Why Australia is a favourite destination for Pakistani students?
Australia is currently the third most popular destination for international students in the English-speaking world, behind the United States and the UK. Many international students choose to study there because of the cultural diversity, friendly natives, and high quality of education.
Institutions in Australia offer a wide variety of courses and degrees, so international students can easily find the school and field that are right for them. The first decision international students have to make when choosing a degree program is which school caters most to their needs and interests. Students can choose between universities, vocational education, and English language training. The Australian approach to vocational and technical education is now recognized as among the best and most innovative in the world. It enjoys an international reputation for excellence in all areas of education and training. Australian universities are widely recognized for excellence in many disciplines1.
International students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while studying in Australia. This is a great opportunity for those who want to earn money to offset living expenses during their stay, and for students who want to gain work experience in their field of interest while they study2.
Some of the most popular study fields and in which Australian universities excel are the natural sciences (biology, zoology, chemistry, etc.), mathematics, engineering, social sciences (sociology, anthropology, archaeology, psychology, etc.), and medical fields (even MD’s and PhD’s). You only have to choose a specific field and there certainly will be a course that will fit for you. And because there are many universities the diversity in programs is huge so you will have more than alternative to choose between. Furthermore, the Australian curriculum is at the same frequency with global trends and regularly updates the existing courses and introduces new ones if needs3
How to prepare yourself for study in Australia?
The official Australian Government website for international students is www.studyinaustralia.gov.au. Being a student you can search for courses, institutions and scholarships, read about studying and living in Australia, watch stories from other students, and learn about Australian education.
1. Education counselling/preparatory phase
Your first step is to receive education counseling before you apply for a course. Gather as much information about country, culture, rules and regulation, cost of living, finances required for the course and your areas of interest. For this purpose
- Explore online study portals and official Australian educational websites.
- Talk to friends, family members, relatives or other known persons who are already living in Australia and/or has completed their education.
- Receive guidance from education consultants. But remember they will charge you fee for consultation.
- Visit your nearest Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) for free consultation
Following is an over view of process you should know about while planning for study in Australia
Questions to be asked in preparatory phase
- Does my qualification match the standard accreditation system is Australia?
- Do I qualify for the course I am interested to apply for?
- What is the deadline for application process?
- Will I be able to complete the list of documentation required before the deadline?
- Do I need to take IELTS test before departure for the selected course? (Inquire from University and check application form)
- What is the cost of tuition and living for the time I am studying in Australia? (check university website)
- Am I allowed to work more than 20 hours a week?
- Can I contact the Pakistani student alumni network for guidance? (contact Ausaid Alunmi network)
- In the steps listed above where and how my university can provide assistance? (information about scholarship, visa application, accommodation option in university and course selection)
- After graduation will this course help me successfully landing in the job of my interest?
2. Course selection
Australian education system offers 22,000 courses in 1,200 institutions. You can study at all levels of education 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 on the Study in Australia website.
Questions to be asked while selecting the courses
- What is the ranking of institute in Australia and in world where I am applying?
- What is the English level requirement for this course? (IELTS Band)
- What is current demand of graduates for the course in market and job opportunities?
- Is this course registered and approved with CRICOS?
- Am I allowed to work during this course?
- Do I need to apply for a short course prior to admission to meet the criteria mentioned in application?
One of the most important things to consider when studying in Australia is how much money that you need to have in order to be comfortable. There are a lot of things that come into this process. 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, making it easier for you to come and experience the difference an Australian education can make to your future career opportunities.
The costs of studying in Australia depend on the institution and the level of study you choose.
As an international student, your tuition fees are payable before you study. There may be additional costs for your course, including course materials and access to institution facilities.
The list below gives you an indication of the range of course costs for different types of qualifications.
- School - $7,800 to $30,000
- English language studies - Around $300 per week depending on course length
- Vocational Education and Training (Certificates I to IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma) - $4,000 to $22,000
- Undergraduate Bachelor Degree - $15,000 to $33,000*
- Postgraduate Masters Degree - $20,000 to $37,000*
- Doctoral Degree - $14,000 to $37,000*
Note: This does not include high value courses such as veterinary and medical. Please visit institution websites directly to see costs for these courses.
All costs are per year in Australian dollars. To convert to your own currency, visit http://www.xe.com.
Hostels and Guesthouses - $90 to $150 per week
Shared Rental - $85 to $215 per week
On campus - $90 to $280 per week
Homestay - $235 to $325 per week
Rental - $165 to $440 per week
Boarding schools - $11,000 to $22,000 a year
Other living expenses
Groceries and eating out - $80 to $280 per week
Gas, electricity - $35 to $140 per week
Phone and Internet - $20 to $55 per week
Public transport - $15 to $55 per week
Car (after purchase) - $150 to $260 per week
Entertainment - $80 to $150 per week
From 1st February 2018 the 12 month living cost is:
You - $20,290
Partner or spouse - $7,100
Child - $3,040
All costs are per year in Australian dollars.
You can set up a bank account before or after you arrive.
To open an account, you will need to have your
- Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), passport, Letter of Offer and other forms of identification
- You may also need an Australian Tax File Number (TFN). You can find information about getting a TFN at the Australian Tax Office (opens in a new window) website.
- Financial or student support officers at your university or college will be able to give you information on how to set up a bank account.
