Australia has, in recent years, become one of the preferred destinations of Indian students for pursuing higher studies, and even more so for gaining vocational skills. Given the growing number of Indian students coming to Australia to study, a set of guidelines has been drawn up with the purpose of making Indian students (and their parents and families) aware of what is involved in coming to Australia on a student visa.
Students (and their parents and families) are advised to go carefully through this VISAINFO advisory.
BEFORE ARRIVING IN AUSTRALIA
- Students wishing to study in Australia are advised to be fully informed of all the actual costs involved in studying in Australia, as also of the relevant rules and regulations governing work, housing and other aspects of living in Australia.
- Before committing yourself to studying in Australia, do your research. VISAINFO is happy to assist you in your research.
- Find the course which is right for you and make sure that the institution offering the course has a good reputation, especially if it is a privately-run institution. You can do this by:
- Checking that the institution and the course that you plan to take, is properly registered with the Australian government, which you can do at http://cricos.deewr.gov.au
- Carefully reading the website of the institution, which should provide all the information you need to make an informed decision, such as a description of the course offered, the environment, the teaching methods, facilities, minimum English language proficiency, etc.
- Checking with friends or others whom you may know who are studying or have studied in Australia.
- Do not believe anyone especially with regard to promises that you will be able to earn enough in Australia while still a student to meet all your expenses and also send money back to India – this simply is not true.
- Students are allowed to work only 20 hours a week or 40 hours per fortnight and most jobs that are available for students pay only minimum wages or sometimes even less than the minimum. Getting a job in Australia can take time.
- Make sure you cross-check what an agent tells you with the website of the concerned institution.
- Please also write down all the promises made by the agent and get the agent to sign the list; this would be required in case of any dispute, and is a confirmation that the agent is not taking you for a ride but is willing to stand by what the agent is offering. VISAINFO is happy to do so.
- Make sure that you have adequate finances to cover the cost of living as well as your education costs. It is estimated that you would need a minimum of AUD$1500 a month to cover basic living costs on accommodation, transport, and food. Remember that no matter what anyone tells you, it is very difficult to earn enough to meet all your expenses including tuition fees.
- The minimum wage can vary from AUD$ 18.00 to AUD$ 24.00 per hour; unscrupulous employers are known to pay much less, especially to students. We are aware of cases where students work for as little as AUD$ 10.00 per hour.
- Also, make sure that you have a written agreement from the institution before paying any fees; this will be essential if there is any dispute.
- The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and its associated legislative instruments, available at the following link, http://aei.gov.au/AEI/ESOS/QuickInfo/ESOS_FrameWork_pdf.pdf provides the Australian regulatory framework that governs the delivery of education and training services to foreign students in Australia.
- The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (The National Code) http://aei.gov.au/AEI/ESOS/NationalCodeOfPractice2007/National_Code_2007_pdf.pdf provides standards for education providers as well as state and territory regulatory authorities in Australia.
- Students are advised to visit the above websites to familiarise themselves with important information about their rights in Australia as a student and all the relevant rules and regulations that apply to you;
- The standards prescribed for registered providers (university/college etc.) and education agents, so that you can check with the university/college as well as the education agents about the compliance of these standards and requirements, including student support services, including critical incident policy and complaints and appeals processes; and
- The relevant immigration rules and regulations that will govern your life as a student in Australia and those rules that will apply to you if you choose to stay on in this country after finishing your studies.
- Before proceeding to Australia, you should make sure that you have adequate medical insurance covering both medical purposes and accidents, from a reputed insurance company. Further, after arrival and stay in Australia, you should ensure that your insurance is renewed on a regular basis.
- You may also consider insuring any valuables or expensive electronic items that you may possess.
- Please remember that all luggage is x-rayed or screened on arrival. You must declare all food, plant material and animal products for quarantine inspection. If you fail to declare or dispose of any quarantine items or make false declarations, you will be caught.
