Australia has been one of the top destinations for higher education for Nepalese students in past few years. Ever since it adopted a more liberal, streamlined visa policy, the number of Nepalese student is only increasing. Every year 300,000 students from over 100 countries goes to Australia for pursuing their higher studies among which 10,000-15,000 students are Nepalese students. Australia is the sixth largest country in the world in terms of land area and is approximately 50 times larger than Nepal. However, the last census of Australia in 2011 shows only 21 million of population and according to the estimation of Wikipedia, it should have reached 24 million by 2017 much less than that of Nepal. So, Australia is very less densely populated compared to Nepal. Australia has six states and two territories; Western Australia is the largest state among the six states. Canberra is the capital city of Australia but other cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth etc. are equally popular. According to a list published by World Bank, Australia has the seventh highest per capita income in the world and is also ranked high in other aspects like health, economy, life expectancy, civil rights and many others.
List of Documents Required
Processing for further studies in Australia is a very hectic process and that is one of the reasons why consultancies charge you with such high money. The documents required for admission in different universities varies according to the university and the level in which you are applying and can be easily obtained from the official website of that University. The list of basic documents required and their brief description and approximate costs are discussed below:
This is the most basic document you should acquire before applying to visit to any other countries. Department of passports, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal provides you with a machine readable passport (MRP). It is a machine readable travel document with the data on the identity page encoded in optical character recognition format. You can fill up an online form from here: http://online.nepalpassport.gov.np/PreEnrollment/home.html
Then after filling up the form, you should print whole form along with the reference number and then they will provide you a date in which you should submit the application. If you are unable to submit the application in the given date, your form will be automatically cancelled. Trust me; it is better to submit the online form because the same printed version form registration might cost you up to NRs. 150 in government office which is being shared from my personal experience. If you want the passport within 1 day, then you will be charged NRs. 15000, you must submit your form and money to Department of Passports in Kathmandu. If you are in no rush and can wait up to 1 month and live in your home district, you must submit your form and NRs. 5000 to your district offices and you will receive your MRP after one month.
2. IELTS Test Score
IELTS is English Language Proficiency test for study, migration or work. The test score of this IELTS test determines your eligibility for the admission in the university. The test score uses nine band scale to identify your proficiency level in English Language with 1 indicating that you are a non-user of English Language and 9 indicating that you are an expert in English Language. There are two types of IELTS exams i.e. Academic and General Training. You are supposed to be taking Academic IELTS exam for your higher studies unless you are trying to migrate or taking some sort of training courses then you should move forward with General Training. There are 4 sections in both these exams which include Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking to evaluate you. Reading paper consists of three different passages and contains 40 questions. The time allocated for this section is 1 hour. Based upon passage, you will be asked multiple choice questions, identifying information type questions, matching information, headings, features, sentence completion type questions. Listening paper contains four different parts and contains 40 questions. The questions asked in listening paper are similar types to that of reading paper. Only half an hour is allocated for this paper. The writing paper is allocated 1 hours. There will be two different writing tasks, one will ask you to write a response to given situation in approximately 150 words within 20 minutes. The other writing task will be to write a discursive essay in approximately 250 words. The second writing task will worth two times marks than the first task. For further information about each section, you can visit this website http://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/test-format. The duration of your test will be 2 hours and 45 minutes. The speaking section exam will be few days after or before your other section exams. You can join preparation classes or you can study from home to prepare for these IELTS exam. The preparation classes will charge you from NRs.5000-10000 depending upon your level of bargaining. If you have good command in your English, you can prepare for the exam from your home if you have good internet connection. IELTS Liz is one of the best website to prepare for your exam from online. It contains all the information about the exam, the scoring system, online videos, discussion groups and many more. After preparing for the exam, it’s time to register for the exam. Just go to this link: http://ielts.britishcouncil.org/nepal. Then, find a suitable test date for you and then fill out the form and submit it after which you need to print out the summary of your form. After that, you need to deposit a sum of NRs. 16,950 in the account of British Council from the Standard Chartered Bank counter located in the British Council. Then, you should submit the deposit slip, printed summary and the photocopy of your MRP passport.