- Australia Awards- The Australia Awards aim to promote knowledge, education links, and enduring ties between Australia and our neighbors through Australia's extensive scholarship programs. The program brings together scholarships offered by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT), the Department of Education and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Applications for Australia Awards Scholarships open on 1 February and close on 30 April each year. Read more about Australian Awards https://australiaawardssouthwestasia.org/scholarships/
- Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP)- From 1 January 2017 the Research Training Program (RTP) replaced the International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) program. Find out more about the Research Training Program at the following link https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program-frequently-asked-questions-students
5. Visa, Passport, insurance
Pakistani students who get admission in higher education institution of Australia successfully should apply for student visa (sub class 500) with High Commission of Australia immediately. High Commission in Pakistan has opened visa application centers in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi for the convenience of visa candidates.
- For students of Sindh and Baluchistan apply in Karachi center.
- For students of KPK, Kashmir and upper Punjab apply in Islamabad.
- For students in Central Punjab apply in Lahore office.
Address for Islamabad is
Constitution Ave and Ispahani Rd,
Diplomatic Enclave, No. 1
Sector G-5/4, Islamabad, Pakistan
PO Box 1046, Islamabad, Pakistan
Ph +92 51 8355 500
Working hours of High Commission of Australia in Pakistan are
Monday – Thursday 08:00 am to 04:45 pm
Friday 08:00 am to 12:30 pm
You can also submit your visa application through Gerry’s centers in Pakistan.
Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs)
The Department of Home Affairs has a Service Delivery Partner agreement with VFS Global to provide Australian visa application and biometrics collection services in Pakistan through AVACs5.
AVACs offer visa application lodgment services such as:
- biometrics collection
- paper visa application lodgment
- application fee payment
- responses to general pre-lodgment visa application enquiries
Applicants can lodge an Australian visa application in person at any one of the AVACs currently located in Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi.
Further information about the Australian Visa Application Centers is available at: http://www.vfsglobal.com/Australia/Pakistan/index.html
- Up to 5 years and in line with your enrolment.
- The visa costs from AUD 575 for the main applicant, unless they are exempt.
- There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa.
- You might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates and biometrics6.
Things to note
- Be enrolled in a course of study in Australia.
- Check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months prior to your entry arrival in Australia, and that you have all your visa documentation. It is also a good idea to make copies of your passport in case you lose your passport.
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) – This is a requirement for entry to Australia, so make sure you have your health cover policy arranged before you leave home.
- Travel Insurance – You should also consider travel insurance, which covers things your OSHC may not – such as cancelled flights, lost documents, dental or optical care, etc.
Once you have confirmed where you will be studying, you can look for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. The costs will vary depending on your chosen state, city, and type of accommodation. Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond and utility fees. Consider how far it is from your campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus or train.
Find out what shopping centres, hospitals and emergency service facilities, and other amenities are nearby.
- Short-term accommodation
Short-term accommodation options you might want to consider when you first arrive in Australia include:
- Hostels and discounted rates on hotels.
Temporary housing which may be offered through your institution while you get settled. Talk to your institution's international support staff or check their website for details.
You can rent or 'lease' a property by yourself or with friends. This can be done through a real estate agent or privately. When renting a property, you will need to pay a security deposit or 'bond' (which is usually four weeks rent), as well as rent in advance (also usually four weeks). The bond is held to repair any damage that you, your house mates or house guests cause to the property while renting. Some, or all, of this amount may be refunded to you once your tenancy agreement has terminated.
For more information on your rights and obligations when renting in Australia you should visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.
- On Campus
Campus living can be a great option to minimize travel. Most universities have comfortable and furnished apartment-style living on campus or close by, sometimes with cleaning and meals included. Contact your institution directly to find out the accommodation options they have available and how the costs compare with organizing your own accommodation.
With homestay, you will live with a family in their home. Homestay can be a good option for younger students as you will have all the comforts of an established home, often with meals and cleaning included. Families offering homestay accommodation to international students are thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide a suitable living environment for students.
- Legal protection
You have certain responsibilities to meet when it comes to paying accommodation expenses on time, cleaning and maintenance. You also have the right by law to feel secure in your property, maintained with working facilities. If there are any problems with your accommodation, talk to your agent or landlord (if renting), your international student support staff for on-campus living or the service where you found your homestay.
There are also organizations such as tenants unions and consumer advocates that can provide assistance. To find out more visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.
7. After graduation
After your graduation, you have several options available to you whether you stay in Australia or head home. You may be able to continue your studies in Australia to pursue a higher level qualification or another field of study, you may be eligible to undertake post study work to put your newly gained knowledge to use and gain work experience in Australia, or you may choose to go home to undertake further study or work there.
If you decide you want to undertake further study or work in Australia, you will need to check whether your visa allows this or whether you need to apply for a new visa. You can go to the Department of Home Affairs website to check your visa conditions and find out what your options are.
Wherever your path leads, think about joining an alumni group from your institution. It will help you stay in touch with your classmates, and can provide you with great benefits and opportunities.
8. If you are returning home after study, here are some steps to consider:
- Shipping goods back home.
- Getting exam results, which aren't part of your academic qualification, from your institution.
- Claiming the security bond back from your rental accommodation.
- Joining relevant alumni organizations.