Australia is known globally as being one of the world’s most diverse and welcoming countries. In fact, of Australia’s 23 million population, almost half (47%) of all Australians were either born overseas or have one parent born overseas. more than 260 languages spoken in Australian homes: in addition to English, the most common are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese and Greek.
Australia is the biggest island in the world, the sixth-biggest country in the world in land area, and the only nation to govern an entire continent. there are more than 500 national parks and more than 2,700 conservation areas, ranging from wildlife sanctuaries to Aboriginal reserves. There are also seventeen UNESCO World Heritage sites – more than any other country – including the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, Lord Howe Island Group, Tasmanian Wilderness, Fraser Island and the Sydney Opera House.
Australia also have world-class infrastructure, with five of the top 40 cities with the best infrastructure in the world. It also have a reputation for building ‘big’ things – over 150 in fact from the Big Banana in New South Wales, to the Big Koala in Victoria, the Big Mango in Queensland, and the Big Ram in Western Australia.
Australia has the third highest number of international students in the world behind only the United Kingdom and the United States. By studying in Australia, you will receive a qualification that’s recognized and sought after around the world. The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) allows students to easily move through the education system here and provides an easy way for countries around the world to recognize your qualification. The Australian education system has produced scientists, designers, educators, entrepreneurs, artists and humanitarians who have changed the world, winning awards from Oscars to Nobel prizes. Their global achievements include the “black box” now on every airplane, the Earth hour initiative, and the invention of Wi-Fi.
Australia offers a diverse range of study options for international students, with more than 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses to choose from. You can study at all levels of education from primary and secondary school, to vocational education and training (VET), from English language courses to higher education (including universities). And regardless of what you are studying or how long you are studying for, Australia’s laws promote quality education and protection for international students. This includes the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (National Code). These provide nationally consistent standards for providers of education and training for international students.
As an international student on a student visa, you must study with an institution and in a course that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS registration guarantees that the course and the institution at which you study meet the high standards expected by international students. Along with the ESOS Act and National Code, there are also regulatory and quality assurance organizations for higher education and VET institutions. These government organizations are responsible for registration/re-registration of institutions and accreditation/re-accreditation of courses. These organizations are:
– Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)
VET – Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
Australia is recently ranked as the fourth happiest country in the world behind only Norway, Denmark and Sweden (Prosperity Index 2012). Living in Australia will be a new experience, but there are support services in institution as well as from other organizations to help make adjusting to life in Australia easier. No matter what type of study you are doing in Australia, whether you are here for a few months or a few years, some research and planning will help you have a safe and rewarding study experience.