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Home > Immigration and Visa Information > Australian Immigration > Study in Australia




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Study in Australia

What You Need to Know



The Australian government operates an Overseas Student Program (OSP) that allows people who are not Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents to study in Australia. Any person who is not an Australian resident may apply to study in Australia under the OSP. Generally, a person who wants to study under the program must get a Student visa before they can begin to study their course in Australia.   


To be granted a student visa you must complete an application form, pay the application charge and satisfy the student visa requirements. You can be granted a student visa only if you intend to undertake a registered course or part of a registered course on a full-time basis.


A registered course is an education or training course offered by an Australian education provider who is registered with the Australian Government to offer courses to overseas students. The Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA) can provide details of registered courses.


Important Things to Know About Coming to Study in Australia


Cost of Living in Australia

Before lodging your application you should consider whether you will have enough money to set up house in Australia as well as pay for your air fares (including return), course tuition fees, overseas student health cover (OSHC) and all general expenses during your stay in Australia.


As a general guide, your accommodation, food, transport, clothes and expenses could cost you between AUD$8,500 to AUD$15,500 or more a year, depending on your lifestyle and where in Australia you will study.


For example, a single person renting accommodation would need at least $200 a week just to spend on general expenses and a married couple would need at least $330 a week. If accompanied by family members, you will also need enough money to cover their expenses.


You should be aware that these amounts are only an indication of everyday expenses and do not include air fares, health insurance or the cost of your course.


Working While Studying

As an overseas student in Australia, you should have enough money to support yourself and your family for the entire time that you are studying. You are not automatically given the right to work once you are in Australia. If you do need to get a job while studying, you will need to apply for and get a new student visa with permission to work attached as a condition of that visa. Students and dependents can only apply for a visa with work rights after they arrive in Australia and the student has begun studying. The application charge for a student visa with permission to work is AUD$50. Work rights cannot be given with a student visa granted outside Australia.


If a student visa with work rights is granted, you will only be allowed to work for 20 hours a week while the Australian education provider you are studying at is in session. However, you can work for longer periods during your holidays. The money you earn from working in Australia should only supplement your income and not be used as your only source of income.


Dependents of students from non-gazetted countries who are undertaking courses of less than 12 months are not allowed to work.


Overseas Student Health Insurance Cover

It is a condition of the grant of your Overseas Student Visa that you and your dependents have acceptable health insurance cover during the whole time you are in Australia. To be covered for health insurance, you will have to pay the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself and any family members travelling with you.


The OSHC provides medical and hospital insurance for overseas students and their dependants who have travelled to Australia with them. All applicants must show evidence that they have health insurance cover before a visa can be issued to them.


To arrange for the OSHC, students can pay the OSHC premium to the education provider which will then arrange to pay the health insurance cover on their behalf.


  • Student Health Cover for AusAID Students
    If you are a student sponsored by AusAID, you will not need to pay the OSHC yourself. You will, however, need to provide proof that AusAID supports your application.

  • Student Health Cover for Students from Norway and Sweden
    Students applying from Norway and most Swedes do not need to obtain OSHC because the Department of Health and Aged Care has advised that these countries have a national health scheme or other arrangements that provide acceptable health insurance for them while they are overseas. For the OSHC requirement to be waived, Norwegian students should have documentation proving that they are covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. Swedish students should have proof that they have insurance provided by CSN International (the Swedish National Board of Student Aid).  OSHC is available to Norwegian and Swedish nationals if they require it.

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