For various reasons, international students who are seeking Australian education may not enter into a bachelor degree right away. Entry requirements may not be met or an international student may want to dip their toes in the water before committing to a full degree.
Some international students, seeking an Australian education participate in Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses instead of a bachelor’s degree and still gain valuable knowledge and skills that can be applied to the workforce.
VET courses hands on industry experience
VET courses are offered by Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes, private colleges or Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).
One form of Australian education that many international students choose to take is a VET course which is a sector based on the partnership between the Australian government and industry. VET courses are a great option as they often have hands-on industry experience and are a great form of Australian education that prepares international students for the workforce.
Types of VET qualifications
This form of Australian education includes the following types of qualifications for international students:
Certificate I-IV (teaching introductory skills and vary from 6 months to a year).
Diplomas (preparing international students for their industry of choice and usually take 1-2 years).
Advanced diplomas (for advanced skills and can be used towards university courses, around 1.5-2 years in length).
VET courses are much cheaper than University degrees
Another benefit for international students studying a VET course instead of a university degree is the price difference, VET courses vary between $4000 to $22,000 per year (not including the cost of living) which is much cheaper than a university degree.
Entry requirements for this Australian education also vary. Most VET courses require the equivalent of Australian Year 10, 11 and 12 but in addition, some courses may require something more specific to the course such as a portfolio for an art course.
TAFE institutes that offer this Australian education are Holmesglen in Melbourne, Victoria which offer international students courses such as Engineering, Digital Media, Hairdressing, Education and much more. Another Melbourne TAFE if the Kangan Institute which is one of the most well-known Australian education providers. Kangan Institute offers international students 5 different campus locations and many courses ranging from Automotive to Visual Merchandising.
If you are an international student seeking Australian education in New South Wales, TAFE NSW has 10 different study regions and offers international students over 300 certificate, diploma, and advanced diploma courses. Alternatively, TAFE Queensland offers international students over 15 study areas with over 180 courses and really helps students prepare for life in Australia.
Means to acquire hands-on experience
Regardless of what city, state or territory in Australia an international student may want to study, students who are seeking an Australian education will find that VET courses are a fantastic option to gain hands-on experience for the workforce or to use as a pathway into an Australian University.
It is no wonder that many international students make a right decision to choose Australia for higher education. But still a large number of students make wrong decisions in choosing the right college or a university, city to live in, courses to study, and even strategy for financing their studies.
Of the 43 Universities and many private colleges spread across Australia, international students have a wide range of educational providers to choose from. If you are intending to live and work in Australia, then the name and profile of the University matter as much as the course itself.
Universities in Australia vary greatly in their reputation. On the top of the list are the group of eight or G8, which have intensive research and high-quality teaching arrangements (link with another blog). These are also the Universities that are situated in the major cities of this vast country. Overall, the quality of education in G8 universities is believed to be high in all the courses of studies.
University reputation matters
First, international students often make hasty decisions to move to Australia, without choosing a right university. They then end up with low-quality education in terms of university reputation, which not only hampers their educational quality but also the job prospects in Australia after graduation. Making the right choice does not mean you select just one of the eight elite Universities, but also a far wider range of Universities. One cannot neglect the quality of other Universities in some specific subjects/courses of studies. But, for this, you need to do a thorough research and career consultation before making your enrollment decision.
Where to stay makes a big difference in your student life!
The second mistake international student make is in choosing a city. Many anticipate living in a big metropolitan city like Sydney and Melbourne, but they are often placed at university campuses located in small regional towns, where the prospect for a job and professional networking are limited. As the plan to leave for Australia, they do not have the knowledge of the vast differences in opportunities that exist between the metropolitan and regional Australia. Often the education agents prefer to enroll students in regional universities as they get better deals from these Universities. International students realize they are in the wrong place only after they arrived at their University.
As the plan to leave for Australia, they do not have the knowledge of the vast differences in opportunities that exist between the metropolitan and regional Australia. Often the education agents prefer to enroll students in regional universities as they get better deals from these Universities. International students realize they are in the wrong place only after they arrived at their University.
Plan ahead about how you manage your finance
The third mistake international students make is about the financing plan. They think that they are not good enough to compete for scholarships. They seem to be unaware of many kinds of scholarships Australian Universities provide to international students, especially at the spot graduate level. Many are aware of the Australian government scholarships such as Australian Leadership Awards or Endeavour Scholarships, but not about the University-level scholarships and financial aids.
If you intend to stay in Australia, then it is better to look for such alternative and University-based financial support which do not force you to return at the end of the course.
These scholarships are of course very competitive and require a careful and well-developed application. The mistake many students make is they rely too much on the educational agent which have limited skills and competence to support in preparing high-quality applications to maximize the change of getting such scholarships.
Choosing a right course is fundamental
Besides the university, the next choice you have to make is the course. A related mistake in financial planning is to choose a cheap course and cheap university. The demerit of such choice is to minimize the prospect of the job after graduation. Instead of minimizing the cost of fees and living, students could optimize job prospect during and after graduation.
Select subjects that are suitable for migration point of view
Many students come to Australia for studies with an intention to return home after graduation. In practice, over 60% change their mind and want to stay in Australia after their studies. But you cannot continue to live and work in Australia after graduation unless you secure permanent residence or work visa. To achieve these, you need to study particular subjects in the list of qualifications which Australia encourages retain (put SOL link).
“If I had known I would intend to stay in Australia, I would have studied a different course than I am doing at the moment”, said a Bachelor level international student in Sydney. He came to Sydney for study with an intention to return home, but after he spent a year in Sydney, he changed his mind. However, he is worried about the course he is studying as this does not qualify him for a permanent residence.