A Guide to Study in Australia for International Students

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21 April 2022 by AECC Global

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Study in Australia - A guide

1. Introduction to Studying in Australia

Australia is a beautiful, multicultural nation with friendly people and a laid-back lifestyle. Besides, they have an outstanding education system in Australia and a high living standard. Studying in Australia offers value for money experience, with the world's most exemplary standards of living. The cost of living in Australia and education fees are far lower than those in the United States and the United Kingdom, and the average cost of living in Australia is around  AUD 1400 to AUD 2500 per month. You can opt to study in Australia because of its robust infrastructure and great living standards; Australia has traditionally been a popular higher education destination for overseas students. Graduates from its educational institutions are in high demand also because of Australia's international reputation and global recognition, making it one of the solid reasons for international students to study in Australia.

There are abundant benefits for students looking forward to study in Australia, and deciding to study abroad in such a multicultural destination is a big step. You may be troubled by ideas about what and where you will study in Australia, in addition to leaving your family members and friends behind. Many international students prefer to study in Australia for further education for various reasons, including the best institutions, amazing environment, dynamic cities, and many oceans. While studying abroad might be intimidating, there are enormous benefits, personal growth and academics if you study in Australia. This varied country offers a wide range of options for international students. The following are some of Australia’s facts as to why you should study in Australia.

  • It is really a good decision to study in Australia, as international students have a lot of options. The international student guide provided by AECC Global allows students to choose from several institutions. 
  • If you desire to study in Australia, there are 43 universities, including 40 Australian institutions, two overseas universities, and one private university. Six Australian institutions are among the world's top 100, demonstrating the importance of both the number and quality aspects if you opt to study in Australia.
  • It's no wonder that if you choose to study in Australia, you will come to know their universities are among the best in the world since they provide a wide range of degrees as well as majors. When you study in Australia, there is a wide range of alternatives and combinations to select from if you aspire to study engineering, English, law, or economics. It's a good idea to shortlist institutions ahead of time to check what they have to offer and whether you match the standards of the education system in Australia.
  • Australia is known for its varied landscape. The Outback is known for its vast expanses and unique creatures. If you enjoy the beach, there are thousands of kilometres of undeveloped coastline to explore. You may go diving or snorkelling on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef throughout your vacation. Bushwalking or kayaking can easily be done in a single day.
  • If you want to apply for an Australia student visa to study in Australia, note that they have a quick and easy Australia student visa process. You must fulfil several conditions for your application to be granted, including acceptance into an educational establishment and financial capability in order to study in Australia. Besides, there are exclusive options for health insurance in Australia for international students for the length of their visit.
  • Students at some Australian institutions may be capable of taking part in work placements or internships. Therefore, there are abundant part-time jobs in Australia for international students.
  • If this is an option that appeals to you to study in Australia, contact your preferred school or look up their international student guide to learn more about the criteria.
  • Universities may be found in both rural and urban areas in Australia. Whichever cities you wish to study in Australia, you shall have easy access to a variety of nearby locations, even if you study in regional Australia. From the stunning Sydney beach landscape to the quaint retail shops of Melbourne, each provides a variety of distinct experiences.
  • Australia is home to some of the world's most varied fauna. If you study in Australia, you could have a chance to see some animals in the wild. Although if you don't, there are lots of wildlife parks where you can see wombats, kangaroos, crocodiles, as well as other animals up close. 
  • Australia also provides a Temporary Graduate Visa, which permits certain overseas students to stay in the country following their graduation and continue working. Besides, you are eligible for a post-study work visa in Australia after graduation or post-graduation. If you opt to study in Australia, the nation provides various rewarding moments and the opportunity to receive a world-class education from renowned universities. If you're considering to study in Australia, these things are only the beginning of everything the country has to offer.

2. Language & Culture in Australia

If someone were to choose one term to characterise Australian culture, it would be equality. The concept of a "fair go" is held in high respect by Australians, who believe that everybody should be given an equal chance in life regardless of ethnicity. As a result, a person's education or money does not automatically generate respect. Australian culture is highly varied. People are known for being laid-back, calm, and friendly who appreciate cuisine, culture, crafts, and outside participation in sports, which are ideal reasons to study in Australia.

