Australia continues to retain its position as one of the most popular study and employment destinations among international students. The beautiful country attracts many students every year. It has one of the most impressive higher education systems in the world and the Australian cities are considered safe and ideal for international students. Furthermore, universities provide thousands of attractive scholarships along with numerous job placement opportunities for students after graduation. Below is an elaboration of the process to study in Australia from taking an English proficiency test upto lodging a student visa.
English Proficiency test (IELTS/PTE/ TOEFL)
First, you must take the IELTS test to prove you have the right English language skills to study, work or migrate to Australia. IELTS is a proof of your English language proficiency which is accepted by education institutions and other programs. Students need to get a desired score in IELTS/PTE/TOEFL, required according to the course, university or any other programs.
General IELTS requirement for some degrees are:
Diploma- Overall 5.5 not less than 5 in each band (except for Nursing)
Bachelor’s- Overall 6 not less than 5.5 in each band (except for Nursing)
Master’s- Overall 6.5 not less than 6 in each band
After you get your IELTS result students need to apply for an offer letter. Offer Letter is a confirmation letter provided by the educational institution that they have accepted the student as their forthcoming student for the respective course and intake. The time taken to receive an offer letter from the educational institution depends upon the course you have applied for, the institution you have applied into. To apply for an offer letter students need: Passport, Academy certified IELTS/PTE scan copy along with Statement of Purpose (SOP). Students must write SOP on their own introducing themselves and explaining why and what they want to study in Australia, why the particular educational institution and the particular field along with their expectations and future goals.
International students applying for a visa from an assessment level 3 country need to provide proof of funds or GTE documents mandatorily to support their student visa application. However, for assessment level 1 country applicants, the GTE and financial evidence are not mandatory.
Upon receiving an offer letter from the educational institution, students can start preparing their financial documents. Students can either show education loan or bank balance in their personal account or their parents account. If students show bank balance, the balance must have been matured for three months or you must be able to show the source of your balance. The bank balance or loan you show must be from a renowned or A level bank. Students must show 1 year tuition fees along with the living expenses of a year which also includes travel expenses. Here travel expense specifies a round flight ticket (to Australia and back to your hometown) which will mostly cost you around AUD$2000. Having an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a must in Australia so students must obtain OSHC. It includes cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals.
Living expense in Australia for a single person costs you around AUD$ 21,041per year, if your partner tags along with you then you need to add AUD$ 7,362 along with an OSHC cover and travelling expenses of AUD$2000, same goes if you bring your child along with you then you need to add AUD$3,152 your living expenses a year. Students must also be able to show their income along with the source that should be verified through documents. For a single person you must show around AUD$16000 income per year and for a couple you must show AUD$22000 income per year.
When you are done preparing your financial documents, you’ll need to send documents for Genuine Temporary Entrants (GTE) in college and university. GTE is a requirement for all applicants for a student visa where they need to explain that they are intending to come to Australia temporarily to gain quality education. GTE must contain information such as: your previous academics, gap in previous study (if any), current employment, ties to home country (financial and family ties), and immigration history along with all the documents.
After the GTE is approved, students need to pay their tuition fees to the university. For a Nepali applicant, first you must make a ‘No Objection Letter’ from the Ministry of Education to pay your fees to the Australian University. Tuition fees vary depending on the field you choose to study, the degree level, and the university in which you enroll. Fees for Bachelor’s degrees cost you between 14,000 to 45,000 AUD per year, Master’s and PhD degrees cost you between 14,000 to 50,000 AUD per year. Minimum initial fees depend on the institute as some may ask you to pay for the first three months, some for 6 months and some may ask you to pay for the first year.
The Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is an official document sent to international students by universities in Australia to confirm that you have been accepted a place in a course, and have paid your tuition fees and Overseas Student Health Cover premium (OSHC). COE is a must for your student visa application. You will receive your CoE within 10 working days after you submit your GTE and Payment Agreement.
After you receive your CoE, you can start the process to lodge a visa. To lodge a visa students need to scan their:
- Academic documents
- IELTS certificate
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
- OSHC certificate
- Financial documents
- Criminal record check results
- Recent passport-size photographs
Students also need to get their health assessment done, which you can do before or after lodging your visa. Most visa applications take four weeks to process. Along with the possession of a student visa comes certain obligations that you must fulfill. Violating any of the visa conditions may also lead to visa cancellation.