Why apply to Australia (Oz) / The Group of Eight?

10 Reasons Your Child Should Consider Attending University in Australia

When you think about Australia, or Oz (as it’s known colloquially), you probably imagine beautiful beaches, sunshine all year, and picturesque landscapes. Along with world-class universities and an affordable lifestyle, Australia is an ideal location for your child to attend university. Australia has the third highest number of international students globally, ranking just behind the United Kingdom and the United States, even though the population is only 23 million.

Leading the academic charge is the Group of Eight (Go8 for short), which are Australia's top research-intensive universities – the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland, the University of Western Australia, the University of Adelaide, Monash University and UNSW Sydney.

Even though Australia is far from home if your teen is adventurous and loves the outdoors, attending college down under may be a perfect location.

1. Some of World-Class Universities, offering Professional Undergraduate Degrees

Australia has an excellent education system with some of the world’s top universities; many Australian universities rank in the top 100 world universities. According to the 2023 Times Higher Education’s World University Ranking, there are 37 leading universities in Australia, and seven have earned a spot in the top 100.

According to the QS World University Rankings, seven Australian universities are in the top 100, with the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne being two of the two highest-ranking universities in the country.

For example, independent world rankings place the University of Melbourne as number one in Australia and among the leading universities internationally, ranked #34 by the Times Higher Education’s World University Ranking and #35 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

In addition, Australian universities have invested in research in nearly every science, medicine, and technology field and are known globally for their academic reputation, research strength, infrastructure, and facilities.

In Australia, the University of Melbourne’s research expenditure is second only to that of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, an Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research.

On top of that, since Australia is modelled from the UK system, it offers professional degrees like Law and Medicine for undergraduates. If your student really wants to start their legal or medical journey as soon as possible, then Australia might well be the place for them.

2. Comparatively Large University Campuses, with the Facilities to match

If your child is searching for a large university campus with all the associated benefits, Australia will be a great fit.

According to the Department of Education statistics, the University of Melbourne has over 60,000 students, and Monash University, Australia’s largest university, is home to almost 70,000 students. Comparatively, Yale has roughly 12,000 students, and the University of Oxford has about 26,000.

According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, the Australian curriculum has 22,000 courses offered, with the most prestigious school in the country, the Australian National University, offering over 750 possible course combinations.

Despite their large size, almost all major universities provide programs and services geared toward helping incoming international students acclimate to their new home and maximize their international experience.

3. A Relatively Affordable Education Experience, with Tailored Scholarships Awarded to International Students

Undergraduate international students in Australia will likely pay between $12,500 and $26,5000 per year, with a one-bedroom apartment in Australia ranging from $840 to $1100 per month. Those costs are reasonable, and one of the enormous benefits of attending university in Australia is that several merit and need-based scholarships are available for international students.

Australia’s Department of Education says, “there are many scholarships, grants, and bursaries (monies based on financial need) which can assist you financially while you study in Australia.”

These opportunities are offered by many different organizations, including the Australian Government, education providers, and other public and private organizations.

For example, the Australia Awards Scholarship is one of the many government scholarships for college students pursuing higher education in Australia. In addition, there are many international and charitable organizations that offer schools for international study in Australia.

The Australian government even offers $200 million in scholarships specifically for international students, significantly reducing attendance costs. You can find scholarships on the official Study in Australia Website.

Between the relatively low cost of tuition and the opportunity for financial assistance, Australia offers an excellent education at affordable rates.

4. A More Straightforward Admissions Process

Australia’s admissions process is straightforward and transparent. Applications to Australian universities are usually due no later than December, although most universities open their application periods much earlier. Students are admitted on a rolling basis, so the earlier your child applies, the earlier they will learn whether they have been accepted.

Here is a snapshot of the university application process for international students:

1. Decide on a subject area or course of study.

2. Select the university where they would like to attend.

3. Research their chosen institution to learn whether they should apply directly with the university or send all or part of their application to a third-party education agency.

4. Submit their application, along with their academic transcripts. For many universities, your child may need to write a personal statement like the UK application.

5. Ask their teachers or counselors to submit a letter of recommendation.

6. Prepare for a video interview.

7. Receive an acceptance offer with course details, tuition fees, the start date of courses, payment details, any conditions outlined by the university, etc.

8. Decide whether to attend.

If your child signs the acceptance letter and pays the initial fee deposit, the Australian university or college will send a Confirmation of Enrollment, and your child can use that to apply for a study visa and begin preparing to attend college in beautiful Australia.

Since the Australian admissions process is more straightforward, with a well-organized admissions plan, your child could feasibly apply to universities in Australia and the US or the UK, depending on your child’s preferences.

5. Comparatively Focused Academics, with some Flexibility

Australian universities follow the UK system, where students choose their course of study before applying. Unlike in the UK, students can apply to different courses at one or many different universities. And, as we stated at the beginning of the article, unlike many liberal arts schools in the US, your student has the option of doing professional degrees like Medicine or Law as an undergraduate should they choose to attend university or college in Australia.

