Studying in Australia for higher Education
Currently among Pakistani students, Australia the third most popular study abroad destination after UK and USA. The popularity of studying in Australia increased specially after the September 11 attacks, when due to new security checks by USA a lot of Pakistani students were refused U.S visas.
It is estimated that around 8000 Pakistani students are studying in Australia at bachelors, Masters and PhD levels. The Australian Government is also offering a larger number of scholarships through its AUSAID development agency. For more information on Australian scholarships you can go to this post Australian Scholarships for Pakistani Students
Another reason why Australia has become popular is due to its immigration policies which allow qualified highly skilled professionals to migrate to Australia and get Australian citizenship. Although the process is long, however given the high standard of living, most Pakistanis are willing to go through the waiting period and fulfill all requirements.
Overall Australian education system has an excellent quality and there are 07 Australian Universities among the top 100 universities of the world. Even internationally, Australia is the third most popular study destination for all students after USA and UK.
The growth rate of Pakistani students going to Australia is around 17% per year, and currently Pakistan is the 12 highest revenue source for the country from students. Pakistani students spent almost 250 Million dollars on education in Australia in 2012.
WORKING WHILE STUDYING:
Living expenses are quite high, and the immigration department of Australia recommends around 15000 AUS dollars per year for living expenses alone. Tuition fee varies greatly and is in the range of $4000 to $ 12000 per semester. The AUS dollar is currently at Rs 96 so living expenses come to around Rs 15 Laks per year. The good news is that being an international student you are allowed to work part time while you are a student. You can work upto 20 hours per week during studies and work full time during any academic break. Since the minimum wage is AUS $ 16 per hour if you are over 20 years of age, this comes to a minimum of A$ 320 per week and around A$ 1200 per month. This amount is more than enough to cover your living expenses comfortably and if you are frugal you can even same some money. There is no restriction on the kind of job that you can do or that it has to be on university campus unlike USA.
If you have some skill, you can earn even more per hour depending on your skill set and experience.
GOING ON A SCHOLARSHIP
Scholarships are very attractive obviously because they pay for your education, however do keep in mind that with a scholarship you have to return to Pakistan no matter what. This applies to all types of scholarships given by Australian or Pakistani Government. Only if you get funding from a University then there are no strings attached and you can continue to live in Australia after graduation (provided you fulfill other conditions)
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER GRADUATION
After you graduate, and provided you studied for a minimum of 16 months in Australia, you can apply for a post study work visa. This is now known as “Graduate work Scheme”. These changes have come into effect in 2013 and under this scheme you can work in Australia for 18 months after graduation. The important condition to remember however is that your skill or eduction should fall in the “Skilled Occupation List” also known as SOL. The detailed list of all occupations is given here
So if your education falls in the list you can work after your studies. If it does not then you ll have to return to Pakistan (unless you qualify under some other immigration category like family sponsor, state sponsor etc). In going through the list of occupations, I noticed that all business related degrees are not included like BCOM, BBA, MBA etc. However the list does include all types of doctors, surgeons, Nurses, Engineers, technicians, accountants, Psychologists, CS and SE graduates.
In summary Australia is a good destination for studies abroad. It gives a nice exposure to all type of nationalities studying over there. The whether is excellent, and since its in the southern hemisphere hence it has summers in december and winters in June and July. If you are cricket fan, then you can also enjoy great cricket at MCG or Sydney.
Category: Study in Australia