For many people, the prospect of being able to study abroad can be very exciting and just that little bit scary. After all, you’re going to be thrust into a world far from your family where the culture can vary slightly. Fortunately, if you’re a student from the UK looking to try to expand their education to Australia, you’re not going to be all that homesick. Here are a few things you need to know to help you on your journey.
Before You Go
The most important visa that you need to get to study full time is the student visa. You need to be at least six years of age and have health insurance. Equally critical is that you need to have already been accepted by an educational institution in Australia. This is easy enough to accomplish given the ease of applying for a reputable college or school online. Costing roughly GBP 315, this visa is viable for five years already.
Because Australia is nearly on the opposite side of the globe from the UK, the travel time comes up to a whopping 21 hours and 40 minutes if you take the direct, one stop route via Thai Airways International from London Heathrow to Sydney Airport via Bangkok. If you prefer a more relaxed, scenic route, that time extends to over 55 hours—this is especially if you want a little bit of an adventure before you dive into your studies.
The Relative Cost of Living
On the average, the cost of living in Australia is lower than that in the UK—London specifically. Rent prices, in particular, are a significantly lower by 13.61% in Sydney. Meals, in particular, are much cheaper. In an inexpensive restaurant in Sydney, you can get for GBP 8 what you’ll pay GBP 15 in the UK. Strangely, it’s grocery prices that are somewhat higher in Australia—but not by much. A 0.33-L bottle of soda is around GBP .50 cheaper in the UK, for example.
One bit of great news that is sure to please those intending to study in Australia is that Australia offers significantly more lucrative salaries. The national average is around GBP 6,000 more that that in the UK. For example, bar attendants earn around GBP 2 more than their UK counterparts. The gap is even more pronounced in professions like nursing. Nurses in the UK can get, on average GBP 25,000 while those in Australia earn over GBP 15,000 more.
There are upwards of 2,000 UK students currently studying across Australia at any given time. That, coupled with a very similar sense of culture, means that you will feel at home in the land down under. There are pubs to enjoy a night out, Australia has its own club football competition. If you plan to keep tabs on your favorite football club back home, be prepared to watch those very late at night.
Celebrate Good Times
Many of the most important holidays in the UK are celebrated in Australia as well. Christmas and Boxing day are just as jovial and fun. They even place importance to the Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day. Added holidays that can be just as enjoyable for UK students includes ANZAC day for war veterans, and Australia Day. Additionally, expect rounds of raucous celebration every time Australia’s national teams play and win on the international stage.
All in all, UK students in Australia can expect a relatively easy transition as well a lower cost of living. You’ll feel readily at home with the roughly similar culture. And the break from the wet weather of the UK for sun and fun is certainly welcome. That’s not even mentioning the high quality of educational institutions in Australia.