Cricket is often regarded as Australia's leading national sport. Australian friendships are known for their steadfastness. People frequently rely on their buddies, or "mates," as they refer to them. The most significant aspect of Australian culture is its historical roots. The Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people have the world's oldest continuously existing culture! The Australians hold these subcultures in high regard since they have a diverse range of traditions and practices, which you need to know if you come to study in Australia.

The food culture of Australia is a diversified culinary landscape inspired by several civilisations such as British, European, Asian, and Middle Eastern influences. Vegemite, a brownish spread consisting of spices, yeast, and veggies, is without a debate an iconic component of Australian food culture. If you come to study in Australia, never miss the Chicken parmigiana and Beefsteak, they are the most delectable dishes in Australian cuisine. Undoubtedly, Australians like barbecuing, and they frequently consume the meat of these adorable creatures, which are also the country's symbols, since it is extremely nutritious and of excellent quality. Koalas, on the other hand, are not eaten by Australians since they are an endangered species. 

If you're searching for a unique culinary experience, you'll be pleased to learn that Australian cuisine will not disappoint. You may sample the Bush Tucker or Bush Food, a unique hunting diet developed by Indigenous Australians who have lived in the land for over 60,000 years. 

There are several languages spoken in Australia, particularly in the Pacific Ocean islands. There is no main language in Australia, although English has become the de facto national language since the late 1800s, and it is still widely used in education. Australian English differs from other English variations in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary and is spoken by 73 percent of the Australian people. As a consequence, Australian English is classified as a dialect of the English language. But are there any more languages spoken in Australia? Cantonese, Vietnamese, and other minority languages account for the remaining percentage.

3. Australia as a study destination

Australian universities are pioneers in including the newest innovations, technology developments, and current industry trends in teaching and learning to guarantee that their programs satisfy the highest educational standards, making it one of the primary reasons to study in Australia.

Australian universities provide a diverse selection of degrees and courses, and students have an extensive range of alternatives in terms of courses as well as universities that offer their subjects. 

Vocational programs in Australia are more popular as they provide students with career-focused and useful skills that most companies need. 

Companies, as well as other educational institutions all around the world, recognise and appreciate degrees earned at Australian universities. As a result, Australia is a very popular destination for foreign students, with about 2.5 million international students in Australia presently enrolled. 

Most of the institutions have an international student assistance unit on campus. This group assists foreign students by addressing queries and directing them to the appropriate service, which is one of the ideal facts to opt to study in Australia. The student helpline is another popular service provided by Australian institutions. 

Counselling, private tutoring, and workshops are also provided to educate overseas students in English and other required skills. Several institutions have set up overseas offices and assigned professionals to overseas students to encourage them to study in Australia. 

The government has simplified the Australia student visa requirements to ensure that Australia remains a desirable location for overseas students. The Australia student visa processing time has decreased substantially, as has the number of papers necessary for confirmation of identity. Therefore, the Australia student visa fees is AUD 630.

Students are permitted to work for a total of 20 hours each week and 40 hours during holiday seasons. This helps students gain work experience and earn decent money while studying. Besides, it is pretty much easy to find part-time jobs in Australia for international students.

4. Education System in Australia

The education system in Australia provides primary, secondary, senior secondary and tertiary education. School education is similar across Australia with a few variations between states and territories. It is compulsory for children in the age group of 6 to 16 to attend school, i.e., Year 1 till Year 10. The official language of instruction is English to study in Australia; however, many schools have bilingual study options as well.  

a) Tertiary education in Australia

Tertiary education includes both higher education (including universities) & vocational education & training (VET). Tertiary Education Quality & Standards Agency (TEQSA) regulates & ensures the quality of the higher education sector.

Senior Secondary School - Runs for two years, Years 11 and 12. 

Secondary School - Runs for three or four years, from Years 7 to 10 or 8 to 10. 