- You could be fined AUD$ 220 on-the-spot; or you could be prosecuted and fined more than AUD $ 60,000 and risk 10 years in jail. You will not be penalised if goods are declared. For more details about the list of goods that need to be declared and which ones are prohibited from entry into Australia, visit aqis.gov.au
Visa conditions that will apply to you and what do they mean.
There are some mandatory visa conditions that will be applied to you visa. You must understand that the visa is like an agreement between you and the Australian Department of Immigration and Border protection subject to you complying with the visa conditions.
You must understand that If you breach even one of the conditions at any time then you visa will be cancelled. Given the pain one has to go through to apply for a visa please follow and abide by the conditions.
Condition on Number
Who this applies to
|8105||All student||You cannot work more than 40 hours per fortnight when my course is in session. A fortnight means any period of 14 days commencing on a Monday and ending at the end of the second following Sunday. You can work for more than 40 hours per fortnight during recognized vacation periods offered by your education provider. You cannot start paid work until you have started my course in Australia. No work limits apply only if you are studying a Masters by research or Doctorate course in Australia.|
|8202||All student||You must remain enrolled in a registered course you also must understand that a registered course is one that is on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
You must maintain enrolment in a registered course that is the same level as, or at a higher level than, the registered course for which you were granted a visa.
You must maintain satisfactory attendance in your course and satisfactory course progress for each study period as required by your education provider.
|8501||All student||You must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance during your stay in Australia. You must maintain a valid Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) throughout your stay as a student in Australia.|
|8516||All student||You must continue to satisfy the requirements for grant of your student visa. This means, for example, that you must continue to have sufficient financial capacity to support your study and stay in Australia.|
|8517||All student||You must maintain adequate schooling arrangements for your school-age dependents who joined you in Australia for more than 3 months as part of my student visa application.|
|8532||All student||If you are younger than 18 years of age, you must have accommodation and support, and your general welfare must be maintained for the duration of your stay in Australia.
o maintain your welfare, you must stay in Australia with:
Your parent or legal custodian or
a relative who has been nominated by your parents or custodians who is aged over 21 and is of good character or
have accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements in place that have been approved by your education provider.
You must not change your arrangements without the written approval of your education provider. If your welfare arrangements are approved by your education provider you must not travel to Australia until your welfare arrangements start.
|8533||All student||You must tell your education provider:
the address where you live in Australia within seven days of arriving in Australia
if you change the address where you live within seven days of the change
if you change education provider within seven days of receiving the electronic confirmation of enrolment certificate or evidence of enrolment.
Who this might apply to
|8303||Any student||You must not be involved in activities that are disruptive to, or in violence threaten harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.|
|8534||Any student||While you remain in Australia, you are not entitled to be granted a further substantive visa, other than:
a protection visa
a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
a Student Guardian visa (subclass 590).
AFTER YOU ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA – SETTLING DOWN
- On arrival, you should convey by means of an e-mail or a letter, to the High Commission, your contact details, including name and address, the name of the university/ educational institution you are studying in, details of the course you are joining, and the duration of your intended stay in Australia.
- After completing enrolment formalities, familiarise yourself with the student services offered by the institution that you have joined, such as counselling services, help in finding suitable accommodation and jobs, assistance in improving your English etc.
- Check out the various banks and see what they offer before opening an account. Please do not keep large amounts of cash at home or on your person.
- Check out different plans before buying a mobile phone. Remember to use phone cards for international calls.
- Whatever accommodation you choose, remember it is your responsibility to maintain it and keep it clean. If you are sharing accommodation, discuss how domestic chores would be shared before committing yourself.
- Also, familiarise yourself with the educational aids available to you, especially the library and online resources, keeping in mind your course structure and the evaluation methods that apply to you.
- You have many rights as a student in Australia. Learn about your rights as a student and the procedures that you should follow to exercise these rights.
- You should obtain, from the university authorities, details about the security situation in and around your university and place of stay. You should also get to know the local policing arrangements through the concerned authorities in the university.
