Study in Australia

About Australia

Australia has more than 12,000 higher educational institutions with 22,000 courses that vary from vocational training courses, English Language Training to University courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. Around 22 Australian universities are represented in the World’s top 500 universities. What more? Australia has welcomed international students for more than 60 years, many of whom have become Ministers, leading business people, researchers, scientists, medical practitioners and community leaders all around the world.

Australian universities have earned a reputation for academic excellence where foreign students count themselves amongst a new generation of graduates ready to take on the world. With the introduction of new and innovative courses with good employment opportunities, many international students are dreaming of getting a degree from an Australian University.

Australia at a Glance

Australia offers a diverse range of study options for international students, with more than 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses to choose from.

You can study at all levels of education from primary and secondary school, to vocational education and training (VET), from English language courses to higher education (including universities).

The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000(opens in a new window) and the National Code of Practice(opens in a new window) for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (National Code) provide nationally consistent standards for providers of education and training for international students.

As an international student on a student visa, you must study with an institution and in a course that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS registration guarantees that the course and the institution at which you study meet the high standards expected by international students. You can search for courses and institutions here on the Study in Australia website.

Along with the ESOS Act and National Code, there are also regulatory and quality assurance organisations for higher education and VET institutions. These government organisations are responsible for registration/re-registration of institutions and accreditation/re-accreditation of courses. These organisations are:
Higher Education – Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)(opens in a new window)

VET – Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)(opens in a new window)
So no matter the type of course you want to study, how long you want to study for or where you want to study, you can be assured that in Australia you will have a high quality and rewarding study experience.

Why Study in Australia ?

Australia has the third highest number of international students in the world behind only the United Kingdom and the United States despite having a population of only 23 million? This isn’t surprising when you consider Australia has seven of the top 100 universities in the world! In fact, with over 22,000 courses across 1,100 institutions, Australia sits above the likes of Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, ranking eighth in the Universitas 2012 U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems.

These are strong academic credentials, but our institutions are just as highly rated as the cities that house them around the country. Australia has five of the 30 best cities in the world for students based on student mix, affordability, quality of life, and employer activity – all important elements for students when choosing the best study destination. And with more than A$200 million provided by the Australian Government each year in international scholarships, we’re making it easier for you to come and experience the difference an Australian education can make to your future career opportunities.

Do you have a specific study area of interest? There is every chance Australia has you covered, with at least one Australian university in the top 50 worldwide across the study areas of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Life & Agricultural Sciences, Clinical Medicine & Pharmacy, and Physics.

Given this impressive education pedigree, it’s not surprising there are now more than 2.5 million former international students who have gone on to make a difference after studying in Australia. Some of these students are among the world’s finest minds. In fact, Australia has produced 15 Nobel prize laureates and every day over 1 billion people around the world rely on Australian discoveries and innovations – including penicillin, IVF, ultrasound, Wi-Fi, the Bionic Ear, cervical cancer vaccine and Black Box Flight Recorders – to make their lives, and the lives of others, better.

Australia Education Cost

Australia uses the Australian Dollar or AUD as its currency.
As a popular study destination, scholarships are competitive. If you are self financing you should be aware of the costs of studying and living in Australia.
As with most other countries, the cost of education in Australia is dependent on several things. This includes the type and duration of your studies, among other things.
For example, English Language Courses are available at $300/week. Vocational training or education on the other hand will cost you $4,000 to $22,000. Vocational training awards Certificate Levels (from I to IV), Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas. Costs will be higher for the latter.
Bachelor Degrees will have you spending $10,000 to $33,000 a year. Expect higher costs if pursuing your degree at a private institution. Studies taken in a public institution will generally cost less.
Studying a Master’s Degree will cost from $20,000 to $37,000 per year. Doctoral Degrees on average range from $14,000 to $37,000. As mentioned private education will result in higher costs.

Living Expenses

There is a minimum cost of living for student visas. This is decided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and it is $18,610. Your living expenses in Australia will depend on which region you plan to live in. For example, urbanized areas will have higher living costs. There are several different choices for living arrangements. Hostels and guesthouses range from $90 to $150 a week. Shared rentals and on-campus living will cost $85 to $280. More expensive options are homestay ($235 to $325 per week) and rental ($165 to $440 per week).

Aside from accommodation, your weekly expenses will most likely include:

  • Groceries or eating out ($80 to $280).
  • Gas and electricity ($35 to $140).
  • Phone and internet ($20 to $55).
  • Public transport ($15 to $55).
  • Lifestyle ($80 to $150).

You should factor in health insurance costs and overseas student health cover.

Qualifying Exams for USA

TOEFL : TOEFL is an English proficiency for students from non- native English speaking country students. TOEFL is conducted more than 50 times a year at 4500 test centres in 165 countries worldwide.

