AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION NEWS
Studying in Australia opens doorway to immigration
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
"Internationalisation" is the buzzword amidst academic institutions in the United States, and more and more US colleges and universities are sending their students abroad for international study opportunities. US students get academic credit when studying abroad, and the number of students who've been credited by this system, has gone up by 150% over the past decade.
Much of the growth in US students studying abroad is coming from short-term programs, such as a January term, or less than eight weeks, in which they may get a taste of a foreign culture but less of a true immersion experience. However, they often return for another program.
In China, the number of students going abroad for studies is estimated to reach 200,000 this year. "The grim job situation at home, a strong and rising Yuan and a favourable visa and scholarship environment will together prompt more students to study abroad," China Education International Cooperation Group General Manager, Li Guanjun, said.
Li said that it's been noted that such students has been on the rise in recent years, with about 150,000 travelling overseas last year to study abroad. As a hot destination for Chinese students with immigration as one of the main driving forces, Australia has started an Australian scholarship program to strengthen education ties in Asia Pacific. As a result, the number of scholarships for students from the region doubled last year.
Australia has climbed to a number two position, coming right after the United Kingdom, in the number of Indian students that it plays host to yearly. This is evident from the fact that Western Australian institutes have doubled the intake of Indian students in this academic year compared to the previous year.
Executive director and general manager of Tourism New South Wales, John O'Niell, said that the Indian community in Sydney was one of the fastest growing and most successful communities in the world. He stated that the pockets of Indian residents in the state have made many consider it as an attractive destination for further studying and immigration.
Perth Education City, a peak body supported by the Western Australia State Government, organises annual road shows in India, where interested Indian students can interact with representatives from Western Australian universities. The next road show will be held from February 8-13 in Baroda, Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai and other cities.
"We had 41,000 international students coming to Perth last year, looking for courses in business, IT, engineering and nanotechnology, out of which Indians were a sizeable number," said South Asia regional marketing manager of Perth Education City, Jamal Qureshi. "The federal government has been providing scholarships too."
In Sydney alone, there's been an almost 45% growth in the number of foreign students filtering into the picturesque city for undergraduate and post-graduate education.
Of all the countries overseas students can choose from to study abroad, Australia has emerged as one of the most promising, especially since it opens a pathway to immigration. The reasons, experts have noted, are the flexibility of course content and cordial student-teacher relations. It's also much cheaper to study in Australia when comparing it to other first-world countries, especially since course fees and the cost of living can also be well balanced, as students are allowed to work 20 hours a week.
Two big drawcards for many students are that they get a chance to sample a way of life different from their own over a span of three to four years, and that they can work while they're studying.
Some Australian student visas allow a student to work for up to 20 hours a week part-time during term periods, and full-time in the vacation periods. This helps many students finance their lifestyle while living and studying in "The Lucky Country".
Australian universities are also popular with foreign graduate level students who are interested in immigration to Australia, as they may be entitled to apply for an Australian Permanent Residence Visa while completing their degrees.Another fact that also encourages many overseas students to study abroad in the world's friendliest country, is that they can qualify for an 18-month temporary visa after they've obtained an Australian qualification in Australia as a result of at least two years' study.
This little perk is especially attractive to those who were interested in immigration to Australia, but were unable to pass the points test. With the temporary visa, they can use those 18 months to remain in Australia to build up work experience and, if needed, improve on their English, which, in turn, will score them some valuable points that could qualify them for either a Permanent Residence or Provisional General Skilled Migration Visa.
If you fancy yourself a bit of an explorer and would like to study in Australia, find out if you qualify, by filling in our free visa eligibility assessment. An adventure in a brand new country could be closer than you think!
Rochelle van der Merwe | Migration Expert Australia