Australia is currently the third most popular country for international students in the English speaking world. Innovation, cutting-edge technology, quality, diversity, and excellence are some of the words that define Australian universities.
But if you are an international student, you know how expensive they might be, especially because fees for international students are way higher than for domestic students. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to dramatically reduce your expenses when studying at an Australian university.
The scholarship offer in Australia is wide. Universities offer many scholarships every year. They are usually offered by the departments of each course or degree. Also, they have different discounts. For example, there are universities that give a tuition discount of 25% if you have a family member that also studies there.
Universities are not the only ones that offer scholarships. The government has different programs for both undergraduate and graduate students that want to study in Australia. These cover tuition, plane tickets, living expenses, and much more.
Besides scholarships, student visas in Australia are more flexible than in other countries. Students and their family members are allowed to work. This way they can make some extra money to cover university and personal costs.
Let’s jump into the details of your options in Australia as an international student.
How to Study for Free in Australia
There are many options to study for free in Australia. One option is getting scholarships, which will be discussed in detail. The other option is working a part-time job or even remotely. Australia offers that option for students!
What are the requirements to apply for an Australian scholarship?
The requirements to apply for a scholarship vary depending on the university or the program you wish to be a part of.
Most scholarships are based on academic merit, so you must provide detailed information about your previous education, your grades, and any other relevant activities you did in high school or in college, if you are a graduate student.
English language requirements are also mandatory. Most universities and government scholarships will exempt you from this if you can prove that your previous education was taught in English. English language proficiency tests are also accepted. However, if you are applying for a government scholarship, you will have to meet the scores required by both the university and the government, even if they are different.
As these scholarships are only for international students, and in some cases they are only for citizens of specific countries, you’ll have to prove your citizenship. Your passport might be enough, but in some cases, you’ll also be asked to submit a birth certificate.
You’ll have to apply for a student visa (and cover its expenses) on your own, and specify if any family member will travel with you to Australia. This is because scholarships only cover the expenses of the students and are not in charge of any companions.
This option is the most preferred and recommended way of studying in Australia for free.
And how do I apply for an Australian university scholarship?
The application process also varies depending on the scholarship you choose. In some universities, your enrollment application and your scholarship application are the same. In certain occasions, you don’t have to do anything because the scholarship will only be offered to you if you meet the requirements, like having a specific GPA.
In general, you must start by doing enough research and carefully reading the guidelines on the website of each program. This way you’ll know which documents need to be submitted, which must be certified, and if the application process is online. Make sure to also dedicate enough time to your essay as it may be crucial to increase your possibilities!
In the case of the government scholarships, you must choose which university you want to study in and the course you’d like to pursue. Sometimes they don’t require an acceptance letter because they are partnered with universities, but you have to start studying the semester for which the scholarship is offered, so everything must be clear.
Once the first selection is done, interviews may be done to ensure the wise selection of future students, so be prepared for that.
Don’t be afraid of asking if you aren’t sure about something, and apply to as many scholarships as you can to increase your chances of getting one!
The Best Australian University Scholarships
Australia Awards Scholarships
The Australia Awards Scholarships are given by the Australian government. They are administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. These scholarships are given to international students that come from specific developing countries in the Pacific, Asia, Africa and The Middle East. This is a great way for you to study for free in Australia!
They are one of the best ones as they are fully funded, covering the full tuition fee, an establishment allowance, living expenses, health insurance, an introductory academic program, and the outbound and return flight. Check their website to see if you are eligible by checking the country list and carefully reading the handbook (it’s over 100 pages, so pay attention!).
The Destination Australia Scholarship
Destination Australia is another program administered by the Australian government. It provides up to $15,000 per year for the university expenses of the student. It doesn’t have a country limitation, but it is only for studying in universities located in regional Australia, according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard Remoteness Structure. Go to their website to learn more details about the application process.
Australian National University (ANU) Scholarships
Positioning itself as the best university in Australia, the Australian National University (ANU) has a lot of scholarship options. Scholarships are offered depending on the course and the type of degree you are pursuing.
ANU’s website has a search engine where you have to select the course, the study level, and the selection criteria. Once you’ve done it, it displays a list of all the scholarships available, their value, the number offered, their selection bases, and a link to get more information. Only in the undergraduate category, there are more than 50 different options. Take a look at its Scholarships Page to learn which ones are available.
Alternatives to Scholarships: Having a part-time job while studying
As we mentioned above, besides having a scholarship, you can also get a part-time job while studying. If you have a student visa in Australia, you can work up to 20 hours per week. However, you can only start working when your course already started. During holidays, there’s no hour limitation. These rules also apply to family members.
In the case of postgraduate research students, the limitations vary. They can work up to 20 hours per week while doing any preliminary course, but if they already started their masters or doctoral degree studies, there are is no hour limitation. Learn more by visiting the page of Working Conditions for Student Visa Holders of the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
I hope that this article on how to study in Australia for free was helpful. If you’d like to learn more about studying in Australia, don’t forget to explore the Australia Scholarships Page!