What is Australia like?
Australia is the perfect country for those who love to enjoy life but at the same time, want to live in an efficient and cutting-edge country. Known for its easy-going lifestyle, Australian’s find the perfect balance between efficient productive work-lives and fun-filled social lives with a strong focus on well-being!
The main cities offer all kinds of services, work, and leisure activities in a relaxed and spacious environment. The whole country has only 26 million people but is geographically as big as the whole of Europe. What’s more, towns and cities are often surrounded by the impressive beauty of Australian nature. Australia is a nation where people from all over the world come together in a creative, energetic, and forward-thinking setting.
Australians are very friendly and easy-going people. In fact, Australians are renowned for their laid-back nature and unique sense of humour. Another thing Australians are known for is their love of sport, recreation and the great outdoors. Watching and playing a wide variety of sports is a common pastime for many Australians with popular sports including cricket, football, soccer, netball, tennis and basketball.
A healthy country
With 26 consecutive years of uninterrupted growth, the Australian economy is one of the real economic successes of the last 50 years. The vast majority of the population is comprised of the middle class. There are many job opportunities within everyone’s reach, thanks to a varied and rewarding work culture.
In this context, ample space is also given to foreign workers; so much so that 1 out of 3 were not born in Australia. The rate of unemployment is very low. In some cities, as far as young people and international students are concerned, it is even zero, precisely because temporary jobs are never lacking.
A multicultural soul
Australia is, by nature, deeply multicultural. The continent has, in fact, been populated thanks to immigration over the last two centuries. Foreigners to Australia come from all over the world: one in four people have no Australian origins.
This means that, as a foreigner in Australia, you will never feel alienated from its society because diversity is considered a strength. The advantage is obvious – if you are good and have the right attitude, have a positive personality, and speak English well (you don’t need to have perfect knowledge), you should be able to find excellent job opportunities.
English & Education: a fantastic combination
The world-class education industry, combined with a fantastic climate, dream beaches and a world-famous lifestyle, make Australia the third most sought-after destination for international students.
Home to many prestigious universities, seven of which are cited among the top 100 on the planet, Australia offers top rated study and training. Whether it is an English language, professional or university course, Australia has a course that will meet your needs and expectations.
It is not surprising that the education sector is one of the five sectors seeing the greatest growth. This is thanks to the great attention paid to it by the Australian Government and the facilities for foreign students, such as scholarships and grants.
Why study in Australia?
Australia is currently the third most popular destination for international students in the English-speaking world, behind the United States and the UK. Many international students choose to study there because of the cultural diversity, friendly natives, and high quality of education.
Graduates from Australian schools are highly sought-after due to the impressive international reputation of the Australian education system. This system is carefully regulated by the government in order to maintain the high standards of education associated with the country.
Cost of living
Australia’s standard of living is amongst the highest in the world. Living expenses and tuition costs are considerably lower in Australia than they are in the United States and United Kingdom. There is also the possibility of scholarships, which helps to lower the cost of studying for international students.
Diversity of education
Institutions in Australia offer a wide variety of courses and degrees, so international students can easily find the school and field that are right for them. The first decision international students have to make when choosing a degree program is which school caters most to their needs and interests. Students can choose between universities, vocational education, and English language training. If necessary, it is easy for students to move between one qualification level and from one institution to another.
One of the most appealing aspects of Australia for international students is the emphasis on scientific research. Australia is at the forefront of new technology and innovations. Students who study in Australia can take advantage of the country’s impressive technology and resources.
International students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while studying in Australia. This is a great opportunity for those who want to earn money to offset living expenses during their stay, and for students who want to gain work experience in their field of interest while they study.
The education system
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
The unique factor of the Australian education system is its implementation of Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), the national policy established in 1995 that specifies the standards of qualifications for the tertiary education sector (higher education, vocational education and training) in addition to the school leaving certificate, called the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. With AQF, your degree is recognised and authorised by the government.
Under the AQF, there are 10 levels that interconnects various schools, colleges, universities and educational institutions in one single national system. This allows flexibility, choice and better career planning for students to move from one study level to another as long as their student visa requirements are fulfilled.
Study levels in Australia
The education system in Australia is three-tiered with primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. Here’s an overview of the different levels and qualifications available as per the AQF.
Levels and qualifications as per Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)
- Level 1 Certificate I
- Level 2 Certificate II
- Level 3 Certificate III
- Level 4 Certificate IV
- Level 5 Diploma
- Level 6 Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree
- Level 7 Bachelor Degree
- Level 8 Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma
- Level 9 Master’s Degree
- Level 10 Doctoral Degree
The highest level of education in Australia is the university level. There are 43 universities, 40 out of which are government funded, two are international universities and one is a private university. You may opt for bachelor degrees or postgraduate courses which can comprise certificate, postgraduate diploma, master and doctoral programs.
Students can also enrol for vocational courses that work as a gateway to university education or industry for work. These courses focus on practical skills and industry training and are offered by government-funded institutions (including TAFE - Technical and Further Education) and private establishments.
The Australian Government recommends a single student budget of AUD$19,830 a year for living expenses. Accommodation costs are a large component of living expenses; an allowance should be made for recreation, emergencies and health expenses not covered by Overseas Student Health Cover. Exchange rate variations may also affect budgeting. Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation.
VET (Vocational and Technical Schools)
Australian education system allows its students to enrol for vocational courses that lets them skip university education and apply directly to jobs. These courses primarily focus on practical learning and industry skills unlike the regular courses that rely heavily on theoretical and in-depth knowledge. A lot of schools provide courses in technical and further education (TAFE) and vocational education and training (VET). Keep in mind that courses mostly provide certifications, diploma or advanced diploma. Some of the popular industries that VET students can look at include manufacturing, hospitality, sports, tourism, business and marketing.
Pathway programs – Your bridge to higher education in Australia
International students may require additional support and assistance to get accustomed to the education system and teaching approach of Australia. Henceforth, a lot of pathway programs to higher education that comprise of foundation courses and English language programs are available.
Australian colleges and universities offer two major intakes. Intakes may also be referred to as a semester in some universities. The two intakes available in Australia are:
- Semester 1: Starts late February/early March to late May/early June
- Semester 2: Starts late July/early August through to November
The Australian high school system commences in late January or early February whereas the vocational courses and university programs begin around February. While the school system has three to four terms, universities have two semesters. Students can enjoy a 2-4 week break between the two semesters, the summer one being the longer one. .
English language training
Since Australia is an English-speaking country and all your instructions in the classroom takes place in English, it is essential to be proficient in this language. In case you have limited proficiency, you may consider enrolling in an English language course before you start your program.
Both universities and private colleges offer postgraduate courses in Australia. A Master’s degree has three formats – Master’s degree (coursework), Master’s degree (research) and Master’s degree (extended). Similarly, on doctorate level, there are two formats- Research doctorate (PhD) and Professional doctorate. Admission criteria at post graduate level is quite competitive including high levels of English language proficiency, and remarkable academic qualifications. You should also know that some courses like architecture and medicine are only offered by universities.
Post-study work opportunities
Australia provides ample employment prospects after graduation. You can apply for the appropriate visa on completion of your studies that will allow you to remain and study further/work in Australia.