7 Useful Tips for International Students in Australia

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Moving to Australia to study? This will be a great experience but there will be a period of adaptation. Read our tips for international students in Australia!

The land down under is a prime location for international students. Australia's universities come with an impressive reputation, making it more than just a vacation-like experience for those who are serious about their academics.

The country itself is a whole new world of excitement, but it can get overwhelming fast if you aren't prepared for it. That's why we've got a few tips for the soon-to-be international students in Australia. 

Keep reading to learn more.

For the International Students in Australia

If you plan to study in Australia, you're going to want to get a good idea of what you're in for. Aside from the beautiful scenery, interesting wildlife, fun nightlife and all of the other things to do and see don't forget—you're still an international student.

That means you're going to have to adjust to living abroad, which can be a bit intimidating if you've never lived abroad before. You want to be prepared and make your studies there count. You also want to have great experiences, and you will—as long as you follow these seven tips for international students.

1. Get Your Affairs in Order Before You Go

If you're thinking about becoming one of the many international students in Australia, you've got some things to figure out beforehand. First and foremost, you want to make sure that you can afford to go. There are plenty of private school scholarships, grants, and other types of financial support out there if you need it.

Secondly, you want to choose an accredited university to carry out your studies. Do your research and get information on suitable universities, their courses, eligibility requirements, fees, and the cost of living in the area.

Thirdly, you want to make sure you're eligible. You'll have to apply for a subclass 50 student visa and submit the following requirements:

  • A Certificate of Enrollment (CoE)
  • Proof of mastery level of the English language
  • Proof of your financial capability
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of good health

Be sure to give yourself enough time to fill out the proper forms and applications, and find out how long they will take to process. You'll also want to plan to arrive in your new Australian city well before your courses start so you can adjust.

2. Know Your Rights as a Student

Get to know what your rights are as a student in Australia. For example, students in Australia are permitted to work 40 hours (part-time) for two weeks at a time. Of course, this is only during the semester. During breaks and holidays, you can work at much as you want or need to. 

If you are married and have children, you're allowed to bring them on your student visa. You also have the right to extend your visa before it expires if you plan to take more courses or you have the eligibility to switch to another visa category.

3. Get Ready for a Huge Time Change

Australia's southern hemisphere location gives a whole new meaning to time and seasons. In other words, the seasons are opposite of that of the United States and Europe. So while those other countries are experiencing snow, you'll probably be enjoying hot summer beach days.

The time zone will be something to adjust to as well. The country has three main time zones:

  • Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) which is UTC+8:00
  • Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) which is UTC+9:30
  • Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) which is UTC+10:00

This makes Australia time 12-15 hours later than that of US time, and also one day ahead. It can get a little confusing at first, and it plays a big role in homesickness—not being able to call your loved ones because they're sleeping while you're awake. However, you will get used to it with time. 

4. Maintain Your Health

Medical fees in Australia can get pretty expensive. It will cost you $160 just to see a specialist and about $60 for general medicine. This is why it's a requirement to get health insurance for your student visa in the form of an overseas healthcare package—known as the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). 

Be sure to choose the package with the right coverage for you, as it's designed to alleviate any unforeseen medical fees. When you first arrive in Australia, make sure you know where the nearest emergency room is from your accommodations.

Aside from that, take care of yourself by drinking plenty of water, eating healthy and getting enough rest. This is especially important while adjusting to the new time zone.

5. Get Used to the New Grading System

In terms of school, one thing you'll have to get used to is Australia's grading system. They use letters to grade students' work, but the percentages they give have different values in terms of success.

For example, HD is short for High Distinction, and D for Distinction. These are the highest grades you can receive. Cr stands for Credit, P for Pass, and F of course, for Fail. Don't worry, your professors and the other students will help you understand and adjust to the new system.

6. Learn How to Manage Your Money

Australia is an expensive country to live and vacation in. Of course, being an international student leaves you somewhere in between living and playing, which means you'll have to keep yourself on a strict budget. 

Luckily you can use your student card to get yourself discounts on public transportation, gym memberships, restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, etc. Be sure to live within your means. That means grocery shopping and cooking at home, finding a phone plan that suits your realistic needs, and finding a job.

You'll also want to open an Australian bank account to avoid international fees.

7. Get to Know Your City

Whichever city you choose to live and attend university in Australia, take the time to get to know what's around. This will help you move around quickly without getting lost. It'll also help you save money if you know which stores, cafes, parks, public transportation, etc. are within walking distance.

Taking the time to walk around and get to know your new neighborhood will help you adjust much faster. As certain sights and places become more familiar, your new city will feel more like home. 

Have Fun and Be Safe

Australia is an incredible country filled with exotic wildlife, friendly locals, and so many new experiences. All international students in Australia never want to leave. Be sure to keep an open mind, have fun, and stay safe during your time there.

Check back often for all things education!

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