Many Asian students have chosen Australia’s top-notch educational system to advance their studies. Of these, a respectable number comes from Vietnam. Part of this is due to the fact that the country is a top provider of government scholarships to Vietnam since 1970. The other part is the objective quality of the institutions that offer options for international students. If you’re looking to join the trend of your countrymen pursuing studies in the Land Down Under, here’s what you need to know.
Before You Get To Go
The first thing that you need to actually get out of the way is your acceptance into an Australian educational institution as this is a critical requirement. From there, all you need is health insurance and you can apply for a student visa. It costs VND 9,500,000 to acquire but it will last you for five solid years. Once you’re there, you can even apply for a permit to work if you prefer having a part time job to alleviate expenses.
The Flight There
From the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, to Australia is a distance of about 6,000 km give or take. This translates to a travel time of over 8 to 9 hours roughly. That’s assuming that you take a direct flight via Korean Air and are headed to Sydney. To get to Canberra via direct flight is significantly longer at 12 hours and 10 minutes.
The Higher Cost of Living
It’s important to note that there is a significant gap in the costs of living between Vietnam and Australia. On average, prices in Australia are twice as they would be in Vietnam. That includes everything from rent to groceries and even affordable meals at a restaurant. For example, a one-bedroom apartment at a city center will cost you VND 28,000,000 in Australia what would cost only VND 9,000,000 in Vietnam. Most critical market books, in fact, are up to twice or thrice the price that you would pay in Vietnam.
A Higher Income Potential
The good news is that there is an equally noticeable disparity between the minimum wage paid out between the two countries. In Vietnam, that comes down to VND 1,390,000 whereas in Australia, that’s up to VND 45,700,000. Healthcare professions—a very popular career path in Vietnam—can earn as much as VND 1,700,000,000. That’s a hefty fifty times more than what can be earned in Vietnam.
Sixth in Size
There is a very strong and thriving community of Vietnamese in Australia. While they can be found in all corners of the country, they have historically been concentrated in Melbourne and its suburbs. A fun fact is that Nguyen is slowly overtaking Smith as Australia’s most common surname. These communities have housing and even stores owned and operated by Vietnamese immigrants. At over 300,000 Vietnamese all over the major city centers of Australia, it’s much easier to feel closer to home.
Ushering in a New Year
While not widely celebrated in Australia by Australians, Tet Nguyen Dan—the Vietnamese New Year—is celebrated raucously within the thriving Vietnamese community there. While work in Australian-owned companies doesn’t stop, you can expect those in Vietnamese quarters to close down. Many families open their doors to visitors—especially fellow Vietnamese—to allow them to join in the festivities even if they are far from home.
There are some challenges to studying in Australia. But with the potential to earn more and a large community for support, students dreaming of expanding their education to Australia will be well rewarded and, ultimately, not too far from home.