Challenges That International Students Face in Australia

Challenges That International Students Face in Australia

Welcome to Australia, a place that doubles as a continent and a country. Australia as a continent is the smallest, but it is the 6th largest country globally.

One of the country’s largest exports is Education. Australia has become one of the most favored study destinations for international students. In 2019, International students comprised approximately 27% of the Australian student body.

Despite Australia being a favorite study destination, there are several challenges that International students face in Australia.

In this article, we will outline some of these challenges and possible solutions.

Why Study in Australia?

Apart from its beautiful landscape and abundance of varying animal species, there are a lot of benefits that come with choosing Australia as your study destination.

Putting aside the country’s beautiful infrastructure, top-notch medical facilities, and world-class transportation system, here are several things that distinguish Australia from other study destinations;

1. High Quality Education

Australia is home to some of the best universities in the world, 6 of which are ranked among the top 100 Universities. Australian universities are known for their high-quality education and research. They provide students with various courses and programs, from undergraduate to postgraduate level.

2. International Recognition

Degrees and qualifications from any Australian University are recognized and respected internationally. The government regulates the Australian education system to maintain high education standards.

3. Multicultural Environment

Australia is a big pot of different cultures. Its multicultural environment ensures acceptance of all cultures and tribes, giving no room for discrimination. 

Studying in this multicultural environment will help you build strong personality traits and skills that will be valuable in the international market.

4. Work Opportunities

International students in Australia can work part-time during the school session and full-time during the holidays. Providing students with a steady source of income and valuable work experience.

5. Affordable Living Costsuubb8

Compared to the United States and the United Kingdom, the cost of living in Australia is relatively cheap. Students are allowed to work while they study to help them ease their financial burden.

How to Apply to Australian Universities

The Australian educational system is designed to provide students with the opportunity to work while studying. To get into any Australian University, you have to either apply directly to the school or through an educational agent.

For schools where you have to apply through an Educational agent, be sure to check their website for a list of recognized educational agents. The educational system allows you to pick in what semester you would like to start your studies.

For students who would like to start in the first semester, the deadline for application is December. For those who would like to start in the second semester, the application deadline is May.

Here is a step-by-step process on How To Apply To an Australian University;

Explore Different Study Options

The first step in your application process is exploring the various study options available in Australia. Every University has several unique study options for their students.

Perform proper research on your course of study, the Australian university that offers, and the study options provided by the university.

Pick Your Choice University

The second step is picking an Australian University. In picking an Australian University, you should take the following into consideration;

  • Availability of your course of study.
  • Cost of Application fees.
  • Cost of Tuition fees.
  • Location of the University and the cost of living in that location.
  • Admission Requirements.

The University of your choice should meet both your career and financial goals.

Apply to the University

The next step is filling out the application form from the university. You can either apply directly to the school or through educational agents.

Educational agents are people who have been approved by the school to help students during their application process. These educational agents are aware of changes in the school’s admission requirements.

During your application, you might have to provide the following documents depending on your type of study;

  • Secondary School/Diploma certificates
  • IELTS or its equivalent.
  • Undergraduate certificate
  • Statement of Intention
  • CV/Resume

Apply For an Australian Study Visa

This is the last step in your application process. Once you have been accepted into an Australian University, you must apply for a subclass 500 visa for the duration of your study. This visa allows you to work while you study.

You will be required to provide the following documents during your visa application process;

  • Confirmation of enrollment from your Australian institution.
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement
  • Proof of Health Insurance (OHSC)
  • Proof of Sufficient Funding
  • IELTS or its Equivalent.

Challenges That International Students Face in Australia | Overview

Despite Australia being a favorite study destination, there are several challenges that International students face in Australia.

Here are some challenges international students face in Australia;

Language Barrier

Language difference is one of the major challenges international students face in Australia. Australia is an English-speaking country, making it difficult for students from non-English-speaking countries to interact with their lecturers and peers.


The Australian education system has made provisions for English courses for international students to learn the language.

Cultural Divide

The difference in cultural norms, beliefs, languages, behaviors, etc., is a major challenge international students face in Australia. International students might find it difficult to adapt to the differences in culture.


International students should open themselves to the experience. They should embrace the culture and put in the effort to learn more about it. They can also join cultural clubs, participate in orientation programs, and be actively involved in the local communities to gain a better understanding of the culture.

Difference in Education System

The rigorous educational system, fast-paced learning system, and different grading systems are part of the challenges international students face in Australia.

Australia’s educational system is highly competitive, and it requires students to perform excellently well.


To help international students blend in easily, Australian universities have put in place a support system. Students who are facing difficulty can contact the support office for guidance.

Students can also reach out to their lecturers and peers for help.

Financial Challenges

The cost of tuition fees, accommodation, feeding, and other living expenses form part of the financial challenges international students face in Australia. Australia is more expensive than other study destinations, and without proper planning, international students might find it difficult to survive.


To solve this issue, students should look for shared accommodations to cut down on the cost of accommodation. Students can apply for jobs to help take care of their daily expenses. They can also apply for scholarships and grants.

Students can also take advantage of the students’ discount on transportation and entertainment.

Work-Life Balance

The pressure of doing well academically while maintaining a part-time job and a healthy social life is one of the major challenges international students face in Australia.


Students should create a well-working work-life balance by giving themselves realistic goals and creating a schedule to meet these goals.

They can seek the help of their tutors and peers when they get overwhelmed with activities.

Discrimination and Racism

Despite Australia being a multicultural society, discrimination and racism are top of the list of challenges faced by international students.


Students should read about their rights in the country and report any incident of racism to the right authorities without delay.

