Studying in Australia


An increasing number of international students from around the world are choosing Australia as their preferred overseas study destination for the following reasons:

World Class Education and Training

Australia offers an internationally recognised education and training system providing world class opportunities for  international students. Major employers and professional organisations around the world recognise Australian qualifications.

The pursuit of excellence is an important part of the development of knowledge and research at Australian universities. Through vocational education and training, Australia provides skills required for the successful operation of business and industry.

Australia is continually refining and redefining its education and training system while retaining the best of traditional values, such as the pastoral care of students and excellence in scholarship.

Quality, Diversity and Ease of Access

Australia offers high quality education and training courses of increasing importance and relevance to you.

Australian universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering a broad range of disciplines ranging from the humanities and computing to engineering, health sciences and law.

Australia’s public and private vocational education and training institutions deliver training ranging from accounting and applied science to business studies, marketing, hospitality and tourism which is responsive to your needs and those of industry.

Flexible and Innovative Approaches to Education

Australian institutions use leading-edge technologies and learning programs which promote flexible and innovative approaches to teaching and research.

With over eighty years experience, and rapid developments in information technology and telecommunications, Australian institutions can deliver courses directly to you via distance education.

A variety of Australian education and training programs are offered offshore. These programs allow you to obtain Australian qualifications in your own country or to combine study at home with study in Australia.

Australia also offers an exciting range of continuing education programs, equal to the best in the world, for the purpose of upgrading professional skills and personal development.

A National System of Qualifications

Australia has a nationally consistent yet flexible framework of qualifications in the secondary school, vocational education and training and university sectors.

This is called the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

AQF qualifications are linked so you an advance from each level to the next and between sectors.

The AQF is endorsed by the Australian Government and recognised across Australia.

Competitive Tuition Fees and Cost of Living

The cost of studying in Australia compares favourably with other destination countries for international students.

A recent Australian Government study found that in terms of total costs (which include tuition fees and living expenses) the US and UK are consistently more expensive than Australia.

Protecting Your Interests

Australian laws ensure that courses offered to international students are of a high educational standard and your fees are protected.

Australian institutions must comply with laws relating to the approval and registration of courses they wish to offer to international students.

Many Australian private institutions are members of Tuition Assurance Schemes which ensure that you will be able to complete your course.

We encourage you to inquire about institutions’ educational credentials and arrangements for safekeeping of your fees.

Opportunity to Work while Studying

You are allowed to work while studying in Australia to help cover expenses. Up to 20 hours per week of work is allowed during semesters and full-time during vacations and other course breaks. Australian institutions can help by both providing work and through student employment services.

Personal Safety

Australia is a safe country compared to almost anywhere in the world. Crime and political unrest are limited in Australia. Your study plans and progress are not likely to be upset by political turmoil.

Multicultural Society

Australia is one of the world’s most harmonious multicultural societies. Australian’s are open, friendly people and you will find a warm welcome in Australia.

A Diverse Range of International Students

Australian institutions are the first choice of many international students from the Asia-Pacific and an increasingly attractive destination for students from North America and Europe.

Many thousands of international students are studying at Australian universities, English language institutions, vocational education and training institutions and schools. This means that many institutions have strong international student associations.

Surveys of international students reflect their satisfaction with their studies in Australia.

Support Services for International Students

Australian institutions are sensitive to your religious and cultural needs and provide a range of support and monitoring services to help you deal with settling into your new environment, the practicalities of living in Australia and completing your studies.

Proximity to Asia-Pacific

Australia is a close study destination for students from the Asia-Pacific region. This makes it cheaper to get to, easier to return home during vacations and makes it possible for family members to visit during your stay or at graduation.


The procedure for getting admission to Australia and the institution of your choice compares favourably with most other countries.

Applying for Admission into Australia and an Institution

Step 1

You should visit or ring the Australian Education Centre or Australian Diplomatic Mission in your country. There you will find someone who will be able to discuss your choices with you and answer questions you may have

Step 2

You can get application forms for the institution(s) which are of interest to you through the Australian Education Centre or Australian Diplomatic Mission. Alternatively you can ring, write, fax or email the institution(s) in which you are interested.

