Studying in Australia may be different to what most students find at home, Australian education providers focus alot not only on class room work but alot on practical work as well as work experience. This helps to make sure students have the most education and experience possible before entering their chosen work force.
Lectures and Tutorials
The difference between a lecture and a tutorial which are the two usual forms of class room learning in Australia, is that a lecture is run by a lecturer here students need to focus on what the lecturer is saying and take notes class sizes are generally larger consisting of around 200 students. Tutorials are smaller each class having around 30 students.
Final assessments are determined on how the student performed during the year. Grades come from attendance, assignments, class work and exams. Depending on the course that the student is taking there may be different methods of grading. Final grades are given out each semester, if a student does not pass a unit this gives them the opportunity to repeat the same unit in the following semester.
Plagiarism or copying is something that is unacceptable in all educational sectors. This is where a student submits some one elses work and says it is their own. Not only will this affect a students grades but it could mean the cancellation of a visa. References are acceptable so long as it is stated that the work has come from else where.
The Education for Overseas Students organisation provides legislation to ensure international students are protected and that all courses being offered and undertaken are quality, accredited courses that are being offered to local students as well. All courses are meet national standards.
If a student and the EOS finds a course or provider to be dropping its standards or to have given misleading details the student will be refunded in full and a more appropriate course will be offered with another institute.
Before being sent a Confirmation of Enrollment letter make sure the student is aware of all course details including course content and duration, qualification, teaching and assessment details, English language skills needed, any pre requisites which may be required, course requirements, fees, facilities and details of all student services.
Student Support Services
All educational providers offer student support services, these services help students through their courses. Many institutes have international student counsellors who help to ensure the student is settled and does not need any extra help. Student services work towards making courses and institutes better for the students, they do this by organising orientation days, helping with academic advise, further study options and helping organise accommodation for international students.
If a student has any difficulties or issues with a course or a provider it is best to first talk to the institute about this. If still an issue has not been resolved then the student will need to contact the Education for Overseas Students framework.
What your international office can do for you
An international office can help students with anything from setting up bank accounts, organising visas, sorting out educational needs, to talking about budgeting and accommodation options. International offices also offer a counselling service to help homesick students or with giving general advise.
International Student Advisors are involved with all International Offices. They organise orientation programs which help to get students settled in a new country. This helps students form a sense of familiarity with their new surroundings in Australia. They can also help inform students or advise them on anything they need to know in the way of Australias culture or its people
Students with disabilities
All institutes offer specialist services for students with disabilities, this ensures disabled students have all the same prospects and opportunities as all other students attending the institute. It is a must to inform a course provider of specific details to do with a disability and how it will effect course work, this will help to make sure needs can be met as soon as the student arrives.
Please note, each institution has its own application form. Entry requirements vary between institutions and courses of study.Assistance with applications for enrolment and visas can be obtained
Ideally, you should begin the application process about 12 months before you hope to enrol. If you are awaiting final examination results, most institutions will grant provisional acceptance based on your past academic performance. Provisional acceptance will also be granted pending acceptable English language proficiency.
The following details should be supplied when applying for admission to study in Australia:
If your application is accepted, the enrolling institution will send a letter offering you a place in your chosen course and requesting a portion of tuition fees and health insurance. Once these have been paid, the institution will issue a Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).
This is the only accepted evidence of enrolment for processing student visa applications.
For student visas, the Australian government requires prospective applicants to :
Can I work in Australia while studying?
You must have a work permit or condition attached to your visa in order to be able to do so.
Can my dependents work in Australia?
There are no restrictions on postgraduate students. 20 hours per week for TAFE and Higher Education students.
How do I get a tax file number and do I need one?
Youll need one for banking and employment purposes. You can get a application form from your education provider or your nearest post office.
Can I convert my tourist or business class visa to a student visa while in Australia?
Applicants from assessment level 1 & 2 countries are permitted to do so. For applicants from level 3 & 4, they are also permitted to do so but under special circumstances.
Can I apply for packaged programs?
Yes, all students are permitted to do so.
Does the Australian embassy accept faxed copies of Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)?
Do I need to notify anyone about change in address?
For visa labels 8506, notification must be made to the Department of Immigration & Citizenship within 2 working days before moving to new address.
For visa labels 8533, the university must be notified within 7 days of moving to the new address
Do I need Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?
Yes, it is compulsory by law.
Can I change or modify my program after initial enrolment?
Yes, subject to approval from the relevant Head of School or nominee. If the new course has a longer duration than the initial one, then the student will have to apply for a new visa.
Can I change to another institution within the first 12 months of my program?
