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Study in Australia: the complete guide

According to a 2018 Campus France study, Australia is one of the nations that welcome the most foreign students. The country is pursuing an ambitious attractiveness policy and has even set itself a growth target of 45% by 2025.

Higher education in Australia

Australia welcomes more than 300,000 international students in 2019, making it the third most popular study destination for international students.

The Australian higher education system is much simpler than in France. Like Anglo-Saxon courses, in Australia, higher education is divided into 2 cycles:

  • The first cycle or undergraduate, which issues 3 different diplomas: the Diploma (bac +2), the Advanced Diploma (bac +3) and the Bachelor Degree (bac +3) at the university.
  • The second cycle or postgraduate which also delivers 3 distinct diplomas: the Graduate Diploma, the Master and the Doctorate.

Australia being a federal state, each state has its own Ministry of Education and therefore different modes of operation. Certain diplomas in law or education are moreover often recognized only in the State where they are issued.

Australian diplomas are internationally recognized and lessons are taught in English. The country has 5 universities recognized among the top 50 in the world according to the QS World University Ranking. The best of them, the Australian National University of Canberra, ranks 28th.

How to go to study in Australia?

Studying in Australia cannot be improvised. Let’s discover the different administrative procedures to be carried out before your departure and once there.

The steps to take to come and study in Australia

To study in Australia, three visas are possible:

– The tourist visa

With this visa, the possibilities are slim since it is limited to 3 months. However, it is very practical for taking English courses or enrolling in language schools.

– The Working Holiday Visa

This visa allows you to travel and work in Australia for 1 year. But it is also possible to study for 4 months in Australia with the Working Holiday Visa.

– The Student Visa

The student visa is the most suitable visa for following a school or university course. It allows you to study for 5 years in Australia but also to be able to work up to 20 hours a week. There is no age limit to obtain it.

The cost of studying in Australia

Going to study in Australia at a (very) high cost. The price for one year to integrate a university of the “Group of Eight” (the 8 best universities in the country), is at least 12,500 €. For medical studies, the rates can go up to 37,500 €. TAFE institutions and professional studies offer annual fees of around €9,500.

sydney theater

The most economical, however, remains to go on a school exchange from a French study establishment, in particular thanks to the Erasmus program.

Study in Australia for free

There are several ways to study in Australia for free. Thanks to Erasmus, where only French tuition fees will have to be paid. The “exchange student”, a system that resembles the Erasmus program and is used by business schools, engineers, IUT or BTS. With this exchange, nothing to pay, but places are limited and reserved for the best students.

The last way to be able to study in Australia for free is to get a scholarship. It is awarded by the Australian Government on request.

What level of English to study in Australia?

As in most English-speaking countries, Australian universities require a certain level of English. In Australia, most higher education institutions require a minimum of 90 points on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or a score of 7.0 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

Refresher courses are offered during school holidays to foreign students who have not obtained these grades.

Student life in Australia

Student life in Australia is very attractive, in particular thanks to its living environment. Cities like Sydney or Melbourne also offer a very rich cultural life with many museums, concert halls, bars, etc.

university australia

The terms for renting an apartment or a shared room are simpler than in France, but the cost is higher. It will take 350 Australian dollars per week (i.e. 220 € per week) for a room in a shared apartment or between 370 € and 435 € for a small apartment.

Where to study in Australia?

Even if Australia has only 22 million inhabitants, the area of ​​the country is 14 times larger than France. The most important cities are mainly grouped in the east of the territory, but in which city should you go to study?

Study in Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s largest city with 4,500,000 inhabitants. It welcomes more than 200,000 students. Sydney is an international city and it offers a multitude of activities and opportunities for students. The megalopolis hosts 8 universities:

Study in Melbourne

Melbourne is the second largest city in the country and is renowned for the quality of its education. It hosts 277,000 students, including 91,000 foreign students. The capital of the State of Victoria hosts 7 of the most prestigious universities in the country:


Study in Brisbane

Located in Queensland, Brisbane has a tropical and sunny climate all year round. The city hosts 7 faculties:

Study medicine in Australia

As in France, medical studies in Australia last at least 8 years. Australia has 18 universities with medical schools. All these establishments are approved by the “Australian Medical Council”. The best medical schools in the country are the Australian National University, Deakin University or The University of Melbourne.

Study Pharmacy in Australia

In Australia, pharmacy is studied via a specialized academic master’s degree. The master is accessible for students who have already obtained a license. There are many universities that offer this course, the best being the Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney.

Study marine biology/oceanography

Australia is the perfect nation to study marine biology and oceanography. It has an exceptional marine ecosystem with the Great Barrier Reef or the Ningaloo reef. These places are home to a prodigious marine fauna with more than 500 species of fish, 300 kinds of coral, 600 varieties of molluscs, etc….

reef biodiversity

There are 4 universities that offer these courses in Australia: James Cook University in Brisbane, UWA in Perth, Murdoch University in Perth and Southern Cross on the Gold Coast (1 hour from Brisbane)

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