Primary School - Runs from 7 or 8 years, starting at Kindergarten/Preparatory through to Year 6 or 7.  

b) International Students Laws and Rights to Study in Australia

Under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, international students’ well being, quality of education and accuracy is protected when they study in Australia. Hence, students willing to study in Australia can be assured of quality education and facilities.

c) Australian Qualifications Framework  

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) was established in 1995 as a national policy that covers qualifications from the tertiary education sector, higher education and VET courses in addition to the school-leaving certificate; the senior secondary certificate of education. The AQF has 10 levels, and it connects school education, vocational qualifications and university education qualifications into one system. This enables one to move smoothly from one level of study to the next level and from one institution to another, provided the conditions of a student visa are met. The system enables choice and flexibility of planning one's career. 

If enrolled for an AQF qualification, it ensures government authorisation, and one can be assured that the course they have enrolled for is genuine.

5. Intakes in Australia 

Do you wonder how many intakes in Australia? It has 3 intakes in an academic year. You can choose an intake based on the availability of the course you want to study in Australia, the acceptance rate in the particular intake, your academic results and admission test scores, your convenience etc. All you need to be aware of is the application deadline. Hence prepare well in advance and apply in time for the intakes in Australia you want to apply in order to study in Australia

Semester 1 

February - March

Semester 2

July - August 

Semester 3 / Trimester 3 

September - November

6. Levels of study available in Australia 

AQF Level

Description summaries


Typical time

Level 1

Graduates at this level will have knowledge and skills for initial work, community involvement and/or further learning.

    Certificate I

  • 0.5 to 1 year

Level 2

Graduates at this level will have knowledge and skills for work in a defined context and/or further learning.

  • Certificate II
  • 0.5 to 1 year

Level 3

Graduates at this level will have theoretical and practical knowledge and skills for work and/or further learning.

  • Certificate III
  • 1 to 2 years

Level 4

Graduates at this level will have theoretical and practical knowledge and skills for specialised and/or skilled work and/or further learning.

  • Certificate IV
  • 0.5 to 2 years

Level 5

Graduates at this level will have specialised knowledge and skills for skilled/paraprofessional work and/or further learning.

  • Diploma
  • 1 to 2 years

Level 6

Graduates at this level will have broad knowledge and skills for paraprofessional/highly skilled work and/or further learning.

  • Associate degree
  • Advanced diploma
  • 2 years
  • 1.5 to 2 years

Level 7

Graduates at this level will have broad and coherent knowledge and skills for professional work and/or further learning.

  • Bachelor degree
  • 3 to 4 years

Level 8

Graduates at this level will have advanced knowledge and skills for professional/highly skilled work and/or further learning.

  • Graduate Diploma
  • Graduate certificate
  • Bachelor honours degree
  • 0.5 to 1 year
  • 0.5 to 1 year
  • 1 year

Level 9

Graduates at this level will have specialised knowledge and skills for research, and/or professional practice and/or further learning.

  • Masters degree (extended)
  • Masters degree (coursework)
  • Masters degree (research)
  • 3 to 4 years
  • 1 to 2 years
  • 1 to 2 years

Level 10

Graduates at this level will have a systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of learning and specialised research skills for the advancement of learning and/or for professional practice.

  • 3 to 4 years

7. Top Bachelor’s courses to study in Australia 

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Business Management
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science and IT
  • Cookery
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering 
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Social work

8. Admission Tests to study in Australia 

Whether you apply for a Master's or a Bachelor’s degree to study in Australia, you need to take one of the accepted English language tests and obtain the required scores. Along with the English test, you may need to clear additional entrance exams for certain courses. The required score to secure admission varies based on the level of study you apply for in order to study in Australia, the university you apply for and your country of citizenship.

Refer to the table below for a broad idea of the tests you need to take to opt for your course of choice to study in Australia

9. English Language Tests to Study in Australia

Name of the test


Minimum score

TOEFL (Internet Based Test)

Test of English as Foreign Language



International English Language Testing System



Pearson Test of English 



Cambridge Advanced English test



Occupational English Test

PASS (A or B)

Please note that the scores mentioned here are only the minimum scores you need to secure to be eligible for admissions to study in Australia. Like any other competitive test, you should try to achieve high scores to improve your chances of admission. 