This is subject to conditions attached to your visa. DIMA may approve transfers only in exceptional circumstances.
What is a full time program of study?
A full time student takes 18 or more units of study in a term at the time of the census date and 36 or more units in a year at each of the three census dates
Can I re-enrol in summer/spring school after withdrawing from a course
No, this is not permitted.
What pace of academic progress is required to to fulfil visa requirements?
The Australian government considers students completing their programs within standard duration to be making satisfactory progress.
What is unsatisfactory progress?
Your education provider has specific guidelines addressing this.
What do I do if I am not happy with my academic progress?
You should contact the Academic Coordinator, Head of School/Faculty or the International Student Support Officer.
Can I extend my student visa in Australia?
This is possible if your current visa has no further stay conditions.
Can I apply for a leave of absence?
International students are not permitted to undertake this option.
If I cancel my program or enrolment, how soon will I have to leave Australia
28 working days following completion of program.
If I complete my program early, am I entitled to remain in Australia for the duration of my student visa?
After completing my program, can I apply for a tourist visa?
You must check with the immigration department regarding your eligibility.
As of the 26th of April 2008 Student Visa holders are aloud to work up to 20 hours of paid employment a week.
Working and Student Visa Conditions
There are certain conditions which must be met for a student to work their 20 hours in Australia. Students can not commence work until they have started their course. It only allows 20 hours of work a week, this includes during holidays.
Type of work for international students
As students can only work part time or casual hours most of the work available is in shops, retail and hospitality as the hours are flexible. Generally the pay is not high and it will depend on age and experience. Many students decide to work as a tutor for students learning their native language. Tutoring work tends to pay higher how ever job opportunities are not high.
Students will need to apply for a Tax File Number through the Australian Taxation Office before commencing any paid employment. Tax will be taken out of any pay earned and can be claimed back at the end of each financial year along with any other work related expenses. Each financial year Tax File Number holders must complete and lodge a Tax Return, this states what money has been earned and from where as well as how much either the tax office owes the tax payer or how much the tax payer owes the tax office.
Any tax owed to the payee will be paid within 14 days unless there is a problem which needs to be resolved, in this case the tax office will contact the person involved.
Any one who is paid $450 a month is eligible for superannuation, this is where a percentage of paid tax goes into a superannuation account which is applied for as an individual or through the place of work. Superannuation is a retirement fund, any money placed in this account can not be withdrawn unless in the case of an emergency or retirement. There are many superannuation providers in Australia to choose from.
There are many ways to look for a job, alot of students hand out resumes directly to employment options. If looking for advertisements local newspapers, and web sites advertise regularly. Websites such as www.seek.com.au and www.careerone.com.au allow job applicants to apply for positions directly through their website.
Always when applying for a job ensure that the resume and cover letter are truthful and made out with good English. In the resume include all the applicants contact details, name, educational history, employment history as well as several references which can be contacted by phone. Both a covering letter, resume and any copies of qualifications should be sent to the advertiser.
Do not include in the resume, details such as height, weight, marital status or religion. A photo of ones self is not necessary, and never state how much the applicant is wanting to be paid.
If an advertiser is interested in an applicant they will call and ask for an interview, this will generally be at the place of work so the applicant can see where they would be working and what they would be doing first hand. Always dress appropriately and be prepared, the interview is when the potential employer will decide whether or not the applicant would work well with their team. If English is the applicants second language, make sure to listen carefully and be overly prepared.
Usually after an interview the advertiser will let them no whether or not they have been successful, at times they may ask them back for a second interview or say they will call them and let them no whether they have been successful.
Your rights and responsibilities in the work place
The main responsibility for student visa holders is to make sure they do not work more then 20 hours a week, they must make sure their employer understands this as there are penalties for working more then the aloud amount.
Always check that the student is being paid a minimum of award wage. Pay must be made on a regular basis meaning fortnightly or monthly at the most. Ensure money is paid into a bank account and not in cash. After the pay period be sure the employer has provided a pay slip which has on it all the employers details, pay amount, tax and superannuation details stated on it. The pay slips will help when lodging a tax return at a later date.
An employer will let the employee no of what shifts they are to work, it is the employees responsibility to turn up on time and work the desired shift. Let the employer no at the interview time what shifts they can and can not work due to study commitments.
Ending your employment
Ending employment is simple enough but the employee must provide enough notice, both parties must give at least 2 to 3 weeks notice when choosing to end employment.
Employers are not aloud to end employment on grounds of race, gender, disability, religion or ethnicity. If an employer does this there are rights to contact the Workplace Ombudsman to discuss rights and further action.