Sydney – The place to study …..

S297185-4d1e5040-92b4-11e3-9662-9a1903baed4fydney  is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia , its also  one of the most multicultural cities in the world. There are more than 250 different languages spoken in Sydney and about one-third of residents speak a language other than English at home.

Sydney has an excellent public transport system, with bus, train and ferry services throughout the city. Sydney’s climate allows you to enjoy outdoor activities almost all year round. Sydney is home to some of Australia’s best shopping, dining, entertainment and sporting venues. In addition to this Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance, manufacturing and university-of-sydneytourism. There are many multinational companies, foreign banks and based in Sydney and the city is promoted as Asia Pacific’s leading financial hub

Sydney is the highest ranking city in the world for international students.sydney-overview-aerial-large More than 50,000 international students study at the city’s universities and a further 50,000 study at its vocational and English language schools. There are six public universities based in Sydney: The University of Sydney, the University of Technology, the University of New South WalesMacquarie University, the University of Western Sydney, and the Australian Catholic University. Apart from this CQ University, University of Southern Queensland, Victoria University, Charles Strut University have their campuses here

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New – Simplified Student Visa Framework – Australia

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International students now wanting to study in Australia will benefit from the new simplified student visa framework which came into effect from 01st July 2016. 

 

Overview & Key change

  • International students will apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500), regardless of their chosen course of study
  • Student guardians will apply for the new Student Guardian (subclass 590) visa
  • All students and student guardians will generally be required to lodge their visa application online (evisa) by creating an account in ImmiAccount.

(More information about ImmiAccount is available at: www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Immi)

A single immigration risk framework applies to all international students and replaces the previous streamlined visa processing and Assessment Level frameworks. Under the SSVF, the combined immigration risk outcomes of the student’s education provider and country of citizenship will be used to guide the level of documentary evidence of English language and financial capacity that the student needs to provide with their visa application.

Streamlined evidentiary requirements:
Students associated with the lowest immigration risk will generally have streamlined evidentiary requirements. This means these students will generally be able to satisfy the Department of their financial capacity by providing a declaration and their English proficiency by a Confirmation of Enrolment. The Department will however retain the discretion to seek further evidence where appropriate.

By using the online client service tool students will be able to obtain details about the documentation and evidence that will need to be included with their student visa application.

( Link:https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/500-)

Financial Capacity & Requirement:
All student visa applicants must have sufficient funds available for the duration of their stay in Australia. Students associated with higher immigration risk, based on their country of citizenship and education provider immigration risk outcomes, will generally need to provide additional documentary evidence of financial capacity with their visa application.

The immigration department’s online client service tool will indicates that documentary evidence of financial capacity is required based on the institute the student is applying for. Where additional evidence of financial capacity is required, the student will be able to demonstrate this by providing either:

  • Evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months living, course fees and (for school-aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members or
  • Evidence of meeting the annual income requirement or

The income demonstrated must be the personal income of the student’s spouse or parents only. In circumstances where both the student’s parents are working their combined income can be considered for this requirement. In all cases the evidence of annual income must be in the form of official government documentation, such as a tax assessment.

All students must show evidence of the first 12-month living costs. The type of evidence, where required, includes: money deposit or education loan with a financial institution, government loan, scholarship or sponsorship.

Living cost amounts From 1 July 2016, the 12 month living cost will be:

  • Student/guardian AUD 19,830
  • Partner/spouse AUD 6,940
  • Child AUD 2,970

 (For any dependent children aged 5 years and above the evidence of school costs also applies)

Please Note: Financial amounts including annual income, living costs and schooling costs will be regularly reviewed and adjusted from time to time

Insurance (OSHC)

All student visa holders must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while they are in Australia. Evidence of the cover must be submitted at the time of visa application.

English language requirements:
Where evidence of English Ianguage proficiency is required, the following minimum English language test scores will be accepted:

  • English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 5.5 or
  • IELTS overall band score of 5 when packaged with at least 10 weeks English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) or
  • IELTS overall band score of 4.5 when packaged with at least 20 weeks ELICOS. The equivalent of the above minimum IELTS test scores from the following English language providers will also be accepted:
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language paper based test (TOEFL)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic
  • Cambridge English: Advanced
  • Occupational English Test.

The Immigration Department’s online client service tool will indicates that documentary evidence of English language proficiency is required, it is important for applicants to attach these documents to their visa application prior to lodgement. Failure to do so may result visa refusal.

 English language exemptions:
Currently  some institutes offer some students  exemption from providing evidence of an English language test score, regardless of the level of immigration risk that applies. Under the SSVF, the following student categories will continue to be exempt from providing evidence of English language proficiency requirements with their visa application regardless of the immigration risk rating that applies:

  • Students enrolled in fulltime school studies as a principal course, including secondary exchange programmes; postgraduate research courses; standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS); and Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored students
  • Students who have completed at least five years study in one or more of the following countries; Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland
  • Citizens and passport holders of one of the following English-speaking countries; UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland
  • Students who have successfully completed in Australia in the English language either the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or studies at the Certificate IV or higher level, in the two years before applying for the Student visa.

