Studying abroad in Australia

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By in Study Abroad. Updated September 2013.

SydneyIf you’re considering studying abroad in Australia, there are a multitude of things you need to know before you get there.

What to prepare, how to obtain a visa, your ability to work and residence options are all important things to know before your flight to Australia has landed.

Information on all of this crucial information and more can be obtained from the Australian government, but can be a hassle, so the information below can help you in your journey abroad.

Student visas

Obtaining a student visa in Australia is no more difficult than in any other country.

Student visas are granted based on assessment levels. Assessment levels provide a measure of immigration risk for students and are used to determine visa requirements.

There are five assessment levels ranging from the lowest at level one, to the highest being level 5. The higher the assessment level, the more information a person is required to provide to support their claim for a student visa.

Assessment levels are assigned by country and are based on statistical risk posed by the particular country and data on compliance of those holding student visas in previous years.

If you wish to bring family members with you on your study abroad, they may be eligible to apply for a visa to accompany you. They are subject to the same assessment level requirements as you are as a student.

Apply for your student visa online at http://www.immi.gov.au/students/.

What about health insurance?

It is required to have health insurance at all times if you are visiting Australia on your student visa. Overseas Student Health Cover provides medical and hospital insurance and your education provider can organize this for you, or you can select an approved provider and pay the insurance yourself.

In order to submit your visa application, you must provide a receipt or another piece of evidence of your OSHC payment. The OSHC will then begin when you arrive in Australia.

Keep in mind that if you are studying at multiple educational providers, you will have to ensure that there is no gap between policies from one to the next.

Can I work on an Australian student visa?

If you have obtained your visa after April of 2008, permission to work while in Australia is included with your student visa. There are several conditions when it comes to working in Australia on a student visa.

Students granted permission to work may only work a total of 20 hours per week when you are in a school term. However, when not in term, the amount of hours you are allowed to work becomes unlimited.

If you are volunteering your time or working unpaid, those hours are not included in the allowable hours while in term.

If you have dependent family members they are limited to 20 hours per week at any given time and may not begin working until the primary visa holder has begun the school term. This restriction on hours is lifted, however, if the student is pursuing a masters or doctoral degree.

Extending your visa

If at any time you need or wish to extend your stay in, you need only apply for a new visa – granted your current student visa does not have a ‘no further stay’ condition. However, there is a list of acceptable reasons for requesting an extension on your stay.

These reasons include attending your graduation, extending your studies, taking a holiday, and even establishing permanent residence. Each of these reasons require a different type of visa and you must submit a new application accordingly.

Visting Australia on a student visa can be a rewarding and memorable time. It can be easy to obtain as long as you are well-informed and prepared for your study abroad.

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