Preparing For Your Move As An International Student in Australia in 2024

January 2, 2024

Key takeaways:

  • Understand the Australian education system and select the right institution & course.
  • Research universities, identify field of study, consider location & lifestyle.
  • Navigate student visa process (Subclass 500), research financing options, secure accommodation in Australia to adjust to life as an international student.

Embarking on an educational journey is a thrilling experience for any international student in Australia.

The diverse and enriching environment, coupled with world-class institutions, offers a unique opportunity for personal and academic growth. Australia is a wonderful choice for international students, with a plethora of awesome universities and locations.

Are you ready to make the most of your Australian adventure? This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to prepare for your move as an international student in Australia in 2024.

Understanding the Australian Education System

Australia is renowned for its world-class education system, attracting a significant international student body. With the highest ratio of international students per capita in the world, it’s no wonder Australia is a popular destination for many.

The Australian education system is comprised of higher education institutions, vocational education and training (VET), and English language intensive courses for overseas students (ELICOS). Institutions in Australia provide a wide range of study options for international students, from educational pathways and university studies to VET courses at colleges.

With over 619,000 international students enrolled in various courses, it’s clear that studying in Australia is a sought-after opportunity.

Higher Education Institutions

Australia’s higher education institutions play a vital role in shaping the future of international students. These institutions provide a vibrant and welcoming environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and independent thinking.

Management and commerce are the most popular fields of study for international students. As of now, international students account for 15.5% of all bachelor’s degree enrollments. By engaging with the higher education institutions, international students can establish a strong foundation for their academic and professional success.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

international student in Australia

In addition to higher education institutions, vocational education and training (VET) plays a crucial role in the Australian education system. VET courses cater to a variety of fields, with management and commerce being the most popular for international students. These courses provide practical skills and knowledge that are highly valued by employers, making VET graduates highly employable.

With 47,402 international students enrolled in information technology courses alone, it’s evident that VET is an attractive option for many international students seeking to enhance their career prospects.

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

ELICOS courses are designed to help international students enhance their English proficiency before commencing their studies in Australia. These courses typically range from 5 to 60 weeks and vary in cost depending on the duration.

By participating in an ELICOS program, international students can improve their language skills and gain confidence in their ability to communicate effectively in an academic setting.

Selecting the Right Institution and Course

Selecting the right institution and course is a crucial step in ensuring a successful and fulfilling educational experience in Australia. It is important to consider your motivation for studying, gain an understanding of the industry, research the course details, and contemplate a dual degree.

Additionally, choosing a generalist degree, considering vocational courses, and not restricting one’s options are all important factors when making your decision.

When researching Australian universities, consider factors such as university rankings, graduate outcomes, entry requirements, course availability, location, and budget. For more information about Australian universities, please visit the official Australian Government website for international students,

Researching Australian Universities

In addition to the factors mentioned earlier, it’s essential to explore the various universities in Australia and evaluate their offerings, resources, and support services for international students. This research will enable you to make a well-informed decision and ensure that you select a university that not only aligns with your academic goals but also provides a supportive environment that fosters your personal and professional growth.

It is important to consider the cost of tuition, living expenses, and other fees associated with studying abroad. Additionally, you should research the visa requirements and the process of applying for a student visa. You should also look into the availability of scholarships.

Identifying Your Preferred Field of Study

To choose a field of study that suits your interests and goals, it’s essential to assess the various study options and areas of study available across Australian institutions. Online quizzes and assessments can help you identify your preferred field of study.

Additionally, review the entry requirements for your desired courses outlined in the institution’s course handbook or on its website. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you select a field of study that is most suitable for your objectives.

Considering Location and Lifestyle

international student in Australia

There are so many great places that we can’t pick the best city to live in Australia for international students. From Gold Coast and Sydney to Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra, the list goes on, with Melbourne being a top choice for international students.

Perth is great for international students as well, being closer in distance to places like Asia and offering a wonderfully safe and vibrant living environment.

The location and lifestyle of the institution and course are also important factors to consider when making your decision. Australia offers a diverse range of cities, each with its unique charm, attractions, and opportunities.

By researching the lifestyle and activities available in the area, you can ensure that your chosen institution and course align with your preferences and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the Australian experience.

Navigating the Student Visa Process (Subclass 500)

A valid student visa (subclass 500) is a critical requirement for international students to study in Australia. To apply for a student visa, you must first apply and be accepted to study in a registered full-time course at an educational institution in Australia. You must meet the age requirements and provide a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) at a full-time course to be eligible for the visa.

Educational agents or study abroad consultants can provide assistance in navigating the student visa application process. They can help you understand eligibility criteria, required documents, and application process, ensuring that you have a smooth transition to your new life in Australia.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the student visa process (Subclass 500) in Australia, you must be enrolled in a course of study, hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), or fall within one of the exemption categories. Additionally, you must meet the age requirements and demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover the duration of your stay.

Providing a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for a full-time course is also necessary.

