Studying can be stressful for many people, and it’s easy to get bogged down in the monotonous routine of it all, which is why thousands of students choose to move to Australia, for a change of pace and new experiences.
Beautiful weather, iconic landmarks, famous beaches, and a laid-back culture - Australia is understandably one of the most popular destinations for international students. In fact, more than 550 000 international students called Australia home in 2016, with the majority falling into the 21-30 year old demographic, according to the Australian Government.
Packing your life into a suitcase and moving overseas to study is incredibly rewarding, but it’s not without its challenges - including long nights, heavy books and feelings of isolation. This is why it pays to be prepared, by doing a lot of planning, before stepping onto the plane.
There are several crucial steps to take before moving to Australia, starting with researching what you want to study and where. You must then enrol in a recognised educational institution and apply for a student visa, which allows you to study full-time.
The next item to check off your list is to find somewhere suitable to live. The logical starting place is on-campus housing that many Australian universities offer, which means you'll be close to your classes and other students.
Another option is the Australian Homestay Network (AHN), which allows students to stay with host families in locations close to their campus.
It’s no secret that Australia has a high cost of living (especially Sydney and Melbourne), so you may want to get a job to support your lifestyle. A student visa will allow you to work for a certain number of hours per week.
It’s never easy to move away from loved ones and everything you know, so it’s important to find out about the various support networks that can help if you ever feel overwhelmed or homesick.
You can find a list of support services, ranging from counselling to student mentoring, on the International Students’ Guide. It’s always helpful to research the city and country you're staying in, before moving to Australia, to help you settle in. This includes topics like daily life, quarantine laws, Aussie slang, entertainment, banking and transport. You’ll be able to adapt to the “Aussie way of life” with all that extra knowledge under your belt.
There’s no doubt that moving “Down Under” to study will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, especially if you come prepared!