Are you interested in studying in Australia? If so, here’s a quick yet detailed guide of the country, what to expect and what not to expect -- as well as Australia’s current top universities and how they stack up against the top 100 universities in the world. In order to study in Australia, you must be knowledgeable and prepared about the various aspects talked about below.


A quick intro to Australia
Culture and people
Cost of living
Education in Australia
    Tuition fees
    Universities in Australia
    Top 10 Universities in Australia
    Admission requirements
    University application process
    Student pass and visa
Spare time


A quick intro to Australia

Map of Australia

Also known as the 'Land Down Under' due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia is in fact a very big place. It has more space than it has people -- only 23 million Australians compared to 7.69 million km² of outback, desert and jungle! The country is home to some of the world’s most livable cities, and has the third-highest number of international students in the world.

For internationals students, Australia’s climate may baffle some, since the seasons in the country are the exact opposite of the seasons in other countries such as the US or Europe, etc.  Basically, summer in your country may be winter time in Australia, and winter in your country may be summer in Australia.

Australia is famous for its international food scene and love of the outdoor lifestyle. As a student, you get to enjoy world-class venues -- from famous beaches to national parks to Australian Football League stadiums, all accessible by reliable public transport.

The national language of Australia is English, so as long as you are capable of communicating in English, you’re good to go! However, it may take a while for you to get used to the typical Australian accent- but you might just end up leaving Australia with it once you’re done with your studies there!


Culture and people

Australians are known to be very modest people, and, in turn, they welcome modesty from others as well; overly praising yourself would incite a couple of frowns. However, this, along with the relatively small population of the country would enable you to build good and lasting relationships with fellow Australians, as well as other foreigners like yourself.

Watching sports in particular is very popular in Australia; even if Australians may not generally have an interest in sports, when finals air on TV everyone tends to come together and watch the events.

The colourful language of Australians may take a bit getting used to, though, as many common, everyday words you may be used to are referred to using a variety of slang words. If anything, spending your years studying in Australia would definitely be interesting.


Cost of living

Having sorted out the issue of tuition fees for your studies isn’t enough to be decided on a country- it is just as important to take heed of your potential living costs while there, such as accommodation, food and leisure. You might be surprised, whether if living costs are too high or ideally low for you. As per usual, your living costs depend on your lifestyle and your preferences. Here is an average of your potential daily living costs, both in Australian and US Dollars:

Description Cost in AUD (per week) Cost in US$ (per week)
Accommodation 70 - 400 55 - 310
Transportation 10 - 50 7 - 40
Food 80 - 200 60 - 155
Movie ticket 13 10
Mobile Internet plan/package 20 - 50 15 - 40
Beer (per carton) 53 40
Clothes (1 pair of Levi's jeans) 101 75


Education in Australia

Given the relatively lower tuition fees in Australia compared to the US and the UK, students from around the world flock to study in Australia. Below is an overall brief of what to expect in regards to education while studying in Australia.


Tuition fees

The biggest possible concern for students when considering an education abroad is the annual tuition fees, as listed below here. However, you should be aware that there is a big difference between tuition fee costs between Australian student and international students like yourself- tuition fees tend to be much higher in Australia for foreigners.

Study level Tuition fee in AUD (per year) Tuition fee in US$ (per year)
Foundation / Pre-U 15,000 - 37,000 11,200 - 27,600
Diploma 4,000 - 22,000 3,000 - 16,400
Bachelor's degree 15,000 - 33,000 11,200 - 24,600
Master's degree 20,000 - 37,000 15,000 - 27,600


Universities in Australia

Covering various areas of study areas, Australian Universities are among some of the top institutions in the world. The country's highest ranking and one of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8, the country's version of Ivy Leagues), Australian National University is located in the country’s capital, Canberra. Two of the Go8s -- the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales -- are based in Sydney. Melbourne has two Go8 institutions, the University of and Monash University, while Perth has the University of Western Australia. All in all, universities in Australia are spread all over the country, hence allowing you to even choose your prospective university based on which Australian city seems suitable to you!


Top 10 universities in Australia

Seven of Australia’s universities have the prestige to be a part of the top 100 universities in the world, according to the QS Top Universities rankings of 2015/2016. These top universities in Australia are shown below.

Top ten unis in Australia


Admission requirements

The most minimum of entry requirements dependent on the level of competitiveness of each university. Generally, the more prestigious the university, the higher the level of difficulty to be admitted is; as with most other universities around the world.

However, being an English-speaking nation, it is integral to show evidence of English proficiency when you send an application to an Australian university (for example, TOEFL or A-Level English, all tests which can be taken in your home country, usually). If your application is successful, an electronic confirmation of enrolment (eCoE) will be sent which can be used to apply for a student visa.


Application process

To study in Australia you'll need to go through a number of steps including applying to a university and also for a student visa from the Australian Government.

The following infographic shows you the steps.

Australia university application process


Student pass and visa

New Zealanders need not apply for a visa to Australia; they are already entitled to one. However, students from other countries are required to obtain a student visa upon confirmation of acceptance to their university of choice. All documents sent for your visa application must be in English Requirements for a student visa to Australia can be applied using the following documents:

  • Acceptance letter from your university, to study a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS) in Australia

  • Financial stability of a particular amount, usually AUD18,610 showing proof that you will be capable of paying for your living expenses for the first year of your course

  • Purchase of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for health insurance, which might require you to complete a medical check-up

  • English language proficiency through your secondary education or English tests such as the IELTS of TOEFL

  • Proof of no prior criminal record

  • Prior academic record

  • Form 157A

  • Four passport pictures

Generally, there are three types of visas available for potential students in Australia- for Vocational Training and Education, Higher Education, and Postgraduate Research. For further details, you should visit the website of your chosen university on how to go about with your visa application, four months before the start of your intended course.


Spare time

Outdoor activities are all the rage in the land down under. Australia has a large variety of wildlife to offer, as well as gorgeous sun-kissed beaches, hence making activities like surfing, snorkelling, sailing and white-water rafting a go-to source for fun; or you can simply just relax on the beach, at the Gold Coast of Australia. Hiking and rock-climbing are also very popular in Australia. For those who enjoy the party scene, worry not because most cities in Australia have a very active party lifestyle, with several bars and clubs available for a good night out.