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International Student Issues - Australia

This section discusses the various issues faced by international students applying to the Australia for education. We discuss here eligibility criteria for Australian institutes, accommodation, health insurance and rules for taking up employment while studying.

   Eligibility...
   Working in Australia
   Accommodation
   Compulsory health & medical services...

Eligibility

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Undergraduate
(Bachelor Level)

The two main points (besides English Language requirements) to be considered before applying to any course in a university:

1. Australian Year 12 Qualification and Equivalents
(12 years of schooling)


The Australian education system is based upon 13 years of school level education (i.e. primary plus secondary). Each state in Australia has its own secondary school certificate. While these certificates have different names, they all require an equivalent standard of education and can be referred to generally as Australian Year 12 qualifications. All Australian universities recognize the various Year 12 qualifications from different states. The universities also recognize a wide range of secondary school certificates from other countries as being equivalent to the Australian Year 12 qualifications. Specifically, successful completion of class 10+2 from India.

2. Pre-requisite Subjects

Some courses specify 'pre-requisite subjects'. This means that students must have passed this subject as part of their entry qualification; this is because the first year subjects of the course assume that students have a good basic knowledge of this subject at Australian Year 12 level. Pre-requisite subjects vary from course to course. For instance, a Bachelor of Arts degree might have no pre-requisite; a Bachelor of Commerce might require general Mathematics and Bachelor of Engineering may require advanced Mathematics/Calculus. Some courses, especially in art and design, also require students to submit folios of their work with their applications.


Post Graduate (Master's & Doctorate level)

Masters degree and Graduate diploma: Most Australian universities accept the Indian graduation system of three years for entry into postgraduate courses. However, entry to postgraduate programs is competitive and often complex. For most Universities, a good first degree from a leading university in India or its equivalent is essential.

PhD and Postgraduate diploma: For Postgraduate diploma, the student should have a recognized master degree in an appropriate field. For PhD, though each application is assessed on individual basis, a good master degree is essential.


International students at the higher education level can work on a casual basis (upto 20 hours a week) during course time and full time during vacation periods, provided this does not interfere with their study program.

Universities and TAFE institutions have a Careers Office, which regularly posts employment vacancies.

Before gaining paid part-time employment, you must lodge an application for a ‘student visa with permission to work’ with the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA). You can only do this once you have started your course in Australia. 


There is a wide range of student accommodation available in Australia. These include university halls of residence, university apartments for post graduate students and privately rented independent housing. Students can also arrange a 'Homestay' with a local family or board at many of the private secondary schools. Once you get an admission, the university's international office would help you find a suitable accommodation. Various options:

1. Homestay or farmstay
Institutions maintain a register of families prepared to board international students during the academic year. Meals are usually included in the cost. Single or shared rooms may be offered. , and the cost will vary accordingly. Homestay is popular with younger students  and those studying short term English courses. Farmstay offers the same services in a rural setup.

Educational institutions ensure that homestay families are reputable, and that they offer accommodation of a reasonable standard. This type of accommodation gives international students access to the Australian lifestyle in a natural and friendly way. Students are often treated like members of the family.
Approx. Cost : A$ 150 - A$ 200 per week

2. Private Board
Private board is similar to homestay. Students negotiate personally with the landlord about the standard of accommodation and meals they require.
Approx. Cost :  A$ 50 - A$ 150 per week
(depending on the services provided)

3. Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels are usually run by organisations such as youth Hostels Australia, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Students share kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Approx. Cost :  A$ 80 - A$ 120 per week

4. Share and Rental Accommodation
Students often share accommodation with fellow students. They advertise on student notice boards and in the classified section of newspapers. All members of the household are responsible for cooking and cleaning. Students may have to provide their own furniture.
Approx. Cost :  A$ 70 - A$ 150 per week

5. University Apartments
Postgraduate and married students have access to this type of self contained, fully furnished accommodation within the university system.
Approx. Cost : A$ 130 - A$ 215 per week

6. University Residential Colleges
Residential Colleges provide accommodation with meal. They are slightly more expensive than university Halls of Residence The college undertakes cleaning and household tasks. Sporting and social facilities, tutoring, libraries and generally computer access are also provided.
Approx. Cost :  A$ 150 - A$ 250 per week

7. Halls of Residence:

Halls of residence are located on or near university campuses and are generally cheaper than residential colleges. International students find them an attractive option. Students usually have meals and some cleaning services provided. Only full time students are accepted. Students need to apply early because of the high demand for places.
Approx. Cost : A$ 100 - A$ 150 per week


It is a requirement of the Australian Government that international students register for the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) before coming to Australia.

OSHC helps pay for medical and hospital care you may need while in Australia. The OSHC rates for a 12-month stay are $ 274 for a single premium and $ 548 for a family premium.

OSHC is available from Medibank Private, Australia's largest private health insurer, Medibank Private has many business service centres around Australia, which provide fast and convenient service.

 


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