Study in Australia | Courses, Costs, and Visa Requirements

Study in Australia | Courses, Costs, and Visa Requirements

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Are you an adventurous soul who dreams about living and studying abroad? Are you in love with exotic wildlife, natural wonders, and backpacking destinations to add to your bucket list? If you’re looking for transformative experiences that consist of all of the above, studying in Australia may be exactly what you need.

Known as the world’s largest island, Australia is an amazing country full of geographical wonders that ignite your explorative ambition. Don’t just take our word for it, but rather the dozens of international students we’ve helped who have said the same.

What is special about Australia? It’s a friendly and welcoming country where surfing, relaxing, and having a good sense of humor are the beloved Aussie lifestyle. Australians are known for being very casual, laid back, and enjoying the great outdoors. With low crime rates, Australia is a safe country for living and visiting. It’s also the only place where you can experience encounters with kangaroos and koalas. Despite being oceans away from your family, living in the “Land Down Under” will make you feel at home.

Best of all, there are limitless possibilities in Australia where you can work while you study.  That way, you can pay for your living and educational expenses and still make extra money to travel and explore the country. If this sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime, then keep on reading!

Reasons to Study in Australia

people backpacking through Australian rainforest

You’re intrigued but still unsure, and that’s okay. Every traveler has desires and personal goals, so it’s always a good idea to weigh your options. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the top six reasons you should study in Australia over other destinations:

  1. Australia lists as one of the safest countriesto visit.
  2. Student visas in Australia are easily accessible and allow you to both work and study.
  3. The country has amazing  scholarship and internship offers, where Australian universities embrace cultural diversity, perfect for international students.
  4. As an English-speaking country, Australia can be a great place for you to study and improve your English.
  5. From the Kuranda Rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is home to numerous travel destinations. 
  6. The cost of living in Australia is low in comparison to living and tuition costs in the United Kingdom and the US.

As you can see, Australia is an excellent choice to add to your bucket list of places to live and study. Next, let’s walk through all of the requirements and documentation you need to study in Australia.

Requirements to Study in Australia

kangaroo on the beach in Australia

Before planning your trip, it’s important to make sure you meet the requirements to study in Australia. Below is a checklist of general requirements you must meet:

  • Be at least 16 years old (and 18 years old if you desire to work).
  • Enrollment in the Australian educational facility where you’ll take classes or courses.
  • Have an approved student visa.
  • Have medical insurance for students for the duration of your stay.
  • English proficiency: depending on the study or course program, the school may request a test to determine your level of English before accepting the application.
  • Have an up-to-date passport.
  • If you’ve recently traveled to other countries, they may request specific medical tests.
  • High School Diploma or GED (depending on the type of study, eg vocational educational, technical training, grad school, etc.)
  • A Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE), a letter or integrity assessment in which you explain your desire to study in the country. Australia just wants genuine students!

Other Requirements to Study in Australia That May Depend on Your Nationality

  • They may request a biometric test or screening for your status of health.
  • They may ask for proof of financial solvency, in which you prove to have sufficient funds to cover educational and cost of living expenses while in the country.

Student Visa in Australia

student visa application for Australia

The most common student visa for Australia is known as the Student Visa Subclass 500This visa allows individuals as young as age six to study in Australia and have up to a five-year length of stay in the country. You’re also allowed to bring family members with you for the duration of your stay under this visa.

Visa Cost and Length of Stay

Currently, the visa costs 620 AUD. If you wish to renew your visa once in Australia, you will have to pay this amount again, unless exempt. The duration of your visa is equivalent to the duration of your course enrollment, including holiday periods.

Holidays on a Student Visa

Important note: the vacation periods depends on the type of course and length, as well as the institution where you take it.In the case that your student visa expires before your graduation, you will need a letter from your educational institution of the graduation date to apply for another visa.
The academic year in Australia generally runs for 10 months, where students have a holiday break between November and December. Remember, with a student visa, you can legally work full-time (a 40-hour week) during the holiday break.

Course Enrollment

You must have proof of your enrollment in a school in Australia before applying for your student visa. This is a prerequisite. The Australian Immigration Department will only approve enrollment in a course at a government-accredited educational institution.

Working in Australia on a Student Visa

businessman is commuting on a tram in Melbourne, Australia

Remember, anyone in Australia  with a student visa can legally work 20 hours per week while taking courses>. Students are only allowed to work full-time, 40 hour weeks, during a vacation period.

The first step would be to assess your career goals and decide on the type of jobs you’re interested in working. Other visas allow you to work legally in Australia, which you may need depending on the type of job. To learn more about other types of visas, check out our complete guide on getting a visa for Australia.