Packaging English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS):
Under the SSVF, there is no limitation on the maximum duration of ELICOS study that may be undertaken. Genuine students will be able to undertake as much ELICOS study as either a standalone course or prior to their principal course, as required.

Genuine access to funds: 

The funds shown in the visa application must be available for use by the student to financially support them and any accompanying family members during their stay in Australia.

When considering whether the funds shown will be genuinely available, the Department will take into account factors including:

  • The nature of the relationship between the student and the person who is providing the funds, where applicable
  • Income, assets and employment of the student or the other person who is providing the funds
  • Previous visa history of both the student and the person providing the funds.

Evidence of enrollment:

All students must be enrolled in a registered course of study and provide a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) when they lodge their student visa application.

Welfare:
All students under 18 must continue to have welfare arrangements in place for the duration of their stay in Australia AND provide one of the following forms of evidence at the time they lodge their visa application:

  • Form 157N which nominates a suitable relative in Australia or
  • Form 157N and an application for a Student Guardian (subclass 590) for a nominated relative or
  • A Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare letter from the education provider or
  • An Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form.

Course Packaging Arrangements:
All students will continue to be able to package two or more courses on the one student visa where there is progression from one course to another.

Processing time frame:

The Department aims to finalise 75 per cent of complete student visa applications within 4 to 6 week from the time of lodgement. To reduce visa processing times, students are strongly encouraged to submit all required documents with their visa applications. Failure to submit all required documents may lead to processing delays or visa refusal.

 Fraud:
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to focus on ensuring that only applicants who are genuine students, and their immediate family members, are granted a student visa to Australia. Instances of fraud are taken very seriously and are thoroughly investigated by the Department. An individual’s visa application may be refused or their visa may be cancelled if there is evidence that the individual has given, or caused to be given, a bogus document or false or misleading information.

 

Nishi Borra   

Director – Atlas Consultants

 

Effective Statement of Purpose (SOP)

A ‘Statement of Purpose’ also known as ‘SOP’ — is an important part of the admissions process. Almost all universities require students to submit a statement of purpose along with their academic certificates as a part of their admission process.

The SOP should explain clearly ‘Why you are choosing the course that you want to study and what you plans are on completing the course.’ In addition to this the SOP should outline the following:

  • sopYour academic background
  • Details of work experience if any
  • Explain any gaps between your studies
  • How are you funding your studies?
  • Career goals
  • Any other relevant information

A well-written SOP with good academics is a winning combination. The SOP gives you an opportunity to convince the Admissions Officer why you should be granted admission.

Tips:

  • SOP should be between 2500 to 3500 words
  • Stick to a readable font-type and size
  • Write a couple of drafts, read, edit and then work on a final SOP
  • Do not repeat sentences which project on the same thing or topic
  • Use simple and clear language
  • Don’t make vague statements or write something that you would not say to a person in a face-to-face interview

The SOP should give a clear picture of your aim, your aspiration, and go on to explain what you intend to do on course completion.

The SOP is an important document and it’s your opportunity to convince the Admissions Officer to accept your application. So give your best shot

Right University for me ……

make-the-right-choiceChoosing the RIGHT course and the RIGHT university is a big decision and many students are confused about this.

Apart from the academics students must also consider other factors like the location, weather, size of the city, the cost of tuition fee, cost of housing,  availability of part-time jobs etc. Remember that this is the place where you will live, study and socialize for the next few years. Larger cities like Melbourne and Sydney will definitely be expensive in terms of rent and accommodation, but again the exposure you receive will be different. Cities like Wollongong and Gold Coast also have excellent options for Indian students.

Benefits of Studying in Regional University in Australia

Certain cities in Australia have been given the status of being regional. These areas are generally bit away from the main cities of Australia but in themselves they are developed and advanced cities.

Cities such as Adelaide, Tasmania (Hobart), Ballart, Townsville, Rockhampton, Darwin and many other well known cities fall in this category.

Regional cities of Australia have all the facilities that are available in larger cities but have had less population growth. The universities situated in regional areas are amongst the Top Best Australian Universities. Many large companies are situated in these cities.

Some regional universities have been in existence for half a century or more, attract many students from metropolitan areas and overseas and have deserved international reputations for innovative approaches to teaching and research.

