Study in Australia – Why study in Australia?

Over 900,000 international students are currently studying in Australia, attracted by a lot more than Australia’s excellent universities and English language curriculum. International students also choose to study in Australia for the laid-back lifestyle, thousands of kilometres of pristine beaches, multicultural environment, and the spectacular beauty of the landscape.

Australian cities are sophisticated and offer amazing nightlife for students, and yet a short drive away, the endless Outback stretches into the distance under vast skies and the unfamiliar sounds of the bush and desert.

The massive crocodiles of the Northern Territory and the millions of kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and kookaburras will soon remind you that you are studying in a country that is unique on this planet, with its many eco-systems and climates. 

Australia is a vast and fascinating continent and studying in Australia will prove to be the adventure of a lifetime.

Study in Australia – choosing a university

If you want to study in Australia, the choice of university is vast like the country itself. Australia is the third largest provider of education in the world, after the US and UK, and ranks second in the UN Education Index. Higher education is a fast-growing sector and approximately 27 per cent of undergraduates studying in Australia are international students.

Australia promotes innovation, creativity, and independent thinking throughout all its universities. There are 43 public universities to choose from to study in Australia, a number of whom are part of The Group of Eight. This group is made up of the country’s oldest research universities, namely: ANU, Monash, Adelaide, Melbourne, New South Wales, Queensland, Sydney and Western Australia. Competition for places is fierce.

The most popular student city in Australia is without a doubt Melbourne, according to QS Best Student Cities, 2023, with Sydney and Brisbane also featuring in the top 30 and Adelaide, Perth and Canberra coming in the top 40.

When choosing your university to study in Australia, you need to consider several factors in one of the largest countries on Earth:

  • Climate
  • Location
  • Funding support
  • Transport links
  • What industry experience the university provides
  • The campus culture.

Study in Australia – popular university rankings

The QS 2024 global rankings demonstrate the strengths of the Australian education system and how favourably it compares with other institutions of higher education. Six Australian universities feature in the world top 50 and nine in the global top 100.

University QS Global Ranking, 2024
University of Melbourne 14
University of New South Wales =19
University of Sydney =19
Australian National University, Canberra 34
Monash University, Melbourne 42
University of Queensland, Brisbane 43
University of Western Australia, Perth 72
University of Adelaide 89
University of Technology, Sydney 90
University of Wollongong 162
Study in Sydney in Australia

Study in Australia – choosing a course

For those wanting to study in Australia, Australian universities currently offer over three thousand courses, with Bachelor’s degrees taking three years to complete, and four if you want to do an honours degree. Master’s degrees taking an additional one to two years. 

Joint and combined undergraduate degrees are common, with students in Australia being able to study arts and science, commerce and engineering, law and arts, etc., rather than being limited to traditional study areas.

In Australia Master’s courses can be either research-led or taught. The Australian approach to education is a blend of theory and practise, with most universities offering cutting edge technology and laboratories, and rich resources.

Each Australian city has a different ambience and vibe, so the first step in choosing a course to study in Australia is to consider precisely where you would like to make your home for the next few years. Once this decision is made, finding a course will not be difficult. Elab is here to advise you and guide you through the many options open to you when you decide to study in Australia and can help you compare courses and combinations of subjects.

Study in Australia – the application process

When applying to study in Australia you will have to get in touch with each individual institution through their website and typically apply online. There is an option to download forms and use the post. Australia does not have a centralised university application platform like the UK

Certain states limit the number of universities you can apply to in one academic year to study in Australia. Elab can advise you on options and limitations.

When applying to study in Australia you may be asked for one or more of the following, in addition to completing the application form, depending on the university you have chosen:

  • To complete a questionnaire
  • To send in a portfolio
  • To audition
  • To participate in an interview online
  • To sit an entrance test

Document Checklist

You will also be asked to produce

  • Proof of funds – this could be your or your parents’ bank statements, savings etc.
  • Certified translation of your school diploma
  • Transcripts of your grades
  • Proof of English language proficiency, for example your IELTS exam score
  • A copy of your passport
  • Health insurance documentation

Australian universities work on a first come, first served basis, whether courses have limited places or large cohorts. For example, Health Sciences fills up more quickly than business courses.

When applying to study in Australia, check each university website carefully for where it spells out its deadlines. Wide discrepancies stem from the fact that some courses have different admission cycles. The application window can close any time when full between October and December, so the sooner you apply, the better. Also remember if you have already decided to study in Australia you cannot even start the process of getting your student visa until you have received and accepted your university offer and been sent a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

As a rule of thumb for applications to study in Australia, 15 December is the deadline for students who wish to be part of the February intake, and applications for the July intake close in May for international students.

Once you are offered a university place, you usually must accept within a 10-day window. So act fast!

Check the conditions of the offer carefully. You may be required to pay the tuition fees before you receive the CoE. 

How to Get an Australian Student Visa

If you wish to study in Australia, you will need to apply for a Student (Subclass 500) visa. Visit for more information. You can pay for your visa  application by credit card through this portal, and it normally takes four weeks to process.

Before you apply for a student visa to study in Australia, you must have the offer of a place at an Australian university – known as the confirmation

Study in Australia – costs

Tuition fees

Tuition fees to study in Australia for a Bachelor’s degree range from 10,000-30,000 euros a year, while a Master’s degree will cost from 13,000-35,000 euros a year – depending on the subject. Fees are based on the number of units you take. You must pass 24 units to get a bachelor’s degree.

Tuition fees are set by each individual university and not central government, and thus vary from one institution to the next.

Living costs

You need to budget somewhere in the region of 1,300 euros a month for accommodation, food, leisure activities, materials, transport, mobile phone and internet and utilities.

The average budget for living in Sydney has been calculated as 30 per cent more expensive than Canberra, Adelaide, and Brisbane, which are ranked second, third and fourth most affordable student cities, respectively. Tasmania is 25 per cent cheaper than Sydney.

Make sure you get an ISIC card, which will entitle you to 20 per cent off restaurants, cinemas and cafes, and five per cent off grocery shopping, fuel, and alcohol. The card also gives you a reduction of 40 per cent on international flights , which will be hugely useful when going home to see family and friends.

Certain universities subsidise students transport and offer free or heavily discounted travel. 


All international students in Australia must take out Overseas Student Heath Cover, which costs an average of 280 euros a year, depending on the level of cover and the provider.

Scholarships and financial support

There are several scholarships and bursaries open to international students, although these tend to be aimed at postgraduates. Details are available from government sites, or Elab if you need our help with your application to study in Australia.

Study in Australia – other useful information

  • While studying in Australia, students are allowed to work 20 hours a week during term time, and as many hours as they want during holiday periods. Eighty-six per cent of students work while they study.
  • Universities can have two or three terms per academic year.
  • If you wish to study a different subject at Master’s level than the one you studied at undergraduate level, you can take a Change of Direction Master’s.
  • On completing your degree, you can apply for a Temporary Graduate visa which will entitle you to stay on in Australia for between 18 months and four years – depending on your qualifications and work experience.
  • Local custom is to shake your shoes before putting them on – you do not want to find your foot nestling on a local spider or snake.
  • Introduction
  • Diagnostics
  • Personal Profile Map
  • Research
  • University Report
  • Final application choices
  • Application process plan
  • Mentor Program
  • Exam and Interview prep
  • Document completion
  • Application portal setup
  • Submission
  • Acceptance
  • Pre-departure procedures
  • Finances
Enjoyyour studies abroad!
Send us a postcard!

Contact Elab

Leave your details and an Elab Education Consultant will contact you within 48 hours to turn your academic aspirations into reality.