10. Admission Tests for Undergraduate Courses to Study in Australia




(Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission)

For medicine and health science courses

ISAT  (International Student Admission Test)

For medicine, healthcare and language pathology programs

LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

For undergraduate programs in law 

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

Only for American students

ACT (American College Test)

Only for American students

11. University Application Process to Study in Australia

a) Documents required for applying to Australian Institutions:

Sending an application is the first and the most crucial step towards achieving one's aspiration of higher education in an Australian institution. A complete and precise application packet can help attain admission to the best possible institution to study in Australia.

b) Before you apply it is important that the following prerequisites are in place in order to study in Australia:

  1. Complete the application form - (Provided by the counsellor at AECC Global)
  2. Institution application fee (wherever applicable)
  3. Academic Documents
  • Masters degree certificate/ provisional degree certificate
  • Masters mark sheets of Year 1 and Year 2 or each semester mark sheet
  • Bachelors mark sheets of each Year (Year 1 to 3, or Year 1 to 4) or each semester mark sheet (Semester 1 to 8) 
  • Bachelors degree certificate/ provisional degree certificate 
  • Year 12 passing certificate 
  • Year 12 mark sheet
  • Year 10 passing certificate
  • Year 10 mark sheet 
  • Backlog Summary (if any) 

c) Other Documents 

  • Resume/ CV
  • Work experience certificate or Letter of Appointment from the employer
  • English Language proficiency Certification: IELTS / TOEFL / PTE score sheet 
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Curriculum or syllabus copy in case of credit exemptions
  • GMAT/ GRE/GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) etc.(only for select courses)
  • Statement of Purpose 
  • Portfolio for select programmes.
  • Achievements certificates if any or certificates of any other course or diploma undertaken (relevant to course one is applying for)
  • Passport copy

12. Health Insurance in Australia for International Students (OSHC)

If you want to study in Australia as an international student, you need to purchase health insurance cover for you and your family members moving along with you. Besides, there are many insurance companies offering health insurance in Australia for international students. It is called the Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC), and it is one of the prerequisite conditions of your student visa. Having an active policy up to date is mandatory for your entire stay duration in Australia. OSHC covers the expenses related to doctor visits, hospital charges, ambulance service and some prescribed medicines. 

Keeping aside the fact that OSHC is a mandatory requirement to study in Australia, it is one of the wise purchases you make to study in Australia. Because medical expenses in Australia are costlier compared to that of many other countries. One doctor visit for a minor illness could exceed your insurance cost which could cover your expenses for your entire stay in Australia. Therefore, the cost of health insurance in Australia for international students is around AUD 480.

Check out AECC Global’s OSHC platform that lets you compare plans from top insurance providers of Australia and choose the one that suits your budget and health conditions. 


13. Australia Student Visa For International Students

International students must hold a valid Australia student visa for the entire duration of their program to study in Australia. Until July 1, 2016, Australia had multiple student visas (subclass 570,571, 572, 573, 574, 575, 576 and 580). But, Schedule 4 of the Migration Legislation Amendment which commenced on July 1, 2016, simplified the process by repealing all the subclasses and introducing Australia Student Visa (subclass 500) and Student Guardian Visa (subclass 590) which are now the common visas for all the courses. 

a) With this Australia student visa, you can,

  • live in Australia for up to 5 years in line with their enrolment 
  • participate in an eligible course of study
  • bring family members to Australia
  • work up to 40 hours every fortnight

b) Australia student visa requirements are as follows:

  • Be enrolled in a course of study with a registered educational institution in Australia
  • Meet English language requirements
  • Have adequate funds to cover your tuition fees, and living expenses
  • Have adequate health insurance for the entire duration of your stay
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Be a Genuine Temporary Entrant 

You could speak to our education consultants to understand each of these Australia student visa  requirements better and prepare documents accordingly. 

c) Australia Visa Documentation Checklist

Take the help of an education consultant or use the Australian Immigration Department’s document checklist tool to know what Australia student visa requirements documents you need to apply for the student visa subclass 500. Typically, the following documents are required to apply for a student visa to study in Australia.

