So why are so many Nepalese students choosing Australia? At the top of the list is the quality of education. Australia has seven of the world’s top 100 universities (according to the 2017 best Global Universities Rankings)1. Perhaps equally important, it’s also home to six of the top 50 student cities in the world2. And whereas studying overseas is always likely to be an expensive experience, with most Australian student visas it’s possible to work up to 40 hours a fortnight while studying.
Sorting out a student visa
In order to be able to study in Australia, you’ll need to have the correct visa. Before applying, it’s important you understand all the conditions of your visa, including health insurance requirements (mandatory for student visas) and if you’ll be able to work (working is allowed for most student visas, but there are conditions).
You can get detailed information about Australian student visas on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website.
Make sure you take the cost of living into account
Course fees and tuition costs aren’t the only expenses you’ll need to factor in while you’re studying. One of the main requirements you’ll need to demonstrate in order to get a student visa is evidence of being able to financially support yourself while you’re studying in Australia (as well as any dependents). You can find out about the current financial requirements on the Department of Home Affairs website.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
If you’re studying in Australia on a student visa you’ll be required to have arranged your health insurance for the full duration of your studies before you arrive in Australia. You’ll also need to choose a health insurance provider that’s been approved by the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. Depending on what educational provider you’ll be studying at, you may be able to arrange it with them using their approved provider.
Find out more about health insurance for students
What about accommodation while you’re studying?
Studying in Australia means you have a variety of different accommodation options to choose from that suit a range of budgets and lifestyles. Although your options may vary depending on where you’re studying, these can include accommodation on campus, homestays and shared accommodation. It’s worthwhile reaching out to your university or educational provider as they may be able to help you with arranging accommodation – take a look at their website or contact them directly.
Working while studying
Depending on your student visa, you may be able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time and for unlimited hours during course breaks. That means not only can you earn money to help pay for expenses, it can also be an ideal way to build up contacts and make new friends.
Find out more about student visa working conditions
Connecting with the Nepalese community
Although it’s exciting to experience a new country and culture - or many cultures given the multicultural make up of Australia - it can also be comforting to make contact with people from your home country that live here too. A good place to start is the Nepalese Australian Association – it’s been connecting members of the Nepalese community in Australia since 1976.
If your university or educational provider has an international students office, it’s worthwhile reaching out to them as well for local Nepalese contacts or even with other Nepalese students at the institution.
Opening an Australian bank account
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 – in fact with some banks you can open up an Australian bank account up to 12 months before you arrive (although you will need to show your ID in branch once you arrive in Australia).
With Westpac (Australia’s oldest bank), you can open up a student bank account online in less than 10 minutes and transfer money straight away into your new account, and attend one of our local branches as you’ll need to verify your ID before you start using your new account.
Find out more about opening an account with Westpac