6 Questions to Ask Before Studying Abroad in Australia

United States By Stacy Mayhorne September 6, 2022

Important questions to ask before deciding to study abroad in Australia, including about what you need to apply, costs and more.

Australia is one of the international hubs for higher education and ranks fifth for U.S. students. Its 43 universities attract the majority of their international students from China, India, Nepal, Vietnam, and Malaysia, according to the latest statistics shared by the Parliament of Australia.

What is needed to apply to a university in Australia?

There are several documents you will need to complete and submit to apply to any university in Australia. Check with the institution for specific details on what they require. Examples include:

  • Certified transcripts of your grades
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Proof of financial means
  • Health insurance from OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover)
  • Passport
  • Student visa and GTE (Genuine Temporary Entrant) interview
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card

If you plan to study in Australia for more than three months, the government requires a passport and a student visa which is good for up to five years. (The visa will be linked virtually to your passport.) You must apply for your visa online before you begin your studies. As part of the application process, a case officer will conduct your GTE interview on why you want to study in Australia. Your visa will be issued based on this assessment.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, also referred to as the “White Card,” can be proof of vaccination as long as the required fields are completed. Smart Health Cards issued by the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and some states and counties are also acceptable; as are certificates issued by pharmacy chains as long as they meet Australia’s criteria.

Is tuition expensive?

Tuition varies depending on the degree level, course of study and the individual university. These estimates show a range of costs for international student tuition as estimated on the Australian Government’s Study Australia website*:

  • Bachelor’s degrees: between $14,000 – 31,500  (20,000 – 45,000 AUD/year)
  • Master’s and PhD degrees: between $15,500 – 35,000 (22,000 – 50,000 AUD/year)

What about living expenses?

Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world. As a student, you will have to manage all costs—tuition fees, travel costs, housing, meals, and other expenses—that come with attending college abroad. Additionally, there is travel and entertainment. Here are some estimated costs for rent, food, phone, and other expenses in Australia.

Getting work as a student is relatively easy in Australia. Just think about this income as a way to help meet your financial needs while abroad and not as a way to fund your entire tuition. Scholarships can be attained too. Remember to convert amounts to U.S. dollars though, as scholarships are often quoted in Australian dollars.

Just because you’re across the world, doesn’t mean you can’t have easy access to money when you need more. Download the Western Union app to receive funds from a family member or friend or Fast and reliable, the app is an easy way to deliver funds to anyone in Australia and 200 countries and territories worldwide. Or stop by one of our in Australia to pick up your funds in the currency you need.

How has COVID affected enrollment?

Before COVID, about 400,000 international students were enrolled among the dozens of Australia universities. Since COVID, the numbers dropped to around 300,000. Australia’s borders were opened up to all fully vaccinated travelers as of February 21, 2022, so numbers may change.

Where should you study?

Choosing a study abroad or full-time program in Australia should start with your academic interests. Then begin thinking about geography. Do you want to be someplace rural or near a city? Is the beach appealing or the bush? If marine biology is your field, then a school in Queensland near the Great Barrier Reef might be a first choice. Part-time work, scholarships and costs may factor into your school selection. With all the universities to consider in Australia, check out the schools and programs in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, and, of course, Sydney.