Step 3

The Australian Education Centre, Australian Diplomatic Mission or institution will give you an application to fill in and advise you what documentation you will need to prepare. They will also advise whether you will be required to take an English language proficiency test.

Step 4

Most application forms ask you to provide additional information, including:  

1. full details of previous study, including copies of qualifications already awarded to you

2. rebates for prescription medication (except oral contraceptives and drugs used during  an  operation) which     have annual benefit limitations of $150 (single membership) and $300 (family membership).  

3. the name of the course for which you are applying and your second and third preferences  

4. evidence of your proficiency in English  

5. the name of the person or organisation who will be responsible for paying your fees.

Step 5

The institution will advise you if you have been successful in your request for admission. If successful the institution will send you an enrolment letter. Institutions may also be able to grant provisional acceptance on the basis of previous academic performance in anticipation that your final examination results do not differ greatly from the grades already attained.

Step 6

Now you can begin the visa application process. The Australian Education Centre or Australian Diplomatic Mission will give you advice and assistance in preparing your application. You will be asked to have a medical examination as part of the visa process. Special forms will be provided for the doctor to complete.

Step 7

At about this point (and before a visa can be issued) you will also be required to pay a compulsory medical insurance fee (the Overseas Student Health Cover - OSHC) to pay for any medical or hospital treatment which you may need during your stay in Australia. You may also be asked to visit an Australian Diplomatic Mission for an interview as part of the visa process.

Step 8

Shortly after this you will be told whether your visa application has been successful. If so you will get a "multiple entry" visa allowing you to travel backwards and forwards to Australia within the period for which it has been granted. That period will depend on the course for which you have been accepted.

Step 9

You are on your way.  

When the institution sends you notice of your admission it may include information about the city you are going to, its climate, your likely clothing requirements, information about local customs, shopping facilities, accommodation, transport, banking, mail and telephone services, the estimated cost of living and the amount of money you should bring with you when you first arrive, arrangements for your welcome and settling-in period and the date by which you are expected to arrive.

  Entry Details 

For admission to a course of study in Australia you need to have a good standard of English language proficiency and at least the minimum academic qualifications for the desired course.

The Australian institution that you apply to will assess your qualifications. It is essential that you provide a certified academic record (transcript) of subjects taken and the results achieved.

IDP can provide you with further detailed information on entry requirements and can assist you in applying to the institution of your choice.

Minimum Academic Qualifications

In general:

To gain admission to an undergraduate university course, international students generally require the overseas equivalent of Australian high school matriculation.

Postgraduate university courses generally require a good first degree. A proven research ability and/or work experience are sometimes required. Some courses, such as Master of Business Administration, may require the student to sit the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

In terms of TAFE courses, entry to Certificate level courses varies, but generally students are required to have successfully completed the local equivalent of Year 10 or 11. Entry into Diploma level courses generally requires successful completion of the equivalent Year 12. Entry to Advanced Diplomas varies, but generally require successful completion of Year 12 and some courses may also require relevant work experience, presentation of folios or additional post-school training.

English Language Requirements

All international students need to meet English language requirements to study in Australia.The following are indicators of an acceptable level of English:

  • English is your first language.
  • You have succeeded in secondary/higher studies in an
    English-speaking country.
  • English was the language of instruction at your school/university.
  • For university study an IELTS score between 6 and 7 or a TOEFL score
    between 550 and 600.
  • For TAFE, private colleges and secondary schools an IELTS score
    of between 5 and 6 or a TOEFL score of between 500 and 550.


Application Deadlines

Generally speaking your application should be submitted by the following dates:

  • Semester I (February to June) - December 1st
  • Semester II (July - November) - May 1st
  • Summer Programs (June 22 - August 4) - April 15th

Applications for all of our programs will be accepted after Dec. 1st, May 1st and April 15th, however acceptance will be at the discretion of Study Australia based on time requirements to complete the process properly. Please contact us and we will let you if it is too late to apply.

For the semester programs listed below your application should be turned in by October 1st and March 1st respectively. Applications will be accepted after these dates, but spaces are limited and they tend to fill quickly.