Because of the focus on a specific academic area, like the UK, in Australia, a standard degree program takes three years., but most Australian students choose to take double or combined degrees, which usually take longer.

Students are usually limited to no more than four classes per semester, with the academic year split into two semesters: March through June and July through October.

In Australia, most classes include one lecture and one tutorial, which are small (as few as eight students) discussion-based sessions designed to help students master the lecture topics.

Like in the UK, lectures and tutorials are structured around preparing students for one major test or paper. There is usually not much coursework except for the grade-determining assessment.

6. Activities For Every Student

While Australian students take their schooling very seriously, they also peruse their leisure activities with the same level of commitment. Few countries can compete with Australia’s mild winters, spectacular natural sites, and pristine beaches.

Australians love their outdoor adventures, and your child will have endless possibilities: exploring rock formations two billion years old, scuba diving and snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef, white water rafting, and kayaking.

If your child prefers indoor activities, Australia is home to world-class museums, aquariums, sports arenas, and art centers, including the Sydney Opera house, offering over 40 shows per week.

While your child receives a world-class education, they will also be immersed in indoor and outdoor activities that will make your child well-rounded.

7. Student-Friendly Cities

Because of its location, you may assume that living in Australia will be considerably higher than in the United States or Europe, but you’ll be happy to learn this isn’t true.

According to the Livability Index Ranking, created by the Economist Intelligence Unit, 4 out of the world’s 10 most livable cities, including Melbourne, are from Australia.

According to the Quality of Life Ranking from the US news, Australia has the fifth-highest quality of life globally, outscoring both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Melbourne holds third place for the best standard of living and quality of life, and 4 out of the world’s 10 most livable cities are from Australia, according to the Livability Index created by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Commonly referred to as the nation’s cultural capital, Melbourne is an artsy city featuring some of the world’s best architecture, museums, and theatres. Besides the University of Melbourne, the city is home to six more Australian universities which feature in the QS World University Rankings.

If your child is looking for a quieter and calmer college town, Canberra is home to the Australian National University and the University of Canberra. While it’s not as large as Melbourne, the city is alive with national politics and surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes.

No matter where your child attends school in Australia, they will be in a safe, beautiful, and student-friendly location with plenty of cultural opportunities.

8. One of the Safeties Countries in the World

Australia is regarded as one of the world's safest and friendliest study destinations. The Australian government says, “Australia is generally a very safe and welcoming place to live and study, consistently ranking among the safest countries in the world.”

The Migration website states, “Australia’s crime rate is much lower than in the United States of America. Australia ranks 47th while the USA ranks 30th according to crime rates.”

Australia doesn’t have anywhere near the same level of gun proliferation. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, “the US has 23 times the rate of firearm homicide seen in Australia.”

With a stable political system and a low crime rate, Australia offers your child a safe and beautiful environment to study and thrive.

9. Ample Work Opportunities for Students

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs, international students on student visas pursuing a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree can work for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session. During holidays, when university classes are not running, international students can work unlimited hours. International students are guaranteed the same minimum wage as Australian citizens, currently AUS$ 20.33 per hour.

Like most universities in Australia, the University of Sydney’s Careers Centre offers a range of resources and services to help international students find employment, both during and after their studies.

In addition, Australia also allows international students to start businesses on a student visa. If your child is interested in entrepreneurship, they can launch any type of business while still in school.

One enormous advantage of your child studying in Australia is their ability to work while in school and earn money to offset the costs of their tuition and travel expenses.

10. The Post-Study Work Visa

With all that is amazing about Australia, it’s possible that your child will be interested in remaining in the country once they have earned their degree.

Unlike the US, where you need a job offer from a sponsored employer to work in the country after graduating, Australia is less restrictive and encourages students to find a local job and apply their knowledge and skills.

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs, once your child applies for a post-graduation visa, they can extend their stay and attain full-time employment. Australian university graduates don't need a sponsor or job to apply for this visa and can continue to live and work in Australia for 2-4 years after completing their studies.

This visa, the Post Study Work Permit or Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485), is one of the longest-duration visas available. It allows students to bring their immediate family members to Australia.

Whether your child wants to remain in Australia to work full-time or attend a graduate program, easy-to-easy-to-navigate makes this possible.

In Conclusion

Australia seems like a dream location for a student to attend university. Few countries can offer a similar study experience with an exceptional quality of education and open and welcoming people in a beautiful and safe location.

With living expenses and tuition costs considerably lower than you may have imagined, and because international students are eligible for scholarships and part-time employment, attending university in Australia can be much more affordable than most families expect.

Although your child will be further from home, they will receive a top-notch education in one of the world’s most beautiful and culturally rich countries. Not to mention that you will have the perfect reason to visit and explore all Australia offers.

If your child is interested in attending college in Australia, you can find additional information regarding the application process, scholarships, choosing a program, tuition and living costs, and student visas, by visiting the Australian Government's Study in Australia website.

Australia is an educational destination full of possibility – talk to us at ivyO for a Free Consult to learn if it’s the right fit for your student.

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