Required Documents

When applying for a student visa, it’s essential to have the necessary documents handy. These include your passport, a completed visa application form (157A), English test scores, and a Confirmation of Enrolment or an Offer letter from the institution.

Ensuring that you have all the required documents will help streamline the application process and increase your chances of a successful visa application.

Application Process

The application process for a student visa subclass 500 can be completed either within or outside of Australia. To apply, you must first be accepted to study in a registered full-time course at an Australian educational institution. Then, you’ll need to provide an Electronic Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) and meet the compulsory English language proficiency requirements.

Lastly, you must demonstrate your financial capability to cover tuition fees and living expenses. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to obtaining a student visa and embarking on your Australian educational journey.

Financing Your Australian Education

international student in Australia

Financing your Australian education might seem like a daunting task, but various options are available to help you cover the expenses associated with studying in Australia. Scholarships and grants, part-time work opportunities, budgeting and financial planning can all help you finance your education. It’s crucial to explore these options and develop a financial plan that enables you to focus on your studies and make the most of your time in Australia.

International students must not only think about tuition fees, but also consider the cost of living in Australia and other associated fees such as visa costs and health cover. These expenses can make a big difference to the overall budget. The Australian government requires international students to demonstrate an annual living cost of $21,041 to be eligible for a study visa. By planning your finances carefully, you can ensure that you have the necessary funds to cover your education expenses and enjoy your time in Australia.

Scholarships and Grants

international student in Australia

Various scholarships and grants are available to international students in Australia, including institution scholarships and Australian Government scholarships. These scholarships provide comprehensive coverage of tuition fees, living expenses, travel allowance, and more.

You can research and apply for these scholarships based on your financial needs, academic merit, and other forms of high achievement. By securing a scholarship or grant, you can alleviate some of the financial burden associated with studying in Australia and focus on achieving your academic goals.

Part-Time Work Opportunities

International students in Australia have the opportunity to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week to help cover the costs of their education. Common part-time roles for international students include barista, bartender, server, hotel and hostel jobs, and fruit picking.

Job listing sites such as Seek, LinkedIn, and Grad Australia can assist you in finding part-time work. By working part-time, you can not only support your education expenses, but also gain valuable work experience and expand your professional network.

Budgeting and Financial Planning

Budgeting and financial planning are essential aspects of financing your Australian education. It’s important to plan for tuition fees, living expenses, accommodation, food and grocery costs, and other related expenses.

Your financial plan should be comprehensive and realistic, ensuring that you have the necessary funds to cover your expenses throughout your studies. By developing a sound financial plan, you can focus on your education and make the most of your time in Australia.

Securing Accommodation in Australia

international student in Australia

Finding the right accommodation is an important aspect of your Australian educational experience and fortunately, international students can stay off campus in Australia. And it can be helpful for you to research student accommodation near University of Sydney, or whichever university you choose to attend.

There are several types of accommodation available for international students, including homestays, managed student accommodation, and private rentals. Securing accommodation before arriving in Australia can provide peace of mind and allow you to settle into your new environment more easily.

Renting in Australia as a student is a common and popular choice. Online platforms like Soho can be super helpful in finding you a rental property. With Soho, you set up your match profile in 2 minutes, and get sent unique, personalised property matches based on your criteria.

Whether it’s a rental property you’re looking for, or a house—because international students can buy a house in Australia—Soho can help you find the right property for you.

By researching and securing your accommodation early, you can ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable living situation while studying in Australia.

Homestay Options

Homestay is a popular accommodation option for international students in Australia, as it provides an opportunity to live with an Australian family and experience life in the country. Homestays offer a chance to become acquainted with the culture and lifestyle of Australia, as well as enhance your English language proficiency.

Living in a homestay also provides a secure and safe environment for students. Various websites and agencies can assist you in locating a homestay, and universities and colleges can also be contacted directly for information about homestay options.

Managed Student Accommodation

Managed student accommodation typically refers to purpose-built student apartments, residential colleges, and private rentals conveniently located near major university and college campuses. These accommodations offer various amenities and services, such as furnished rooms, communal spaces, and on-site management.

The application process for managed student accommodation can be completed online. By opting for managed student accommodation, you can enjoy a comfortable living situation that is tailored to the needs of international students.

Private Rentals

Private rental options in Australia include apartments, houses, and rooms for rent. These rentals can be obtained through a real estate agent or directly from the landlord/owner. The cost of private rentals in Australia can range from AUD $120 to $400 per week, depending on the location and quality of the apartment.

Private rentals offer flexibility and independence, allowing you to choose the type of accommodation that best suits your needs and preferences while studying in Australia.

Adjusting to Life as an International Student in Australia

international student in Australia

Adjusting to life in Australia as an international student can be both exciting and challenging. Embracing the Australian culture, understanding academic expectations, and building a strong social network are essential aspects of a successful transition. By being proactive and open-minded, you can make the most of your Australian educational experience and create lasting memories.

It is essential to explore the local area, participate in activities on campus, network with peers, create a budget and open a bank account, and seek assistance when necessary. By engaging in these activities, you can quickly adapt to your new surroundings and make the most of your time as an international student in Australia.

