Why Study in Australia? Top 10 Reasons For International Students in 2024

If “why study in Australia?” has been on your mind, this article is for you.

The land down under, besides being known for its indigenous cultures, kangaroos and koalas is also an exceedingly preferred study destination for international students. With over 560,000 foreign students (out of which over 1 lakh are from India) making it their home, there are a number of reasons why students from all over the world are choosing this country.

Before we dive into the reasons, the recent news about Australia cutting down on migration has been a topic of discussion. What are the changes? How does it affect prospective international students? We address these concerns at the end of this article.

The fact remains that Australia offers excellent higher education and employment opportunities for students from all over the globe. What makes the land down under a great study destination? Let us dive in.

What are the top 10 reasons to study in Australia as an international student?

There are a number of reasons why students choose this country. Before we get into those reasons, here are some fun facts.

  • It is the only country that is also a continent.
  • About 90% of the population lives on the coast. Central Australia is primarily a desert.
  • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest ecosystem in the world.
  • If you visit one new beach in Australia every day, it would take over 27 years to see them all.
  • About 30% of the country’s population are migrants.

Why should you be one among Australia’s migrant population? Here are the benefits of studying in Australia.

1. World-class universities and globally recognised degrees

As an international student, one of the first things one looks for is an improved quality of education, when compared to your home country. Here’s a reflection of the fact that Australian universities provide world-class education. According to QS World University rankings 2024, 9 of Australia’s top universities feature within the top 100 of the world.

S.No University World Ranking Location
1 University of Melbourne 14 Parkville
2 University of New South Wales 19 Sydney
3 University of Sydney 19 Sydney
4 Australian National University 34 Canberra
5 Monash University 42 Melbourne
6 University of Queensland 43 Brisbane City
7 University of Western Australia 70 Perth
8 University of Adelaide 89 Adelaide
9 University of Technology Sydney 90 Haymarket

These, along with the 33 other Australian universities (Australia has a total of 42 universities), offer competitive programmes in stunning campuses. These universities are renowned for their academic reputation for providing career focussed programmes, being in sync with the industry and its latest developments, and developing innovative methods of teaching and learning.

Therefore, in addition to theory, a student graduating from any of these institutions also develops the necessary skills to deploy his/ her practical application and training, critical thinking and problem solving skills, making him/ her extremely attractive to recruiters.

These universities also offer a diverse range of courses and the flexibility to evaluate your course choices and alter them in the duration of your programme. Considering the degree courses (undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral) and the vocational ones, some of the Australian institutions offer up to 700 programmes.

Another reason why these universities are sought after, especially by students from India, is for the Australian education system that adopted the AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) in 1995 and amended in 2013. It is a government mandated policy guide for regulated qualifications. Essentially, the framework contains 10 levels, ranging from certificates to doctoral degrees.

Vocational education and training is offered at AQF Levels 1 to 8 while higher education ranges from AQF Levels 5 to 10. This systemic structuring of degrees, its approval and accreditation by an external agent also helps in making Australian degrees globally recognised.

2. Employment opportunities

For an international student, after the quality of education comes the kind of work opportunities a study-abroad destination offers. There is no doubt that migrating to another country in pursuit of a bachelor’s or a master’s degree is a big financial investment. Finding a job of your choice in your study country is one of the ways in which you can seek a return on investment.

For those looking to find employment in Australia, the unemployment rate, as of February-March 2024 is around 4%. The number of job vacancies is around 388,800 in early 2024.

This ensures that job opportunities are available, not only for Australians, but also for the international student community. Victoria University in Melbourne has published a list of jobs that will be the most in-demand over the next five years. The numbers in brackets indicate average median salaries.

  • Construction Managers (130,000 AUD)
  • Civil Engineering Professionals (90,000 – 110,000 AUD)
  • Early Childhood teachers (75,000 – 85,000 AUD)
  • Registered nurses (80,000 – 85,000 AUD)
  • Information Technology and Cloud Technology professionals (100,000 – 120,000 AUD)
  • Software, Application programmers, UX designers (105,000 – 115,000 AUD)
  • Electricians (85,000 – 100,000 AUD)
  • Chefs (65,000 AUD)
  • Childcare workers (55,000 – 65,000 AUD)
  • Aged and Disabled Care workers (55,000 – 70,000 AUD)

Besides, many of the courses come with an internship requirement that the university helps you satisfy. This helps you gain professional work experience that will aid you in the path of establishing your career.

3. Streamlined Immigration Process

The immigration process for international students is extremely straightforward and accessible, even with the new policies.

Step 1 – Student Visa (Subclass 500):

The application process involves submitting the form, along with the necessary documents such as IELTS or PTE Academic test scores, confirmation of university admission, fee receipt and receipt of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Given for a maximum duration of 5 years, it is dependent on the duration of your course.