  • A valid passport
  • Confirmation of enrolment (CoE)
  • Your visa application fee
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement 
  • Educational and work experience certificates and relevant documents 
  • English Test Scores 
  • Evidence of sufficient funds 
  • Overseas Student Health Cover  
  • Statement of purpose
  • 4 passport-size photographs

14. Cost of living and studying in Australia

After getting a letter of acceptance from your institution, you must be able to establish a financial plan before you begin to study in Australia. The cost of living in Australia for students is determined by several factors, including the city you live in, accommodation,  everyday commute, food preferences, internet and phone bills, study-related minor expenses, and the lifestyle choices you make.  

As one of the conditions of the Australia student visa, you need to provide evidence of sufficient funds in your account that could cover your study and living expenses when you study in Australia.  

Here is the financial requirement you need to meet to get a student visa in order to study in Australia

For a 12 month period, you should have the following amount of money

  • For the student (you) - AUD 21,041
  • For the partner coming with you -AUD 7,362
  • For each child coming with you - AUD 3152

This is the first and foremost step in planning your finances since you need to have this money irrespective of where you choose to live and study in Australia

a) How much does Education cost in Australia?

Here are the indicative tuition fees per year for various study levels in Australia. 

  • School - $7,800 to $30,000
  • English language studies - Around $300 per week depending on course length
  • Vocational Education and Training (Certificates I to IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma) - $4,000 to $22,000
  • Undergraduate Bachelor Degree - $20,000 to $45,000
  • Postgraduate Masters Degree - $22,000 to $50,000
  • Doctoral Degree - $18,000 to $42,000                                           

b) How much does Accommodation cost in Australia?

  • Hostels and Guesthouses - $90 to $150 per week
  • Shared Rental - $95 to $215 per week
  • On campus - $110 to $280 per week
  • Homestay - $235 to $325 per week
  • Rental - $185 to $440 per week
  • Boarding schools - $11,000 to $22,000 a year

c) Other living expenses

  • Groceries and eating out - $140 to $280 per week
  • Gas, electricity - $10 to $20 per week
  • Phone and Internet - $15 to $30 per week
  • Public transport - $30 to $60 per week
  • Car (after purchase) - $150 to $260 per week
  • Entertainment - $80 to $150 per week

As mentioned above, your cost of living in Australia largely depends on the city you live in. Here is a comparison of the cost of living in Australia’s major cities as per the survey conducted by finder.com.au. It should give you a fair idea of how each city fares against the others, thus helping you plan your expenses when you study in Australia.  


+26% vs Melbourne 

+25% vs Perth

+32% vs Brisbane

+37% vs Adelaide

+39% vs



- 26% vs Sydney 

Same as Perth

+5% vs Brisbane

+9% vs Adelaide

+10% vs



-20% vs Sydney 

Same as Melbourne

+6% vs Brisbane

+10% vs Adelaide

+11% vs



-24% vs Sydney

-5% vs Melbourne

-5% vs Perth

Same as Adelaide

+5% vs



-27% vs Sydney

-8% vs Melbourne

Same as Brisbane

-9% vs Perth

Same as



-28% vs Sydney

-9% vs Melbourne

-5% vs Brisbane

Same as Adelaide

-10% vs



-24% vs Sydney

-5% vs Melbourne

Same as Brisbane

+7% vs Adelaide

-4% vs Perth

15. Scholarships to study in Australia

There is a myriad of scholarships for international students in Australia, bursaries and other forms of financial assistance to study in Australia. Some of these scholarships are funded by the government while the rest are sponsored by the university and philanthropic individuals and organisations. Do you wonder how can I get scholarship to study in Australia? No worries! You can consult with your counsellor or check our university website to find out more about scholarships to study in Australia and apply for all the ones you are eligible for. With these scholarships, you can drastically reduce the cost when you study in Australia

Here are some of the major scholarships for international students in Australia:





Australian government scholarship

  • The Australian government funds it, as it pays a student's tuition fee as well as health care for up to three years.
  • Supports students pursuing a Research Doctorate or Research Master's degree (both locally and internationally).
  • The annual value is $ 28,587, and payments are made every two weeks.
  • There is a wide range of Australian government scholarship for international students.
  • International students can contact the university to get more specific details about the Australian government scholarships.


