There’s almost nothing that Australia does not have…some of the best universities in the world with affordable education, an enviable lifestyle and beautiful scenic locales with golden beaches and stunning rainforests. Little wonder, then, that international students pick Australia as their preferred study abroad destination, and the numbers of students each year are growing!
You need never worry about finding people from your own country here! Australia is third behind only the United States and the United Kingdom in terms of numbers of international students, and has seen at least 200,000 foreign students attend its universities for the past several years. With study abroad programs in Australia becoming increasingly popular around the world, Australia is a very accessible destination for international students. The major universities here welcome international students, and provide programs and services that are tailored toward helping study abroad students make the most out of their educational experience.
Despite being such a small nation, Australia is well known as being home to some of the best research institutions on Earth. High quality academic programs in science fields, like nursing and healthcare, chemistry, biology, zoology and wildlife, mathematics, technology and engineering are found in a great number of Australia’s major universities. As the educational degrees obtained here are recognised all over the world, this makes a study abroad program in Australia a valuable addition to every student’s professional resume.
There are over 40 universities in Australia, and each of them offers vast and varied opportunities to study a range of different subjects. Most study abroad students prefer the larger universities, where they can pick from just as many courses of study as any major American university. To give an example, the Australian National University offers a staggering 750 possible course combinations! This means that not only will you be able to take courses related to your major, you can also broaden your spectrum of learning by taking offbeat courses that you may not be able to find in your local institutions.
Study abroad expenses are usually the deal breaker for students who wish to obtain an international education. Recognising this, and wishing to give students every opportunity to unleash their talents, every year the Australian government sets aside over $200 million dollars specifically for international students coming to study at Australian universities. These are usually based on merit cum means, and there are certain requirements for application to some- for example, grade requirements, financial need, etc. Students who have been accepted to study abroad in Australia should inquire with the University’s financial aid department to see what scholarships may be available to them.
International students can work part-time while on a student visa, which will further help them to knock down the price of studying abroad in Australia. Students are allowed to work up to 40 hours every two weeks in jobs that require only basic skills, such as in the food and beverage service, petrol pumps or in their university campuses. This is something that can really help drive down the cost of education and living expenses. There is dignity of labour and no job is considered demeaning. With the minimum wage in Australia at just under 17 dollars per hour, students can cover a good chunk of their expenses associated with rent, groceries, utilities, and maybe even a bit of tuition.
Studying in a country where English is not the primary language throws up many challenges for international students. Simple tasks like shopping in a grocery store or asking for directions could prove to be an ordeal for students in some European countries….and this is quite a non-issue for students in Australia! While some students may find it a bit hard at first to understand the lazy Australian drawl or pick up the nuances of Australian slang, they will soon enough become accustomed to this as well.
Most parts of Australia enjoy great weather which is an added bonus for students. Except for some places, Australia’s climate remains moderately warm to downright hot year round. Beaches are sun-drenched and attract tourists by the thousands. Top universities that are located in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne have temperatures that are usually above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A point to keep in mind is that, as Australia is in the southern hemisphere, seasons are reversed, and Christmas is sunny and warm!
For students who enjoy exploring the outdoors, there is an endless number of memorable activities waiting for you. Plenty of outdoor adventures are available, and students can get away from civilization anytime they wish! Explore the Australian outback….hobnob with kangaroos on Kangaroo Island…check out some rock formations that are two billion years old and go trekking in stunningly beautiful rainforests. You can experience gorgeous scuba diving and snorkelling, and swim with the fishes under the Great Barrier Reef! For those who enjoy indoor activities, Australia is home to world class museums and art centers, and the Sydney Opera house hosts over 40 shows per week.
Australians are well known for their laid back lifestyles, and the student culture of the country is no different. Australian students do work hard and definitely take their schooling very seriously, but they have an excellent life balance with plenty of leisure activities too. Many of the major universities in Australia are located along the east coast and have easy access to parks, trails, and some beaches. People are used to an outdoorsy life and students usually fall in line as well. There are student clubs devoted to just about every type of relaxation activities and students get many chances to relax and enjoy themselves away from academics.
While there are many opportunities for travel within the country, there are beautiful nearby locations where students can go for shorter breaks. New Zealand is just a short flight away, and many tropical islands of the South Pacific are easily within reach as well. These offer perfect getaways over school holidays (spring or fall break) or even for short weekend trips during the term.
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