The Lucky Country
Australia is known globally as being one of the world’s most diverse and welcoming countries, and it is something for which we take great pride. In fact, of Australia’s 23 million population, almost half (47%) of all Australians were either born overseas or have one parent born overseas. We also know a thing or two about languages, with more than 260 languages spoken in Australian homes: in addition to English, the most common are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese and Greek.
To date, Australia has experienced more than 20 years of continued economic growth, weathering the 2008 global financial crisis better than most advanced economies. And we are as competitive on the global economic stage as we are in the world’s sporting arenas! Not surprising, with more than 120 certified sports organisations around the country, covering popular activities such as AFL, cricket, football (soccer), rugby league, golf, tennis, netball and hockey to name just a few.
You may not know but Australia is the biggest island in the world, the sixth-biggest country in the world in land area, and the only nation to govern an entire continent. Within our expansive country, there are more than 500 national parks and more than 2,700 conservation areas, ranging from wildlife sanctuaries to Aboriginal reserves. There are also seventeen UNESCO World Heritage sites – more than any other country – including the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, Lord Howe Island Group, Tasmanian Wilderness, Fraser Island and the Sydney Opera House. But many people around the world know Australia for being a beautiful country. We also have world-class infrastructure, with five of the top 40 cities with the best infrastructure in the world.
We also have a reputation for building ‘big’ things – over 150 in fact from the Big Banana in New South Wales, to the Big Koala in Victoria, the Big Mango in Queensland, and the Big Ram in Western Australia. It’s worth a trip to see them all! With all these wonderful attributes around Australia, we have good reason to be happy. So much so, we were recently ranked as the fourth happiest country in the world behind only Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Why wouldn’t you want to experience the best Australia has to offer?
Australia’s Education System
Global recognition By studying in Australia, you will receive a qualification that’s recognised and sought after around the world. The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) allows students to easily move through the education system here and provides an easy way for countries around the world to recognise your qualification, and issue the comparable qualifications for local use. The Australian education system provides primary, secondary and tertiary education. School education (Primary and Secondary) School education is similar across all of Australia with only minor variations between states and territories. School education (primary and secondary) is compulsory between the ages of six and sixteen (Year 1 to Year 9 or 10). School education is 13 years and divided into:
- Primary school – Runs for seven or eight years, starting at Kindergarten/Preparatory through to Year 6 or 7.
- Secondary school – Runs for three or four years, from Years 7 to 10 or 8 to 10.
- Senior secondary school – Runs for two years, Years 11 and 12.
Tertiary education Tertiary education includes both higher education (including universities) and vocational education and training (VET). Language of instruction English is the official language of Australia and the main language of instruction in the education system. Many schools offer bilingual programs or programs in other languages. Australian Qualifications Framework The Australian education system is distinguished from many other countries by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). ) The AQF was established in 1995 and is a national policy that covers qualifications from the tertiary education sector (higher education and vocational education and training) in addition to the school-leaving certificate; the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. The AQF has 10 levels and links school, vocational and university education qualifications into one national system. This allows you to move easily from one level of study to the next, and from one institution to another, as long as you satisfy student visa requirements. It allows for choice and flexibility in career planning. All qualifications in the AQF help prepare you for both further study and your working life. If you are studying an AQF qualification, you can be sure that your institution is Government-authorised and nationally accredited, and that your degree or other AQF qualification will be genuine. Australian institutions are linked across the country and across the world, which makes it easy to move throughout the education system between courses or institutions and formal agreement and recognition frameworks mean every step of the path will contribute to your future no matter what your study or career goals.
Living Costs in Australia
Here are some of the costs associated with living in Australia. All costs are in Australian dollars and linked to the consumer price index.
- Hostels and Guesthouses – $90 to $150 per week
- Shared Rental – $85 to $215 per week
- On Campus – $90 to $280 per week
- Homestay – $235 to $325 per week
- Rental – $165 to $440 per week
- Boarding Schools – $11,000 to $22,000 a year
Other living expenses
- Groceries and eating out – $80 to $280 per week
- Gas, electricity – $35 to $140 per week
- Phone and Internet – $20 to $55 per week
- Public transport – $15 to $55 per week
- Car (after purchase) – $150 to $260 per week
- Entertainment – $80 to $150 per week
Minimum cost of living
The Department of Home affairs has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia. From 1st February 2018 the 12 month living cost is:
- You – $21,041
- Partner or spouse – $7,362
- Child – $3,152
Please note that any school-aged dependants accompanying a student to Australia will be required to pay full fees if they are enrolled in either a government or non-government school.