Australia figures among the top study abroad destinations in the world for Indian students. It won’t be a surprise if every fifth Indian student you speak to among the populace planning to study abroad, has Australia in mind. Undesirable circumstances aside, it remains a top notch destination for Indian students wishing to study abroad.
Yet, there are several points that need to be considered before you decide to take the next flight to destination Australia for your studies.
Students from India come right after China in terms of highest number of enrolments in Australian educational institutes. According to International Student Enrolment Data 2015, their number was 72,504. As for Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, Indians make up the highest pool of applicants entering the country to study.
Most Indian students are seen inclined towards courses as business and management degree programs along with accounting, health care, IT, hotel management and MBA. The Global MBA Ranking 2015 by Financial Times places three Australian institutes in the top 100 list. These are Macquarie Graduate School of Management at Macquarie university, AGSM at the University of New South Wales Business School and Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne.
Among the Anglophone nations (major destinations for Indian students), Australia happens to have one of the most expensive education system with its tuition fee and resultant graduation debt.
According to an April 2016 study by Dr Philip Kirby titled ‘Degrees of Debt: Funding and finance for undergraduates in Anglophone countries’, the average tuition fee charged across Australian higher education institutions is AU$7,900 (INR 40,1190).
So generally speaking, a bachelor’s degree can cost somewhere around AU$10,000, vocational programs AU$5,000. Post graduate and PhD programs will cost almost AU$20,000 to 37,000 annually. This is just an estimate. The fee differs from course to course.
And mind you, this is just the tuition fee. Living expenses, including food, entertainment,phone, and travel, again vary from place to place. Bigger cities will have bigger expenses and could range from AU$350 to 900 per week. Accommodation expenses will vary depending upon what kind of lodging you prefer (guest houses / hostels / on-campus / homestay / rental / shared rental / boarding schools).
|Cost Type||Expenses in Indian Rupees|
|Bachelor’s Degree||INR 50,7836|
|Post Graduate and PhD||INR 10,156,73 to INR 18,78,995|
|Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses||INR 25,3918|
|Living Expenses (include food, entertainment, phone, and travel depending on the city)||INR 17,774 to INR 45,705 per week|
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection needs to ensure that you have enough money to pay for your course fee, travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family while in Australia. This annual personal income ranges from AU$60,000 to 70,000 (INR 30,47,019 to 35,54,855). You need to attach the evidence of this income with your visa application. The government has set financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia and for a single person it comes to AU$19,830 (INR 10,07,039).
However, if you are aged 25 years and above, pursuing a full time course as an Australian resident, you are eligible for financial help from the government in the form of Austudy. If you are single or a couple with no children, you can get maximum payment of AU$433.20 (INR 21,999.48) every fortnight.
But if you are a couple with children you can claim a maximum of AU$475.70 (INR 24,157.79). In case you are single with responsibility of children on you, your claim amount can go up to AU$567.60 (INR 28,824.80). As a newly arrived resident, you have to wait for 104 weeks or 2 years to be able to access this grant.
According to government statistics, graduates from Australian universities landed a starting annual salary of AU$52,000 to 55,000 (INR 26,20,921 to 27,72,128) in 2014. In today’s times it can go up to AU$70,000 (INR 35,281,63) as well.
It depends on the kind of skill set you possess and your command over English language which is a pre-requisite that decides your chances of landing a white / blue collar job post completion of your studies. Networking helps too.
Like any other country, there are pros and cons even for Indian students wishing to study in Australia. Along with getting good international exposure, a diverse cultural interaction and a strong statement for your CV, here are some more reasons to study in Australia.
The country boasts of a number of high ranking universities in the world offering a number of high quality popular courses.Foreign students mean good income for the government, hence the latter takes keen interest in education sector of the nation. Therefore, expect good governance for these institutes of higher learning.
As Indian students make up a good chunk of foreign students in Australia, universities too tend to do their utmost to be able to attract Indian students to their classrooms. It can be expensive to study in Australia, but then there are several scholarship opportunities offered that can ease the financial burden.
With your student visa, you can also work part time and can earn somewhere between $25 to $30 an hour (close to INR 1200 to 1500), depending on what kind of job you are in (read blue collar jobs). You can also work full time during vacations and earn some more. This extra money can help you save and also take care of your living expenses to some extent.
The government here provides post-study work visas for international students. After finishing university degree, students here can get practical work experience by working full time for a period of 18 months to four years. They can also apply for permanent residency.
It is a beautiful country, so once in a while you can take a break and travel to all the beach destinations that Australia is so famous for. The country has a strong Asian community presence so you will not miss speaking your mother tongue or eating familiar food.
First and foremost, safety. Indian students have been at the receiving end of some racial and anti-social elements. It is important to steer clear of crime prone areas of the city you stay in, avoid travelling late at night alone, have friends accompany you when you do end up travelling alone at night.
It is expensive for an Indian student to make a life in Australia. Be very sure if you’d be able to manage your expenses with only part time work.
As the government allows working for 20 hours a week while pursuing your study, students need to be aware that the adult national minimum wage in Australia is AU$17.70 an hour, but some students end up getting much less or nothing at all. Be aware of your rights.
Like in any part of the world including India, there are people who run fake institutes or those that provide below standard education charging hefty fee from international students. One must be wary of such dubious institutes, and choose to study in institutes approved by the Australian Government. The Indian Embassy in Australia can be of great help here.
And then, there is this separation anxiety, of feeling homesick, not being able to speak in your mother tongue, always having to speak in English, getting into a self-pity mode about working so hard without having people around to acknowledge you and so on and so forth.
Australian culture is dramatically different from India with more focus on being independent and gender equality. It can come as a shock to some, so it is advisable to do some prior research on the same.
The information in this article is just to give you a general idea of what’s in store if you decide to study in Australia. Check the official websites of a few colleges to get more accurate data.