Another beneficial skill to have is English proficiency. To obtain a qualified job, the employer may require native or proficient English for certain positions. In any case, don’t give it up! More often than not, securing a job depends on your positive attitude and your strong desire to fulfill the obligations. To learn more about working in Australia, including job search tips and resources to job boards, take advantage of our complete guide to working in Australia.

Working Conditions with a Student Visa

With the student visa, you can legally work 20 hours weekly during your course . This is equivalent to a half-day workday, or part-time hours, which you can adjust however you like to fit your course schedule. Make sure you find a way to account for the free time within your schedule. Remember, you came to experience life in Australia!

Student Jobs in Australia | Types and Wages

The most common jobs for students are minimum wage positions, such as those found in the hotel and restaurant industries. If you prefer a more independent gig, students in Australia also take up home delivery services. Home deliveries are very popular in Australia and easy to do, as long as you have a form of transportation.

In Australia, a minimum wage job pays roughly 17 AUD per hour, but it is still possible to find higher-paying gigs between 20 AUD and 25 AUD per hour.The best thing about these types of jobs is that they’re generally easier for international students to get and offer a flexible schedule. If your idea is to enjoy the country, they are usually the best option.

If you’re a grad student, however, and already have an undergrad degree or professional certification, you have an advantage in finding a higher paying job. Companies in Australia will most likely pay more if you have qualified skills than general ones. Keep in mind, as a student, you are still limited to a maximum 20-hour workweek during your course semester.

Other Visas to Study in Australia

Although the student visa is the most common one to study in Australia, other visas allow you to take courses in the country:

Tourist Visa

With a tourist visa, you can study in Australia as  long as the duration of your course is no longer than 3 months. Also, it’s important to make note that this visa does not allow you to work in Australia.

Work and Holiday Visa

The Work and Holiday Visa enables people between the ages of 18 and 30 to spend an extended holiday (up to 12 months) in Australia and work to fund their expenses. Aside from the noted age range, you only need to have a valid passport from an eligible country. Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Spain are among the few eligible countries on the list. Once expired, you can only renew this visa an additional two more times, for a total of three.

Tuition Fees and Living Costs to Study in Australia

female student studying on college campus in Australia

To prepare for your trip, it’s essential to have good intel on the living expenses in another country. Living and studying in Australia can cost at least 5,000 AUD per month. Let’s take a look at what this can consist of:

  • Cost of the Student Visa
  • Tuition fees and school supplies (textbooks, laptop, etc.)
  • The school’s enrollment fee

Studying and living abroad can be a major financial decision for many people. A good financial strategy that students can apply is paying the core fees in three stages:
Stage 1: Build an Emergency Fund. Make sure you have enough savings to cover necessities—housing, groceries, cash for transportation—before the trip. It’s understandable in wanting to explore your first week, but living essentials should be your priority. This will help eliminate financial stress while searching for work.

Stage 2:The Initial Payment. College enrollment costs approximately 2,000 to 5,000 AUD per year, depending on your courses. Include the cost of your student visa within this payment, since you cannot request your visa without confirming enrollment.

Stage 3: The Plane Ticket. After the first payment is done and your student visa is approved, you should buy your plane ticket. If you need help searching, we have the best tips on how to find cheap flights to Australia.

Is it expensive to study in Australia?

Well, it depends. Australia is much more expensive to live in if comparing it to Spain or Latin American countries. Former international students who didn’t work during their stay might agree that studying in Australia it’s expensive. On the other hand, students who worked and were able to pay for their living expenses might say otherwise. At any rate, the best way to prepare is to properly study the  cost of living in Australia and assess your living expenses.

Courses to Study in Australia


Study English in Australia

In Australia, there’s a wide variety of English courses at all levels  from which you can choose. You can start from a beginner’s level course or take a placement exam. Whichever route you choose, English classes are generally in small groups and require a dedication of approximately 20 hours per week.

Intensive English

These are longer classes of English courses designed to finish within a few weeks. These classes are a good option for people with a tourist visa, who are only living in Australia for a short period.

General English

These classes consist of English courses for all levels, ranging from beginner to advanced levels, in which you can take at your own pace. General English classes cover all aspects of language learning, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening exercises.

Exam Preparation | IELTS, Cambridge, TOEFL

If you’re interested in taking exams that accredit your English mastery, there are courses that cater specifically to preparing students for these tests. Popular exam prep courses in Australia include those for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). Another exam, the Cambridge English assessment, is what many Australian Universities accept for admission purposes.

Study a Vocational Course in Australia

Vocational courses, also called VET courses, are technical courses from various professions.These courses allow training in a professional field with a combined training and work experience. Courses are generally divided into trimesters with a minimum duration of 6 months with two to three classes per week. Take a look through some of the amazing vocational courses available through GrowPro Experience!

