Interview with Karen Welsh

Photo courtesy of Karen Welsh

Why is Australia a country of choice for students to study abroad?
Australia offers international students an extremely high quality education experience, and also a fantastic lifestyle to enjoy while studying. Not only is Australia home to six of the world’s top 100 ranked universities, but it also has five of the best thirty student cities in the world. This means that there are plenty of amazing places for you to live in and to learn. It is a great place to study, with a world-class education system, high-quality programs, and harmonious multi-cultural environment for international students. Students who choose to study in Australia will be studying alongside some of the world’s finest minds, in an environment where innovation and research are both valued and celebrated. The country has produced 15 Nobel prize laureates and every day over one billion people around the world rely on Australian discoveries and innovations – including penicillin, IVF, ultrasound, Wi-Fi, the Bionic Ear, cervical cancer vaccine and Black Box Flight Recorders – to make their lives, and the lives of others, better.

What range of courses are available to international students in Australia?
Australia offers a diverse range of study options for international students, with more than 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses to choose from. You can study at all levels of education from primary and secondary school, vocational education and training, English language courses, and of course university. There are 43 universities in Australia and also many private higher education providers. No matter what you want to study, Australian institutions offer a wide range of choices – from science to management and commerce, humanities to engineering, and law to health sciences. Australian institutions rank among the world’s best by discipline, particularly in engineering and technology, medicine, environmental science, and accounting and finance.

How do Australia and Australian institutions cater to Muslim students?
With its rich multi-cultural heritage, Australia warmly welcomes international students from all over the world and is a destination that offers a diverse range of experiences and services to suit their needs. About 2.2% of the Australian population are Muslims. There are halal restaurants, butchers and mosques in all states catering to the Muslim population, and in many places halal eateries and facilities for religious obligations are available.

What sort of budget would an international student need for living expenses and tuition fees per year?
Tuition fees depend on the institution and the level of study you choose. As an international student, your tuition fees are payable before you study. There may be additional costs for your course, including course materials and access to institution facilities. The list below gives you an indication of the range of costs for different types of qualifications.

• Primary or Secondary School – $7,800 to $30,000
• English language studies – Around $300 per week depending on course length
• Vocational Education and Training – $4,000 to $22,000
• Undergraduate Bachelor Degree – $15,000 to $33,000*
• Postgraduate Masters Degree – $20,000 to $37,000*
• Doctoral Degree – $14,000 to $37,000*

*This does not include high value courses such as veterinary and medical.

Minimum cost of living
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has financial requirements students must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia. From 1 July 2016 the 12 month living cost is:

• You – $19,830
• Partner or spouse – $6,940
• Child – $2,970

What options are available for students who wish to apply for a scholarship in Australia?
There are many scholarships, grants, and bursaries, which can help support international students financially with your studies in Australia. The prestigious Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are offered by the Australian Government, with others offered by education institutions, public and private organisations. Students can use the search tool on the site to find scholarships and contact details for the institution providing the scholarship. All applications and enquiries for scholarships are made directly through the scholarship provider.

This article was published in the Oct-Dec 2016 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!