Australia awards scholarship

  • This scholarship is given to exceptional graduate students who have enrolled for programs in engineering, construction, energy and resources, security, and strategic studies at leading Australian Universities. The scholarship covers the full tuition fee, a part of living expenses, etc.
  • Applications for this scholarship open in the month of February and continue till April every year.
  • The international students who get this scholarship must return to their home country after completing their program.


Destination Australia scholarship

  • This scholarship aims to encourage international students to study in regional Australia to regionally develop tertiary education providers in Australia and provide a learning experience to its students when they study in Australia.
  • The value of the scholarship is up to $15,000 per year
  • Funding is available for each year depending on your qualification as you remain eligible, for up to the duration of four years
  • It’s funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and is in line with the National Strategy for International Education 2025
  • The deadline for 2021 was 20th January 2021


Scholarships from the Universities

  • University of Sydney International Research Scholarships
  • Macquarie University International Scholarships
  • Griffith Remarkable Scholarships
  • University of Melbourne Graduate Research Scholarships
  • Adelaide Global Excellence Scholarships for International Students
  • Flinders International Postgraduate Scholarships
  • Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor’s International High Achievers Scholarships
  • UNSW International Scholarships

16. Job opportunities after Bachelor's degree in Australia

Australia offers attractive career and migration opportunities to university graduates. Rigorous academic programs at Australian universities mould you into a well-qualified, highly skilled professional suitable for jobs in and out of Australia. As long as you hold the right visa, you can compete for any open position with any major company in the country.  Australia’s growing economy creates new opportunities every day and there are numerous part-time jobs in Australia for international students. The high quality of life, better earnings and permanent migration opportunities make the country a desirable place for international students to pursue their higher studies. Therefore, the benefits of studying in Australia are significant enough to live a comfortable and worry-free life.

Here are the average salary figures of bachelor’s graduates in Australia across some of the popular domains as of December 2021 reported by payscale.com

  • Software Engineer: 63,487 AUD 
  • Data Analyst: 77,309 AUD
  • Human Resources: 57,844 AUD 
  • Accountant: 57,476 AUD 
  • Civil Engineer: 78,662 AUD 
  • Marketing Coordinator: 55,688 AUD 
  • Mechanical Engineer: 73,452 AUD 
  • Product Designer: 77,147 AUD
  • Primary School Teacher: 80,369 AUD

17. Part-time work opportunities in Australia

International students in Australia are legally permitted to work. Working while studying makes your life easier, and you can manage a significant amount of your expenses all by yourself. There are plenty of on-campus, and off-campus part-time jobs in Australia for international students. You can expect high levels of safety, protection of your rights and dignity as a worker in Australia. Therefore, for students who look to earn money and gain work experience while studying, finding a part-time job is the best option.

As a student, you can work up to 40 hours in a fortnight when your course is in progress. During holidays and semester breaks, you can work for unlimited hours. The current minimum part-time job salary in Australia is $18.93 per hour. Based on the nature of your job and your skills, your wage could go much higher than the minimum wage. For instance, if you are doing a master's course, you can find a high-paying job relevant to your bachelor’s degree. 

Here are some of the jobs that international students take up when they study in Australia:

  • Libraries
  • Restaurants and cafe
  • Retail jobs
  • Clerical jobs
  • Tutoring school students 
  • Sales and marketing
  • Delivery personnel 
  • Children and elderly care 
  • Freelance designers/writers/translators
  • Bartenders
  • Farming related jobs