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International Students Special: Studying Grad School in Australia

Updated: Nov 25, 2023


 

Table of Contents:

Introduction


The Australian Higher Education System

Global Reputation of Australian Universities

Work Opportunities After Graduation

Soft and Language Skills Development


Conclusion


 


Take-home Messages

  • International students studying in Australia can expect high-quality education, varied cultural experiences, and a range of job opportunities upon graduation.

  • The advantages of studying at the graduate level in Australia include: access to world-leading research facilities and resources, excellent career prospects, and a welcoming international student community.

  • The cost of studying and living in Australia can be challenging. However this obtacle can be overcomed thorugh the numerous scholarsip opportunities offered to international and domestic students.

Introduction


By looking at my previous articles, I realized that this blog is predominantly focused on the application process for obtaining a postgraduate degree in the United States. Although studying there is my current project, I believe that there are many other great destinations for higher education that you could consider. Therefore, today we are going to move to the opposite side of the globe and discover the wide range of benefits of studying graduate school in Australia. More specifically, we will first examine the higher education system and what are the resources available to grad students. We will also reflect on what is the reputation of institutions such as the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, and the Australian National University, and how studying there could boost your career opportunities.


The Australian Higher Education System


The higher education system in Australia is built upon the Australian Qualification Framework, a policy that regulates each level of study, and covers all the certificates and diplomas one can obtain in Australia. Within the framework, Master’s degrees are divided into three categories, depending on how much they are oriented towards research or the professional world. If you do a research master, you will have a strong focus on contributing to academia, while a coursework or an extended master will give you a stronger professional preparation. The final step in the framework is represented by doctoral degrees. Once again, doctoral degrees are divided into two groups: research and professional. This means that you can either decide to have a more broad approach to your research, or choose a more narrow professional field that you want to contribute to.


The AQF framework is applied all over Australia, across its 41 universities. The majority of those (37) are public institutions, however there are also three private Australian universities and one private international university that you can consider for your studies.


Global Reputation of Australian Universities


What about the reputation of Australia’s universities across the world? According to global rankings, they consistently feature high scores, which showcases the quality of education and research that they offer. Check out this article from QS World University Rankings to find out more. In short, studying at institutions such as the University of Melbourne, Australian National University, and the University of Sydney can benefit you with high quality education and prepare you for success in the job market, both in Australia as well as internationally.


Tuition Fees and Cost of Living


Studying in Australia can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to know how much it will cost. Tuition fees vary significantly between different institutions, study levels and subject areas, with fields such as engineering and medicine generally representing the higher end of the scale. As a rough estimate, master’s degrees may cost around AU$20,000-37,000 (or US$15,000-26,800) per year, while doctoral degrees come in at AU$14,000-37,000 (US$10,140-26,800).

The cost of living must also be taken into consideration when budgeting for your studies in Australia. Your expenses will naturally depend on your location and lifestyle choices; most universities provide official guidelines to help international students plan accordingly. For visa purposes, the Department of Home Affairs stipulates that international students must have access to at least AU$20290 (US$14700) per year for living costs – more if they are accompanied by a partner or children.



Financial Support for Intrenational Students


As we have seen, living expenses in Australia can be significant. Fortunately, there are some generous organisations in Australia which provide financial assistance. Scholarships, grants and bursaries are all opportunities that provide students with the help they need.


For example, there are scholarships to study in regional areas of Australia available for both Australian citizens and international students alike. Additionally, there are short-term mobility opportunities specifically designed for Asian and Australian university students who are interested in experiencing international education. Students who wish to pursue a higher degree by research may also find scholarship options tailored just for them. All these options provide relative flexibility and benefit those wanting to study abroad without overstraining their finances. Regardless of your current budget constraints, it’s worth taking the time to explore all the scholarship possibilities that you might not have otherwise considered as a viable option.


Career Opportunities After Graduation


Australia's post-graduation job opportunities make it an attractive destination for aspiring professionals. Students who have just completed their undergraduate degree, master or PhD can apply for the so-called Post-Study Work Stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) student visa. This is a possibility for them to stay in Australia and gain practical working experience in their field. If you want to learn more about this option, check out the Department of Home Affairs website. Additionally, let’s not forget that Australia has a robust economy and strong connections with global industries, which could benefit your career advancements.


Soft and Language Skills Development


As I mentioned in a previous article on studying abroad in the US, the benefits of an international student life are enormous. Personally, I am already appreciating that as an Italian who is attending university in the Netherlands, and I am more than sure that this can apply to other international experiences as well. Indeed, studying abroad doesn’t only mean to learn some theories and skills and access amazing job opportunities. It is a possibility to open your eyes to new cultures and perspectives on life, which can enrich your own and help you develop a positive attitude towards today’s globalized world.

Moreover, as English is the primary language of instruction, international students can boost their written and oral language skills, which is key to communicate and collaborate professionally on a global scale.


Conclusion


It’s time to wrap up this article on pursuing your postgraduate studies in Australia. Today, we have understood the basics of Australia’s higher education system and its costs, explained the strong reputation that Australian universities have across the world, and discovered the promising work, cultural and linguistic opportunities that the country can offer. Let me know in the comments if you would like to learn more about this topic (application process, detailed range of scholarships, popular fields of study, student accommodation options, etc.). I leave you with this beautiful picture of the University of Sydeny's campus, and, as always, good luck with your graduate school journey!




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