If you are currently thinking of studying at an overseas educational institute, whether to improve your English language skills or just because you would like to experience life in a different country whilst working towards a degree, Australia is well worth considering as a study destination. When compared with the traditional alternatives, such as the UK and USA, it has plenty to offer students from all over the world and is currently the third favourite choice among those who choose to study abroad. For an insight into why it is growing in popularity, take a look at the list below.
- Easier visa application system – although there is still a fair amount of work involved in applying for a student visa for those who are interested in studying at Australian universities and colleges, most applicants find that the whole process is simpler and fairer than it is in other countries. British and US immigration officials in particular are renowned for their sometimes capricious attitudes that can make applying for visas something of a lottery.
- Multicultural environment – Australia has welcomed immigrants from across the globe over the last century, resulting in a society that is truly multicultural in its makeup. This means that students from foreign countries find it very easy to fit in when they arrive and can always find fellow countrymen to converse with if they feel homesick. It also means that wherever you are coming from, you will probably be able to find restaurants and cafés close to your place of study that serve food with which you are familiar. This is especially true for those who choose to attend colleges in major cities such as Sydney.
- Lower cost of living – when compared to virtually anywhere in the United Kingdom or the United States of America, the cost of living in Australia is significantly lower. It is still necessary to provide evidence of sufficient funds for living costs, tuition fees and airfares when applying for a student visa, but because accommodation, food and utilities are cheaper than in the UK and USA, you will need less money in the bank before you are in a position to do so.
- A greater variety of job opportunities – other developed nations can be very picky about the professions and disciplines they open up to overseas candidates whereas in Australia, a wider choice is available to foreign students who graduate from local universities. Gaining valuable work experience with multinational companies is one of the reasons that many people wish to study for a degree overseas in the first place so this is a big plus whether you plan to study in New South Wales, Queensland or any other part of the country.
- Government financial aid – international students that wish to study certain subjects may qualify for a scholarship or fellowship from schemes such as the Australia Awards funded by the government. If you want to find out whether the course you are taking could possibly be partly funded by a scholarship, it is best to talk to the financial aid officer at the university in question. Some funding is dependent on the student making good grades throughout the course they are taking so you need to be serious about your studies if you are going to accept financial help from government bodies.
The climate and lifestyle in cosmopolitan cities are other reasons commonly cited by foreign students for choosing to study in Australia over other more established international education centres such as the UK, but the above five reasons are those that I think should carry most weight with serious undergraduates.
About the author
Eliza Devereux is a freelance writer working with DEC International, a gateway to one of the biggest training and education providers across the globe, including Australian universities.