While applying for the student visa, you can also include your partner or your dependent child. You are also allowed to take part-time jobs when staying under a student visa. You can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic period and full-time during breaks or vacation time.

Step 2 – Post-Study Work Visa / Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485):

For those recently graduated from Australian institutions, this visa is a great option. Even without a sponsor or a confirmed job on hand, you can apply for this visa and extend your stay in the country for a period of 2 – 4 years.

Step 3 – Work Visa

Once your job is confirmed and you see yourself working in the land down under for the considerable future, you can then apply for any of the work visa options that are available to you, as a step towards permanent residence. The Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887), Global Talent Visa (Subclass 858) are some categories that will allow you to stay there permanently.Under the new system, you can look at the Skills-in-Demand Visa as a clearer pathway towards PR.

4. Access innovative research facilities and advanced infrastructure

Among all overseas students, a large section of Indian students choose Australia as their international study destination for the research facilities and the advanced infrastructure these universities offer.

According to statistics published by Universities Australia (the apex body and the voice of Australia’s universities), about 80% of the Australian government research was conducted by the universities and over more than 90% of Australian university research is rated as world class or higher. The country also has a company called Go8, a group of 8 comprising Australia’s leading research-intensive universities. They are

  • University of Melbourne
  • Australian National University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Adelaide
  • Monash University and
  • UNSW Sydney

Each year the Go8 spends some $6.5 billion on research – more than $2.4 billion of which is spent on Medical and Health Services research.

5. International student support

Australian institutions of higher education also offer extensive support services to its overseas students. This includes the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for medical emergencies, counselling services, athletics and fitness and a variety of student organisations and clubs for you to explore your passions and interests outside of academics.

The Australian government has also enacted the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS) 2000 in order to protect and enhance Australia’s reputation as a study destination while assuring its foreign students of quality education and protection against all forms of exploitation.

6. Easy access to financial aid

All universities in Australia have some form of financial aid to offer to its international students. They may come in the form of awards, scholarships, bursaries or interest-free loans. In addition to the university-specific aid, here are some of the government scholarships for international students.

1. Australia Awards:

This program brings together scholarships offered by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT), the Department of Education and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Most of the top universities are partnered with this program. In addition to financial aid, students who win this award are also provided other support in their journey of international education.

2. Destination Australia Program:

This governmental program funds tertiary education providers to offer scholarships to both domestic and foreign students. The awards go up to $15,000 per student per year.

3. Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP):

Open to students of Master’s Research courses or doctoral programs, RTP is a single flexible funding pool for both domestic and students from abroad undertaking research. You can get either a fee offset, a stipend or an allowance according to this scheme. Remember to also look for scholarships from your home country when applying to study abroad.

7. Home to some of the best student cities

Of the top 100 best cities for students list published by QS Rankings in 2024, 7 Australian cities have found their spots. This list is decided based on current student opinions factoring criteria such as quality of life, affordability, desirability, ease of student life and popular opinion. Cities such as Melbourne and Sydney have been on this list for almost a decade. Here are the top Australian cities in 2024.

Ranking City Overall QS Score
4 Melbourne 97.3
7 Sydney 96.2
22 Brisbane 86.2
26 Adelaide 86
30 Canberra 83.9
34 Perth 83
87 Gold Coast 62.6

8. Standard and Cost of Living

Compared to other popular study destinations such as the UK or the USA, higher education in Australia is comparatively more affordable with all the benefits. Let us take a look at the cost of studying. The average annual tuition fee for a bachelor’s degree is about 20,000 – 45,000 AUD. For a master’s degree it is between 22,000 and 50,000 AUD. (Note: These figures are not indicative of courses like medicine, nursing or veterinary medicine where the costs are significantly higher).

When it comes to other expenses such as rent, food and transport, it varies largely depending on the city and your choice of lifestyle. However, according to the Department of Home Affairs, international students must demonstrate the ability to cover 24,505 AUD as living expenses per year. This is significantly lesser, when compared to the average cost of living in the United Kingdom which is about £15,600 or the US which averages around US $18,000 per annum.

The quality of education, healthcare, transport, infrastructure and government services are also rated well above international averages, providing an enjoyable standard of living.

9. Live in a multicultural society

The country is also renowned for its cultural diversity, especially in its heavily populated cities. As of January 2024, the number of international students in Australia is 567,505, according to the statistics released by the Department of Education.

This implies that your peer group will be constituted of people from different cultures and backgrounds. In interacting with them, you will have the opportunity to build relationships and network with people from across the globe, build empathy for different practices and cultural experiences, and grow as an international student.

