Every student that has had this experience will tell you that studying abroad is probably one of the best experience that you can have during your college years. It is your opportunity to spend time in a completely new environment, meet a lot of new different people with various backgrounds, enjoy a culture that is different than yours, and get to study at a college where you can learn a lot of new things from that country’s experts.
By getting a degree from a foreign college, you will gain international experience that is something that companies really look for. It means for them that you are flexible, that you can speak in multiple languages, and that you can adapt to a different environment.
One of the great places you can go to for your experience of studying abroad is the land Down Under. Australia offers a lot of educational opportunities, besides being an amazing and wonderful place to spend a college year in. However, while it is a developed country, and you may think that studying there is easy in comparison to someplace less developed, you do need to do your research just the same, and properly prepare yourself for what is to come, if you don’t want to find yourself in unwanted trouble.
Choose where you want to study
Now, Australia is a big country, so you need to choose carefully where you want to attend your studies. There are a lot of choices out there for you, from urban to rural. On one hand, you will want to choose a part of the country that suits you the most. On the other hand, you will also want to locate the right place for what you want to study, as particular areas are better depending on where your scholarly interests lie.
For example, if you are into business studies, Sydney offers a lot of opportunities that you can opt for. However, if you are more into, let’s say, biology, then you might be interested in a program for marine biology students in Townsville which will take you to research the Great Barrier Reef.
As we have already ascertained, Australia is huge, and there are a lot of places that people think about visiting when they decide to go there. So, lower your expectations, as you probably won’t be able to see everything. Focus on the area where you are studying and enjoy the amazing places that it has to offer. Yes, you can decide to take a big trip one day, but be realistic about it.
A different style of education
What you need to be aware of is that in Australia you will get to meet a different style of education. After all, this is the main reason why you have decided to come here – to educate yourself in a place with a different system, culture, people, and so on, that you can learn from, and become more flexible in terms of changing places, which will be extremely beneficial for your future.
You should know that the grading system in most Australian universities is different. So, you need to get acquainted with what every great means. Let’s say that you get a “D”. Well, you should know that it is actually a pretty good grade that you have got. Because “D” stands for “Distinction”. So, the way that the grades go is:
- HD, or High Distinction
- D, or Distinction
- C, or Credit
- P, or Pass
- F, or Fail
Sharpen your language skills
Chances are that you are coming from a country where English isn’t a native language, so here you will have the opportunity to learn it or brush upon it, in its Australian form. Speaking of Australian English and its slang, even if you are coming from an English - speaking country, you will have to get used to the way Aussies speak, and learn their colloquialisms and language - related quirks. Of course, next to immersing yourself in a “new” language in your daily life in the land Down Under, you will also most probably have the opportunity to take language courses on the university that you have chosen.
Health insurance may be necessary
Before embarking on your journey to Australia for your studies, it is essential that you research whether you have health insurance covered or not. Most of the programs of studying abroad include it in their package. However, if you have made this decision on your own and are directly dealing with the university, then it is quite probable that you will need to get health insurance on your own.
It is possible that your health insurance plan covers your work overseas too. If it doesn’t, then you are going to have to apply for OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover). You probably aren’t a risk - taker that is going to travel to a new country without having their health insurance covered, but even if you are, Australia is one of the countries in the world where it is a requirement.
You will have to apply for a visa
Of course, if you are planning to study in Australia, you are going to have to apply for an Australian student visa. First, it is necessary that you justify to the Department of Home Affairs that you meet the requirements for it.
These include the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement (which means that you must show true intention to stay in Australia temporarily in order to attend studies), English proficiency requirements, financial requirements, and health and character requirements. Next to that, you’ll need to fill out an application form, pay the application fee, and maybe even go to an interview.
You will be applying for the Student Visa (Subclass 500), which is the same for every international student, and you will be doing it online. However, before you do, you need to get a Confirmation of Enrolment which confirms that a course that is registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS) has accepted you.
Studying abroad comes with a lot of benefits, but also with requirements that you have to think about and take care of on time. Australia is a brilliant place to move your studies to, but you have to be specific about what and where you want to study. Prepare yourself for a different style of education, as well as a different culture with possible language barriers.
Health insurance may or may not be included in the package, depending on how you applied for studying in the land Down Under. But the thing that you certainly need to apply for is a student visa, which comes with its own set of requirements, and a certain fee.