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Study in Australia



Australian Education
  • The Australian academic year:

The Australian academic year begins in early February for school students and late February/early March for vocational and university students. There is often an orientation week for new students in mid to late February. Schools generally have three or four semesters. Most universities and vocational institutes have two semesters with exams at the end of each semester in June and November. There is a two- to four-week break between semesters. The long summer holiday break is from November or December to February. Many courses have start dates in either semester. Australia’s formal education system can be divided into the following categories for international students.


  • Primary and secondary schools

School attendance is compulsory in Australia for all children aged between six and 15 years. Students complete their studies at senior secondary school (around 18 years of age, sometimes called Year 12, college or matriculation). To enter university, students must sit exams and assessments in Years 11 and 12 to receive a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Australia has a wide range of Government-funded public schools, privately-funded schools and schools with a religious affiliation. Many schools have boarding facilities for students from regional areas and overseas countries.


  • English language studies

English language courses are targeted to specific purposes, such as English for Academic Purposes, English for Business and English for Computing. There are English language colleges across Australia and they offer a range of English language training courses to help you to improve your English language skills. Many Australian universities and vocational institutes also have English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) centres on their campuses.


  • Foundation studies (bridging courses)

If you haven’t studied Australian senior secondary school or a foreign equivalent, Foundation studies (also known as bridging courses) will help you meet the entry requirements of a Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Bachelor degree. Most courses are designed specifically to prepare international students for the Australian academic environment.


  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutes

Students can begin vocational education and training after secondary school (Year 10) or senior secondary school (Year 12). Courses are offered at privately-owned institutions and the government-funded Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes. Vocational education and training qualifications are popular in Australia because they are of a high standard, particularly compared to some foreign systems. They give you practical skills and industry experience. Many vocational institutes have links and agreements with universities. Through these links, universities may offer up to one year of advanced standing into a Bachelor degree as well as guaranteed entry into your course, when you achieve the required grades at your vocational institution.


  • Universities

Australia has 39 universities; 37 of these are government-funded and two are privately-funded. Australian universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Studying at an Australian university gives students access to a quality education, technologically advanced facilities and expert lecturers. Australian university degrees are widely recognised across the globe, and graduates are highly employable. For more information on the Australian education system, talk to your local IDP counsellor.




Education System in Australia

The Australian education system is broadly divided into:


  • University
    is the highest level of study in Australia. There are 41 universities in total - 38 public (government funded) and three private. You can study at the undergraduate level (Bachelor degree) or postgraduate level (Graduate Certificate, Diploma, Masters, PhD).


  • Vocational
    institutions are closely linked with industry, making courses very practical and skill-based. Vocational courses are provided at both the government-funded Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes and at private institutions. Many courses provide advanced standing into university degrees.


  • School
    is compulsory for children aged between 6 and 15, with matriculation exams for university generally at 18 years old. Australian schools are public (government) and private (religious or independent).


  • English language
    courses are undertaken for study, travel, immigration or business purposes. There are around 100 private English language centres in Australia. Some universities and TAFE institutes also offer English language courses.





Cost of Education
The average tuition fee for different programs can be: (AUD  per annum)
  Diploma 7,000 - 11,000
  Bachelors Degree 9,000 - 15,000
  Masters Degree 10,000 - 22,000




Accommodation and Living Expenses

For accommodation, students have a number of options available that can be on-campus or off-campus such as hostels, rented housing, homestay etc. The cost of living can vary depending on the city. However, on an average, a student would need between AUD  8,000 - AUD  10,000 per annum. This amount would cover accommodation on rent, food, clothing, transport etc.




Required Tests

For admission into any level of programs, IELTS is required for admission and for visa purpose as well. For Master's level programs in Sciences, Engineering and Education this is the only requirement. Unlike the US, a score in GRE is not required. At the same time, some universities prefer applicants with a GRE score. However, for admission into MBA programs, decent GMAT score, in addition to IELTS and relevant work experience of at least 2-3 years is required along with good academic background.




Health Insurance

All international students in Australia are required to have medical insurance. The overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) charge of AUD 342 is payable before the student visa is issued.





Work Prospects

Students can work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week after they start their studies and full time during vacations. However they are required to obtain a work permit by paying AUD 60 payable in Australia itself on course commencement, in favour of DIMA to obtain their work permits. The limitations on work must be strictly observed; students found working more may face deportation.