Check out these 7 top tips to get you thinking about Study Abroad Australia.
Study Abroad tip 1 – Learn Australian conversational English
Learn to speak Australian conversational English before you leave home. The language that Australians use in everyday conversation isn’t always the same as the formal language you learn, like IELTS or TOEFL or PTE. The speech Australians use when they talk to one another is called conversational English. There are slight differences in the sound and even words between say Australian-English and American-English. For example, the colloquial term for an Australian is an Aussie. This is important : you not only need it to understand your lecturers and tutors, but you also need conversational English in your social and daily interactions. Check these links to learn a few common Australian slang terms to help you understand and speak like an Aussie 😀
Study Abroad tip 2 – Be independent
You need to be comfortable with independent study and research. While good support is always available to you at your selected university, do not expect to be spoon-fed your course content. You will ultimately be responsible for your own learning. This may come as quite a shock to many international students who are used to more traditional teaching methods. This is especially true if you want to study abroad, like in Australia.
Independence is not limited to study : you will also be living away from home. So, prepare yourself by learning to do your own shopping and all the essential daily activities and chores. Shared accommodation is a popular way to live amongst students. To have a good experience and to create a good communal environment, you will need to participate in a variety of activities.
- cleaning your own areas
- a potential cleaning roster with your housemates
- keep your own immediate area (as well as the communal areas) neat and tidy
- preparing your own meals
- sharing your home cooking style with your flatmates, etc.
Study Abroad tip 3 – Arrange accommodation
At a minimum, investigate your accommodation options. Ideally, try to arrange your accommodation before you leave your country. So when you arrive in Australia, you already have the peace of mind that you have a home to live in. Finding last-minute accommodation can be a real challenge, especially since you are also trying to adapt to a new environment. Here are important factors to consider when selecting your accommodation :
- budget – how much you want to spend per week, including utilities like electricity, internet, etc.
- personal preference – shared accommodation, private accommodation, etc.
- location – proximity to university, shopping, etc.
- access to public transport
Every university and college have student support services, and they can assist you with finding accommodation too. Most universities even have their own on-campus accommodation.
Additionally, check these links to help you look for your preferred accommodation style :
- Specialised student accommodation providers, such as UniLodge and Urbanest
- Private accommodation websites, such as realestate and domain
- Shared accommodation, such as flatmates and flatmateFinder
Study Abroad tip 4 – Secure a source of income
Most students take the opportunity to work while they study abroad in Australia. Undertaking part-time, or casual work, will bring you income to help support you financially. It will also give you the opportunity to interact with others and expand your social circle. In Australia, as an international student on a student visa, you are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week. For example, you could be restocking shelves in a supermarket or in a hardware store. You can use a number of employment websites to assist you in finding work, such as Seek, JobSearch, and StudentEdge.
Study Abroad tip 5 – Health Insurance
To study abroad, it is compulsory to have health insurance OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover). Along with your confirmation of enrolment, health insurance is a condition of obtaining your student visa. We offer competitive premiums through our partner, global insurer BUPA. We invite you to enquire with our counsellors.
Study Abroad tip 6 – Set up your finances and tax
If you do intend to work when you are studying in Australia, you will have to register with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). You can only register after you arrive in Australia. Click here to find out how.
You will also need to set up a bank account. It is possible to set up your Australian bank account before you leave your country. So you can top up your account with Australian dollars, ready for you to use when you arrive. Our counsellors can help you with this – we invite you to enquire.
Study Abroad tip 7 – Engage an Education Agent
A reputable and experienced education agent (EA) can be invaluable to ease the burden of your study abroad. An EA will guide you towards the most appropriate program to match your circumstances and aspiration. Additionally, the EA will offer you assistance with your student visa, institution applications and many other support services. A good EA will have up-to-date course information from many Australian institutions. A professional EA is required to be aware of any changes to Australian visa policy. This means they can give you accurate information that is tailored to your needs.
Here are some tips for choosing an EA :
- Speak to more than one agent. Speak with a few EAs, then compare the information they give you. In light of your interaction, select an EA that you feel will give you the best assistance.
- Select an experienced agent. Choose an EA with experience helping students study in Australia. They are likely to have a better knowledge of the Australian education system, visas and life in Australia.
- Ask about costs. Find out what fees you have to pay for using the EA’s services.
If you encounter an unscrupulous EA, click here to get some advice from the Australian Government.