Six challenges you may face as an international student

6 Challenges You May Face as an International Student in Australia

Studying in Australia can be challenging, especially during the first couple of months until you settle. To help you prepare for your journey, we have summed up six most common problems international students are experiencing.

1 – Language Barrier

To be able to fully understand courses in Australia, you need to be highly proficient in English. Even if you are, you still may experience the language barrier if you are not familiar with Australian English. International students often complain that they find it difficult to understand native speakers. You can overcome this challenge by familiarising yourself with Australian English. There are plenty of resources online, so spend time reading books or articles and watching movies or TV shows.

2 – Culture Shock

Many international students coming from different corners of the globe find the Australian culture very different from their own. There will be things you’ll need to get accustomed to quickly. For example, Aussies eat their dinner early, and restaurants are closed by 9 pm. If you don’t want to end up being hungry in the evening, you better get used to early dinners. Australians are also huge sports fans and coffee drinkers, so you should keep that in mind too. There are also some unexpected customs you might notice at courses for international students. Perhaps you didn’t know that it is perfectly normal to address your lecturer by their first name? This is because Aussies love the casual and informal style of speaking. They have a short version of nearly every word, including sanga (sandwich) Maccas (MacDonalds) and ceebs (can’t be bothered).

3 – Different Education System

You might find courses in Australia for international students challenging because the education system is different from the one in your country. For starters, the grading system could be different from the one you know, but it is additionally complicated when you find out it varies from one state to another. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it quickly! You also need to know that Australian universities combine big lectures and small workshops and that the focus is on both theory and hands-on experience.

4 – Visa Subclass 500 Issues

Holders of student visa 500 should make sure to follow all the rules of their student immigration status. Potential problems with your Australian student visa could be related to the expiration date or change of educational institution. Keep in mind that if your visa is about to expire, you cannot extend it. We recommend applying for another visa at least three months before the expiration date. If you want to change the course or transfer to another university, find out if it affects your visa.

5 – Finances

Many international students face financial difficulties either because they didn’t plan their budget well prior to their arrival or because they had difficulties managing their money in Australia. Our best advice is to do your research well ahead and calculate how much money you’ll need for everything from tuition fees to a cup of coffee. To cut your costs, you can try to find more affordable accommodation such as living with a local family or in a homestay. You can also find a part-time job in a local business and cover some of your costs.  

6 – Staying Safe and Healthy

Australia is generally a safe country, but it is best to research possible dangers in the area you’ll be staying at and find all the information you can about possible health concerns and medical services. Get informed on street safety and sexual safety, but also take time to familiarise yourself with the Australian medical system because it might be different from your home country. Your university will probably have excellent resources to help you stay safe and healthy during your stay.

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