  • University of Sydney
  • University of New South Wales



Tuition Fees

Costs vary considerably according to the course you wish to study. Note that in addition to the tuition fee, there may be additional charges such as the student association membership, library and laboratory user fees, and sports and facility user fees.

In 1997, university tuition fees ranged from A$8,000 to A$13,500 per year for an arts/ business course, A$8,800 to A$16,050 per year for a science/engineering course, and A$20,500 to A$27,000 per year for medicine.


You should work out a budget covering accommodation, food, transport, clothing and entertainment. Travel costs and child care, if applicable, should also be taken into account.

As a guide you will need between A$7000 – A$12,000 a year for living expenses. Married students need about A$5000 more a year for a spouse and A$3000 more a year for each child.

Further information about the cost of living in Australia can be obtained from the Australian Education Centre or Australian Diplomatic Mission in your country.



University and course selection

By law Australian institutions are required to registered with the Australian Government courses they wish to offer to international students. This facility allows you to search for information on these courses and institutions.

Deciding on a Course and Institution

You have an enormous range of educational options to choose from in Australia. In selecting a course and institution you could consider the following:

The Course of Study

You should clearly identify the course that best suits your academic needs and career goals. This includes taking into consideration the field of study, level of qualification and length of the course. The course you take will shape not just your years of study but also your career and life for many years into the future.

The Institution

You will need to find out which institutions offer the kinds of course you are interested in. Even if you are interested in only one type of course you will have at least four or five possible institutions on your list. In some areas of study (eg accountancy, engineering, science, law and arts) you will find many institutions on your list.

Financial Considerations

You will need to consider whether you can afford to study at a particular institution. There is also the cost of living to consider. Fees vary according to the institution and discipline selected. Science and medical courses that require a large amount of laboratory and fieldwork are more costly that arts subjects.

Academic Performance

You will need to consider if you meet the institution’s entry requirements. Each institution sets its own standards. They vary from one to another. Entry requirements also vary from one course or faculty to another. As well as academic requirements institutions will require you to be competent in using the English language. If you do not meet the requirements some institutions will allow you to enter provided that you undertake and succeed in special preparatory courses.

Location of the Institution

In selecting an institution at which to study you might want to consider the environment in which it is located (eg urban or rural, climate and extra curricular activities available on and off campus).

Personal Considerations

There are also personal considerations in deciding on the institution of your choice (eg if your religious needs are catered for or if friends and relatives are nearby).



You should consult the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) web site at http://www.immi.gov.au/. The following information forms are available on visa requirements for study in Australia:  

  • Student Entry to Australia  
  • Extension of Stay in Australia as a Student    
  •  Visiting Australia - Study Options.  

The Australian Education Centre or Australian Diplomatic Mission in your country will have copies of the information leaflet and can answer your questions and assist with visa applications for study in Australia.


You can be issued a student visa for study in Australia if you wish to undertake a registered course on a full-time basis. A registered course is a course offered by an Australian education and training institution which is registered with the Australian Government to offer courses to international students.

You should check with Australian Education Centre or Australian Diplomatic Mission to see if you are eligible to apply for a student visa before obtaining official confirmation of your enrolment and paying tuition fees.

If successful the visa you are issued is for the length of the study program and includes "multiple entry" allowing you to travel backwards and forwards to Australia within the period for which it has been granted. If you wish to extend your stay in Australia for further study you will need to lodge an application for a further visa.

Generally members of your immediate family (spouse and unmarried dependent children under 18 years of age) may accompany you to Australia and will be considered in the same visa class as yourself.

To be granted a student visa to study in Australia you will need:

  •       an enrolment letter showing acceptance into a full-time course of study registered by the Australian Government for overseas students

  •       to prove you have adequate means of financial support and that you have your return airfare

  •       a valid passport

  •       a medical report endorsing your good health

  •       proof of having obtained Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

  •       evidence of your good character (eg police clearance certificate, and testimonials from the business and/or educational community).


After you have entered Australia there are a number of conditions which come into effect. The most common are:  

  • you must leave Australia when the visa has expired as it invalid for permanent residency     
  • you must satisfy course requirements and maintain a valid enrolment  
  • while studying you can work in paid employment for up to 20 hours a week  
  • health insurance must be paid for the full stay in Australia.  








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