3. College Transcripts, Character certificates
Transcripts are the official document of individual evaluation of all the courses you have taken to complete your degree. They contain the list of courses you have taken to complete your study and numbers/ grades in individual subjects. If you are applying for undergraduate studies you can receive your previous study transcript from HSEB or CTEVTs and if you are applying for graduate studies you can receive your transcript from office of exam controller of your university. This transcript might cost you from NRs. 1000-2000.
Character certificates are the official document provided by your college/ university which describes your moral character/ behavior in the college during your study tenure.
The character certificate might cost you from NRs. 1000-2000.
Apart from these two documents, the university might ask for true copies of your individual semester score sheet. (This is only applicable while applying for graduate studies). Some other documents like migration certificate, provisional certificate might also be needed. They also cost in the range of previous mentioned certificates. So, you are still liable to college/ university for your documents even after paying all your college/ university fees.
4. Statement of Purpose
Statement of Purpose is a personal essay written by you stating the reason why you are choosing the particular subject course. It is one of the most important document reviewed by the University for your Admission. You can surf over the internet on how to write a statement of purpose and prepare a good one for yourself. It is not an easy task to write a good statement of purpose, but if you provide a good amount of time and dedication, it will be a much simpler task. A well written statement of purpose will further strengthen your application for the enrollment.
5. Recommendation Letter
Recommendation letter is a letter provided by professors, lecturers of your university describing your behavior and enthusiasm in your study. This is generally required only for graduate studies. You might require 2-3 recommendation letters. And it’s better to get it written from a teacher with higher positions in the university who knows you well (It’s better to choose your final year project supervisor if he is a senior staff in the department since he knows well due to interaction during project work.)
After gathering these documents, you need to send these documents to the university admission section either by scanning, or through air flight or directly from the exam boards depending upon the requirements of the University. If you meet all the criteria, the university admission section will send you an offer letter/ acceptance letter/confirmation letter to indicate that you have been approved to study in the university. These letter will include all the information about total course fee, course starting date and total course duration. After receiving the offer letter, you need to pay the deposit fee through bank transfer or wire it to the university bank account through telegraphic transfer and then submit your student acceptance form. These deposits should be made before the start of each semester. After this, you will need to apply for the student visa (subclass 500 in the case of Nepal). The visa processing will take 1 month time to be completed. Now, you can book an air plane ticket from the airlines office and then reach your university few days before the start of your study.
Selection of Universities
It was few centuries back when Australia was originally used as the settlement land for the overcrowded prisons of United Kingdom but now it is considered one of the best countries for education across the globe. Australian Universities have good reputation for wide range of academic courses and quality education. There are altogether 41 universities in Australia among which 39 are public and only 2 are private. I have listed top 5 universities in Australia based upon Times Higher Education Rankings:
I. University of Melbourne (Overall World Ranking: 33)
The second oldest university of Australia which was established in 1853 is located in Victoria. You can read more about the courses offered by the university in here: http://about.unimelb.edu.au/governance-and-leadership/faculties
II. Australian National University (Overall World Ranking: 47)
Established in 1946, it is a research intensive university located in Canberra. You can visit the website of University from here: http://www.anu.edu.au/ about the academic areas of the university.
III. University of Sydney (Overall World Ranking: 60)
University of Sydney is the oldest university in Australia, established in the year of 1850. It is located in Sydney. You can visit the website of University from here: http://sydney.edu.au/.
IV. University of Queensland (Overall World Ranking: 60)
It is the leading Australian university for business and life sciences. It is located in Brisbane, capital of Queensland. You can visit the website of University from here: http://www.uq.edu.au/ .
V. Monash University (Overall World Ranking: 74)
It is a research based university located in Melbourne city. You can visit the website of University from here: http://www.monash.edu/.
There are a lot of people out there among us who joins universities without doing any kind of pre-research about the universities we are going to be admitted and ending up in miserable state. Don’t believe in every words of your consultancy and always take the help of internet before selecting universities. There are several factors which you should consider before selecting universities like courses provided by university matching your educational interest and qualification, total tuition fees, transportation availability, accommodation costs etc. Just because the university is in Australia doesn’t ensure a good university, you should take in account all the factors and take your decision carefully instead of rushing into it.
