If you have always dreamed of strolling in flip-flops for the bigger part of the year, you will love your life in Sydney, walking near the sea and sand. This city is also an ideal base for exploring the eastern coast of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. International students can also enjoy Sydney’s vibrant nightlife and cultural life: museums, clubs, bohemian cafes, vintage shops or gourmet festivals. There is always something to do during or even after your studies. While being a financial center of the country, it also offers a dynamic way of life. Popular magazines ranked Sydney among the top 10 cities with the best quality of life in the world, and it was also ranked as one of the best student cities for international students in 2017. In addition to that, Sydney has a welcoming tradition: almost a third of its inhabitants were born abroad.
Americans Are Appreciated
As an American citizen, you will be welcomed with open arms in Australia. The language, culture and history of your country are highly appreciated there. You will also meet a lot of American people in Sydney. Australia’s success with American youth is also clear. Finally, many American companies are located in this country while employing more than 100,000 people. In terms of education, Australia is the third largest research partner for the US. However, Sydney is still struggling to attract American students because of major factors like remoteness, lack of knowledge of the country or the cost of studies.
Course Format: Dialogue and Autonomy
More than 35,000 international students come to live and study in Sydney each year. This city is home to five world-renowned universities. Moreover, it has become a regional educational hub. Foreign students come mainly from China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Brazil and Malaysia. Australian students are encouraged to be autonomous and responsible in their studies and to ensure that they complete their research, essays and readings on time. But the instructors will still be there to accompany you and to help you adapt. Students and professors generally interact in a familiar manner while remaining respectful. It is customary to call someone by their first name. Students are also invited to discuss different topics with the lecturers and instructors during classes, which are often taken into account in the awarding of final grades.
Courses in English
As classes are taught in English, you will need to demonstrate your level in English as part of the admission process. According to the admission criteria of universities, you can do it in many ways:
– Take a language proficiency test, such as IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge Certificate. It is better to check which ones are accredited by the university of your choice in advance. You can find out more about these tests on our page ___.
– Validate the preliminary English course of your university. For instance, to enter the University of New South Wales, you will need to take the University English Entry Course (UEEC) course over a period of ten to twenty weeks.
Exchange Programs and Scholarships
University institutions, government as well as public and private organizations offer several scholarships open to international students, such as the Australia Awards, the International Postgraduate Research Scholarships or the Support Program for Women Researchers in Australia. Check with the university of your choice to find out the types of scholarships available and the conditions for getting them.
Sydney’s Top Universities
Two universities in Sydney rank among the top 50 in the world, according to the QS 2017 universities ranking. The University of Sydney is on the third place in Australia by QS and the 28th in Asia in terms of innovation, according to the «Times Higher Education». It is recognized for its research pole, its passionate teachers and its partnerships with industry. Here is what you can get to know about the five major universities in the city.
University of Sydney
Founded in 1850, today it is the first and most prestigious university in Sydney; it is one of the top three in the country and ranks 46th in the world ranking of universities QS 2016. It is one of the best public teaching and research universities, hosting more than 50,000 students, as well as 3,000 employees, and specializing particularly in the fields of human and social sciences, engineering and technology. The University of Sydney offers its students 400 study programs and more than 200 clubs and associations, both academic and extracurricular. Nearly 29% of the students are international. Five Nobel laureates, two Crafoord laureates, six prime ministers and 24 judges from the High Court of Australia graduated from this university. To learn more about studies and to get important details, visit the University of Sydney website.
University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Being one of the top universities in the country, this educational establishment has excellent results in accounting and finance, law and civil engineering. Established in 1949, UNSW is a founding member of several university networks, such as the «Group of Eight» – the best universities in Australia, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and the Global Alliance of Technological Universities. It focuses its research efforts in the fields of renewable energies, climate change and the development of vital medical treatments such as cancer, advanced technologies and social sciences. UNSW maintains exchange and research partnerships with 200 universities around the world. Its researchers are most renowned for their work on solar energy, HIV treatment and quantum computers. The university has more than 50,000 students, more than 25% of whom are international students from nearly 130 countries. You can find more information about application and exchange programs on the website of the University of New South Wales.
University of Technology Sydney
Founded in 1988, it is a young, dynamic and innovative university, although its origins go back to the 1870s. This university has a very active community of 40,000 students, including more than 11,000 international students from 120 countries. It offers 130 undergraduate and postgraduate programs in architecture, commerce, urban planning, design, communication, education, engineering, information technology, international relations, law, obstetrics, nursing, pharmacy and science. It belongs to the Australian Technology Network of Universities, a group of five innovative and entrepreneurial universities focused on collaborations with industry, government and research to provide practical education. If you are interested, visit their website.
Being just a bit over 50 years old, Macquarie is also one of the top universities in Australia and is among the top universities in the world, according to the ranking of QS universities. 40,000 students, including 24% international students from more than 120 countries, are studying in five departments, a Macquarie University Hospital and a Macquarie Graduate School of Management. Having disciplines such as trade, health and medical sciences, Macquarie University is also one of the top 100 institutions in accounting and finance, earth sciences and marine science, communications, culture and journalism, English and Literature, Linguistics and Psychology, Geography and Law. Its infrastructure has recently benefited from an investment of over A$1 billion, and the institution offers numerous scholarships such as indicated on the site of the University of Macquarie.