The culture of the universities is inclusive, with the people being extremely friendly and laid back. Despite the diverse population, the advantage of choosing Australia is also in the language. With English being the official language, you are not under any pressure to learn a foreign language at a professional level. While you can always choose to learn basic communication in foreign languages from your multicultural, multilingual peer group, you only need English proficiency tests to get your admission.

10. Enjoy Australia’s beauty

Beaches and sunshine or snow and mountains, Australia has got them all. From kangaroos, and quokkas to Chris Hemsworth and Hugh Jackman, Australia has something for people who enjoy nature, entertainment, socialising, shopping and food. You can use your academic breaks to explore the natural beauty and the complex cultural systems in different parts of Australia.

Australia’s New Migration Strategy – How does it affect international students?

As we mentioned at the start of this article, Australia’s new migration policy has been in the news. While there are numerous debates surrounding this move, let us look at some of the questions that are significant to us.

Is Australia still open to international students?

Yes, absolutely. A new applicant simply has to meet different criteria, compared to an older applicant. We have listed out the changes in detail below.

Why is Australia doing this?

Australia’s net migration reached a record high of about 510,000 last year, of which international students comprised a significant portion. This is a tremendous increase from the pre-pandemic level of 239,600 (migration in June 2019).

The policy aims to bring migration back to “sustainable levels”, reduce the cost of living, and ease the pressure on housing and property. The larger goal, simply put, is to increase the number of migrants who are highly skilled in areas where there is a shortage and reduce the intake of unskilled migrants. Besides Australia, Canada and Britain are also enforcing measures to ensure only genuine students are awarded a student visa.

What are the changes?

If you are applying for the Student visa (Subclass 500), then

  • You must meet the Genuine Student requirement (GS) instead of the previous Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE). The GS portion of your visa application requires you to answer questions on your current circumstances, justify your choice of course and university, and display your understanding of what study and life in Australia entails.
  • You must meet the minimum English language requirement which has now been increased to 6.0 in IELTS or its equivalent.
  • You must show proof of AU $24,505 in savings, to cover annual living costs.

For the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)

  • English proficiency test must be taken within a 12-month period prior to the application of the visa.
  • Minimum IELTS score has been increased from 6.0 to 6.5 or equivalent.
  • The age limit to apply for Subclass 485 visas has been reduced from 50 to 35 years.
  • The duration of stay under this visa will be reduced depending on the degree and the skill shortages. No extension will be allowed except for applicants completing studies in a regional area.

The bottomline
As long as your application is strong and you are making a genuine attempt to pursue your higher education in Australia, the new policies will not hinder your dreams. As a working professional, it would also help your case if you can keep track of the skill shortages in the country for, there is also a Skills-in-Demand visa under the new scheme which will provide a clearer pathway to permanent residency. Reach out to us at TC Global to get more information.

Note: Information in this section is accurate as of 17 April 2024.

How to apply to study in Australia?

The base steps to apply are as follows:

  • Choose your course.
  • Check your eligibility.
  • Gather the required documents.
  • Get your financial statements in order.
  • Submit your application.
  • On getting your acceptance, apply for OSHC.
  • Begin your student visa application process.

While the process in itself looks simple enough, you need to give yourself the time to do tons of research in choosing your course, university, preferred city, if there are any specified entrance tests, or for the eligibility criteria. Each university has its own set of requirements and deadlines to keep up with.

The prep work can get overwhelming. So, you choose the easy way out and sign up with TC Global. We simplify international education, learning, and mobility through connecting students, universities, and a global community on a single platform where there are over 1000+ education providers and over 80,000+ courses. Our platform enables students to study anywhere in the world in just a few steps. From search and discovery and finding the right course fit for you, to applications, visas and departure – we see you through it all.

Step 1

Go to tcglobal.com and sign in. It opens the world of universities for you, for free. All you have to do is sign up. You can sign in using your Google or your Facebook account.

Step 2

Complete your profile. Ensure you have everything filled up especially about your existing qualifications, choice of courses and your top preferences of colleges in Australia. If you have worked in a related field, do let us know. This will help us collate the best universities for you.

Step 3

Once your profile is complete, search for universities, courses or your interests in the Universities tab. You will get all the information you need in one page. You can simultaneously look at multiple universities, compare and get information on where your peers are applying, all within the same page.

Step 4

As mentioned earlier, researching for the right courses and universities can be both time consuming and anxiety-inducing. We have made that process simpler for you. Check out our Insights page to get the latest updates on top colleges and courses.

Step 5

Then simply set up a visit Calendly.com/tcglobal to pick a Relationships Team closest to you and choose a slot to meet with a Relationship Member. Our RM will be with you every step of the way, helping you identify the perfect course and college, assisting you in the admission process all the way till immigration. You get to access all these services, at no cost. Get expert help to begin your journey in Australia’s premier educational institutions.

Let’s shape your future together.

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