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Moving from China to Australia to study

Australia has long been a popular study destination for Chinese students. Between June 2016- June 2017 alone, over 150,000 student visas were issued to Chinese nationals – by far the largest representation of international students (followed by India with 64,000)*.

It’s not surprising why Australia is considered as a premium study destination by so many international students – both from China and around the world. Australia has seven of the world’s top 100 universities (according to the 2018 Best Global Universities Rankings)1. And not only does it rank highly academically, it also has some of the best student cities in the world (six in the top 50, in fact)2.

If you’re considering Australia as the ideal destination to continue your studies, here are some things to consider.

Connecting with the Chinese community in Australia

Aside from studying, thousands of Chinese nationals have chosen to make Australia home – in fact after English, Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in Australia3. Getting in touch with your local Australia China Friendship Society is a good place to start if you want to get in touch with other local Chinese in Australia; depending on where you study your educational provider may have a Chinese student organisation as well.

Student visas

If you’re planning on studying in Australia, you’ll need to apply for a student visa. It’s important you understand all the conditions attached to your class of visa, such as if you’re able to work while studying and what health insurance cover you’ll need. You can find information about student visas in Australia at the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.

Factor in the cost of living

Aside from course fees and tuition costs, it’s important to factor in the cost of living while studying in Australia. One of the key requirements of gaining a student visa is being able to show evidence that you’ll be able to financially support yourself (and any dependents) while you’re studying. You can find details of the current financial requirements on the Home Affairs website.

Working while studying

Here’s some good news. Depending on your student visa, you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time as well as unlimited hours during course breaks. This not only gives you the chance to cover some of your living costs, it can be a great way to make new friends and build contacts as well.


Find out more about student visa work conditions.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

As a condition of your student visa, you’ll need to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) arranged before you arrive in Australia. OSHC provides medical and hospital cover in Australia and can either be arranged through your education provider or you can choose an approved OSHC provider yourself. Your OSHC overage needs to be for the duration of your study visa.


Find out more about health insurance for students.

Student accommodation

Depending on where you study, you’ll likely have a range of different accommodation options to suit both your budget and lifestyle, including on campus accommodation, homestays and shared accommodation. Your university or educational institution may be able to help you with arranging accommodation – it’s worthwhile looking at their website or contacting them directly.

Arranging your banking in Australia

One of the things you’ll need to do is sort out your banking in Australia. The good news is this is likely to be a lot easier than you’d think. Once you arrive in Australia, you can open up an everyday bank account online with Westpac and transfer money straight away into your new account.

You’ll then need to verify your ID in one of our local branches before you start using your new account.

  • As Australia’s first bank, Westpac has been helping customers bank securely for over 200 years
  • With Westpac you’ll pay no withdrawal fee at any major bank ATM in Australia (including Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, NAB, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA) and at over 50,000 ATMs globally via the Global ATM Alliance and partner ATMs (other fees may apply) 4
  • Westpac has Chinese and Cantonese speaking bankers who can help you with setting up banking in Australia.


Know more about Westpac

Want to know more about moving to Australia from China to study?

The Australian government has a dedicated website for Chinese students wanting to study in Australia. For more information, take a look at

Things you should know






4.     Global ATM: A 3% Foreign Transaction Fee applies to overseas debit or credit card withdrawals. A 2% cash advance fee applies to credit card withdrawals where the "Credit" option is selected. A list of Global Alliance members is available. It is important to know that the functionality to withdraw money from a linked Westpac account via Credit Card is not available when using overseas ATMs, including Global Alliance ATMs. To ensure access to Savings and or Cheque account funds when overseas please speak to us about obtaining a Debit Mastercard®.


This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general in nature. It is intended as an overview only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.