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Studying in Australia – what you need to know

Australians are friendly people who recognise the contribution international students make to their country

Millions of people from around the world come to Australia to study, so maybe you should consider joining the ranks of the quarter of a million international students currently living Down Under?

In recent decades, Australia has put a lot of effort into attracting and welcoming overseas students. Nowadays, international students make up around one in five tertiary students in Australia.

Getting a student visa

You can apply for a student visa as soon as you receive a letter of offer or electronic Confirmation of Enrolment for your course of study. Student visas are issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship and only granted if your course is registered with the Department and you're studying full-time. Once you have a student visa, you have access to Australia's subsidised student health cover and can legally work in Australia.

If you're taking a course that lasts less than four months, you can get by with a visitor or working holiday visa.

Health care

International students studying in Australia are required to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover. This can be purchased from a number of different private health insurance companies in Australia and will help you pay for any medical or hospital care you may need while you're in Australia. It will also subsidise the cost of any prescription medicines you require and the fee if you have to use an ambulance. It does not cover dental, optical or physiotherapy.

Work and tax

With a student visa, you're allowed to work part-time in Australia and are entitled to the same pay and conditions as residents. You'll need to obtain a Tax File Number from the Australian Tax Office before starting work. Tax may be deducted from your wages, but you should be able to get some of it back by filing a tax return at the end of the financial year (that is, after 30 June).

Australians are friendly people who recognise the contribution international students make to their country. So if you're interested in studying at TAFE NSW, now is the time to get started.

Learn more about studying in Australia.