Updated 6 months ago

If you are thinking of studying in Australia, bear in mind that there are 43 accredited universities located in all states and territories, offering a vast range of educational options. It is best to do research online to determine which university offers the course of study that best matches with your career goals, and each university will also have a comprehensive website to assist with the decision-making process.

It is also important to consider where you may want to live in Australia, and whether you prefer to be in a metropolitan or regional area. If at all possible, it is also helpful to visit universities before making a decision, to ensure it is the best fit for you.

Student visa

If you are moving to Australia as an international student, you will need to organise a student visa before arrival. The most common student visa type is the Student Visa (subclass 500).

You can apply for this visa only if you have already been accepted to study in a registered full-time course at an Australian educational institution. With a few exceptions, you must be enrolled in a course of study that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and in courses for Overseas for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Applicants may also need to prove their English language skills, proof of health insurance and proof of financial capability to pay for school fees, accommodation, and living expenses.

The visa is valid for up to five years, and the application costs start at AUD 560 (as of July 2017). Current processing times for visa approval are between one-three months.

For more information on this visa type, please consult the Department of Immigration.


International students are not eligible for Medicare, which is Australia’s nationalised health care system. You will need to obtain private health insurance. Many insurance providers offer Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) plans, which are the best option for those on a student visa.

Student housing

Most universities offer student housing options, on-campus or off-campus. The housing costs will be in addition to tuition fees, but living in campus housing can be a good way to meet like-minded students, and to be close to your classes and school facilities.

If you prefer to live off-campus, flat or house shares are a good way to rent a room within a flat at a reasonable cost, and can be found easily online.

Working on a student visa

Tuition fees may turn out to be very expensive in Australia. Scholarships are often available directly through the university, so speak to your school for more information about the scholarships available. Students can also supplement their income through part-time work, but this should not be counted on as the main source of covering living expenses.

Student visa holders may work for up to 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session, and unlimited hours during scheduled university breaks.  Students completing a Masters degree by research or a doctoral degree (PhD) do not have these work restrictions.

Students working in Australia have the same rights and requirements as any other employee in the work force.

Extending your time in Australia

You might be able to extend your stay in Australia for:

  • Further study;
  • to attend graduation; or
  • to obtain a migration or skilled worker visa.

For more information about additional visa types, consult the Department of immigration.

  Useful links:

Student’s visa requirements
University of Sydney – International students
Study in Australia
Study abroad in Australia

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.