Embracing Australian Culture

Gaining an understanding of Australian culture is a vital aspect of adjusting to life as an international student. You can immerse yourself in the local culture by attending cultural events, exploring the history and customs of Australia, and conversing with locals.

Watching Australian films and television programs can also help you become familiar with the language and expressions used in everyday conversations. By embracing Australia’s culture and lifestyle, you can enhance your overall experience and gain a deeper appreciation for your new home.

Academic Expectations and Support

Understanding and meeting academic expectations are essential for a successful educational experience in Australia. Australian universities and colleges are required to provide adequate support to international students to ensure they achieve the expected learning outcomes.

To maximize your engagement with your learning, attend classes, participate in discussions, and ask questions. Taking advantage of resources such as tutoring and mentoring programs can also help you excel in your studies and meet your academic goals.

Building a Social Network

Building a social network is crucial for making the most of your time as an international student in Australia. By participating in clubs, societies, and organized activities, attending O-Week, and responding positively to invitations, you can make new friends and establish meaningful connections.

Being open-minded and taking the initiative can also help you form new relationships and expand your social circle. By nurturing a strong social network, you can create a support system that will help you thrive during your time in Australia.

Working and Gaining Experience in Australia

international student in Australia

Working and gaining experience in Australia can be an invaluable addition to your educational journey. By engaging in internships, volunteering, and part-time work opportunities, you can acquire practical skills and knowledge that are highly sought after by employers. Additionally, these experiences can help you expand your professional network and enhance your career prospects upon graduation.

Understanding the work rights and restrictions for international students in Australia is crucial for ensuring a smooth and rewarding work experience. By familiarizing yourself with these regulations and seeking out opportunities that align with your interests and goals, you can make the most of your time in Australia and gain valuable experience to complement your studies.

Work Rights and Restrictions

International students in Australia are permitted to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours a week during school sessions, and there are no restrictions on the number of hours they can work during recognized school holidays.

From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for all other student visa holders will be reinstated and limited to a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight.

By understanding these work rights and restrictions, you can plan your work schedule accordingly, ensuring that you maintain a healthy balance between your studies and part-time employment.

Internships and Volunteering

Internships and volunteering opportunities provide international students with a chance to gain practical experience in their field of study while residing and studying in Australia. Industry experience, virtual internships, and programs provided by organizations like ACFID and CISAustralia are just a few examples of the opportunities available to international students.

Volunteering with organizations like Opportunity and AusLEAP can also help you develop valuable skills and make a positive impact on the community. By engaging in these experiences, you can enhance your resume and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Post-Study Work Opportunities

Upon graduation, international students who have completed their studies in Australia may be eligible for the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). This visa allows them to live, work, and study in Australia for a period of 2-4 years, depending on their qualification.

From July 2023, international higher education graduates with eligible qualifications will be granted an extra two years of post-study work rights. These post-study work opportunities allow you to gain valuable experience in your field and increase your chances of securing long-term employment in Australia.


In conclusion, preparing for your move as an international student in Australia in 2024 involves understanding the Australian education system, selecting the right institution and course, navigating the student visa process, financing your education, securing accommodation, adjusting to life in Australia, and exploring work and experience opportunities.

By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your Australian adventure, creating lasting memories and setting yourself up for a successful and fulfilling educational experience. So pack your bags, and get ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime in the land down under!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are international students allowed to enter Australia now?

Yes, international students are currently allowed to enter Australia. Student visa holders may travel to Australia and have access to temporary relaxation of their work limits across all sectors.

Therefore, international students can now pursue their education in our country.

Why Brisbane for international students?

If you’re wondering why Brisbane for international students, it’s because of the general liveability. Brisbane is a welcoming and diverse city with reliable resources to support international students. There is also cheap student accommodation in Brisbane, student discounts, quality education at world-class universities as well as a vibrant lifestyle and cultural scene.

How much does it cost for an international student to study in Australia?

Studying in Australia can be an expensive venture for international students. Generally, tuition fees for a Bachelor’s degree range from approximately 20,000 to 45,000 AUD per year. Master’s and PhD degrees generally cost between 22,000 and 50,000 AUD per year.

Can I sponsor an international student in Australia?

Yes, you can sponsor an international student in Australia as long as you are an eligible relative of the applicant. To be eligible for sponsorship, you need to have already provided evidence that shows the relationship between you and the applicant.

How many international students are in Australia today?

Recent figures show that there are currently 567,947 international students enrolled in Australia. The majority of these students (45,8%) are taking higher education courses, followed by VET courses (24.2%) and English language intensive courses (16,4%).

This demonstrates the diversity and importance of international students to Australia’s educational system.

How many international students study in Australia?

According to recent data, Australia is home to over 567,947 international students, with 45,8% studying at higher education institutions, 24,2% in vocational education and training (VET), and 16,4% taking English language intensive courses for learners from overseas (ELICOS).

It’s clear that Australia has a significant population of international students, which makes it an attractive destination for global learners.

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