Visa Subclass 500 Issues

Visa expiration and change of educational institution are challenges international students face in Australia. Students with the subclass 500 Visa should adhere strictly to the rules guiding their entry requirements.


Students with the subclass 500 visa are not allowed to renew their visas. They are advised to apply for a new visa three months before the expiration of the former visa.

Scholarships Available for International Students

The huge cost of living and tuition fees are the major challenges international students face in Australia. To help ease the burdens of these students, the government have made available different scholarship programs.

Here are some Australian scholarship programs for International students;

Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship

The University of Adelaide offers the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships to outstanding international graduates from any country who wish to apply for Masters or Doctorate degrees by research at any faculty of the University.

Candidates who undertake research in areas of University research strength will be given priority.

Visit the official website for more information on the Scholarship.

Destination Australia Scholarships

The Destination Australia Scholarships program is a structured program that gives cash to approved tertiary education providers in order for them to grant scholarships to local and international students studying and living in regional Australia.

The $93.7 million Destination Australia Program aims to attract and support foreign and domestic students studying in regional Australia and to provide students with a high-quality learning experience.

Applicants can view the list of providers for the Destination Australia Scholarships.

Australian Catholic University Scholarships for International Students

International Student Scholarships at Australian Catholic University are given to international students starting their undergraduate or postgraduate studies and have demonstrated great academic success in previous studies.

The scholarship covers half of your full-time tuition for the minimum length of your course (including RPL/Credit). Each year, 20 scholarships are available.

For more details, click here.

Australia Awards Scholarships

The Australia Awards Scholarships, previously known as Australian Development Scholarships (ADS), provide education opportunities.

Opportunities for citizens of developing nations, particularly those in the Indo-Pacific region, to pursue full-time undergraduate or graduate study at participating Australian universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions.

The package includes all expenses such as tuition fees, round-trip airfare, living allowance, health coverage, academic program, and English language course fees.

You must read the How to Apply page and visit the country-specific pages and the official website (link below) for detailed and updated information on applying for this scholarship.

Factors Pulling International Students to Australia

One of Australia’s largest exports is education. Australia is a popular study destination for international students.

Australia is a perfect combination of culture and technology, providing international students with a perfect study destination during school sessions and a beautiful travel destination during the holidays.

Here are some reasons why Australia has become a popular choice among international students;

Quality of Education

The Australian education system is not only dedicated to dispensing knowledge to students but also providing them with practical experiences to help them excel in their chosen careers.

Australia is home to 9 of the top 100 universities in the world. This goes to say without doubt that the quality of education is world-class.

Global Recognition

Degrees and qualifications obtained from any Australian university are recognised globally. Students who complete their studies in an Australian university are highly sought after by employers globally.

Multicultural Environment

Australia is home to people from different cultural backgrounds, creating a multicultural environment. Students get to learn about other cultures; this goes a long way in fostering love and unity.

Work Experience

International students are allowed to work and study at the same time in Australia. This provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience while schooling.

Beautiful Landscape

Australia has a beautiful landscape that attracts tourists year in and year out. International students have access to explore its beautiful landscape in their leisure time.

Outdoor Lifestyle

There are so many outdoor activities you could do in Australia. From long drives to scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, there is never a boring moment in Australia.


From the Great Barrier Reef to the beautiful infrastructure, Australia is a great choice for international studies. The country gives you access to a great study destination alongside a beautiful travel destination for vacation.

Despite all the benefits students stand to gain, there are some challenges international students face in Australia that hinder them from getting the best from their study experience.


Is Australia Hard for International Students?

The Monash University report surveyed over 60 international students in Melbourne and found they were burdened by the rising cost of living, prohibitive transport costs, and the difficulty of juggling study and work commitments.

Is Australia Friendly to International Students?

Australia is an excellent option for international students to choose as a study destination; it offers several benefits, which include world-class education, a safe and welcoming environment, and global exposure.

Is It Easy to Stay in Australia After Study?

International students who completed their studies in metropolitan cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane can stay in Australia after graduation and get two years of post-study work visa.

In regional areas like Perth, Gold Coast, Adelaide, etc., they can get three to four years post-study work visa.

Is It Wise to Study in Australia?

If you choose to study in Australia, there are many valuable skills and experiences to gain. The Australian educational system provides an education plan designed to help students excel globally. An Australian degree will make you attractive to potential employers in Australia, at home, and globally.

How Much Can a Student Earn Monthly in Australia?

Australia’s minimum wage per hour is AUD 21.38, so students can earn up to $855.20 every two weeks during the school session and more during school breaks. However, this rate may change based on the sector and the nature of the work.

What Is the Age Limit for a Student Visa in Australia?

To qualify for an Australian student visa, you need to be at least 18 years of age. There is no maximum age limit for student visas in Australia.

Can I Bring My Family to Australia on a Student Visa?

The Australian Department of Home Affairs allows most students to bring their immediate family. Immediate family members are called dependents and may include your spouse and children under 18.

Can My Child Attend School in Australia on a Student Visa?

Yes, in Western Australia, students (including children of student visa holders) on a visa subclass 500 or visa subclass 571 can apply to study at a public school from Year 1 to Year 12. The level where they will be placed is determined based on the child’s age.

Can My Spouse Work While I Study in Australia?

Yes, a student’s family member can work in Australia. If the student is enrolled in an undergraduate program, their family member can work 40 hours every two weeks under visa condition 8104. But if the student is enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program, their family member can work full-time in Australia.

Which City Is Cheapest for International Students in Australia?

Adelaide has the cheapest cost of living among Australia’s main cities. The average cost of living for international students who reside in the city’s center is A$2,100 (rent included) monthly. This is 27% less than Sydney’s average cost of living.

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