Study abroad: Steps to pursue a course in Australia
Australia is emerging as one of the most sought after places for study abroad.Grishma Nanavaty
Australia is emerging as one of the most sought after places for study abroad. World class universities, top-notch infrastructure, qualified faculty and exclusive facilities for international students are some of the aspects that are drawing students from across the globe. Also, getting a student visa is easier than in many other countries. Above all, the Australian government as well as the universities grant scholarships and other financial aid to international students to cover their study expenses.
Now that you have decided on Australia as your destination for study abroad, what are the steps you need to take to reach your dream destination seamlessly:
1. Choose your course and institution: : Start with selecting the course you want to pursue. This is one of the most challenging and taxing parts of the process as you have to come to a decision and finalise your preferred subject area. The range is vast and you’ll have many options. In addition to the conventional options in science, engineering, business, you can study anything from hospitality to health and fitness at the graduate and the undergraduate levels.
Though all the universities in Australia offer a competitive educational ambience, the top eight also known as ‘Group of Eight’ are: Australian National University, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, The University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, The University of Western Australia and The University of Adelaide.
University websites provide very clear details about the subject, curriculum and learning objectives for all the programs offered. If you are still confused about browsing through the websites then a) connect with students and alumni b) visit your target universities c) like/follow them on social media so you gain a deeper understanding of their academic and campus dynamics. We hope that you secure your chosen subject in your preferred university.
2. Be application ready: Once you decide on your subject of interest, the next step is to research and complete the requirements e.g. standardized tests or portfolio. Start organising the required items, making a comprehensive timeline and tracker to avoid any last minute panic. Have a checklist for the entry requirements and pay close attention each University’s stipulations as even if you are applying for the same subject, each institution may have their own requirements. Here’s a look at some general entry requirements:
• You might have to produce an English language proficiency certificate; for that you can take any of these English proficiency tests – IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, CAE. The eligibility band score varies across universities and courses.
• For some courses, you might have to take specific aptitude tests, whereas there are schools that decide admission based on students’ GMAT performance.
• In addition, you are required to provide transcripts of your academic record of senior secondary and undergraduate levels to seek admission in undergraduate and post graduate courses respectively.
3. Apply for the course: When you have decided on the course(s) and the desired school(s), move on to the next step, application. You can either apply directly to universities through online registration or via university enlisted agents. Each university will display its own list of agents on the website. If you are seeking direct application, you must regularly follow up with the university by correspondence, email, calls and frequent the website for latest information. On the other hand, the agents will guide you through the process and work like your advisory. However, it is wise to always to refer to websites to be aware of new developments.
4. Get your offer letter: Congratulations! You’ve been accepted. Soon after you’ll receive an electronic confirmation of your enrolment (eCoE). You can now apply for your visa. As much as you’ll be overwhelmed on receiving the acceptance letter, you must start right away with the arrangement of crucial study abroad requirements, especially applying for scholarships or financial aid. There are many scholarships granted by the Australian government, universities as well as external agencies. Depending on the program you’ve enrolled in and your eligibility, you can choose the scholarship that suits you the best.
5. Apply for visa: When you are applying for visa, you have to present the following evidences to qualify for studying in Australia. The checklist should consist of:
• Supporting facts to prove that you are staying in Australia as Genuine Temporary Entrant.
• Electronic confirmation of enrolment.
• Financial statement for covering expenses.
• Certificate of English Language Proficiency.
• Certificate of character and health.
• Health insurance details.
• Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
Securing a student visa for Australia is not stressful if you have met the stipulated prerequisites.
6. Plan accommodation: Your study abroad experience will also depend upon the environment, the facilities and the cost of your accommodation. Research well in advance to understand the options available in terms of distance from your school, locality and the rent. Not all Australian universities offer housing facilities. Here’s some alternatives that you can consider depending on your budget - Homestay, Hostel and guest house accommodation, Rental property, Residential colleges. However, there is an increasing demand for housing, hence try to book in advance.
You are ready to pack your bags for Australia. A beautiful landscape, peaceful ambience and welcoming hosts added with world-class universities and an eclectic mix of peers and professors will certainly make your study abroad experience in Australia memorable and enriching.