Are you thinking of moving to Australia to study? We hope you’re ready to get immersed in a brand new culture, and excited to see some of the incredible sites that Australia has to offer. Read on to find out how you can be prepared and make the most out of your study abroad. This list covers everything from information on visas and financial requirements, through to tips on making new friends and travelling cheap.
1. Find out if you’re eligible for credits to be transferred to your course
If you’ve done any existing relevant study to your course, you may be able to count this towards your education in Australia. This also works the other way; if you are coming to Australia for an exchange, be sure to check that your course here can get you closer to your qualification back home.
2. Confirm your enrolment
In order to get a visa to study, you’ll need confirmation from your educational institute that you are enrolled. So find the best course, choose your dream city, and apply.
3. Plan your visa and passport well in advance
If you are not an Australian citizen you will need to apply for a work or study visa. Check in with your local Australian embassy or consulate well in advance so you don’t have to stress about waiting for approval in the lead up to your flight and start of semester dates. Depending on your chosen course, you might also be asked to meet some other non-academic visa requirements.
4. Collect proof of financial resources
One of your visa requirements is proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your studies. Wondering how much money you need to study in Australia? Well, it will depend on where you are going to live, your course, and your education fees. But as a general guideline, the Australian government says you need the equivalent of a return airfare, the fees for your course, and around $18,610 for costs of living such as food and rent in order to be considered for a student visa.
Proof could be in the form of bank statements, loan details, financial aid from the government or university, or information about who is paying for your education. When you are providing proof of your finances, the more information is better. All of your information will be kept safe by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The international student department at your university should be able to help you determine if you meet the minimum financial requirements.
5. Find a place to stay
It’s almost always easier to seek out the ideal home when you are in your city itself. Still, you can be prepared to a certain degree before arriving in Australia. Research the suburbs and areas that you would like to live in, and check their proximity to your educational institute. You can also check out flat-share websites and Facebook groups to arrange some inspections before you arrive. This is a good idea, as some places in busy cities can get snapped up quickly, especially if they are cheap. It’s also a good idea to arrive a few weeks earlier to get to know the city, get over your jetlag, and decide the best place for you. Try not to make too many concrete plans with accommodation before you can inspect the place yourself – it’s very easy for photos to be deceiving.
6. Plan your packing
Australia can be a pretty expensive place to shop, so bring more costly items with you where you can. However things like towels, sheets, and shampoo can be bought relatively cheaply, so don’t let these weigh down your bag.
Finding the balance between travelling light and having all your essentials and mementos is a tricky one, so do a practice pack in advance to make sure your bag is perfect. Remember that most airlines have 20kg luggage restrictions, so make sure to check how much baggage weight you are allowed.
Also remember to check out the weather in the city you are planning to live in, and pack accordingly.
7. Sort out your money
It may be expensive for you to take out cash using your usual bank card, so you should set up a bank account when you arrive in Australia. It’s also a good idea to bring some cash with you to be exchanged so you can avoid expensive ATM fees. You should also tell your bank and credit card companies you’ll be overseas before you go. They may think they are protecting you from fraud and cancel your card, and this can be a real hassle.
8. Travel on the cheap
Want to see Australia? It’s often easier to travel at the end of your studies instead of before. By then, you can find friends to share things like accommodation costs and cars. Plus, you’ll hear of all the best places to go. Your educational institute may have good connections with cheaper tickets and student specials, so be sure to check that out too.
Wondering if you can stay in Australia after finishing your studies?
Yes, if you love it, you can apply to continue living in Australia. Many people apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa after they get their qualification. You must get a degree-level qualification to be eligible, and there is an assessment process, but there’s also hope you can stay. Your Temporary Graduate Visa can be given for up to two, three or four years.
For further information on studying in Australia, head to the International Students section on the Australian government website. If you’re looking at studying English to enhance your language skills, or are wanting to study something related to business, finance, nursing or project management, make sure to check out our range of courses on offer at Lonsdale Institute.