Western Sydney University (UWS)
Although it was founded only in 1989, it inherited from educational institutions whose origins date back to the early nineteenth century. According to the «Times Higher Education» studies on higher education, it ranks among the 3% of the best universities in the world. Western Sydney University welcomes more than 44,000 students, of which about 13% are international. Each of its six campuses has its own character. Classes are small. You will be able to study in the fields of arts and humanities, engineering and urbanism, information technology and computer science, health sciences, nursing and obstetrics, psychology, science and social sciences. Its reputation for research contributes to making it one of the best universities in the country, with 80% of its research being «equal to or higher than the world standard», according to the program Excellence in Research for Australia. You can find out more about admissions and application on the Western Sydney University website.
Admission Requirements for Studies in Sydney
American students are subject to the same academic prerequisites as Australian students for admission. It includes having the High School Certificate and being able to demonstrate good skills of academic English. Some curricula may apply different admission conditions, even stricter ones, so read all the details on the website of the university of your choice. Admission procedures and conditions vary between universities and curricula, so it is advisable to inquire with those you are interested in. You will need to obtain a student visa, unless you already have another visa authorization to study in the country, such as a permanent resident visa. Check with the Australian Embassy or Consulate in Australia and the Australian Immigration Office.
Where Can You Get Help?
A representative of the University of your choice may also be able to assist you in preparing your application for the student visa. For example, at the University of Sydney, you will need to contact the Compliance Officers, while at the University of New South Wales you will get help from International Student Advisors. You will need confirmation of university registration to submit your application. Make sure to do so as soon as your registration is validated, because processing visa applications can sometimes take several weeks. Keep in mind that student medical coverage is essential for student visa holders.
What Is the Cost of Living in Sydney?
The cost of tuition and the cost of living in Sydney are both relatively high. Thus, the Immigration and Border Protection Department requires prospective international students to have at least A$19,830 a year to cover their expenses in addition to tuition fees. Current expenditures are estimated at between $18,000 and $25,000 per academic year. Tuition fees vary according to universities and curricula; however, in the universities mentioned above, they average between 23,000 and 35,000 Australian dollars per year. A fee should not discourage students, mostly because expenses can be partly covered by a supplementary job: working in Sydney, in parallel with studying, is encouraged, and a student visa will allow you to work up to 20 hours per week. In addition to this, the local labor market is very dynamic and the unemployment rate in Sydney by the end of 2016 has barely reached 4%.
How to Plan Your Budget for Australia?
In Sydney, most universities offer student accommodation in a studio or shared flat, sometimes off campus, and sometimes full board. Rents are between $130 and $650 per week. Other options include independent student housing. It can be foster care (from $195 to $500 a week), private rentals (about 570 Australian dollars per week) or living with a roommate (from 300 to 400 Australian dollars per week). Flatmate Finders is a reference site in the area of roommate search.
Student Life in Australia: Where to Go
If you love the sun, you will love living in Australia. Above all else, Sydney is characterized by its 236 days of sunshine per year, long hot summers and mild winters, as well as many fine sandy beaches such as Bondi or Manly. Sydney is a vibrant and relaxed city with bright nightlife, pubs and bars surrounding Woolloomooloo, Darling Harbor, King’s Cross, Oxford Street and the Rocks. Darlinghurst and Surry Hills also have a high concentration of bars. Coogee Beach and Bondi’s waterfront pubs offer idyllic views of the sea and extensive sandy beaches. Do not forget to visit the northern beaches of Sydney, with Manly Beach being the most popular of them all.
Interesting Events in Australia
There is a wide variety of cultural events in the city that revolve around gastronomy, music, cinema, arts, comedy shows and annual festivals such as Australia Day, Chinese New Year or the famous Vivid Light Festival which animates the city with installations and bright projections. However, Sydney is not limited to the bars and seaside activities. You can discover the largest open-air sculpture exhibition in the country, «Sculpture by the sea», on the coastal promenades from Bondi to Congee or from Manly Beach to Sydney Harbor Bridge via Spit. The Blue Mountains or the natural parks and beaches of Northern Sydney are also interesting for excursions. So, are you ready to experience it all in reality?
Local Dishes to Taste at Least Once
You will hear a lot about the famous bush food and will be tempted to try the damper (Australian traditional bread), crocodile, kangaroo or insect larvae (which are primarily intended for tourists). But do not miss a good Aussie barbecue, beet burgers, fish and chips sold by the sea, vegemite (a dark brown and relatively salty spread) or barramundi (a fish specialty)! The multiculturalism of Sydney also includes Asian cuisine. Do not miss the local wines of the Hunter Valley area and the Sydney fish market, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest in the world! Another interesting fact is that no one in Australia drinks Foster’s beer. It is just for tourists and export!
We hope that our tips were useful for you, and your dream about studying in Australia will come to reality. Good luck!