The tuition fees of the college depends upon the subject you will be studying and the level of your study and the obviously on the university. According to government website of Australia, the average tuition fees for different levels of study in Australia is given below:
S.N. Level of study Average tuition fees
1 Vocational Education and Training AUS $4000 to AUS $22000
2 Bachelors Degree AUS $15000 to AUS $33000
3 Masters Degree AUS $20000 to AUS $37000
4 Doctoral Degree AUS $14000 to AUS $37000
This does not include high priced courses of medical sciences and veterinary sciences. You can read more about the average tuition fees here: http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/global/australian-education/education-costs/education-costs-in-australia
The tuition fees of individual universities can be obtained from their website.
The Australian government has fixed the amount of AUS $ 18,610 per year as living costs for international students. This figure takes into account food, accommodation, electricity, gas, phone, internet etc. and only considers for the time during which you will be studying.
S.N. Description Cost (per year)
1. Food and Groceries AUS$2500 – AUS$8000
2. Accommodation AUS$3000 – AUS$ 16000
3. Electricity AUS$2500- AUS$4000
4. Public transport AUS$400- AUS$2000
5. Phone and Internet AUS$800- AUS$2000
6. Entertainment AUS$2000- AUS$4000
Total AUS$11200- AUS$36000
The Australian government asks the same amount which was discussed earlier (i.e. AUS $ 18,610) as the insurance premium to students and bank balance of around NRs. 35 lakhs is required to convince them that you can bear the high costs.
If you are very good in your academic studies but your financial background is not very strong, then Australian universities are not a good option for you. You should try applying for American Universities or European Universities. There are various scholarships and grants program which can support your studies offered by Australian/ state government, universities and institutes but there are very rare instances of Nepalese students receiving such scholarships. There might be few other options of financing by working as teaching assistant, research assistance or graduate assistant in the university. You need to be exceptionally brilliant for these scholarships and grants and you should be already admitted to Australian universities to receive those. So, if consultancies are pursuing you that you can sustain in Australia through the scholarship, they are just making you fool.
Challenges Lying ahead in Australia
So, if we consider all the charges from getting required documents, to sending those documents for admission, visa charges, air fare and admission costs and the first year tuition fees, it will take approximately NRs. 20-25 lakhs again depending upon the university. After going to Australia, you can work up to 20 hours a week with a minimum wage of around AUS $16 per hour. Provided that you will get a job with good pay rate, you can easily overcome your living cost. But what about the tuition fees for next year?? If you work hard during 3 months’ vacation, you will somehow manage to earn the money required for your tuition fees. Sometimes the money will not be sufficient at that case they should seek it from their parents. After completing your study, you will get a decent job which will help you to clear your loans (which might have been taken during the initial process). However, some students do jobs during illegal hours (apart from allocated 20 hours per week) which makes it easier to sustain financially but it is not recommended because the pay rates are very low during these hours and your hard labor is being harassed by your employer as they take advantage of your condition. Apart from the financial challenges, you should be prepared for other emotional and social challenges as well. If you have never been off for home for more than few days, then you are likely to suffer from the home sickness. You need to prepare yourself mentally very strong. Similarly, there has been few instances of attack on Indian students few years back. Even though, the matter is settled now and the government has taken necessary steps to make students feel secured in the university and in the country. It is always good to know about the background of your neighbors and roommates.
After completing your graduation, there are 4 options available for you. One is to return to your home nation and implement your knowledge in your country which seems very impossible to achieve in case of Nepal. The other option is to start your further studies. If you have completed your bachelors, get enrolled for masters’ course and if you have completed your masters’ degrees, apply for your doctorate degree. The last option and the most attractive one is to extend your stay by applying for a temporary visa and then apply for permanent residency. This is one of the main reasons why many of the Nepalese students crave to study in Australia. If you get enough points required for your permanent residency, then you can apply for it and then if you have completed your stay in Australia for 4 years and have lived in Australia as permanent resident for at least 1 year, then you can apply for the citizenship of Australia.
This article provides the overall preview of all the knowledge you need to obtain before studying in Australia. However, these information are not sufficient enough and you should always do 1-2 hours of research in internet before taking any step further while processing for your studies.