- In your University/place of study, it would be useful for you to keep in touch not only with other Indian students but also with Australian and other international students.
- Any and all complaints should be brought to the attention of appropriate authorities; at no stage, should you take or attempt to take the law into your own hands; breaking the law will invite strict legal and police action, which could include deportation.
- Remember that you are representing India in Australia. Behave appropriately at all times.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE
- For many of you, this may perhaps be the first time that you are away from home and in a foreign country, enjoying your first taste of independence. Please do remember, however, that in Australia you are an adult, if you are over 18 years of age, which you will be treated as an adult and held responsible for your actions and consequences.
- Remember that as a student studying in Australia, you have an opportunity to learn about Australia and other cultures. Spend time with other students from other countries and with Australian students. This is the best way of not feeling isolated and will considerably enrich your experience of studying in a foreign country.
- Remember, when learning about Australian and other cultures that some people you meet may not know much about Indian culture. You should be ready to communicate with the persons you meet, about where are you from and your culture; also for e.g. which foods you can or cannot eat or any other cultural needs, stating quite clearly the reasons behind them.
There have been incidents of robbery and assault on International students in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, which has seen an increasing trend in street violence in recent years, with the offenders being mainly young people in their teens and early 20s.
While Australia is by and large free of crime, there are, as everywhere else in the world, certain criminal elements, especially in urban areas. In Melbourne especially, casual violence on the streets is on the increase.
Majority of Indian students studying in Australia, especially those enrolled in Universities and reputable institutions have a positive experience of living and studying in Australia.
Keeping these factors in view, we advise students studying in Australia as well as those planning to study there, that they should take certain basic precautions in being alert to their own security while moving around:
- Don’t carry more cash with you than what is required.
- Do not make it obvious that you are in possession of expensive items, such as iPhone or laptops.
- Always carry some identification with you as well as details of who should be contacted in an emergency.
- In case you have a complaint, get in touch with the officer responsible for student’s welfare in the High Commission.
- Keep important documents and money in a safe place.
- Make sure you keep photocopies of relevant pages in your passport and other important documents in a separate place.
- Try not to travel alone late at night. If you are travelling alone, make sure that you have checked out your route carefully and try and keep to well-lit, populated areas as far as possible.
- Make sure that someone knows where you are going and at what time you are expected to return.
- Don’t carry more cash with you than what is required.
- When you are travelling alone or late at night, it is advised do not make it obvious that you are in possession of expensive items, such as mobile phones, iPods, or laptops.
- Always carry with you some identification as well as details of who should be contacted in an emergency.
- If in danger, dial 000 to get police help. Check out the other hotline numbers in the “Resource Section” below.
- If you have a genuine problem, do not hesitate to approach the police or other authorities; making a complaint will not affect your visa status.
UNIVERSAL RULES OF BEHAVIOUR WHICH ARE IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER
Always remember that you are a Indian and that your behaviour will determine the image of India and Indians by those people who interact with you.
Obviously, none of you would wish to project a negative image of India and Indians. Therefore, it is important to always remember and abide by the following basic rules of behaviour which all of you already know but which are worth emphasising: –
- An aspect of your behaviour to which you should pay special attention is not invading another person’s privacy or personal space.
- Maintain some distance from the person you are talking to (at least an arms’ length). Never touch a person to get their attention.
- Do not push or shove in crowds.
- Don’t ever break a queue – this is very important!
- Do not stare openly at passers-by.
- Don’t talk so loudly that other people are disturbed.
- Don’t ask personal questions of strangers.
- Please show respect for all, irrespective of age, gender, dress or appearance.
- Be polite. Greet people with a smile and a hello or good-day or how are you? respond when other greet you the same way.
- Please always use ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ – these words will serve you well.
- Please respect other’s time and be punctual; if you are running late or cannot make an appointment, please ensure that you inform the person you are going to meet, well in time.
- Remember that certain aspects of Australian culture are different from your own. Do not make any judgements about people based on the fact that they speak, dress or behave differently from you.