Studying in Australia has become a popular option for Chinese students, especially those coming from middle class families. Getting your education in Australia opens doors – not only of international education, but also the opportunity for international employment and maybe even migration to the Land Down Under.
According to a recent research and study by Pierre Pouliquin, Chinese parents want their children to study in Australia in order to help them gain a broader view of the world. Also, if their kids study in Australia, they can become fluent in English, making them fluent in both English and Chinese, which are the two most widely spoken languages in the world. This gives them a competitive edge in the employment arena.
Alumni of Australian universities who come back to their home countries eventually become leaders in their respective fields. Most of these graduates are also being sought after by both local and international companies. The Education Services for Overseas Students Act or ESOS help maintain the high quality of education being offered by institutions, so that they do not fall below expectations.
Studying in Australia: How to Apply
Now that you’ve finally decided that Australia is a worthwhile destination to pursue your (or your child’s) studies, the next phase is to apply to study in Australia. Some get confused and apply for student visas first before applying for acceptance in the institution they want to study in. However, you must first apply to be a student before you are granted a student visa.
So how do you apply as a student? Here are the steps:
1. Look for the course that you want to pursue.
Not all subjects are offered in all universities, so make sure you find the institution that offers what you want to pursue.
2. Check if you pass the basic entry requirements to study in Australia.
- English proficiency – you must pass the language proficiency as required by the institution of your choice. Keep in mind that the English skills requirement of the university you want to be part of may be different to that of the requirement in getting your student visa, so be careful.
- Academic performance – like any other school, your level of performance in the previous schools you have studied in will be looked into. If your records are written in English, you will need to have these documents translated by a certified interpreter.
- Pre-requisites – some schools require passing an entrance exam, while others necessitate that you have taken certain subjects or have work experience on a specific field.
- Must have Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE) or equivalent. The SSCE is similar to a Senior High School Diploma (North American countries).
- Completion of undergraduate degree - If you are applying for a Postgraduate degree, you must have completed an undergraduate degree of a specific course, and/or have work experience in the same line of study.
3. Send your application to the institution.
There are a couple of ways to go about this. These are:
- Send an application direct to the institution. You can apply to several institutions at once and choose once you have been accepted. Most schools now accept online application. Here are the directions on how to apply to the top universities in Australia:
- University of Newcastle Australia
- University of Technology Sydney
- University of Adelaide
- University of Western Australia (UWA) – apply two years before intended commencement date
- Monash University
- University of Queensland (UQ)
- University of New South Wales (UNSW)
- University of Sydney
- University of Melbourne
- Australian National University (ANU)
- Send an application with the help of an education agent. An education agent can help with your application in your institution of choice or even with your visa. Universities and schools that utilize education agents are required to list the agents they work with, so you can choose your agent on this list.
4. Wait for your Offer Letter to arrive
Once the institution has reviewed your application and deemed it passing their standards, you will receive a Letter of Offer to enroll. If you apply to several universities and receive an offer from many of them, you can choose the one you prefer the most and decline the rest.
Make sure that you read the Letter of Offer of the university you want to enroll in thoroughly. If you are satisfied with the terms and believe that you can pay for the fees with no issues, then you should sign the offer and send it back. It is a binding contract, so make sure you understand everything that it entails.
5. Send the Letter of Offer back.
Once you have reviewed the offer thoroughly and deemed it acceptable, sign it and send it back to the school. After which, immediately settle the required deposit amount. Most schools will not continue with the process unless the required deposit has been paid.
6. Wait for the eCoE or the Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment.
This will when your course will start, how much it will cost and the duration of the course.
Applying for a Student Visa
Sponsored students and exchange students (secondary school) are the only ones allowed to apply for student visas without the need for enrolment confirmation. So once you have Confirmation of Enrolment, you can now apply for a student visa.
You will have to apply for the Student Visa, which falls under Subclass 500. This visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to five years. The application fee is AUD $575.
The requirements for a Student Visa are as follows:
- You must be at least six years old;
- You must have been accepted in an institution, with the Confirmation of Enrolment;
- You must be covered by Overseas Student Heath Cover (OSHA). You must be covered before you even come to Australia.
For more details on how to apply for a student visa, please check our Student Visa guide. Processing of application can take anywhere between 14 days to 68 days.
Living in Australia can be made much easier by connecting with the Chinese community in order to prevent culture shock. As a student, you can rent a home in Australia while staying there. If you are a parent who wants to be able to visit your child while he/she is studying in Australia, you should also consider buying a home in Australia. Visiting parents can also get a visa specific for parents of international students.