IELTS : IELTS is also an English proficiency test for students from non- native English speaking countries. IELTS test measures a candidate’s English language command on 4 different parameters- Listening, reading, writing and speaking.

GMAT : GMAT is taken for admission to management studies. Business schools use this test as a criterion for admission into a wide range of management programs like Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs.

GRE : GRE is not mandatory for Masters programmes in Australia though some universities might accept it. While universities require GRE general test score some also ask the student to take GRE subject tests.


Will I be able to obtain more exemptions ?

Exemptions are given based on previous studies and are related to the major chosen. Units passed in previous studies that do not equate to a Curtin unit will not be exempted. No advanced standing will be granted if the units undertaken in previous studies are not units relevant to the course nominated.

My IELTS/TOEFL score is not high enough to meet entry requirements into the postgraduate course. What can I do ?

Provided that satisfying Curtin’s English language competency is the only outstanding condition, the student may be eligible for entry into the English Language Bridging (ELB) program. Completion of a semester of the ELB program will satisfy Curtin’s English Language competency requirements.

Who can certify my documents ?

Documents can be certified by a:
• Curtin representative
• Justice of the Peace
• Commissioner for Oaths/Declarations
• Notary Public or
• An Academic Registrar of the institution that issued the transcript.

I have been given an offer for this coming semester, but I cannot make it. Can I defer the offer to another semester ?

Provided the course you have been offered is running in the semester you want to defer to, you may defer the offer to that semester. Another Letter of Offer will be forwarded to you.

I cannot arrive in time for the first day of semester. Can I start the semester one or two weeks late ?

No. You must arrive in time for Orientation, one week before semester begins.

I applied for the Master of Commerce course. Why have I have been offered the Postgraduate Diploma in Business course leading to the Master of Commerce course instead ?

For certain master programs, the postgraduate diploma course represents the first stage of the master course. Entry into the master course will be dependent upon the successful completion of the postgraduate course with a Course Weighted Average of at least 70% for all units completed within the postgraduate diploma course. A postgraduate diploma leading to a master does not alter or lengthen the duration of the total program.

If I want to change my course after I receive my Letter of Offer, what should I do ?

You can either contact Curtin International to request the change and receive a new Letter of Offer or you may change the course after you arrive. You will be responsible for any associated costs relating to the extension of your visa if there is a change in the duration of your new course due to revised exemptions. Please make sure you have sufficient time to make the change before you enrol.

I lodged an application three weeks ago for a Master course by research and I have not had a response from Curtin. What has happened to my application ?

Applications for Master by Research and PhDs usually take longer than the standard application as the Graduate Studies Committee must approve them. Depending on when the Graduate Studies Committee meets, your application may take up to one month to process.

How do I obtain Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL) for previous studies ?

To be considered for CRL, you are required to lodge certified copies of the transcripts and award certificate (if the course is completed) for previous studies. These documents will be assessed to determine whether CRL will be granted. Depending upon the institution where you completed previous studies, you may need to provide the course syllabus and unit outlines.

How long before I know if I am eligible for the course I have applied for ?

Curtin International aims to generate the Letter of Offer and fax you a copy within 2-5 working days for a standard application and 6-10 working days if Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL) needs to be assessed by the School. This includes time taken to follow up on information with you (if required) and assessment of your qualifications and CRL (if any).

Applications for PhD courses are required to go before the University Graduate Studies Committee, and can take up to one month depending on the next scheduled Committee meeting.

If I am not eligible for the course I have applied for, are there alternative options and/or will I be considered for another course of study ?

In the event you are not eligible for the course you have applied for, Curtin International will advise you of the outcome of your application and inform you of the options available to you. Depending upon your previous studies, the School you applied to may suggest another course suited to you. Alternatively it may be recommended that your application be forwarded to Curtin College for consideration. Curtin College is situated on the Bentley campus and offers certificate and diploma-level courses leading to entry into Curtin degree programs. CRL may be granted to those students completing diploma programs.

Can I study at an institution that Curtin does not have an exchange agreement with ?

Yes. This is considered a Study Abroad program. Under a Study Abroad program, you can attend institutions with which Curtin does not have an exchange agreement. To apply for a Study Abroad program, you are required to:
• apply directly to the proposed host institution;
• apply for a leave of absence from Curtin for the duration of your proposed time abroad;
• negotiate with your school or faculty for your overseas studies to be recorded on your Curtin record as credit for recognised learning (CRL); and
• pay tuition fees directly to the institution you attend abroad. This amount varies between universities, countries and courses.

What if I've failed a unit; can I still apply ?

Yes. If you have failed one or more units and don’t meet the eligibility guidelines, your application will be individually assessed by a Student Mobility Coordinator to determine whether you are suitable for the program.