A few benefits of studying in a regional based University

  • Low cost of living as compared to larger cities
  • Less competition of part time jobs
  • Chances of being paid higher minimum wages while working part time
  • Chances of gaining extra 5 points towards Permanent Residency
  • Better chances of getting work after completion of studies due to less competition

PR (Migration) Benefit

For the purposes of General Skilled Migration, students may be able to claim points for the ‘Regional Australia’ part of the points test if they have lived in one or more of these areas and have studied full time at a campus located in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area for at least 2 years prior to lodging their migration application or applying for state sponsorship.

Popular Regional Australian universities:

  • University of Tasmania
  • University of Ballarat – Main Campus @ Ballarat, Victoria
  • Central Queensland University
  • Charles Darwin University
  • James Cook University
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of New England
  • University of Southern Queensland
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Sunshine Coast

Education Loans – Australian Student Visa

Australian Student Visa Bank Loans from acceptable financial institutions

Loans must be issued from an Acceptable Financial Institute (AFI) registered under RBI in India.

A loan “in principle” is not acceptable.

Students are required to provide evidence of the family’s available income to repay the loan.

Visa applicants must provide evidence of the collateral used to secure the loan. This collateral must be genuinely held by the sponsor. If collateral is made using funds other than regular income then the applicant must provide the trail of funds. For example, a sale deed can be provided as evidence if funds are obtained by sale of property. Please note that sale agreements are not acceptable. Only the registered sale deed is acceptable for visa purposes.

Loans issued against fixed deposits, property, National Savings Certificate (NSCs) and Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) are acceptable.

Loan issued against life insurance, superannuation funds, gold, shares and Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) are not acceptable. Collateral owned by non-eligible sponsors is also not acceptable.

Overdrafts are treated as a loan for visa purposes and must be provided in line with the above requirements

In India the following organisations may meet the definition of ‘financial institution’ in the Regulations for the purpose of student visa applications:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland NV
  • Andhra Bank
  • Allahabad Bank
  • AXIS Bank Ltd
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Bank of India
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Bank of Punjab Ltd
  • BNP Paribas
  • Canara Bank
  • Central Bank of India
  • Centurion Bank of Punjab Ltd
  • Citibank
  • Corporation Bank
  • Dena Bank
  • Federal Bank Ltd
  • HDFC Bank Ltd
  • Hongkong and Shanghai Banking
  • Corporation
  • IDBI Bank Ltd
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Indian Bank
  • Ing Vysya Bank Ltd
  • Indusind Bank Ltd
  • ICICI Banking
  • Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd
  • Karnataka Bank Ltd
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank
  • NOVA Scotia Bank
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Punjab and Sind Bank
  • South Indian Bank Ltd
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • State Bank of India
  • State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
  • State Bank of Hyderabad
  • State Bank of Indore
  • State Bank of Mysore
  • State Bank of Patiala
  • State Bank of Saurashtra
  • State Bank of Travancore
  • Syndicate Bank
  • UCO Bank
  • Union Bank of India
  • United Bank of India
  • Vijaya Bank
  • Yes Bank
  • Bank of Rajasthan
  • Barclays Bank PLC

Employment Issues & International Students

Employment issues are the most talked subject among international students across all education institutions in Australia. International spart time jobstudents must all understand the employment challenges that they may encounter during and after their Australian education.

Good communication and presentation skills and in addition to this as a consultant I will advise international students to take greater ownership of their own career development. I have seen many students blaming their universities if they failed to secure any forms of employment after graduation – blaming others rather than yourself are after all a part of human nature.

Employers often look at other skills and experiences of candidates; and academic results only constitute a small percentage of this equation. Thus an excellent academic result alone does not guarantee future employment – you will need to build up your experience and employability skills during your studies.

Students must participate in career seminars and explore the opportunities to develop their employability skills. It is essential for students to recognise that employability skills take a significant amount of time to cultivate and education institutions will provide the necessary support for this process.

Remember, it takes two hands to clap – your education institutions want to help you but they need you to be proactive in the first place. Thus before blaming your institutions about your future career prospects, ask yourself the following questions:

Are you aware of the career services provided by your education institution?

  • Have you utilised any of these services?
  • Are you currently engaged with any forms of on-campus activities (such as volunteering at a student club)?
  • Are you confident enough to use your resume or curriculum vitae for a job application in Australia?
  • Are you able to address the key selection criteria of a job?
  • Are you generally aware of the workplace culture in Australia?

If you have answered “no” to any of the above questions, it is time for you to contact your career office and utilise its services. This will be the first step in taking ownership of your own career development

Group of Eight (Go8) – Australia

The Group of Eight (Go8) is a coalition of leading Australian universities, comprehensive in general and professional education and distinguished by depth and breadth in research.

Go8 universities can be distinguished in the following ways:

they have nurtured every Nobel prize winner educated at an Australian university
they contribute over 70% of the Fellows of the four Australian learned academies
they are the most research concentrated of all Australian universities
they account for more than two thirds of Australian university research activity, research output and research training.