Study for a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Australia

Australia has a wide variety of universities throughout its major cities where you can study numerous undergraduate and graduate courses. As for the costs,  an average academic year at an Australian university costs approximately 20,000 AUD  a year, and this is separate from living costs. Students who may not be able to afford tuition can apply for other forms of financial assistance, including scholarships.

Scholarships to Study in Australia

college campus in Australia

If you’re interested in applying for scholarships, one of the best-known scholarships is the  Endeavor Scholarship, which offers grants each year to study VET or TAFE, as well as other degree studies for a maximum two-year duration.

Also, you can compete to win one of the GrowPro English scholarships that we offer annually to students who wish to study abroad. To assist in your search, you can visit the Australia government’s official search engine to find available scholarships by region. 

Health Insurance to Work and Study in Australia

doctor for international student health care

To study in Australia, international students must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). OSHC is health insurance specifically for international students in Australia to provide them with access to health care without experiencing financial hardship. This type of insurance is mandatory for the entire duration of your stay and is subject to renewal like your student visa.

How much does OSHC cost?

The cost of OSHC will depend on the level of coverage you choose, where the lowest coverage for an individual costs about 500 AUD per year. Coverages include doctor visits, hospital treatment, ambulance cover, and limited medication. Dental and eye care aren’t covered under regular OSHC, but are generally available under extended coverage.

Where can I find OSHC?

Only a small number of insurers offer OSHC, since the Australia Government Department of Health must approve providers. Here is the list of OSHC providers as of 2020:

  • Allianz Care Australia OSHC
  • Medibank
  • BUPA Australia
  • Ahm OSHC
  • CBHS International Health

Visit our article on International Student Health Insurance to learn more about OSHC and details of each insurance company in that offers it.

Studying in Australia | Step by Step Guide

woman planning trip to study abroad in australia

Now that you’re familiar with the essentials of studying in Australia, let’s dive into the details. Here’s everything you need to know, step by step, to truly prepare for an unforgettable experience:

  1. RESEARCH everything you want to know about the schools, courses, and cost of living in Australia. Be intentional about choosing classes that spark your interest, cities that attract you, and places you want to explore. Keep a mental note of how much you need to budget for food, accommodation, and course expenses.
  2. CHOOSE a school and course. Compare courses, expenses, and opportunities from each school to see which is best for you. Review the academic calendars to make sure they align with your schedule. Once you’ve chosen a school, inquire the prerequisites to register for your enrollment. Some Australian universities require certain accreditations and documentation for consideration, including English fluency level and demonstration of financial solvency.
  3. PAY for your courses. Once your initial payment is made to the school, you will receive a Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE), the official document that Australian universities issue to certify your enrollment as an international student. Make sure to budget for additional course materials, such as textbooks and technology fees. Also, don’t hesitate to ask if the school accepts payment plans that allow installments throughout the year.
  4. APPLY for the student visa. Once you’re enrolled and your course is secured, you can apply for your student visa from the Australian Immigration Department. This is another step where our GrowPro team can assist, including filling out your visa application. The processing time can range between one and four months, depending on the number of applications received that time of year. Once you receive an email that confirms your visa approval, you’re officially authorized to study abroad in Australia!

Take the Leap with GrowPro Experience

group of people in Australia leaping off of boat into the ocean

As you embark on this journey, you may feel a range of emotions such as anxiety, eagerness, fear, and adrenaline. No matter what, GrowPro is with you every step of the way.

Upon arrival, members of the GrowPro team will meet you at the airport and can provide transportation to your accommodation. We’ll also invite you to meet at one of our offices for a Welcome Session, where we’ll eliminate any doubts and answer any questions you may have about living and studying in Australia. Best of all, GrowPro will take care of the necessary procedures to help you get settled in Australia. This includes:

  • Opening your bank account
  • Registration to work legally under the student visa
  • Activation of your health card
  • Setting up your new Australian phone number
  • Prepping your resume for Australian job opportunities

Our team of experts have first-hand experience with living, working, and studying in Australia, and are more than willing to assist you.

If your mind is set on studying in Australia, GrowPro will handle all of the school and visa procedures so that you can focus on planning and preparing for life overseas.

Do you need help choosing a school? Or creating a budget? We’ve got it covered. Would you like assistance getting settled in a new city? Or finding a job and accommodation? GrowPro can help.

What are you waiting for? Come study in Australia and discover the experiences of a lifetime!

About the author

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Hey there! My name is Charlotte, and I'm working as an International Project Manager at GrowPro Experience. My goal is to help students all around the world to live the experiences of a lifetime 🙌🏽. I'm trying to inspire students by means of telling the story of former growers, showing what we are doing at each destination and writing about our cities and tips on our blogs. I got a big passion for adventures, doing sports in the park, learning new languages and seeing new places 🌏. That's one of the reasons why I studied European Studies and why I currently work for GrowPro, to expand my horizons. Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

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