So, it’s better if you manage your expectations of exploring the whole country.
8. Make Sure You Do Your Research
You’re going to be living there for the duration of your studies so it’s better if you make an effort to study up on the country. Don’t be ignorant, make sure you’re able to impress the people there (if needed) by knowing a bit more than the average Joe.
Whatever course you choose to study, you will most certainly get a feel for Australia’s infamous laidback attitude, appreciation for nature, and overall contagious good vibes.
9. The Grading System is Different
The grading system is quite different in Australia than your usual grading system. In Australia, a “D” is actually a pretty good grade. It stands for “Distinction”. Most universities there use “HD”, “D”, “C”, “P” and “F” grades with “HD” being High Distinction, “D” being Distinction, “C” being Credit, “P” being Pass and “F” being Fail.
10. You Can Work While You’re in Australia
Remember how expensive college tuitions are? Well, you can do your part to take them head-on. The typical student visa will allow you to work 42 hours a week. Considering the high minimum wage in Australia, it might be better if you start early on. You’ll also meet people in your new city so that’s good.
11. Open a Bank Account
If you open an Australian bank account, you can avoid the ridiculous fees you’ll face when drawing out money with your home bank. Some Australian banks actually have a pretty decent interest rate, which would be especially useful if you decide to take on some part-time work.
12. Know the Rules of the Road
First, of course, you should know that Aussies drive on the left side of the road. Watch out for traffic cameras everywhere. And don’t drive at dawn and dusk!
Yes, it sounds weird but kangaroos are almost everywhere during the early morning, late evening, and during nighttime. It’s better to be safe than sorry over hurting something as awesome as a kangaroo.
Well, that’s about it. Wherever you’re studying in Australia, these tips will help you out and make your stay in Australia a lot better. With a little preparation, you’re guaranteed to go a long way. Best of luck!