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How to Apply to Universities in Australia as an International Student

There are over 500,000 of international students in Australia. If you'd like to be one of them, here's how to apply to universities in Australia as an international student.

Mar 21, 2024
  • Study Abroad
How to Apply to Universities in Australia as an International Student

In Australia, you will join over half a million other international students at top-ranked universities. You'll also discover a friendly and welcoming nation with lots of sun and scope for adventure.

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How to apply to universities in Australia

Once you've found the right school and course, it's time to start your application. This can be quite daunting for international students. However, applying to Australian schools is relatively straightforward, although you should always begin the process as early as possible.

Delaying could impact your chances of getting accepted, especially if you're applying for an oversubscribed program. Plus, completing the application before the deadline means you'll have enough time to fix or deal with any administrative mix-ups that may arise.

Most international students apply directly to the universities by post or online. If you have the option, using the university's online portal is definitely the best choice. It's quicker, safer, and you can track the progress of your application. Generally speaking, you'll need to provide the following:

  • Personal details
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Your previous academic qualifications or academic transcripts
  • Course preferences
  • A personal statement

Most schools charge a non-refundable application fee of $50-$100. Some will waive the fee for online applications. You can find more information about this on the school’s website.

If accepted, you will receive a letter or email outlining the offer. Read this carefully, paying close attention to all the terms and conditions. For example, you may have to pay tuition fees before the school issues a Confirmation of Enrollment.

Finally, you'll receive an admissions packet telling you when and where to enroll. It will also include some helpful information for international students; how to find accommodation or details of orientation events. On average, the entire application will take between four to six weeks. Postgraduate applications may take a little longer.

Applying for an Australian student visa

Now you have your confirmation of enrollment, it's time to start your student visa application.

With a subclass 500 student visa, you'll be able to stay in the country for up to 5 years (in line with your study course duration) and work up to 24 hours per week.

The first thing you'll need to do is set up an account with the Australian Immigration Authority. You can do this online by visiting the Australian government's website. You will then have to provide copies of the following documents:

You can find a document checklist tool here. Just fill in your country of origin, and it will bring up a list of which documents you need.

Some other key info you should keep in mind:

As of March 23rd, 2024, Australian student visa introduces a stricter Genuine Student (GS) requirement.

You can learn more about the GS requirement in our dedicated article.

Where and what to study

Australia has six schools in the top 100 Times Higher Education's World Rankings 2021. At number 30, Melbourne University is Australia's highest-ranking school. The University of Sydney and Australian National University ranked 51st and 59th respectively, followed by The University of Queensland (62), Monash University (64), and UNSW Sydney (67).

Thanks to these world-class schools, a degree from an Australian university is like having a passport to work anywhere in the world. Australian universities are staffed with award-winning academics at the forefront of their field and offer globally recognized qualifications in medicine, tech, engineering, computing, and business. Moreover, Australian schools put a strong emphasis on bridging the gap between academic theory and professional practice, meaning you'll learn all the skills you need to succeed in your chosen profession.

Karen Roldan, who studied business at Bond University after moving from the Philippines, says, "We were always encouraged to demonstrate or showcase what we learned through actual application rather than taking exams or quizzes. It helped me grow as a person, improve my communication skills, and brought out my independent nature. I discovered a lot about myself! And I'm confident I have what it takes to make my dream of being an entrepreneur come true."

Become a part of a welcoming, international community

Every year, Australia welcomes around 700,000 international students. Many come from other English-speaking countries, but you'll also meet lots of people from Europe, India, the Philippines, and Singapore.

There's also a vibrant Japanese community in all of Australia's major cities. Uttam Kumar, the author of a popular student blog, details his experience of life as an international student in Australia. "It's been fun meeting new people from all over the world with different value systems, cultures, and beliefs,” says Uttam. "There's a real sense of community among us international students."

Bottom line

Australia is an excellent international study option. Its government has a strong commitment to welcoming and fostering international talent, while Australian universities have everything you need to reach your full academic potential. What are you waiting for?

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