I have changed my degree; can the credits completed in my previous degree count towards the 200 credit eligibility requirement ?

If you have completed credits in another course of study at Curtin or at another Australian higher institution, and these have been transferred as Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL) to your current Curtin degree, these will be counted towards the 200 credit eligibility requirement. Relevant transcripts will need to be included with your Curtin application materials.

Do I need a visa ?

In most cases a student visa is required for your overseas study; please check the individual information sheets or the consulate of the country you will be travelling to for further information. Each student will need to organise their own visa.

When can I book my flight ?

Once you have received notification of your acceptance from the host institution, you can begin to organise your flights and visas.

Can I work on exchange ?

This depends on the country you are studying in. Please check with the consulate of the country you will be travelling to for further information. Please note, students should not rely on overseas work to support themselves whilst on exchange. It is expected that you have enough money saved to support yourself for the duration of your stay.

Does the university offer travel grants or scholarships for exchange? How do I apply ?

Yes. All eligible exchange students are automatically considered for any available travel grants upon receipt of their completed application materials, no other application is necessary.

Can I go on exchange in the final semester of my degree ?

Yes, but you must be able to complete at least 75 credits whilst on exchange.

Please be aware that going on exchange in your last semester may delay your graduation ceremony to the next available ceremony. This will depend on when your transcript is received by the partner institution and transferred to your Curtin degree.

What if I have been convicted of a drink driving offence or have a criminal conviction; will this affect my exchange ?

Yes. Some countries will not issue you with a student visa if you have any criminal convictions. Please check with the consulate of the country to which you are travelling for further information.

Can I extend my exchange ?

Yes. You must first seek approval from the Exchange Office, as well as the host institution to ensure there is a place available to you.

I'm currently on a leave of absence; will this affect my ability to participate in the exchange program ?

No. You can still participate providing you meet all other eligibility requirements; you will however need to have the leave of absence lifted when you have been accepted into the exchange program.

Can I study at another Australian higher institution ?

Yes. This is considered cross-institutional enrolment and is handled by Student Central; please contact them directly for further information.

I am an Open University Australia (OUA) enrolled student, can I apply for exchange ?

No, Open University Australia students can not apply for the exchange program.

How much money do I need to bring ?

The amount of money you bring with you is a personal decision; however, you must make sure you have enough funds to cover your bond/rent and moving-in expenses for your accommodation on arrival. You should also have money to cover temporary accommodation expenses (hotel) if applicable, meal costs, and transport costs (buses, taxis).

Generally, it is advisable to have easy access to AUD$2500 to cover moving expenses and AUD$800 in traveler’s cheques or Australian currency to cover incidental expenses such as hotel, meals, and transport for your first few days in Perth. You should not bring large amounts of cash with you – please ensure you bring the bulk of your funds in traveler’s cheques or as a bank draft or money order.

What does enrolment mean? When will I be enrolled ?

When we talk about ‘enrolment’, we are referring to the process students go through to pick out the subjects (units) they wish to study. It is only when a student is ‘enrolled’ that they officially become a student of the University.

Enrolment usually happens during Orientation Week, and each school of study is responsible for coordinating enrolment for their international students with help from Curtin International.

Some students are able to enroll offshore before they arrive in Perth. However, students who enroll offshore must still attend their enrolment briefing during Orientation Week to obtain important information about their study plan.

Can I spend one semester at one institution and spend another semester at a different institution in another part of the world ?

Yes. You can read more about study and exchange experiences on our global opportunities page.

Can I convert my tourist or business class visa to a student visa while I am in Australia?

From 1st July 2016, most people in Australia on tourist or business class visas will be able to convert to student visas while in Australia. You can use the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system to confirm whether you are eligible for onshore visa applications.

Will the Australian Embassy/High Commission accept an emailed or faxed copy of my electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)?

Yes, the eCoE is issued electronically via the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS). Australian Diplomatic Posts can access this electronic copy.

When do I need to provide my residential address to my education provider ?

Condition 8533 of the student visa requires students to notify Curtin of their local residential address within seven days of their arrival. Students are also required to notify Curtin within seven days of any change in their address.

How do I notify Curtin when I change my address ?

Students are required to log on to OASIS and update their address/personal details within seven days of any change in their residential address.

Do I need to have Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) ?

Any overseas students studying in Australia on a student visa must take out OSHC for themselves and any dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old). The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) requires that student visa holders be covered by an OSHC policy for the entire time they are in Australia. The only student visa holders not required to have OSHC are:
• Norwegian students covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme;
• Swedish students covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet; and
• Belgian students are covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

Can I change to another education provider within the first six calendar months of my program ?

International students on student visas are to remain with the education provider with whom they originally enrolled for the first six calendar months of their course, or if the course is less than six months, for the duration of the course. If a student is undertaking a pre-requisite course, they are to remain with the provider of the pre-requisite course for the length of that course and then with the education provider providing the principal course of study for the first six calendar months.

If a Curtin student intends to change education provider before completing six calendar months of their principal course as described above, they must seek approval by obtaining a Letter of Release. For students who have not commenced their principal course of study at Curtin, this will be from Curtin International, and students who have commenced their principal course should contact the Student Service Centre.

If after arrival in Australia a student wishes to study a new principal course, in a different education sector than their current principal course, they must apply for a new student visa. Students planning on changing course and education providers must ensure they continue to meet the conditions of their student visa. Please refer to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website for further information.

What is a 'full time program of study' ?

International students on a student visa are required to maintain a full-time enrolment at all times to ensure their degree is completed in the minimum time. With the exception of a small number of courses, the full-time enrolment is 100 credits. Students who fail to maintain a full-time enrolment will be in breach of their student visa conditions.

In some circumstances, students may be permitted to enroll in a study load of fewer than 100 credits in any semester/trimester. A Request to Enrol in less than 100 Credits in the Current Semester form must be completed and approved each semester/trimester where an international student does not intend to enroll in full-time study.

Students that reduce their study load may not complete their course within the expected course or visa duration and may need to apply for another student visa. Students that have no formal approval to reduce their study load may have their request for a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) document declined. An eCOE is required for further student visa applications.

What academic progress must I make to meet student visa requirements ?

Student visa condition 8202 states students must maintain satisfactory course progress for each study period for the duration of the course. At the end of each study period (or semester), a student’s academic status is determined as either Good Standing, Conditional, or Terminated. Students who are Terminated are deemed as not achieving satisfactory course progress and will be reported to the Department of Home Affairs(DHA) for breach of student visa conditions. This can lead to visa cancellation.

International students are expected to progress through their studies at a pace that will ensure completion within the normal duration of a program for which a student visa is granted. For example, if the program requires three years of full-time study, the student visa will have been granted for three academic years and students will be expected to complete the program within this time period.

If the student requires additional time to complete the course (due to the availability of units, failed units, or prerequisites), the student will need to renew their student visa approximately one month before their existing student visa expires. Please contact the Student Advisor – International Student Visas, located in Building 101 for more information.

What should I do if I have been terminated from my course/program ?

Terminated students are not allowed to re-enroll in the course. International students are strongly advised to submit a written appeal against their academic status of Terminated. For further information, please visit the Current Students website. Students can also contact the Student Wellbeing Advisors for further assistance.

Can I renew my student visa in Australia ?

While students are currently enrolled in full-time study, they may renew their student visa in Australia as long as their current student visa is not subject to Condition 8534 ‘no further stay’. It is recommended that steps are taken to renew a student visa approximately one month before the existing student visa expires.

Please refer to the student visa renewal website for further information on obtaining a new electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).

For accurate visa application charges, please check the Fees and Charges section on the DHA website.

What do I do if my application for renewing my student visa is unsuccessful ?

If a student applies for a student visa in Australia and they are refused, they may apply for a review of the decision. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will notify the student of their review rights in writing and the time limits for lodging such an appeal.

Please note: There are no review rights for decisions to refuse a student visa where the application is made outside Australia.

What supporting documents do I need to submit to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) when renewing my student visa ?

The supporting documents required vary according to visa subclass and country assessment level. Please refer to the Visa Information and Document checklists on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website.

Students are required to bring supporting documentation to their appointment with DHA. If a student is unable to submit the required documentation at the appointment, on approval from DHA, they may be permitted a short duration to produce this documentation for it to be considered for the student visa application.

Can I apply for a leave of absence ?

International students on student visas may be permitted to take a formal Leave of Absence for limited circumstances for one semester (up to 6 months). Students can seek approval where they can demonstrate compassionate or compelling circumstances have impacted their course progress or well-being. In these circumstances, international students may be permitted to suspend their studies and avoid visa cancellation. Students must contact the Student Advisors – International Student Visas for further advice regarding their circumstances and how taking leave will affect their student visa.

If a break in a study is intended and students do not meet the grounds for formal Leave of Absence, then students are required to withdraw from their course/program and apply for re-admission through Curtin International This will lead to student visa cancellation and students will be required to apply for a new student visa once they are ready to re-commence studies.

The University is obligated to notify the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of any changes in the enrolment of all international students on student visas.

If I cancel/withdraw from a semester or my course of study/program at Curtin, am I able to remain in Australia?

Students must contact the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to determine their eligibility to remain in Australia. The University is obligated to notify DIBP of all international students who are not enrolled in the current study period.

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